Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Honorable Mr. George Galloway, M.P. Speaks 

And Senator Norm Coleman forgets to duck.

George Galloway's booming voice and staccato Scottish certitude can be irritating, especially when he's making an unpleasant, possibly overly-broad condemnation of the country you love.

There were moments in the run-up to our invasion of Iraq that I could feel one or two of my own hackles stirring when I listened to his blanket dismissals of American concerns about Saddam, even when I agreed with his denunciations of the Bush administrations' policy toward Iraq. He can be an uncomfortable person to have on your side.

However, I was always skeptical about the accusations he'd enriched himself playing footsie with Saddam, because I remembered him to be among the few government officials in Britain or America who were willing to stand up and denounce Saddam in the eighties, when both governments were tilting in favor of Saddam over Iran, and contributing to keeping the awful war between them going. And the group of Americans with whom I worked to try and get our government to concede that Saddam had committed an act of genocide in Halabja found a willing listener and ally in Mr. Galloway, even though his denunciations of Clinton administration policy toward Iraq sometimes struck me as...well, overly severe and under-nuanced.

So I cheered when he won his law suit against The Telegraph, and when The Christian Science Monitor agreed the documents in their possession, exposing Galloway as guilty of something or other having to do with the UN Oil For Food program, were forgeries, clear and simple. Take a moment in your busy morning and go read James Wolcott's inimitable appreciation of Galloway, "A Hero For Our Time," written when that monumental verdict against The Telegraph came down; in addition, find out a bit more about the verdict from The Gazetteer, who nicely references Wolcott as well. You'll thank me. (Take note of the trackbacks posted under Wolcott's post; I suspect the last three or four are the work of wingnut trolls, who, typically, seem all too familiar with all manner of porn; if I'm wrong please advice in comments)

Most of you probably saw the opening salvo Galloway launched at the hapless Senator yesterday, starting with Galloway's proud, flinty taking of the oath; by the third sentence of his total denial of the truth of any of the accusations presented to the world, without anyone on Coleman's staff ever having spoken a word, or soliciting any kind of response from M.P. Galloway, the crapulant Senator Coleman was already beginning to drown in his own effluent, to put entirely too fine a point on it.

And he was still damp by the time he hit the evening cable news shows, where his repetition that the hearing had showed Galloway to have no "credibility," and even that he had "lied to the committee," sounded increasingly desperate.

Do yourself a favor and read the transcript here of Galloway's opening statement; it will make your day.

ALERT READERS: Any thoughts on how we might be able to contact the honorable Mr. Galloway, to beseech him to sue Coleman for slander? I don't think the Senator's protection against a slander suit extends to an appearance on "Hardball," does it? Or maybe we could ask him to sue one of the long list of wingnut blogs that will undoubtedly sic themselves on Galloway, in defense of Coleman and Claudia Rossetti, who was cheated of that much-deserved Pulitzer because of the overwhelming liberal bias of liberal elites, of course. Such suits are easier to bring in Britain than here, but with the prospect of his sucessful verdict in the case of The Telegraph, there's a good chance that anyone Galloway sued here would be forced to offer an apology and a, dare I say it, a retraction to avoid defending themselves in court.

There is nothing the pundits of wingnuttery, which, as we know, includes most of the SCLM, could use more, or are more deserving of, than exactly that kind of kick in the pants. BTW, I'm serious.

UPDATE: Riggsveda alerts me in Comments that "Crooks And Liars" has the video of Galloway blowing Senator Coleman away, not rhetorically, but with the passion, clarity, and plain humanity of his rhetoric

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