September 14, 2005

Gruesome George in His Own Words

Mary Madigan and Judith Weiss are attending the Hitchens/Galloway debate and handing out leaflets made by Gene over at Harry’s Place.

Here’s what the leaflets say.

George Galloway: No Hero for the Democratic Left

“If you are asking did I support the Soviet Union, yes I did. Yes, I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life.”

--George Galloway (The Guardian, 9/16/02)

"In poor third world countries like Pakistan, politics is too important to be left to petty squabbling politicians. Pakistan is always on the brink of breaking apart into its widely disparate components. Only the armed forces can really be counted on to hold such a country together... Democracy is a means, not an end in itself."

--George Galloway on General Musharraf’s coup against the elected government in Pakistan (The Mail on Sunday, 10/17/99)

"I'm no friend of the Syrian regime, but Syrian troops in Lebanon maintain stability and protect the country from Israel. Lebanon is an Arab country with a border with the Zionist state and that is a very dangerous place."

--George Galloway, defending Syria’s occupation of Lebanon less than five months before it ended (The Lebanon Daily Star, 12/7/04)

"Syria is exposed to foreign pressure because she represents the last castle of the Arab dignity and the Arab rights."

--George Galloway on the dictatorial regime of Bashar al-Assad (Arabicnews.com, 7/25/05)

“Actually, the Iraqi resistance does not target its own civilians. But the people that are being fought by the resistance in Iraq are the people that are working for the occupation.”

--George Galloway (BBC Newsnight, 1/18/05). Three days later a suicide car bomber killed 14 Shiite worshippers as they left a Baghdad mosque (The Scotsman, 1/22/05)

“I thought the President would appreciate to know that even today, three years after the war, I still meet families who are calling their newborn sons Saddam…Sir, I salute your courage, your strength your indefatigability. And I want you to know that we are with you until victory, until victory until Jerusalem."

--George Galloway, flattering the mass murderer Saddam Hussein in person (The Times of London, 1/20/94)

"Mr. Tariq Aziz and thousands of political prisoners are still held illegally as hostages by the occupation authorities…He is viewed with high esteem worldwide by... international figures who have valued his counsel, met him, discussed and negotiated with him."

--George Galloway (The Evening Standard, 4/18/05).

The UK human rights group Indict provides testimony from witnesses who saw Tariq Aziz shoot people at close range, and who report Aziz had advance knowledge of the 1988 gas attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja (www.indict.org.uk). Galloway has written of being on "the crowded dance floor of a North African nightclub... dancing with Tariq Aziz, the deputy prime minister of Iraq." (The New Republic Online, 4/22/05)

"A civil war with massive violence on both sides."

--George Galloway describing Saddam Hussein’s genocidal assaults on Kurds, democrats and Marsh Arabs in 1991 (“I’m Not the Only One,” Penguin Books Ltd, 2005)

"Just as Stalin industrialized the Soviet Union, so on a different scale Saddam plotted Iraq’s own Great Leap Forward. He managed to keep his country together until 1991. Indeed, he is likely to have been the leader in history who came closest to creating a truly Iraqi national identity, and he developed Iraq and the living, health, social and education standards of his own people."

--George Galloway (“I’m Not the Only One,” 2005)

“The courts killed this woman and I don’t think there can be any justification for it.”

--George Galloway on the death of Terri Schiavo (BBC Question Time, 3/31/05)

"A party trick."

--George Galloway on Iraqi trade unionists’ tearful recollections of torture at the hands of Ba'athists (The Independent, 1/7/05)

“A very, very profound connection.”

--George Galloway, describing his admiration for the Confederate Civil War general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, who fought to preserve slavery, which he considered ordained by God (The Sunday Herald of Scotland, 8/7/05)
Posted by Michael J. Totten at September 14, 2005 05:07 PM
Comments

Michael,

I just finished listening to the debate/battle. It was amazing. Galloway is quite the madman. Hitch kept making all sorts of sense, with sound arguments and the truth about Iraq, and Galloway basically pledged his support for jihad. I had to stop listening after the debate ended, because the post-debate commentary was clearly biased.

I didn't think there could exist a guy more obnoxious in his propaganda than Michael Moore. Man, was I wrong.

Posted by: Rafique Tucker at September 14, 2005 06:41 PM

Hitchens thrashed Galloway. It was pretty funny, actually.

Posted by: Will Franklin at September 14, 2005 07:26 PM

Galloway continued to preface his statements with the phrase " I believe" , over and over as if he was in a state of hypnosis or trauma. Not a competent debate partner nor a cogent analyst of world politics. Why anyone would take his advice is clear, they've got just as much emotional instability as he, on matters of life and death.

The Hanson-Huffington debate was instructive.

Hope to see transcripts of both online soon.

Posted by: Vladimir at September 14, 2005 07:52 PM

Just what kind of 'debate' was this supposed to be? Was it just two unpleasant individuals hacking at each other verbally or were they supposed to be representing particular viewpoints?

I really hope this wasn't supposed to be a pro/anti war debate, since I would heartily object to having the utterly loathesome Galloway as a spokesman for "my" side.

Posted by: Michael Farris at September 14, 2005 10:33 PM

Michael - thanks for the link. Some quick notes from the Galloway Hitchens debate:

If Galloway had been speaking German his delivery would have perfectly mirrored Hitler's from the rally at Nuremburg - the same gestures, the same barking, bombastic style. Galloway's barking got so loud, very left-leaning moderator Amy Goodman mentioned that he'd need a spittle guard. She suggested that he should move the microphone away, but that didn't work, he just crouched down to yell into it.

Galloway's fans cheered for everything he said, Nuremburg style, including his claim that American deserved 9/11 - and this was in New York. When Hitch mentioned that we were really improving life for the people in Afghanistan, Galloway fans shouted "Who Cares?" These people are scary.

Hitch seemed a little nervous at the start, but very quickly found his groove. By the end Galloway completely ran out of steam. I guess in debating terms, that means that Hitch 'won' and Gruesome 'lost.'

Hitch seemed to be surprised to have so many fans among the Democracy Now/MoveOn Crowd. Judith really worked overtime to get the LiberalHawks to come to the debate. We made as much (polite) noise as we could.

Posted by: mary at September 14, 2005 10:37 PM

Michael Farris: I would heartily object to having the utterly loathesome Galloway as a spokesman for "my" side.

Can't blame you for that at all, and I wouldn't put you in his camp. Only you could put yourself there, and I'm sure you won't.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 14, 2005 10:43 PM

Some of our dovish comrades are having trouble understanding the value of last nights debate. So let me explain.

There is a large element of the antiwar Left that is willing to overlook Galloway's shortcomings as a Leftist and as a human being and to make common cause with him. Don't tell me there isn't. I heard with my own ears, and read with my own eyes, all the chattering admiration for him after his congressional testimony. It's comes from the same impulse that is willing to give the demegoguery of Michael Moore every benefit of every doubt. Galloway is currently on a book tour through the US, organized by the antiwar Left, to capitalize on his "success" before congress. He is also, without apology, whipping up support for jihad in Iraq. Someone needs to expose him, especially to the Left, as the fascist-fellating fraud that he is. And that exposure has to come, to some extent, from the Left. It means nothing if Limbaugh or O'Reilley have a go at him.

Hitchens is the perfect man for the job. He's intelligent, witty, and he is not intimidated by the likes of Galloway. In every debate on the Iraq war I've heard him in, it has seemed in the show-of-hands straw polls that more people have left agreeing with him than came in.

Those of you who abhor an apostate have much to hate in Hitchens. And we can count on you to fling all manner of feces at him. (I'm taking odds back channel on how long before someone accuses him of holocaust denial, or ratting out his buddy, Sidney.) But those who can be persuaded at all by a reasonable argument may just barely be reachable by Hitchens.

For example, where Galloway has been visiting with Tariq Aziz, Hitchens has been visiting with the Kurdish resistance, and that is a hard fact for someone with any moral center at all to overlook. Hitchens has also been very critical of the Right and the Bush administration on all the right issues. You can't simply smear him, as Galloway tried to do last night, with something Marie Antoinettish that Barbara Bush apparently said about the Superdome. It won't stick.

Furthermore, he and Galloway now have a famous grudge after the "drink-soaked popinjay" comment, so Hitchens deserved, and last he he got, an opportunity to reply.

Posted by: Browning Porter at September 15, 2005 05:49 AM

If Galloway didn't exist the Right wing would have to create him. Galloway is as bad and venal as they come.

Now I would say there are basically two pro-war camps today. What I would call the pro-regime change camp, in which I would include myself, and bloggers like Belgravia Dispatch, Andrew Sullivan, Tacitus, most "liberal hawks" etc. Then there is the pro-Bush camp, people like Glenn Reynolds, LGF, Powerline, etc. The former group is very disturbed by the way this war has been conducted and by the fact that life in Iraq has not improved for the majority of people, that to date all the US has really accomplished is to create a low level civil war and dramatically strengthen Iran's position in Middle East. There are positive accomplishments, which cannot be ignored, such as the well-deserved deaths of Saddam's sons, the January election, and a much better life for the Kurdish north. But on the whole it is hard to imagine that if we had been shown today's Iraq back in 2002, or the dramatic growth of jihadism worldwide since 9/11, people would have been very excited.

The pro-Bush camp seems to feel that nothing could have been done differently, Iraq is slowly becoming a paradise and that we live in the best of all possible worlds. They are more comfortable attacking the "MSM" and various irrelevant left-wing wackos than thinking about what is happening in Iraq. Any criticism of US mismanagement is tantamount to being a "Kos diarist." To put it mildly this attitude seems a little disconnected from reality, and objectively anti-American in as much as it helps contribute to a continuation of a policy and a leader who are sapping our country both economically and spiritually. I am disappointed in Hitchens, and it seems to me that Mr. Totten is guilty to some extent as well, that he is too ready to follow the Bush camp line and will not honestly engage criticism of anything the US has done, or failed to do, in Iraq and the war in terror in general. Rather than criticise patently distructive Bush policies that are not helping the Iraqi people they prefer to engage with blowhards like Galloway. This is certainly emotionally satisfying, since Galloway's approach to Iraq is so morally empty that current US policy is certainly a preferable option. It's certainly more satisfying than taking stock of how far offtrack our Iraq strategy gone (if you want to be depressed go back and read, for example, Mr.Totten's essay on why Iraq is not Vietnam, from early 2004, it made sense at the time but now almost every point he made has been contradicted by actual events.)

We don't have to choose between evil (Galloway) and incompetence (Bush), I'd like to think there is another path.

Posted by: vanya at September 15, 2005 08:35 AM

Browning Porter - the guy we leafletted with is exactly of your opinion. He is an ati-war lefty activist who thinks Galloway is repulsive and sets back his cause.

Posted by: Yehudit at September 15, 2005 09:02 AM

Vanya

The only problem with your analysis is that you think there are only two groups of war supporters. The regime change crowd, and the whatever Bush says, goes crowd.

I think there is a third group that supports the Bush plan, but would buy into another plan if they thought it would get the job done better, faster, cheaper etc.

So far, Ive yet to see an alternate plan for sale, other than withdrawl.

Posted by: mnm at September 15, 2005 09:13 AM

It's also unfair to claim that Hitchens has been uncritical of the administration's prosecution of the war. It's just not true.

Hitchens (and Michael) have been especially critical of the torture scandals. Hitchens was very critical of the ill-considered WMD case that Bush and Blair made the centerpiece for causus belli. He criticized the delay of elections. And he has been -- like so many of the non-knee-jerk-republicans -- continually dismayed at the administration's inability to explain the necessity of the war. In the meantime, he has been scathingly critical of Bush on nearly every other lefty cause.

He has quipped, however, that "one goes to war with the president one has, not the president one would wish to have." And he has also pointed out that traditionally the internationalist sticks with his or her comrades in their struggle against fascism win or lose. (Not that we will lose.)

Posted by: Browning Porter at September 15, 2005 09:42 AM

There are a lot of people with alternative options. Greg over at Belgravia Dispatch links to some good ideas today. Withdrawal is not an option, more troops is not a realistic option, so then what? The answer basically is a real strategy built around the principles of counterinsurgency warfare. Creating secure areas, and maintaing security, then slowly spreading those zones out. It's not an easy or quick answer, it certainly won't make Galloway happy, but it has to be done. Right now we are just reacting, chasing the Sunni/Al Qaeda types around when they gather too obviously, killing some of them, alienating a few more on the fence Iraqis and essentially running in place. The Administration needs to get serious but they seem to continue to believe that if we just keep doing what we're doing everything will turn out just fine. Part of the problem is that Bush has never made a compelling argument to his traditional right-wing base why we are in Iraq. Neocon intellectuals understand, or at least can rationalize, but a lot of your conservative base was motivated by revenge for 9/11 and WMDs. These are the people I know in NH who are all for supporting the troops but are starting to get a little tired of the whole thing. Sniping at traitors on the left like Churchill will keep these people in line for a while, but it is also these people who actually have sons and daughters getting killed or maimed in Iraq. What will happen in 2006 if Bush doesn't deal with this is that you will find more and more Republicans running on a platform of "we tried to help the Iraqis but they were too stupid to figure it out so let'em rot." That can only lead to a withdrawal, and probably not a very well planned one.

Posted by: Vanya at September 15, 2005 09:52 AM

mnm,

I agree with your assessment. While I don't think everything has gone swimmingly in Iraq or even in Afghanistan, it is obvious we are doing the best with what we have. In order to maintain the most proficient military in the world, we need to be able to pay for the bells and whistles needed to protect our troops and kill the enemy, and only the enemy, in vast numbers. Even our monstrous sized defense budget can't pay for all those bells and whistles and still prevent killing innocents, or making mistakes. The troops are, after all, steadfastly human (even humane). In a perfect world our defense budget would be 5 or 6 times what it is and we'd have an easy time paying for it without complaint.

If there was a better way than the Bush plan, many of us "Bushco's" would support it. But the truth is this plan is the best we can do in an imperfect world, where you can't beam our best into the midst of Zarqawi's planning sessions and lop off the head off Medusa without killing her minions; you can't snap your fingers and construct a sewer system overnight; you have to live with Musharraf when your alternative is Saddam; you can't flip a switch and suddenly the Arab/Muslim world sees the Light of Reason and learns that we are imminently fair to those who refuse to kill their nieghbor and treat their neighbor as they want to be treated.

Until that happens, I'll live with a multiyear low level (and 140,000 men on the ground is low level when compared to 12.5 million in uniform in WWII) occupation of Iraq, squeezing the life out of an evil terrorist thuggery in that country until the Iraqis, my country, my family, and the World are safer than they ever were on Sept 10, 2001. I may not live to see it. But my kids sure as Hell will, until they are forced to fight the Chinese or some alien race from Andromeda. And I'll take this war any day when compared to the herculean efforts and bloodshed required to rid us of the last sadistic ideology bent on conquering the World (Nazism, Stalinism, totalitarianism, and Fascism at a cost of over 40 million people, in a World of 2 billion in 1945).

As to the post, Galloway is as evil as Saddam, as weak as Chamberlain, and as stupid as a bag of hammers. Hitchens is the only honorable Leftist left in our world today. He at least acts like he remembers what history wrote more than 12 months ago. Do you guys really think we can't remember 1979 and how life and foreign affairs played out back then?

Press on, to Victory.

Subsunk

Posted by: Subsunk at September 15, 2005 09:55 AM

Browning Porter -- "In the meantime, he has been
scathingly critical of Bush on nearly every other lefty cause."

I'd love to have a beer with him as much as the next guy, but when he came out in support of Karl Rove a couple of months ago, he sounded like one of Nixon's hatchet men, circa summer 1973.

And I've never heard a peep from him about anything related to health care, housing, education, social security, taxes, labor, income inequality, welfare, environmental cleanup -- nothing that is in opposition to the relentless movement toward an unfettered, unregulated global capitalist economy and its effect on the billions of "widgets" who also happen to be workers, and human beings. Characterizing him as a "secular, libertarian hawk", like half the people who read Michael's blog, is more appropriate than "leftist" or "liberal".

Posted by: Markus at September 15, 2005 10:54 AM

Wow. This is one of the best, unpolemical (is that a word) threads I have seen on Iraq. It gives me a lot to think about, which is more than I can say about most internet chat on Iraq.

My question to Vanya is this? Do you really think that Bush team is so incompetent that it simply refuses to adopt your counter insurgency idea? Do you think they are trying it and just failing at it or making slower progrss than you would like? Is the Bush team just being onstinate in refusing to change counter insurgency tactics? Do you really think that the best counter insurgency strategies are just being ignored?

Posted by: Dave at September 15, 2005 11:06 AM

Vanya,
"by the fact that life in Iraq has not improved for the majority of people, "

I don't know how you can possibly say that. The absolute reverse is true. Life in Iraq has improved dramatically for the great majority of the people.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at September 15, 2005 11:42 AM

Vanya,

"The pro-Bush camp seems to feel that nothing could have been done differently,"

I have never seen or heard anyone, even the most ardent of Bush/Rumsfeld supporters, say or write that. Yet you, et al, continue to trumpet that as an "argument" against this administration. The very fact that they went from Garner to Bremer to IRaqis show that they are trying to find the optimum solution.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at September 15, 2005 11:47 AM

Cool flyer. Hat tip to Harry.

Posted by: Thomas at September 15, 2005 11:50 AM

Posted by vanya at September 15, 2005 08:35 AM

"We don't have to choose between evil (Galloway) and incompetence (Bush), I'd like to think there is another path."

vanya, you can criticize all day. But it still sounds partisan and like armchair qb'ing (always after the fact too).

Go on record before the mistakes are made with the right way... after a few times of being right, we'll have to take your criticism seriously. Right now, for the most part, we don't and/or can not.

Anyway, I can clearly see some major mistakes were made (with hindsight). But I can’t say I wouldn’t have made them myself had I been in charge… I can’t trust that the critics wouldn’t have made similar mistakes to the ones they now point to. I have no reason to.

Posted by: Thomas at September 15, 2005 12:05 PM
Vanya,
"by the fact that life in Iraq has not improved for the majority of people,

exhelodrvr: I don't know how you can possibly say that. The absolute reverse is true. Life in Iraq has improved dramatically for the great majority of the people.

I would suspect that with an astounding unemployment problem (around 50-60%), greater risk of death by shooting or car bomb, less electricty, less clean water, less gasoline, and the threat of a loss of women's civil rights under the new constitution, a lot of people might say that life has deteriorated somewhat, but I could be wrong.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 15, 2005 12:29 PM

"Vanya

The only problem with your analysis is that you think there are only two groups of war supporters. The regime change crowd, and the whatever Bush says, goes crowd."

And that is the problem. The idea that people have to belong to a particular crowd. I read a whole range of bloggers and disagree with most on some issues. Even on issues we agree on , there are shades of differences.

And so the problem is the constant effort to bunch people into crowds. Hasn't blogging made clear that there are a lot of people out here who don't fit these outdated mob mentalities? I'm not claiming any superiority but I have never belonged to a political party and don't expect that I ever will. And I expect that more and more people share my sentiment.

We choose to choose. We have no need to depend on some effete elite providing us with our political philosophy. We can come up with that on our own, thank you.

Posted by: bb at September 15, 2005 12:35 PM

Dave,
"Do you really think that Bush team is so incompetent that it simply refuses to adopt your counter insurgency idea?"
It's hardly my idea, just one I happen to agree with, and yes I do think the Bushies are too obstinate. The military is trying to deal with the insurgency now but the evidence is pretty clear that Rumsfeld & co. never expected to be dragged into a long term fight of this duration, they never game planned for worst case scenarios which is tantamount to negligence. There are people within the adminstration who are dealing with the changing environment - Condoleeza I think is a good example, but it's not clear to me to what extent Bush is aware of what's really going on. He appears pretty sheltered by his gang of yes-men.

"Do you think they are trying it and just failing at it or making slower progrss than you would like? Is the Bush team just being onstinate in refusing to change counter insurgency tactics? Do you really think that the best counter insurgency strategies are just being ignored?"
That's pretty clear. You can deal very effectively with an insurgency the old Roman way, by massive application of overwhelming force, which it is very apparent we are not doing, nor is their the political will to do this. Or you can try to build up a countervailing force of people beholden to your cause. With any luck I'm wrong and we are accomplishing this, I just don't see much evidence that this is the case. The good Iraqi divisions are overwhelmingly Kurdish. The sort of pro-Western Sunnis and Shia we need to build a secular state are increasingly marginalized and terrorized. Religious fundamentalists are gaining adherents every day. If you take the really long term view maybe in 20 years everything settles down, the religious factions mellow out and Iraq turns into Turkey. But today our generation has to pay the price in a sharp increase in jihadist terror around the globe and an emboldened and more aggressive Iran. Maybe it will work out but it seems more like a hope and a prayer than a plan.

Posted by: Vanya at September 15, 2005 01:04 PM

If you take the really long term view maybe in 20 years everything settles down, the religious factions mellow out and Iraq turns into Turkey.

As the Al-Qaeda operational plan has a stage called "opening eyes" that plans to repeat the Afghan experience (gaining recruits to their political and religious philosophy through a highly visible war with a vastly superior enemy) with Iraq as a base, I'd say that it's unlikely that things will settle down any time soon. And as it seems that civil war has pretty much just been declared in Iraq, they're on schedule.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 15, 2005 01:30 PM

Markus,

Okay, "nearly every other lefty cause" is over-reaching.

And, as we all know, the guilt of Karl Rove of ... well, of whatever you care to name... it's axiomatic. I keep forgetting that. Like the man said, "We hold these truths to be self-evident." Or as Chomsky likes to put it, "It's a truism.'

But please remember also that Hitchens attacked the Clinton/Gore administration from the Left for its positions on welfare, healthcare and the death penalty. (Or is that part of the problem?)

Here's Hitchens on welfare reform: "At home, it's GOP business as usual, with welfare replaced by work (read hunger) incentives."

Here's Hitchens on health care [after the anthrax scares of 2002]: "If there was ever a time when the demand for comprehensive national health care should and could have been raised . . . "

But, you are right, the list you cite are not among his pet issues since the war began. And he's remained curiosly silent on the issue of housing. Very suspicious, if you ask me.

Posted by: Browning Porter at September 15, 2005 02:22 PM

Ah, double, you are falling into the trap of believing the MSM. Iraq actually has more electricity than pre-war and the majority of Iraqis are safer. There are some segments of the population that are not as safe; and there are some areas with less electricity, but those are the minority of the population. And, of course, you continue to neglect facts such as Shi-ites (the vast majority of the country) being able to worship as they please, the Kurds not being under the Sunni heel, the Marsh Arabs, etc. ANd oil production is (as of a month or so ago) about 5% higher than it was pre-war. And the fact that they were able to vote? You don't consider that a hugely significant improvement? So you wouldn't mind if your voting rights were taken away, then, would you.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at September 15, 2005 02:48 PM

Ah, double, you are falling into the trap of believing the MSM.

As opposed to believing a semi-anonymous guy on a blog? Shame on me.

Iraq actually has more electricity than pre-war...

It'd love to see your source for this. I have heard that the Iranians are now supplying power to Iraq, so this may be so, but I haven't seen anything indicating that power supply is up that much, especially as power disruptions is a common tactic of the insurgency.

...and the majority of Iraqis are safer.

Once again, I'd like to see the source for that.

And, of course, you continue to neglect facts such as Shi-ites (the vast majority of the country) being able to worship as they please, the Kurds not being under the Sunni heel, the Marsh Arabs, etc.

And you neglect facts like these groups are killing each other in large numbers just now, with great liklihood of it increasing substantially in thee neart future.

And the fact that they were able to vote? You don't consider that a hugely significant improvement? So you wouldn't mind if your voting rights were taken away, then, would you.

Voting is a great thing, but it has little to directly do with immediate quality of life. It may lead to a better life down the road, but I wouldn't count it just yet.

To summarize, I didn't say that things were better under Hussein, nor that I thought that everything was bad. But I do think there's a lot of bad stuff happening, and I don't think that many would say that quality of life is better now than, say, before G.W.I and sanctions.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 15, 2005 03:08 PM
Not sure whether Iraqi newspapers fall under the MSM catagory or not, but a recent article in Al Mendhar states:
BAGHDAD – This summer, the third since the fall of Baghdad, has been the worst yet when it comes to basic services. Interruptions to electricity and water supplies - caused by both decay and sabotage - are driving up the frustrations of millions of Iraqis.

While last summer public anger was directed at the US government, today it's as likely to be aimed directly at Iraq's interim government and officials. Last Sunday in the Shiite town of Samawa 150 miles south of Baghdad, protests over joblessness and limited electricity and water supplies turned into a riot outside the governor's office in which about 1,000 residents overturned and burned a police van. The riot ended when police opened fire, killing one.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at September 15, 2005 03:15 PM

I missed the debate and look forward to catching it on C-Span this weekend but I confess to being somewhat amazed that as a citizen of the free world I am even being subjected to this "debate" as if it represents...well, a serious "debate". I've read around the blogosphere about it. I especially enjoyed reading our resident Mary's take on it at her blog - Exit Zero (plus enjoyed seeing the pics of Mary along with other liberal hawks at Atlas Shrugs or whatever her blog site is - I do try to make the rounds.) Then there was the poster (darnit I can't find it now but at Harry's Place) who is angry at Bush for neglecting his homosexual friends (presumably a Sullivan fan).

Anyway - it's all pretty much predictable at this point. The only shocking thing as far as I'm concerned is that there are actually fans of Galloway. As Mary's account makes clear - many of them are right there in NYC - cheering on the "insurgents", cause the US/Israel are the "real" terrorists in this world, as Galloway has stated numerous times.

Frankly, I don't know how one bridges that gap in perception. I think that posters here like Vanya and Markus and other regular readers of Sullivan et al are terrific. But there's no fundamental gap there. Although I think that posters who support Bush here are also right on the money in their criticisms of those very posters by saying - What is YOUR plan? Give us YOUR alternative. We're open to alternative suggestions but your party hasn't presented one! It's quite a valid and legitimate point!

But what does any of this dialogue between reasonable folks on both the right and the left have to do with Galloway, of all people, who outright supports the insurgents? (O/T and FWIW - Galloway was married to Yasser Arafat's niece, Aminah Abbu-Zayyad. Is it OK for a Muslim woman of that prominence to marry a non-Muslim? - just asking.)

Which brings me to a converation I had with my radical lefty sister this weekend (she's radical enough to have published recently at Cockburn's "Counterpoint" and to have done the requisite lefty gig in "Palestine", as she calls it). Anyway, we had barely spoken since the Iraq invasion. Just too awkward. Big breakthrough this past weekend where we tentatively broached a few taboo subjects. I brought up Islam and women's rights. She countered by more or less admitting that she was confronting a somewhat irresolvable dichotomy (paraphrasing here) - namely, evil American capitalism, as epitomized by GWB, and the plight of women under Islam. Frankly, it wasn't too complex to deal with. I pointed out that there isn't a single society where Islam has taken hold that hasn't led to worse poverty than where capitalism has taken hold. But PLUS that poverty - you get NO HUMAN RIGHTS whatsoever. SHIT PLUS SHIT is the bottom line where Islamists win the day. I do think it sunk in just a little bit - a small victory if I might add, and hopefully the smallest dawn of a new day where our filial relationship is concerned.

Of course, the amazing thing is that this even needs to be explained to anyone who is able to read in this modern era.

I detest Galloway. But most of all, I detest any one of the effete new York denizens who was cheering him on. Those folks just fill me with disgust.

Posted by: Caroline at September 15, 2005 05:19 PM

Double,
Here is a link for the electrical production. I won't bother with the rest. You also need to remember that demand is higher now than before the war, which increases shortages.

http://www.iraqdirectory.com/files/articles/article623.htm

Posted by: at September 15, 2005 06:19 PM

Classic markus. He takes a shot at Hitchens, but has nothing bad to say about a Stalinist, antisemitic scumbag like Galloway. Is it because markus is a Stalinist antisemite himself?

Posted by: Gary Rosen at September 16, 2005 01:04 AM

Rosen -- i've never heard or read Galloway, that's why I don't have anything to say about him.

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Posted by: markus at September 16, 2005 06:31 AM

I have to say, the Terri Schiavo quote looks a bit out of place compared to the others.

Posted by: John Thacker at September 16, 2005 06:38 AM

And I want you to know that we are with you until victory, until victory until Jerusalem."

I happen to be about 20 miles from Jerusalem right now, and I'd like to take this opportunity to tell George Galloway to piss off.

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Well, to be fair, he has made arguments that are 'compelling to his right-wing base', and arguments that are factually accurate.

Just never both at once.

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