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Galloway-Hitchens transcript posted

A transcript of Wednesday’s Galloway-Hitchens brawl is posted here.

Of special note is this passage from Galloway:

They’ve told us in every single anti-colonial struggle, that it was foreign interference, it was the reds, or its the Islamists from outside, if only we could extirpate them. Kerpow the man in a turban with a beard in the Tora Bora, or his lieutenant, Zarqawi, who it turns out actually fell out with bin Laden a very long time ago, according to the excellent rebuttal of Mr. Hitchens’ ten points by professor Juan Cole of Michigan University, available on the internet to anyone who wants to read.

I assume Galloway is referring to this article from Salon.com, in which Cole writes:

[Zarqawi] later had a vigorous rivalry with Osama bin Laden and refused to share resources with him. It is not clear what his relationship was to “Talibanism”; he appears to be a radical “Salafi” in the Jordanian Sunni revivalist tradition.

…Hitchens also claims (who knows if it is true) that Zarqawi recently renamed his group “al-Qaida in Mesopotamia.”

But The Christian Science Monitor reported December 30:

[I]n an October Internet statement, Zarqawi announced he was changing the name of his group to “Al Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers,” a reference to the Tigris and Euphrates. In [a December 28] tape bin Laden called Zarqawi his organization’s “emir,” or leader, in Iraq.

Anyway, what point was Galloway trying to make by citing Zarqawi’s alleged falling-out with bin Laden? That Zarqawi is in fact a legitimate resistance fighter? That his mass murders of Shiite civilians are legitimate tactics?

(Hat tip: Joshua Scholar.)

Update: More from Hitchens.

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