Human Rights,  International

The power worshiper

If you ever doubted that George Galloway is nothing more than an anti-American power worshiper of the most craven sort, gather up your mental strength and read his latest column in The Daily Record.

GRACE, grandeur, spectacle …superlatives pale in the face of the Beijing opening ceremony.

Despite the best efforts of all the saboteurs, China is on course to shake the world with the greatest Olympic Games ever staged.

Nearly 200 years ago, Napoleon said: “Let China sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the Earth.”

Not a word, of course, about China’s arrest of hundreds of dissidents in the weeks before the Olympics, about half a million Chinese held without charges, about the government’s suppression of workers’ revolts and free trade unions, about Tibet, about support for the genocidal regime in Sudan.

Galloway’s willingness to put aside such concerns in his eagerness to glorify China’s alleged ascendancy resembles that of the 12 corporate sponsors which have together kicked in more than $800 million to make these Olympics possible. Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins wrote from Beijing:

These companies will reap the full exposure of the Summer Games, swathing themselves in the flag, and rationalizing that their business is helping uplift the Chinese people. Don’t buy it — or them. You should know exactly who they are: General Electric (which owns NBC), Coca-Cola, Visa, McDonald’s, Kodak, and Johnson & Johnson. (The others are Canadian-based Manulife Financial; Lenovo, the Chinese personal computer maker; the French information technology services company Atos Origin; the Swiss watch manufacturer Omega; Panasonic; and Samsung.) When these acquiesced to the Chinese government’s crackdown, and effectively accepted the censorship of the press during these Games, they fell into a special category of profiteers that Franklin Delano Roosevelt described in his “Four Freedoms” speech.

“We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American eagle in order to feather their own nests,” Roosevelt said.

If you’re looking for Galloway’s precise opposite in terms of humanity and decency, consider my nephew’s childhood friend from Greensboro, North Carolina– the Olympic speed-skating gold medalist Joey Cheek, whose visa to travel to the Olympics was revoked at the last moment by Chinese authorities.

Cheek is co-founder of Team Darfur, an organization composed of athletes attempting to draw attention to human rights violations in Darfur. China is a major customer of the oil produced in the war-torn region of Sudan.

As long as he’s in a power-worshiping mood, Galloway takes the occasion to swoon over Russia’s invasion of Georgia:

…If the red flag is flying high again in Beijing, Russia has shown the world the Yeltsin days when she could be held hostage, privatised and even dismembered are over for good.

The Russian army were an awesome sight on the march into the two breakaway Caucasus enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. All that military aid from the US and the Israelis to the Georgian army seems to have been wasted money.

No word, of course, about the apparent fact that as in Chechniya, the “awesome” Russian army makes little if any effort to distinguish between military and civilian targets in towns like Gori.

Respect activist Andy Newman of Socialist Unity sometimes comments here. Can he please explain how he continues in good conscience to be part of a movement led by this wretched human being?

(Hat tip: tim)