Note: Palast and Cindy Sheehan will be speaking at the Operation Ceasefire concert Saturday, September 24th at the Washington Monument.
by Greg Palast
During his debate with Salman Rushdie at the recent Edinburgh TV Festival, someone asked George Galloway if television should broadcast an adaptation of Rushdie’s novel, “Satanic Verses.” According to Rushdie, Galloway replied, “If you don’t respect religion, you have to suffer the consequences.”
Holy Jesus! This was, unmistakably, an endorsement of the death-sentence fatwa issued against Rushdie by Ayatollah Khomeini.
Add this endorsement of killing for God to Galloway’s notorious opposition in Parliament to a woman’s right to choose abortion, and you get yourself a British Pat Robertson. What next? Will he be “saluting the courage, strength and indefatigability” of abortion clinic bombers, as he saluted Saddam?
The Honorable Member of Britain’s House of Commons has become the new love-child of American progressives for his in-your-face accusations about our own government’s mendacity in sending our troops to war in Iraq. I myself quoted Galloway with admiration.
But the man who saluted the “courage” of Saddam Hussein in 1994, who today can’t and won’t account for nearly a million dollars in income and expenditures for a charity he founded to buy medicine for Iraqi children is not, friends, the best choice as our anti-war spokesman.
Where did this guy come from? Who invited him here? The answer: US Senate REPUBLICANS. As Cindy Sheehan was gathering public sympathy as the Gold Star mom against the killing in Iraq, the Republican party decided to import an easier target to pummel. So they brought over the “I-salute-your-courage, Saddam” religious fundamentalist crack-pot who can’t tell us where the money went.
That’s why the Republicans chose him for us. This gross cartoon from abroad whose “charity” is stuffed with loot from an Oil-for-Food profiteer is the image they prefer on TV to Cindy Sheehan whom they dare not confront.
Yes, Galloway was the punching bag that punched back, and for that we are appreciative. Now GO HOME, George.
We need to repudiate this guy — before the warmongers do, with glee.
I’m sorry, but I’m not going to let Karl Rove or some sick GOP Senator pick my heroes for me.
Some well-meaning progressives have said that my exposing Galloway plays into the hands of the “other side.” Friends, this isn’t a World Cup match, with sides; it’s a World War, with too many dead bodies piling up.
Galloway says, “I have religious beliefs and try to live by them. I have all my life been against abortion and against euthanasia.”
Well, Mr. Galloway, you may live by your beliefs — anti-choice, fatwas, Saddam’s “courage” — but too many are DYING by your beliefs.
I admit, I was suckered by Galloway. I was the first journalist in the UK to rush to his defense on television when he was accused of wrong-doing. I wanted to believe in him, but the hard facts condemn him — and us, if we don’t act true to our moral imperative.
Mr. Galloway told the Independent newspaper, “I’m not as Left-wing as you think.”
Indeed, he isn’t.
Next Saturday, September 24, Cindy Sheehan and I will be speaking at the Operation Ceasefire gathering in Washington DC, sponsored by the DC Anti-War Network and United for Peace and Justice. Please join us.
Hopefully, our voices won’t be drowned out by George Galloway’s antics.
Greg Palast’s commentaries can be heard on the CD “Weapon of Mass Instruction” (Alternative Tentacles 2004) produced by Matt Pascarella and Jello Biafra. Jello will host Palast, The Coup, LeTigre, Bouncing Souls and others at the Operation Ceasefire event at the Washington Monument. Research on Galloway was directed by investigator Leni von Eckardt.