From a BBC report on a vigil called by the Stop the War Coalition, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Muslim Association of Britain:
Present were the anti-war politicians MPs George Galloway and Jeremy Corbyn, along with poets, campaigners and ordinary people who wished to show they cared.
Mr Galloway said he was there as a “mark of respect” to those killed and maimed “by those criminals”.
“These were ordinary people, heading for work, who were cruelly killed – and no-one can justify that,” he said.
Compare that to a 2003 interview of Galloway by Marie Woolf of The Independent:
He refuses to condemn suicide bombers in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or Iraq, where he predicts there will be “many”. He says young Iraqis “will conduct themselves in exactly the same way as the Palestinians do towards the Sharon occupation army”.
And from a 2004 interview of Galloway by Victor Kattan of Arab Media Watch:
KATTAN: What do you make of the Road Map?
GALLOWAY: The Road Map has been washed away in blood, washed away in the blood of the martyrs Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Rantissi and all the other martyrs who have fallen since the invasion of Iraq.
The “martyrs” Yassin and Rantissi were, of course, responsible for sending men and women into Israel to blow up people at random, and for glorifying as martyrs those who did so.
If UK forces track down and kill those responsible for Thursday’s mass murder in London, will they be martyrs too? Why not?
“When I saw photographs of children murdered by the Fascists, I felt furious pity. When the supporters of Franco talked of Red atrocities, I merely felt indignant that people should tell such lies. In the first case I saw corpses, in the second only words. However… I gradually acquired a certain horror of the way in which my own mind worked. It was clear to me that unless I cared about every murdered child impartially, I did not really care about children being murdered at all.”
–Stephen Spender, The God That Failed, 1949
Harry adds: The fact the SWP-Respect-MAB-controlled ‘Stop the War’ Coalition, open supporters of Islamist terrorism abroad, were able to hold their appeasement vigil today is, I suppose, yet another tribute to the tolerance of Londoners.
But it does remind me of this Orwell passage from England Your England:
At this moment, after a year of war, newspapers and pamphlets abusing the Government, praising the enemy and clamouring for surrender are being sold on the streets, almost without interference. And this is less from a respect for freedom of speech than from a simple perception that these things don’t matter. It is safe to let a paper like Peace News be sold, because it is certain that ninety-five per cent of the population will never want to read it.
Its right and proper to be disgusted by the SWP, RESPECT, MAB, STWC and the rest of the acronyms for surrender but it is the views of Simon Jenkins, David Clark, Guardian and Independent letter writers and others of deluded middle of the road liberal opinion which need to be tackled now.
…and a tiny trivial footnote by David T
I have just been thrown out of some sort of Turkish communist “festival” in my local park, at which Galloway was speaking, supposedly against terrorism. What led to my ejection, I think, was that I called him a class traitor, a cheerleader for fascists and murderers of trade unionists, and a hypocrite. That’s about as far as I got before the stewards bundled me and my son away.
Surprisingly, apart from Galloway, there wasn’t really that much on show opposing, or even about, the Iraq War. When I asked the stewards how they could call themselves socialists, while inviting a man who cheerleads for the murderers of socialists, the only thing that the stewards could say that Galloway was their guest and that they needed to keep order.
They weren’t nearly embarrassed enough.