Wednesday, October 26, 2005

George Galloway

So the left's latest hero has been shown to be a liar and a thief. He almost certainly committed perjury before the United States Senate and elsewhere. If what the Senate report is accurate he was in the employ of the Ba'athists and was taking money meant for the neediest in Iraq. Christopher Hitchens lays it out rather nicely:

In particular:

1) Between 1999 and 2003, Galloway personally solicited and received eight oil "allocations" totaling 23 million barrels, which went either to him or to a politicized "charity" of his named the Mariam Appeal.

2) In connection with just one of these allocations, Galloway's wife, Amineh Abu-Zayyad, received about $150,000 directly.

3) A minimum of $446,000 was directed to the Mariam Appeal, which campaigned against the very sanctions from which it was secretly benefiting.

4) Through the connections established by the Galloway and "Mariam" allocations, the Saddam Hussein regime was enabled to reap $1,642,000 in kickbacks or "surcharge" payments.

(For a highly readable explanation of how the Oil-for-Food racket actually worked, see the Adobe Acrobat file on the site prepared by my brilliant comrade Michael Weiss and distributed as a leaflet outside the debate in New York.)

These and other findings by the subcommittee, which appear to demonstrate beyond doubt that Galloway lied under oath, are supported by one witness in particular whose name will cause pain in the Galloway camp. This is Tariq Aziz, longtime henchman of Saddam Hussein and at different times the foreign minister and deputy prime minister of the Baathist dictatorship. Galloway has often referred in moist terms to his friend Aziz, and now this is his reward. I do not think—in case anyone tries such an innuendo—that there is the smallest possibility that Aziz's testimony was coerced. For one thing, he was confronted by Senate investigators who already knew a great deal of the story and who possessed authenticated documents from Iraqi ministries. For another, he continues, through his lawyers, to deny what is also certainly true, namely that he personally offered a $2 million bribe to Rolf Ekeus, then the head of the U.N. weapons inspectors.

The critical person in Galloway's fetid relationship with Saddam's regime was a Jordanian "businessman" named Fawaz Zureikat, who was involved in a vast range of middleman activities in Baghdad and is the chairman of Middle East Advanced Semiconductor Inc. It was never believable, as Galloway used to claim, that he could have been so uninformed about Zureikat's activities in breaching the U.N. oil embargo. This most probably means that what we now know is a fraction of what there is to be known. But what has been established is breathtaking enough. A member of the British Parliament was in receipt of serious money originating from a homicidal dictatorship. That money was supposed to have been used to ameliorate the suffering of Iraqis living under sanctions. It was instead diverted to the purposes of enriching Saddam's toadies and of helping them propagandize in favor of the regime whose crimes and aggressions had necessitated the sanctions and created the suffering in the first place. This is something more than mere "corruption." It is the cynical theft of food and medicine from the desperate to pay for the palaces of a psychopath.

My question is, aside from the perjury, is the bribery really that bad? So he was in the employ of a brutal dictator; so he was actively helping his and our nations' enemies; so he was arguing for the principle that 25 million people should live only at the whim of a sick madman; so he was working to condemn untold number of people to rape, torture and oppression; is it really worse that he made a few bucks while doing it? Or, to put it the other way, would it have been better if he'd been doing these wretched things for free? At least I can UNDERSTAND wanting to make some cash. Doing them without getting paid is just lunacy.

*** Update *** Around the World in 80 Days found a great article on this walking pile of garbage from the EU Referendum. Go read it. Good stuff.