Jan. 26, 2007 — Geneva (apj.us) — I was impressed by MP George Galloway's speech to Parliament yesterday when he, in his inimitable style, took on the British Foreign Secretary.
Galloway — who was once a leader in the Labour Party — was thrown out of that group when he openly criticized Prime Minister Tony Blair for his support of the Iraq war — and more.
Galloway pretends too often to be as unsophisticated as possible. He told Stephan Sackur — the BBC's Bill O'Reilly — that there was no question but that "Blair was a murderer" and should be indicted under British law.
He doesn't pull punches.
Neither do I.
Like Galloway, I ask Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice how indeed she can hold her head high when she replaced Colin Powell, whose shoes she is far too small, in every sense, to walk in.
Would Mr. Bush been better served by Powell had he taken his beating like a man for forcing Powell to participate in his punchbowl of lies served up to the United Nations? You bet he would.
One is dumbstruck when comparing Rice and Powell. As Galloway says, "What a contrast there was between those shafts of light and the myopia displayed" by our Secretary of State. "So rose-tinted were her glasses that she had even spotted the first elections in Saudi Arabia" — and she patterned said alleged elections in Iraq as even more democratic than the Saudi Elections. Galloway could not resist twisting the knife: "As one who follows events in the Arab world closely, I must tell the house that I missed the first elections in Saudi Arabia, probably the un-freest, most undemocratic and most anti-democratic country on earth."
Yet Rice outdoes herself, even with those points missed.
She, like the British foreign secretary, also bolsters a government in Lebanon that cannot survive — although we Americans might wish it so. I did not see her struggling to support the current Lebanese Prime Minister while she was simultaneously nodding approval to allow Israel to continue its assault on Lebanon — and shipping American arms to Israel all the while. Now I believe it was right to support Israel against Hezbollah, but to now support this Beirut government after participating in its forthcoming (it appears) destruction is a little beyond Alice in Wonderland, don't you think?
Rice, like the Honorable British Foreign Secretary is, as Galloway puts it, using "code" to say she does not like the ongoing demonstrations in Beirut where hundreds of thousands of Lebanese are demanding what they believe might be a true democratic election – even if their support is for the "wrong side" as she sees it, and I see it. Yet one cannot have it both ways, although the State Department has always been a master at believing it can.
Either, Ms. Rice, you support Israel, or you support the democratically elected government of Lebanon — and thus far there has been no true election — and thus far the putative Prime Minister of Lebanon has allowed Hezbollah to strike innocent Israeli civilians at will.
MP Galloway is correct when he states that "If there were a democracy in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah would be the President, because he would get the most votes. But of course he cannot be the President, because you have to be a Christian to be the President, and you have to be a Sunni to be the Prime Minister, and you have to be a Shiite to be the Speaker. What they have in Lebanon is precisely the opposite of democracy. It is a sectarian building-block Government that they have in Lebanon, and moreover one based on a census that is more than 50 years out of date."
Rice, Bush, and the rest of the Cabinet seem to think that if the people of Lebanon will not vote for candidates approved by Bush and the Israeli government that this a fair election makes. This to me is incontrovertible proof that we are not fighting for Democracy in Iraq at all — not unless the Iraqis elect the "right" people, as the Lebanese would not today if they had the opportunity.
Mr. Galloway points out with the blackest humor that the British government "prayed in aid an opinion poll from Basra which told us that the [Iraqi] people had every confidence in the police. We had to send the British in to blow up a police station and kill umpteen Iraqi policemen because we said that they were about to massacre the prisoners in their jails."