"100,000 DEAD FOR A HEAP OF LIES"
The British Member of Parliament George Galloway gave the US Senate a lesson in democratic opposition and dismantled three decades of Iraq policy
By Mathias Broeckers
[This article published in the German-English cyber-journal Telepolis, 5/20/2005 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.telepolis.de/r4/artikel/20/20133/1.html.]
[Thom Hartman's interview with courageous George Galloway is at http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/05/318338.shtml]
He was fuming after being reproached for dishonest enrichment. The accused George Galloway who spoke about the frauds in the Iraqi "Food-For-Oil-Program" to the investigative committee of the US Senate was the strongest accuser of the Iraq policy of the US in the best political society.
British Member of Parliament George Galloway - cast out of the Labor Party on account of his anti-war attitude at the end of 2003 and reelected as a member of his new Respect Party (1) - convincingly rebuffed all the reproaches of profiting from the Food-For-Oil-Program and used the platform to launch his attack.
"I know that the standards in Washington have strongly fallen down," he told the committee chairperson Senator Norm Coleman, "but as a lawyer you deal very arrogantly with justice. (... ) Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens, you try to divert attention from the crimes you have supported.. It turned out I was right in everything I said about Iraq and you were wrong. 100,000 Iraqis paid for that with their lives; 1600 American soldiers were sent to their deaths for a heap of lies."
Before the hearing the Senate committee published a report charging that Russian and French politicians had received Iraqi bribe money besides Galloway. He never received a penny from Iraqi oil sales, Galloway said, and scolded the senators for a diversionary manoever to hide the waste of Iraqi resources by the American occupation before the invasion.
Alongside his furious accusation - a video (2) of his appearance and a section (3) are available here - Galloway also showed that the documents presented as evidence were forgeries. (4)
In an embarrassing way, the accusers in the US committee used similar material to the rightwing British "Daily Telegraph" that tried to give a bad name to the rebel member of parliament [British Labor member denounced (5)] - and was ordered to pay 1.4 million pounds in damages. The "Christian Science Monitor" also published a list according to which Galloway was to receive $10 million in bribe money from the government of Saddam Hussein. These were also recognized and refuted as forgeries (6). That the Senate committee presented the same reproaches as the only "proof" for Galloway's lapses made it easy for the accused who spoke voluntarily under oath to turn the accusations against him into a tribunal for the bewildered senators. The committee accustomed to servile answers and reserved tones from its "guests" - interrogated and "grilled" politicians and bankers - seldom had to put up with such a critical and vitriolic feedback.
However the sovereignty with which the combative Scotsman stood up to the US Senators forced the respect of the rightwing Murdoch broadcast station Fox News that certified his "clear K-O-victory." After Galloway's One-Man-Show [The man who took on America )7)], the British Independent saw the 1950 historical disgrace avenged when an insignificant US team defeated the dominant soccer party England 1:0. Higher praise can hardly be imagined from the soccer-crazed island.
The Bush administration discredited itself with the summons of the Member of Parliament changed over night from rogue to hero. This is just as obvious as the function of the whole investigation as a diversionary manoever. Even if there were inconsistencies and cases of corruption in the Food-For-Oil-Program from the middle of the 1990s to the 2003 invasion, these were trivial matters compared with what has happened since then in Iraq. Galloway made a clear break with this smokescreen campaign and showed all Americans with his clear and merciless analysis what is successfully blotted out in their "one-party-system with two right wings" (Gore Vidal).