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And having lots of fun in the process.

He is defending himself magnificently against the charges leveled against him.
Very likely, this is going to go all south for the Repubs who pulled him in. Coleman can't get him flustered, and he's getting a lot flak directed at him by Galloway.

The British MP is also using this platform to substantively attack the Iraq war and the machinations behind it.

TESTIMONY IN FULL ON BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/

Adding: The hearing is over now. This diary was posted in order to give people on kos a heads-up. Galloway gave better than he got today, and Coleman may be regretting asking the man to cross the pond. The seasoned British MP ripped into the Republicans on the Oil-for-Food sub-committee as he turned the tables on the assembly. Ha didn't come as an accused, he said. He came as the accuser. And then he proceeded to tear Mr. Coleman better ventilation. At the end of the hearing Coleman was completely flustered, went through his papers and simply gave up. Galloway is no saint, if it's saints we need to make this Administration accountable. But he's a veteran politician, who's been reëlected many times to Parliament. He got thrown out of Labour because of his strong opposition to the Iraq war, and because of accusations of close ties to Saddam Hussein. Galloway started his own party, Respect, and won against one of Blair's favorites in the most recent election. As he stated during his hearing today, he has been right on every single point that he was accused of propaganda on - while Blair and Bush and the Senators who supported them have been proven solidly wrong. He also accused Coleman and the other senators on the Oil-for-Food Sub-committee of having "lost" 8.8 billion USD "on your watch" - a barb that stung hard. Those fearing that Coleman will get kudos from Galloway's appearance have nothing to fear. He's being ripped new ventilation as I write this, by GOP higher-ups who are wondering WTF just happened. This will probably open up for a much closer and searing examination of the by now infamous "Downing Street Minutes of Meeting" (memo).

Originally posted to self-evident on Tue May 17, 2005 at 08:59 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  He's attacking the war (2.17)
    Because he was a supporter of Saddam. He was also a supporter of the Soviet Union. Great guy to look up to.
      •  CNN - C-Span, and yes MP (none)

        "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

        by SteinL on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:04:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe not a friend (4.00)
          but an enemy of your enemy?

          i don't know enough about Galloway, but he was kicked out of Labour for vehemently opposing the Iraq War.

          That's a big plus in my book.  He may in fact be a friend.

          "I gave my heart and soul to stop you from committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq," Galloway said. "And I told the world that the case for war was a pack of lies."

          These are the most direct charges anyone on this soil has made against this Admin & it took a "fur-ner" to do it.

          I'm not sure what to make of the Soviet Union connection or the charge upthread but he sounds pretty convincing & is very angry at the charges.

          Anything he can do to embarrass the Repubs is a good thing.

          & he is certainly making for a good show -- that in itself should put the Repubs off-guard.

      •  From a TNR article (2.85)
        Subscription only.
        •  National Review??? (none)
          Why should we trust a source that supported going to war based on a lie?

          No link, no case.

          •  here is a link from the Guardian (2.66)
            http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,792765,00.html

            Galloway describes the collapse of the Soviet Union as a tragedy and shows him as a long time supporter of Saddam.

            •  Hack piece (4.00)
              That's a hack piece written by a shill.

              If you've got some actual evidence that includes statements in context made by Galloway...and also actions proved to have taken place which back up what you're saying, pony them.

              One article by a guy with an ax to grind does not a case make.

            •  funny (3.25)
              because Galloway himself has said today that he did not support Saddam Hussein so get your facts straight.

              As for the Soviet Union, I don't know his position on it, but he seems to have the same opinions as I on a number of subjects, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

              •  Well I guess that settles the issue (none)
                If Galloway says he wasn't taking bribes through his Miriam Fund, then I am sure he would have told us if he had.
                •  Daisy -- whoever you are (none)
                  That piece of slime which the British/Americans threw at Galloway has already cost the Daily Telegraph a lot of money in the law courts.  

                  I dare you to put in print in the UK the allegation that he profited from the Mariam appeal.   He will sue you, and you will pay for Respect's next election campaign.

                  These are lies lies lies thrown at Galloway in an attempt to smear the whole antiwar movement

            •  Putin said the same thing (3.75)
              and yet Bush is still his good buddy.  You see the cognitive dissonance in that?  I sure do.
            •  The article doesn't really back up your claims (3.95)
              Galloway is a problematic character, but you're misstating his relationship with Saddam. As the article points out, he spent the 1980s denouncing Saddam, and met the dictator only twice (as many times as Donald Rumsfeld).

              On one occasion, he praised Saddam, though as he points out, is was intended as praise of Iraqi resistance to the American attack on their country, and not a personal tribute.

              As for the men he really admires, one need only read the article's description of the people he considers his heroes: John Smith of the Labour Party, Che Guevara, and Winston Churchill. That's not a rogue's gallery of leftists and dictators. It's a list of men with principle across the political spectrum, who stood against fascism and in favor of social democracy, despite many differences.

              That leaves only his comments in support of the Soviet Union. Frankly, as wretched a regime as that was, there was a cost to its demise in retrospect. It would have been better if Gorbachev had been able to reform the country from within and transformed his country into a kind of real democratic socialism. The looting of Russian resources and resulting corruption and swing back to authoritarianism is indeed a great historical tragedy. The Gorbachev reforms occurred while the Soviet Union still existed; they ended and in places began to be reversed as soon as it fell.

              The fall of the Soviet Union also contributed to a climate of American triumphalism that set the stage for the current imperial and authoritarian drift here. Rather than appreciating a peaceful survival of the Cold War, we convinced ourselves that we had "won" it, and that validated all of the excesses and mistakes committed along the way. If we won, then maybe the Vietnam War wasn't so bad, and we can be forgiven for helping Pinochet in Chile, and overthrowing democracies around the world in the defense of US corporate business interests.

              The reality, of course, is that we survived the Cold War, and just barely. The rot in the Soviet Union was more advanced than the rot here, but there was great rot here and still is. We haven't dealt honestly with that history, and it's part of what's destroying us now. Again, that's a tragedy.

              So, while rhetorically Galloway's radioactive and speaks without thinking, there's more than a bit of truth about his positions on substance. Yeah, he's embarrassingly left-wing and rigidly anti-imperialist. Yeah, he flirts with admiration for Stalinism (but also of Churchill, and the Labour Party of John Smith). But is that really worse than the flirtations of the people he opposes? I think it's important to separate what he's saying from who he is. Who he is, that's irrelevant. What he's saying is dead on target.

              Proud citizen of the provisional Canadian province of Cascadia since November 3, 2004

              by seaprog on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:02:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Our country was a long time supporter of Saddam. (none)
              Rumsfeld was a long time supporter of Saddam. Bush's daddy was a long time supporter of Saddam until he wasn't). This doesn't discredit him.
            •  Galloway does NOT support Saddam! (4.00)
              Galloway is quick to remind you that he, and his comrades on the left, were among the first to condemn Saddam's human rights record, even if the chief motive was that the country had become a virulently anti-communist puppet of America. Until 1991, Iraq was the only Arab country he'd not visited. "I wouldn't have been allowed in. I was a known opponent of the Iraqi regime because I was with the left, and the communists in Iraq who were shattered and sent into orbit in the late 70s."

              So, how does this support Saddam?

              Also:

              "I am on the anti-imperialist left." The Stalinist left? "I wouldn't define it that way because of the pejoratives loaded around it; that would be making a rod for your own back. 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. If there was a Soviet Union today, we would not be having this conversation about plunging into a new war in the Middle East, and the US would not be rampaging around the globe."

              Is he a Communist, or was he saying we're worse off as a world community because there exists no check to US power, which, as we see, has been poorly used the last 5 years?

              He tells me of the time he returned from Iraq in 1994 to an unsurprising carpeting from the whips having told Saddam "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability." Galloway has always claimed he was addressing the Iraqi public rather than the leader, and that it was most infelicitous to use "you" instead of "youse".

              So, what is wrong about going to Iraq to know the enemy? Doesn't it make sense to get a glimpse of the man you are dealing with on a human level, no matter how brutal he is? And wouldn't it be stupid to tell someone what a demagoge he is to his face when you are their guest? What about the Golden Rule?

              And what does Galloway say about regieme change?

              "...which is not to say that he's not a brutal dictator. He is a brutal dictator." He wants to see his regime replaced by a democratically elected government.

              It is lazy to suggest someone supports Saddam without reading the whole piece to see what he is really saying.

              •  I guess this isn't a sign of support (2.00)
                From the Guardian, quoting the Times

                In 1994 Mr Galloway stood before Saddam Hussein and said: "Your excellency, Mr President, I greet you in the name of the many thousands of people in Britain who stood against the tide and opposed the war and aggression against Iraq and continue to oppose the war by economic means, which is aimed to strangle the life out of the great people of Iraq ... I greet you too in the name of the Palestinian people ... 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." (The Times, January 20 1994.)

                Read the whole piece here:

                http://politics.guardian.co.uk/otherparties/story/0,9061,1483783,00.html

      •  Here's a link (4.00)
        to the MSNBC story

        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7883488/

        He called the Bush administration's reasons for going to war in Iraq "a pack of lies" and said investigators should instead focus on U.S. companies that dealt with Saddam. "The real sanctions busters were your own companies," he told senators.

        'Republican lynch mob'

        Pursued by a crowd of British journalists, Galloway arrived at the hearing just minutes before it began reviewing testimony.

        "This group of neocons (neoconservatives) is involved in the mother of all smokescreens," he said of the committee. "I want to turn the tables on this neocon, pro-Israel, pro-war, Republican lynch mob."

        He earlier told Reuters that he had "no expectation of justice from a group of Christian fundamentalist and Zionist activists under the chairmanship of a neocon (President) George Bush who is pro-war."

        "I come not as the accused but as the accuser," he added.

        "It's Mr. Coleman who's been all over the news and he's a lick-spittle, crazed neocon who is engaged in a witch hunt against all those he perceives to have betrayed the United States in their plan to invade and occupy Iraq," Galloway told Associated Press Television News.

        Hoo wee.  Things are heating up.  

        A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future. Leonard Bernstein

        by x on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:10:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  From the New Republic article (4.00)
          Here are a few quotes from the New Republic article that UpstateNYDem mentioned above:

          To date in this election campaign, one candidate has received a death threat, the other has had her car tires slashed, and religious leaders are appealing for calm. Where is this happening? Not in Beirut, but in London. In the city's Bethnal Green and Bow district, George Galloway, who famously told Saddam Hussein in 1994, "I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability," is trying to defeat sitting Labour Party MP Oona King. The country's May 5 general election is likely to produce a comfortable victory for Tony Blair's Labour Party--which means that the Galloway-King race may be the day's most important vote. That's because the unseating of King, a black Jewish woman, in the second most Muslim district in the country--almost 50 percent of its voters are Muslim--could splinter British urban politics along ethnic and religious lines for years to come.


          Were it not for Iraq, King would be cruising to reelection; instead she is in a battle that appears to be close. Her vote for the war did not sit well with her Muslim constituents, and Galloway, a former Labour MP now running as the candidate of the newly formed Respect Party, is capitalizing on their anger. His election leaflet has a picture of King's head superimposed on the body of an American tank commander. "Warmongers out!" it reads.


          Galloway, dubbed "Gorgeous George," has been an MP since 1987 and is regarded as one of the House of Commons' most gifted orators. He is also one of its most hardened leftists. "I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life," he told the Guardian in 2002. [...] His support for Saddam--he earned the nickname "the member for Baghdad Central" and in 2002 he wrote of his experience on "the crowded dance floor of a North African nightclub ... dancing with Tariq Aziz, the deputy prime minister of Iraq"--stretched the relationship to its breaking point. In November 2003 he was expelled from the party for what Labour Chairman Ian McCartney described as inciting "foreign forces to rise up against British troops."

          As tempting as it is to say the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and as refreshing as it is to see Norm Coleman getting slapped around, George Galloway is not my guy, and the reasons he has for opposing American foreign policy have very little to do with my reasons for objecting to this war.

          On top of that, his election campaign was consciously fuelled by a ugly mix of race-baiting and anti-Semitism, with a good dose of anti-Americanism thrown in. He's not a liberal, unless the word has no meaning other than "not a right-winger".

          •  Saddam Supporters (4.00)
            I seem to remember a film clip of Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand and that much aid was given to Saddam by the U.S. during the war with Iraq.  So were Rumsfeld, Bush 41 and Reagan "supporters of Saddam"?  They were at least as much as Galloway was.  

            This aggression will not stand, man

            by kaleidescope on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:56:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Re: Saddam supporters (4.00)
              I've never claimed that Galloway "supported" Saddam,  and I've never been an apologist for the actions of Rumsfeld et al. in the 1980s when Saddam was our counterweight to the lunatics in Iran. I certainly don't buy the neo-con line that we've always been at war with Eurasia.

              My point was and is that George Galloway is a rather illiberal politician who ran a despicable campaign to get into Parliament.

              I don't like the tendency of some people here to jump reflexively to his defense merely because he's attacking our political opponents, and I like the minority that seems intent on shouting down and troll-rating anyone who says otherwise even less.

              •  What about Coleman? (none)
                I'm sure there are some interesting statements he's made that show him to be a nutjob as well.

                The real story, IMHO, is that it American Corps were knee deep in the Oil for Food corruption.

                Coleman should be the target of this takedown.

                A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future. Leonard Bernstein

                by x on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:31:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Re: what about Coleman? (none)
                  I'm not sure why you're asking me about Senator Coleman. Certainly, I wouldn't vote him; in addition to being a conservative Republican, he's a stuffed shirt and his inane drivel about the UN will get you half of the way to John Birch-land.

                  I'm sorry if I'm misreading you, but it sounds like you're suggesting that this hearing is some kind of binary proposition: are you for George Galloway or are you for Norm Coleman?

                  I'm not for either of them.

                  •  Handing Coleman (none)
                    his ass was priceless is all.  

                    A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future. Leonard Bernstein

                    by x on Tue May 17, 2005 at 05:15:44 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Link? (none)
            On top of that, his election campaign was consciously fuelled by a ugly mix of race-baiting and anti-Semitism, with a good dose of anti-Americanism thrown in.

            Can you please provide links where he made anti-semetic remarks?

            •  George Galloway, RESPECT, and anti-semitism (4.00)
              I'm happy to provide you with sources. I don't want to get too pedantic, but I didn't accuse Mr. Galloway of making anti-Semitic remarks. I accued him of running a campaign fuelled by anti-Semitism. There's a distinction, and I don't want to blur it unintentionally.

              From http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,1461621,00.html:


              To add to the foul atmosphere, there's a whiff of old hatreds in the air. Oona King, the Labour candidate, is getting fed up with Respect supporters bringing up her Jewish mother, although she says it makes a change from the British National Party bringing up her black father. Last week, King and a group of mainly Jewish pensioners gathered for a 60th anniversary memorial service for the 132 people who died in the last V2 rocket attack on London in 1945. Muslim youths spat and threw eggs at the mourners and shouted: 'You fucking Jews.'

              In a letter to the Guardian, members of Respect said there was 'no evidence that this egg-throwing was anti-semitic'.

              From http://www.mpacuk.org/content/view/545/101/:


              Asked how he felt standing against one of only two black women MPs, Mr Galloway claimed that Ms King "voted to kill a lot of women in the last few years. Many of them had much darker skins than her".

              From http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,,1457451,00.html:


              George Galloway's Respect party last night threatened to sue the Labour MP Oona King after she claimed that its canvassers had told Muslim voters not to vote for her because she is Jewish.

              In an increasingly bitter battle for the east London constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow, Ms King told the Evening Standard: "I have been told by several people that members of Respect have told them not to vote for me because I am Jewish."

              She was speaking the day after attending a memorial service for Jewish war dead at which eggs and vegetables were thrown at mourners.

              I'm not sure if I can convince you or not. I certainly imagine that Mr. Galloway is too smart to descend to that level himself. But it's impossible to deny that his campaign was propelled by a strong undercurrent of anti-Semitism, and that he seemed more than happy to ride this hate for his own gain.

              That puts him at exactly the same moral level as, say, a Senator from Virginia who hung a noose from a tree and flew Confederate flags while of course protesting that there's not a racist bone in his body.

              We quite rightly have no tolerance for race-baiting and code words when it comes from the right; we shouldn't have any tolerance for it from the left, either.

              •  Galloway is not an anti-semite. (4.00)
                But the leader is responsible for the conduct of his followers. He should have seized the high ground by denouncing the anti-semitic attacks and egg-throwing of his people.

                I admire his principled stand against the War in Iraq. However, we need to be careful that we don't lower ourself to the kind of Rovian tactics his campaign engaged in in the recent election. Otherwise, we will be no better than the people we supposedly hate.

                •  Agreed (none)
                  I agree with you completely, and I was trying to be careful in how I phrased by objections to Mr. Galloway. I don't think he's an anti-Semite, any more than I think George Bush is a homophobe.

                  I do think that he, like George Bush, is willing to take the low road, and appeal to demons like anti-Semitism and homophobia in order to get a gig.  

          •  Come on... (none)
            I don't understand how a post that is mostly quotes gets a zero from someone.  Not only are zeroes an inappropriate way to express disagreement, they are a really inappropriate way to express disagreement with The New Republic.

            There is plenty of context to explain the things quoted here, as discussed elsewhere in the diary.  Anyone who has a problem with those quotes should either (a) refute them by showing context or (b) write an angry email to The New Republic, but I don't think zeroes are the answer.

          •  who gives a FLYING FUCK if he did or did not (4.00)
            support USSR or Hussein, The real point is that he has balls to call the GOP Hypocrites what they are.....Liars.
          •  The New Republic?! (none)
            Since when has The New Republic been anything but a neo-con mouthpiece?

            If that article is what this long thread of controversy is about, then we're wasting our time!

            The only relevant issues are:
            (1) Did Galloway indeed get Oil-for-Food money, how, and how does the US Congress know for certain?
            (2) Is Galloway correct that the US gamed the Oil-for-Food program and US companies were the main beneficiaries?  If so, when did this happen, before or after 2001?
            (3) What happened to the 8+ billion dollars in the Oil-for-Food fund after the US took charge of it?

            Those are the only relevant issues.

            Was the fall of the Soviet Union a tragedy?  No, the failure of the world to ease the transition was a tragedy that brought Putin to power.  The failure of the Supreme Court to act properly in Bush v. Gore was a tragedy that has created the hegemonism that Galloway decries.  But none of these affect his credibility about the Oil-for-Food program.  Where is the evidence and how good is the evidence?

            I don't think we know yet.  I hope we find out.

            The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

            by TarheelDem on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:44:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  lick-spittle (none)
          what an absolutely marvelous word...one we should be employing a lot more often......

          Toady isn't half bad either

          Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

          by Magorn on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:00:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Define support. (4.00)
      Did he actually offer support for Iraq/Russian policies, or was he just OPPOSED to American policy towards those countries?
      •  Specific support (2.90)
        He called the fall of the Soviet Union the greatest catastrophe in his life time.
        •  That's pretty specific (none)
          Links?
        •  Fall of the Soviet Union (3.75)
          In one sense, the fact that an escalated arms race left the former Soviet Union completely out of control of god knows how many loose weapons, there something to be said for that.
          •  Fall of USSR as Tragedy (4.00)
            If you want a glimpse of the tragedy, check out Laurie Garret's "Betrayal of Trust", particularly the chapters on AIDS, infant mortality, tuberculosis and the birth rate.  The former Soviet Union and the Russian Federation have had negative population growth rates for more than a decade.  Also, check out the writings of Stephen Cohen.  

            It is a tragedy and a potential catastrophe that soldiers guarding nuclear weapons and nuclear materials are literally starving.

            The Soviet Union was not a nice place, nor was it free.  But it provided health care to its people, kept epidemics from developing and spreading, kept its nuclear weapons under control and kept the Russian mafia from preying on anyone and everyone.  

            None of that exists now and democracy in the CIS countries is, for the most part, as much of a joke as it is here, if not worse.

            The fall of the Soviet Union was a worse tragedy than the Chimpster getting re-elected.

            This aggression will not stand, man

            by kaleidescope on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:05:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The fall.... (4.00)
              ...or dissolution of the USSR is not complete.

              The USSR was a menace and I believe that its people have a far greater future as citizens of its fractured republics.  But we were the nation that buried them, and our paltry reconstruction efforts consisted of cutting our corporations loose to sell Levis, Cokes and Big Macs above ground while organized crime and extortion took hold underground.  We mismanaged our victory, which is now becoming our specialty, and in so doing prolonged the pain of the fall and the associated dangers.

              Two-step, lockstep, goosestep: Herr Busch's three-step plan to a righter tomorrow.

              by The Termite on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:46:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  You have been repeating this point (none)
          again and again.

          As far as I'm concerned, it sometimes takes a scumbag to nail another one.

          It is all well and good to be wary but do you find fault with what he is saying at the hearing?

          And BTW, TNR?

          You got bring more than that.

        •  Hmmm (4.00)
          Context?  Location?  Date?  You know, the usual sorts of details that may help people adhere to your point of view.  

          Frankly, I just enjoy Gorgeous George being a thorn in Blair's side, and I couldn't care less about whatever sort of batshit lunacy he's spouted off over a very long political career.  Political dialogue in other countries isn't always as "safe" as it is in our own.

          No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

          by Gator Keyfitz on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:16:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Unfortunately (4.00)
            I don't know Galloway from Adam, but a quick Google search of "George Galloway" +saddam yields a ton of allegations about him being in bed with Saddam. True or not, that's all the SCLM neds to marginalize his statements and flush this exchange down the Memory hole. Sigh...
            •  But all those allegations... (4.00)
              ... were categorically disproved -- and he won two separate libel judgements over them.
              •  Allegations of receiving money ... (4.00)
                ...from Saddam were not proved (which is not quite the same as being disproved - British libel laws are notoriously tough), but I am willing to grant that Galloway probably didn't take any money from Saddam.

                The other allegations, however, are not disproved. Out of his own mouth, in his own book, Galloway condemns himself to, at best, fringiness.

                •  God forbid (4.00)
                  Anyone on Kos should countenance "fringiness!"    

                  No one likes armed missionaries. -- Robespierre.

                  by Gator Keyfitz on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:48:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Having been on twhat most ... (4.00)
                    ...people would call the left fringe of politics since 1964, I don't use the word lightly. Galloway qualifies. The guy doesn't think Castro is a dictator; Che Guevara is his personal hero.

                    Just because his view that the Iraq Attack was a great evil happens to coincide with my own view on the subject doesn't make me want to praise him given that others with more democratic attitudes also agree that going into Iraq was dead wrong.

                    •  Many of my friends think the same thing (3.50)
                      it's called freedom of expression, and the USA used to believe in it.

                      It's funny how in the US there are Christians who are actually calling for honour killings of people and that is tolerated, but God forbid, he should think of Che Guevara as a hero just because he's a Communist!

                      The rest of the world is not as scared as Communism as you Americans are.  To you it's worse than those crazy fundamentalists who are trying to turn the clock back.  

                      •  That communism the "rest of the ... (4.00)
                        ...world" is not afraid of would be the idealistic communism of Marx and Engels or the on-the-ground communism of Stalin, Mao and Kim Jung-il?

                        We Americans are a diverse lot. Some of us stand well to the left of existing European governments, reject fundamentalism and fight them every time they open their authoritarian mouths. But I'm not enamored of politicians of any stripe who call mass murderers - and the backers of mass murderers - their heroes.

                        •  Left wing radicals (3.00)
                          serve a purpose.  They push the political process forwards.  A lot of the things that we have in Canada which we would never give up - pacifism, socialized health care, worker's compensation, old age pensions, subsidized child care - were all due to the ideas of Marxists.
                        •  How about (4.00)
                          Chile's and Allendes type of Communism. I am not a Communist, but definetly a socialist or a leftist. I did suport Campora's type of socialism in Argentina, It was a great time to live in. For example there were maximum prices. A Coke in a bar would cost the same in any bar. That meant that someone poor could go and sit at a bar which was one of the "rich people bar" and he could be there, instead of being denied prices. I also supported free education for all. This of course was a slap to the rich, and they did not like it

                          If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

                          by cruz del sur on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:28:39 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Subsidized child care (none)
                            that means $5 A DAY child care, with people who are certified by the government.
                          •  I was glad the day ... (4.00)
                            ...Allende was finally elected and outraged when he was ousted. While he had Communist support, he was not a Communist. I'm basically a leftwing social democrat, which makes me a socialist on all but a handful of issues. With a few exceptions - municipalities in Italy in the '70s and '80s, a few places in India - Communists reject democratic means, and have done a great deal to destroy the democratic left.
                          •  Like I said, (none)
                            They are an extremely useful part of the political progress in any politically evolved country.  Otherwise, in many countries, we would be repealing labour laws, kind of like what's happening in the US.  Wait a second, you guys don't have a Communist party, do you?  Well, maybe you should.  
                          •  Sure we do. ... (4.00)
                            ...several, in fact, if you include Trotskyists and other Marxist-Leninist leftovers from the 1960s-'70s. But their strength is measly, and their open support for, depending on their orientation, the Soviet Union or Mao's China squandered any possible consideration they might have received for their good work, say, on issues of race and the social safety net. These days, they have few good ideas. Moreover, the image that some on the left have of Communist parties is distorted. In pre-Sandinista Nicaragua, for instance, the old-line CP was pretty much in the Somozas' back pocket for decades.

                            My grandfather, who was a labor organizer in the 1930s, warned me about working with Communists practically before I was in long pants. Not that they haven't had good ideas - they certainly have - but their authoritarian approach leads them to wreck movements. During the 1960s, I watched them trash SDS and harm numerous other political organizations by their relentless pursuit of total control.  

                          •  If you want me to defend Communists I can't (none)
                            because as a radical party, they have radical ideas, and forming a Communist government will make a radical country.

                            But as for them using all methods to have and hold power, isn't that pretty much what all parties in all countries ( the ones who are successful) do?

                            But as an element of the political spectrum, they are the motor that drives the social agenda forward, you can't deny that.  

                          •  Hm (4.00)
                            "But as for them using all methods to have and hold power, isn't that pretty much what all parties in all countries ( the ones who are successful) do?"

                            No.  Parties in a liberal constitutional system respect that there are limits to the means they can employ in order to advance their agenda.  Going beyond those limits tends to lead to chaos, misery, violence, and authoritarianism.  This is why Americans have generally not seen the appeal of radical illiberal ideologies like fascism and communism.  It is also why the rise of the current radical conservative movement in America is so disturbing.

                            "But as an element of the political spectrum, they are the motor that drives the social agenda forward, you can't deny that."

                            Yes and no.  Certainly communists have contributed in some ways to social progress in America.  In other ways, they have actively damaged the progressive cause.  In either case, they are certainly not THE motor that drives the social agenda - our progress has come on the shoulders of a wide and diverse progressive coalition, of which communists have only at best been a small and problematic part.

                            My heavy metal has turned millions into rock-a-holics. They've become zombies.

                            by BrooklynRaider on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:29:48 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  this reply will (none)
                            be too far to the right for my taste!
                          •  Who the hell (none)
                            is giving out zero ratings for reasoned comments like this?

                            Whoever it is should be ashamed.  You disagree with the comment, you debate it.  You don't nuke it - not only is it ratings abuse, it suggests that you don't even know how to respond to the argument.

                            My heavy metal has turned millions into rock-a-holics. They've become zombies.

                            by BrooklynRaider on Tue May 17, 2005 at 01:24:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The poster has a (short) ... (none)
                            ...history of low-rating those s/he disagrees with.
                          •  Not destroyed (none)
                            left wing is very much alive in South America:Argentina, Basil, Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador, Venezuela, and the next one is Bolivia. Ther is a strong left turn in all these countries. That is probably because we have seen what the "neo-liberal" (and the word liberal ther has another meaning) policies has done to us: they have stripped us from all our national industries and companies. All in all, these governments have a more humane attitude to their people.
                            I guess I define myself as a humanist.

                            If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

                            by cruz del sur on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:54:20 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's Americans for you (none)
                            so defensive of their private property that the worst crime you can assure someone of is being a Communist, yet so free with people's property in other countries.  

                            A Communist party would fix a lot of ills in the USA.  Of course, the people would never accept it, not being that politically evolved, so their system is tipped to the right.

                          •  I believe that (none)
                            a communist regime can only develop in ragged poor countries, with a huge population living in infrahumane conditions. It could never do so in the US because of its huge middle class. There was a Communist party here and it was kind of big during the Depression era. The only thing we can hope for here in the US is a Progressive administration. And that is good enough for me, specially when you compare what we have now:-)

                            If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

                            by cruz del sur on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:11:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Actually, I was referring ... (none)
                            ...to the left in the U.S. in that post. You're quite right, obviously, about the left in Latin America.

                            All those rightwing or center-right governments that Washington was so glad to have helped install in the 1980s and early '90s have proved - in most cases - utterly unable to resolve the problems that had been, in large part, the reason for guerrilla movements earlier.

                          •  Changing the subject (none)
                            I wonder why nobody has been comenting about Luis Posadas Carriles until today. take a look at this http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/elmundo/4-50921-2005-05-12.html

                            If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

                            by cruz del sur on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:42:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I have seen a few comments ... (none)
                            ...on Posadas in the past week, but he surely hasn't received enough attention.
                          •  I blasted him (none)
                            last week and just got a call back from Durbins office. They are going to take a look at it. Hopefully they will send him back to Venezuela!

                            If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

                            by cruz del sur on Tue May 17, 2005 at 01:39:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  depends on your definition of humane (none)
                            Chavez just threw in jail the leader of the country's most prominent human-rights organization on trumped-up charges.

                            "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                            by Delirium on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:51:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  can you remind me (none)
                            of how many people this country has thrown in jail? And how many so called "terrorists" have been in jail that are innocent? And its not like this country has supported the killing of thousands of innocent people  like Guatemala, Honduras, El salvador, Nicaragua, . How about Colambia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina< Ufuguay, Paraguay, Would you like me to go to the next continent? Whats your choice, Africa or the Middle East?How about Asia? And you bring one person?! And no, I do not condone that only one person has been thrown in jail. but in those countries I just mentioned there must be at least 400000 people KILED, TORTURED. Yes, it seems to me that it is more humane.
                            By the way, how many have been killed or disappeared after the attempted coup that the US supported? Zero.

                            If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

                            by cruz del sur on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:16:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I didn't say the US was more human (none)
                            Just that Chavez is a thug.  That doesn't preclude the US from also behaving thuggishly.

                            "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                            by Delirium on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:17:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But cqn we at least (none)
                            agree that he still is a little more humane than those I just described?

                            If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

                            by cruz del sur on Wed May 18, 2005 at 08:12:00 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  depends (none)
                            Partly depends on whether the allegations that he's funding FARC are true or not.

                            "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                            by Delirium on Wed May 18, 2005 at 08:47:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Do you mean (none)
                            Do you mean those drug dealing, kidnapping guerrillas need more funds? Come on, they need no more money. It seems to me that you just cant accept that Chavez is a good guy. If not why are all Latin American presidents so favorable to him? And don't forget that these people are true human rights enforcers. But, yeah, there has been too much right wing propaganda against him. After all he sells a lot of oil to  the US

                            If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

                            by cruz del sur on Wed May 18, 2005 at 08:58:06 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  good guy (none)
                            I don't really think he's a good guy, but a populist.  He tells people what he thinks they want to hear, and so far it's been working pretty well.

                            I'd imagine the other presidents say nice things about him because he's very popular.  Lula in particular seems wary, both of him and the far-left-wing members in his own government, but has to appease them because he doesn't have a majority with just his own party.

                            "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                            by Delirium on Wed May 18, 2005 at 09:13:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Do you mean (none)
                            that he is a populist like.. let's say...Gore? you mean to say that all the food distributing locations that he started during his presidency is nothing to those who were starving? Or do you mean that the free health care for those who can not afforded is nothing?
                            What about Kirchner from argentina being so close to Chavez? Are you saying that when Venezuela refused to raise the fuel prices in Argentina when Shell and Exxon raised their prices was just to...

                            If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

                            by cruz del sur on Wed May 18, 2005 at 09:22:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  I wouldn't praise him (4.00)
                      But I wouldn't demonize him, either. He's not sufficiently critical of left-wing authoritarianism, and that's a deep character flaw. But he's almost certainly not a paid agent of Saddam, and he's not most of the other things attributed to him, either.

                      I have to admit: I enjoy his rants, even as I know they're not particularly productive. He not only points out the naked emperor, he throws tomatoes at him and calls them clothes. That's a good and healthy thing for public debate, and in our current propaganda climate I'm all in favor of a few rhetorical bomb-throwers.

                      The rest of us, more responsible than he, can and should stake out more reasoned and moderate terrain. But he provides a contrast, and breathing room for the rest of us. That is a good thing.

                      When Galloway uses his position to rave uncritically about Castro, I'll gladly take issue with him. But so long as he's talking about Iraq and shattering the consenting silence of American public "debate," more power to him.

                      Proud citizen of the provisional Canadian province of Cascadia since November 3, 2004

                      by seaprog on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:14:12 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  What Other Allegations (4.00)
                  are you referring to?

                  I'm confused. He didn't strike me as fringy.  What do you mean by that?

                  You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

                  by mattman on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:56:56 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Actually (none)
                  The documents that supported the allegations of the Christian Science Monitor (which was not involved in the libel suit) were proved to be forgeries by the Christian Science Monitor less than two months after the they published their original story.

                  http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0620/p01s03-woiq.htm

                  Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

                  by darrelplant on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:17:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Wait a minute. (4.00)
          Just followed the link in your diary to the Wikipedia entry on this guy.  You need to put that quote into context.

          "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. If there was a Soviet Union today, we would not be having this conversation about plunging into a new war in the Middle East, and the US would not be rampaging around the globe."

          He is simply initmating the the Soviet Union was the only check on American power around the globe.  And he's right:  If the Soviet Union were still around today we wouldn't be tromping around the middle east the way we are.

          If you've got something else, I'm open.  I don't have an opinion on this guy other than the fact that I like that he's calling these Repulicans on their bullshit.

          I call shenanigans.

          •  When we lie down with dogs (4.00)
            we get up with fleas.

            The Soviet Union was a human rights catastrophe. To call its demise a tragedy is offensive, pure and simple.

            •  The Post-Soviet States are... (4.00)
              ...human rights catastrophes, too.  I lived in Russia in 1995 in the home of a woman who drew a pension equivalent to 12 dollars per month and could find no work other than an occasional gig hand-tying straw dolls for export.  She spent most of her time travelling back and forth from the city to her garden plot, where whe grew most of her own food.  The medical system has collapsed, alcoholism is as bad as ever, the population is shrinking.  If you are rich, life is great...but life is not better for the majority of people in the country, and far from being fringe, nostalgia for the Soviet Union is prevalent.

              Thank God for George Galloway, who hasn't been blinded to the fact that nations have to be judged by their results for the common man.  

              That so many here are coming down on him shows just how successful the wingers have been at pushing the debate to the right.  Because of them, it's "moderate" and even "leftist" to discredit a man for expressing support for Castro's dictatorship, which has managed to hold Cuba together in peace under the most appalling economic and geopolitical conditions, while remaining completely and conveniently mum about the massive human suffering in non-pariah state Haiti, where that force has been lacking.  Are Cuba and the USSR utopias?  Hell no.  But shouldn't they be judged against real-world alternatives (Haiti, the post Soviet states) rather than utopian ideals?

              We are always talking about the Left getting a backbone around here, and yet when someone steps up in contravention of conventional "wisdom" to suggest that the imperiocapitalist Kool-Aid doesn't really taste that great a number of you shout him down.  We can't live without at least a little bit of that Kool-Aid, I guess.    

            •  Demise (4.00)
              There's a big difference betwen what happened to the Soviet Union and what could have happened to the Soviet Union.

              Gorbachev's perestroika program was a potential first step to reforming the USSR. He knew things had to change to meet reality.

              Reality moved faster than the glacial progress of the Soviet system, however, so what happened was that instead of a stable country with a changing political and economic system, the USSR fell apart. So now there's Russia, with essentially the same political system it had ten years ago, surrounded by a number of small and medium-sized states anging from rocky democracies to outright dictatorships, with several on the latter side of the range being in the Islamic orbit.

              So yeah, over the course of its history, the USSR had a pretty crappy human rights record. But what follows it may not prove to be very pretty either.

              Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

              by darrelplant on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:23:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Dissolution of USSR impacts at home, too (4.00)
            I remember sitting in the Horseshoe Bar of the Shelbourne Hotel (Dublin) when the Wall came down and while the excitement and delight was infectious (and rightly so) I will never forget my eyes meeting those of one of many friends there celebrating - filmmaker, Jim Sheridan - and in them I registered and immediately understood that for all its viciousness, the straw man of the failed Soviet had served us well in the west.

            Aside from the resurgence of Anglo-American jingoism, the shift in America back to utter subservience to the monied interests at the expense of working people was to be feared.

            We now longer need to prove that our system is better or fairer.  The collapse of the Soviet threat has meant that we can now have our own gulags, our own Pravada media and the dismantling of our own safety nets.  What?  Afraid America's workers might engage in class struggle???  LOL LOL

            The Right's urgent greed in dismantling the New Deal arises directly from the loss of that counterweight.

            "the fools, the fools, they've left us our Fenian Dead" (Padraig Pearse - Gay Revolutionary)

            by padraig pearse on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:29:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I agree (4.00)
            That's how I read it.  And, being a moderate Eisenhower Republican, I've frankly had a lot of the same thoughts regarding the fall of the Soviets.  Without the Soviet Union there is a power-vacuum and no one with the capiblity to balnce us and our increasingly imperial abmitions.

            And please don't preach self-restraint.  It's pretty obvious the neo-cons and thier rabble don't have it.

            It's like all the parents disappeared and the world is being run by teenagers...  Not pretty.  Not pretty at all.

        •  TNR=PNAC (4.00)
          They backed invading Iraq and are in bed with Ariel Sharon and Likud.  (You remember Sharon?  Guy who ordered a few massacres back in the 1980s?)
        •  One Party Rule/One Nation Rule (none)
          The same principles apply.

          Would the Bushies be able to do what they're doing if the Soviet Union were still alive and functioning?  If there were any nation in the world that could oppose them?

          The Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

          by DanielMN on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:19:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Allegations disproven in Court (4.00)
      George Galloway won a massive £150,000 in libel damages from The Daily Telegraph today over "seriously defamatory" allegations in a series of reports last year that he was in the pay of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1384333,00.html

    •  supporter of Saddam? (4.00)
      he certainly wasn't wanting him dragged out, but I'm not sure about hte supporter part. as for saying the Soviet Union break up was a bad thing, maybe that makes him - shudder - an actual leftist.

      What is he doing NOW though? That's what's important.

      •  Unfortunately, Galloway, who once ... (4.00)
        ...was a foe of Saddam, got pretty cozy with him about 15 years ago.

        By the account in his own book, I'm Not The Only One (reviewed by Johann Hari in The Independent), Galloway notes that the Shi'ites Saddam murdered in the early '90s uprising amounted to "a fifth column who actively undermined the Iraqi war effort in the interests of their country's enemy."

        He also agreed with Saddam's claim to Kuwait, calling it "clearly a part of the greater Iraqi whole stolen from the motherland by the perfidious Albion."

        He wrote that, "In my experience none of the Ba'ath leaders have displayed hostility to Jews."

        Galloway was a supporter of the Soviet Union (and not merely as a bulwark against U.S. hegemony) and still regularly has good things to say about the superannuated Fidel Castro.

        Galloway is a terrific orator, and he was right to oppose the Iraq attack ... but he's still a stooge.

        •  Don Rumsfeld (3.71)
          was also quite "cozy with Saddam" - actually MUCH MUCH more so than Galloway can ever be said to have been.  Galloway is called a supporter of Saddam simply because he didn't accept the propaganda campaign leading up to both Gulf war 1 and 2.  There are a lot more socialists and politicians with partial socialist beliefs in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.  They are not politically demonized in quite the same way they are here.  You're still allowed to think outside the box in "old Europe"...
        •  Wait a tic (4.00)
          [Galloway] was a foe of Saddam, got pretty cozy with him about 15 years ago.

          There's a photograph of Rummy shaking hands with Saddam.  How much chummier could Galloway have been?

          Liberal: "I still think it's a respectable word. Its root is "liber," the Latin word for "free," and isn't that what we are all about?"--Mary McGrory

          by mini mum on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:52:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read what he has to say ... (4.00)
            ...about the Ba'athist regime in his own book and you will see.

            Look, I despise Rumsfeld now and despised him when he served the first time as Secretary of Defense.

            But Galloway is a perfect example of why the enemy of my enemy is not always my friend no matter how fine his oratorical skills.

            •  It is fun (none)
              I dislike Galloway's politics, but it is fun watching someone as radical as he is showing how foolish and inept these senators are.

              I hope that Coleman invites him regularly.

              Dr. Johnson [defined] patriotism as the last resort of a scoundrel. "With all due respect ... I beg to submit that it is the first."--Ambrose Bierce

              by freelunch on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:00:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  There are a lot (4.00)
          of people who have good things to say about Castro. Among them Chavez, Kirchner, Lula da Silva. He did do a lot of good things for Cuba at the time : Education, medical care, end to mafia control of prostitution, and above all the end of a corrupt murderous regime.  

          If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

          by cruz del sur on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:08:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly (4.00)
            Castro is a hell of a lot better than, say, Islam Karimov.  Or Pervez Musharraf.  Or Ahmad Chalabi.
            •  I've never been a fan of comparing ... (4.00)
              ...political monsters based on the number of people they have murdered to gain or keep power.

              If you want to put the 20th Century's 100 worst killers of their own people on a list, Castro no doubt doesn't reach the top 25. But for the thousands he has ordered to be summarily executed and the tens of thousands he has imprisoned, this is small comfort. Cuba has no free labor unions and no free press. It has no machinery for an orderly transfer of political power. Its economy, despite the willingness of Europeans to invest without regard to the moronic U.S. embargo, and despite the tourism industry that has returned prostitution as a growth field, is a wretched mess.

          •  Castro (4.00)
            Yeah, the Castro bashing in the United States is out of step with world opinion (sound familiar ?). U.S policy is formed by the same group of sour exiles who came here 40 years ago and have way too much power even within their own community.

            Most of the world disagrees with Castro's continued leadership, thinks there should be elections etc., but doesn't place him in the same sentence as dictators who have gunned down hundreds of people - as just happened this weekend.

            In the States, you'll hear Castro mentioned in the same breath as Saddam, and it's fairly ridiculous.

          •  Yes, he and his guerrilleros ... (none)
            ...deposed a corrupt and murderous regime. And installed one of their own. I've been to Cuba six times (1963, 1965, 1981, 1987, 1990, 1993), and you're right about education and medical care - the U.S. could learn something about good government policy in that regard.

            But Cuba is still a dictatorship, and people who speak against Castro still go to prison and/or suffer harassment from Party apparatchiks.

            •  You are probably right. (none)
              People have been jailed. But that,s not different from what this country is doing right now. And, you have to put it into context: 250000 murdered in Guatemala. 70000 murdered in El Salvador, 30000 murdered in Argentina, 10000 murdered in Chile. And the list goes on, and on.
              True, there should be free elections, and if they were held, I think that Castro's party would have a big chance of winning. However, the US should not try to influence the outcome of such an election as they have in the past all over Latin America.

              If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

              by cruz del sur on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:43:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  As both a journalist and ... (4.00)
                ...a citizen, I spent much of the 1970s-'80s actively opposed to U.S.-funded atrocities in Latin America, particularly Central America, where I spent considerable time, most especially in Guatemala and Nicaragua. So, of course, Castro's regime should be put in the context of those others'. And, believe me, I am no fan of U.S. policy toward Cuba and have not been in the four-plus decades I've been old enough to understand it.

                What turns my stomach, however, is hearing people - Galloway being one - praising Castro as a "hero." In fact, he's just another caudillo, the difference being that he is an exceptionally smart one who didn't carry out his murders and imprisonments with U.S. assistance the way the Somoza dynasty and the other criminals of Central and Latin America have done.

                •  We are both (4.00)
                  probably about the same age, so we have seen Castro throuout the years. I do understand Castro's actions:he had to mantain power in order to change the status quo. you are also aware that the US was the one who forced Castro to become a dictatorship. Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs) had a lot to do with it. To do otherwise would have been to give up the revolution for which so many people gave up their lives. You also have to be aware that Castro is kind of a hero to so many Latin Americans simply because he was an alternative to a US dominated country. i wonder what would have happened if the US would have supported a "regime change " in Cuba instead of trying to overthrow Castro and those useless economic sanctions

                  If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

                  by cruz del sur on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:20:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Cuba (none)
              Even with the benefit of hindsight about Castro's regime, I still find accounts of the early Cuban Revolution to be inspiring. In particular, I think of Eduardo Galeano's story in Memoria del fuego about Castro and Che organizing the revolt against Batista. After emerging from the remote jungles, out of ammunition and most supplies, nearly starving, and down to 16 men from 80, Castro smiles and says to the others "Batista is fucked." And sure enough, he was.

              That particular Castro was and still is a hero. It's a tragedy that he became someone and something else, and that his egoism and violence robbed the revolution of its soul. Then again, at his worst Castro was never Batista. On balance he remains a step in the right direction from a very poor beginning. It's just that the time for another step came long ago, and he stands in the way.

              Proud citizen of the provisional Canadian province of Cascadia since November 3, 2004

              by seaprog on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:35:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Cuba (none)
              My sister went to Cuba, and said she heard people criticizing Castro all the time. She's been twice in the last 5 years. I imagine if they got to be a threat they would face harrasment, however.

              Sadly, the worst gulag in Cuba is run by Americans.

          •  Wait a minute (4.00)
            and above all the end of a corrupt murderous regime.  

            Replacing one corrupt murderous regime with another corrupt murderous regime doesn't generally qualify as "ending".

            The French overthrow the Kings, and then replaced them with Emperor Napolean.

            The Russians overthew the Czars, and then replaced them with Josef Stalin.

            Just because someone leads a revolution against a corrupt authority is not reason in and of itself to cheer for them.  They must live up to higher standards.

            George Washington led a revolution against a British King, was elected President and when his two terms were up... He Went Home

            That single act... That was the defining moment of the United States.  Washington could have been King, but he said no.  That was the first time anybody had ever done that.  It is what differentiates the American experiment from so many others.

            •  You should have spoken up (4.00)
              When the US was replacing all those democratically elected governents with all those MURDEROUS DICTATORSHIPS. And, Castro only imprisons, It is not disapearing people or murdering them

              If you want me to go back to the place I was born , tell your companies to leave my country (Leon Gieco)

              by cruz del sur on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:46:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Whatever (none)
                I have constantly spoken up against us stupidly proping up and supporting un-democratic regimes. But right now you're sitting there defending Castro.  Talk about bullshit hypocricy.  You make GW Bush look like an honest man when he decries un-democratic nations.

                Newsflash Apr 15, 2003: Three men convicted of hijacking a ferry were executed by firing squad
                http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/cuba_04-11-04.html

                All these men wanted to do was leave the country.  They stole a ferry, but they didn't kill anybody.

                Don't you dare try to question my morality, you hypocrite.

            •  Cincinnatus (none)
              was the first. You even have a city called Cincinatti in his memory.

              George Washington was even called the American Cincinnatus.

              •  True... (none)
                So goes the story.  And Washington had read the story and that was what he tried to model himself after.  I guess I'll say then that Washington was the first to set an example.

                Actually much of our Government was modeled after the Roman Republic in some sense.

                Thank's for pointing that out.  I should have mentioned that.

        •  I had never heard of Galloway before (4.00)
          his recent election. Yet every bit of information is like a piece of DNA with his entire code embedded within it.

          Old leftist. It practically tells one all one needs to know. CP member. Stalinist. Maybe. Maybe. But he's still around and he's still got a lot of supporters, so that says he's not completely insane, and maybe not insane at all.

          As long as he's not in power (oops maybe now he is) one can praise the good and ignore the history. So what are his current beliefs that are as bad as his historical ones.

          Right Castro. Except at his worst Castro is not horrible and at his best he is quite good. I know those terms leave a lot of leeway, but I think you know what I'm saying.

          The turning over of the Soviet assets to neo-Capitalist pirate types, is widely understood to be bad.

          How much of a Stalinist might this Galloway be? Is he a dictatorship of the proletariet sort? Does he oppose democracy or is he merely niave? Or something in between?

          So these days, for whom is he a stooge? Who pulls his strings now?

          I'm glad I don't have your history with this guy because I can better enjoy the fun.

        •  Good Things to Say About Castro (4.00)
          I am opposed to Castro's political repression. His thugs once, literally, made a writer eat his words.  But as far as I can tell, there are no death squads in Cuba.  Torture (other than having to eat paper) is not regularly used.  There is not a tiny cosmopolitan parasitic elite that uses state power to extract fabulous wealthy lifestyles from a downtrodden impoverished majority.  Health care for average Cubans is pretty good.  

          Castro is better than Batista, Somoza, the Argentine Junta, d'Aubuisson, Guillermo Carlos Suarez Mason, Pinochet and many others who did the bidding of the United States.

          The argument can be made that the United States is the greatest current threat to world peace, freedom and human rights.  Cuba certainly isn't.

          This aggression will not stand, man

          by kaleidescope on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:21:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Persepctive (4.00)
          In terms of strict legality the Shia uprising after Gulf Wa 1 was a revolt against a legal government. I had no truck with Saddam and was protesting against his treatment of the Kurds and the Shia Marsh Arabs even as Rumsfeld was shaking his hand. What would happened for example if a foreign power were to have funded and encouraged a coup against Clinton? Is not resistance to what they percieve as an illegitimate government exactly what the "insurgents" are doing in Iraq right now? In the case of those Shia, equal blame should be laid at the feet of DaddyGee who led them to believe the USA would support the revolt and then abandoned them to their fate.

          I am not sure why you have included the comment about the Jews. Most Muslims distinguish between Jews and Zionism, even if they are deliberately conflated by others. It is therefore quite likely that someone might be opposed to Israeli policy, even the existence of an overtly theocratic state, whilst still not being hostile the entire group that state seeks to "represent".

          Castro is only the bogey man he is in the USA because he threw out some well connected gangsters and then successfully repelled an attempted invasion conducted by a rag tag army of mercenaries sponsored by America. Many of the now deposed government in central and south America have been sponsored or installed by the USA and have been far more repressive than Cuba. If I remember the rate of adult literacy is far higher in Cuba than the USA and it has a health service without huge insurance premiums. Ironically the economic embargo has made Cuba's agricultural system on of the greenest.

          •  "Most Muslims" distinguish ... (4.00)
            ...between Jews and Zionists, you say.

            Mass media in the Muslim world is grotesquely anti-Semitic. Large numbers of even moderate Muslims - my stepson and step-daughter among them - see Jewish conspiracy everywhere, and many still deny the Holocaust or make arguments reducing its impact. So I don't think I can agree with your assessment. My reason for including this comment is that Galloway grossly distorted the clear record of the Ba'athist Party's views regarding Jews, and not Jews as Zionists.

            How and why Castro became a U.S. bogeyman is a bit more complex than you have presented it. For the record I am the opposite of an apologist for U.S. Cuba policy and despise the fascist wing of the Cuban-exile movement that has held such sway in U.S. leadership circles for so many years. And, as I have noted elsewhere in this thread, I am well-acquainted with the atrocities of U.S. policy in Latin America - I took my undergraduate degree in Latin America studies - and I agree that many U.S.-sponsored dictatorships were indeed "worse" than Castro's.

            The medical system, organic agriculture (which was begun not because of the U.S. embargo but because of the loss of USSR oil and its sugar subsidy) and education would be Cuba's gift to the developing world if other countries adopted these approaches - as some (Nicaragua, Venezuela) have tried.

            The UN's Human Development Index ranks Cuba No. 52 out the 177 nations measured, a significant achievement.

            It's true that Fidel doesn't boil his foes a la Karimov. But this is what Human Rights Watch had to say recently:

            The Cuban government systematically denies its citizens basic rights to free expression, association, assembly, movement, and a fair trial. It restricts nearly all avenues of political dissent, and uses police warnings, surveillance, short term-detentions, house arrests, travel restrictions, criminal prosecutions, and politically-motivated dismissals from employment as methods of enforcing political conformity.  

            Human rights monitoring is not recognized as a legitimate activity, but rather is stigmatized as a betrayal of Cuban sovereignty. No local human rights groups enjoy legal status. Instead, human rights defenders face systematic harassment, with the government placing heavy burdens on their ability to monitor human rights conditions. Nor are international human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch allowed to send fact-finding missions to Cuba  

            Political prisoners who denounce poor conditions of imprisonment or who otherwise fail to observe prison rules are frequently punished by long periods in punitive isolation cells, restrictions on visits, or denial of medical treatment.  

            There is only one official labor union in Cuba, the Worker's Central of Cuba (Central de Trabajadores de Cuba, CTC). Independent labor unions are denied formal status and their members are harassed.

            Hence, I bristle when people suggest we offer high praise to someone who calls Castro a "hero."

      •  An actual leftie? You mean (none)
        someone who is not a fascist has actually been admitted to a building in Washington, DC?  I'm awed. Not shocked: awed.
        •  still authoritarian though (none)
          He may not be a right-wing authoritarian, but he's a left-wing authoritarian.  So much better.

          "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

          by Delirium on Tue May 17, 2005 at 05:31:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A man who speaks with the authority of truth (none)
            is not described as "authoritarian".

            A man with the talent and character displayed by George Galloway arouses envy, spite and resentment among the hordes of mediocre US politicians and their hangers-on because - well, within the next two weeks you will see spontaneous campaigns start up: George Galloway for President.

            In the meantime, the Noise Machine has covered up Bolivian and Brazilian anti-fascist protests.

    •  Sigh... (4.00)
      "Supporter of Saddam"
      And Kerry was a supporter of North Korea right?
      How many hours did you spend listening to Fox News?

      I don't know what happened on November 2nd! But I do know what we will make happen starting on November 3rd!

      by FrenchSocialist on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:20:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Supporter of Saddam? (none)
        Um, how is that different than Donnie Rumsfeld not too long ago, eh?

        I did not receive $ from Ketchum, U.S. Department of Ed or HHS to write this---though I wish I had.

        by Volvo Liberal on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:49:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll tell you how different that is: (4.00)
          and it's not nice. Rummy was a travelling salesman for arms merchants, the US death machine. He brought home bacon.

          Galloway is an many-times elected British MP who actually represents his constituents' views. He proposes coherent action during his campaign and as a consequence, is elected fairly. He then continues to hold those views and his constituents are proud of him.

          Ugly difference. Sharp contrast. Worlds apart.

          •  Actually (2.50)
            the biggest arms suppliers to Iraq were the Soviet Union, France and China, in that order. The US was ninth on the list of Iraqi arms suppliers, providing all of .47% of Iraqi arms purchases between 1970 and 2004.

            Heres the link

            http://www.sipri.org/contents/armstrad/TIV_imp_IRQ_70-04.pdf

            •  Thank you for posting the linky (none)
              There was the business of selling arms to both sides in the Iran/Iraq war, the problem Iran had obtaining US parts under the arms embargo led to yet more intrigue, down in the White House basement, who major weapons' procurement scandals, drug-running in South America to raise cash for those shipments, and to this date almost eveyone on earth has been shown/is actually involved to the sixth degree with Maucher Gorbanifar.
            •  You ignore the genie (none)
              The problem is that we're the ones that sold him the best technology for producting biological and chemical weapons.

              We taught him how to make anthrax bombs and sold him the anthrax (as well as most every other biological warfare component)..  We taught him how to make type II process VX nerve gas and the shells and bombs.  We taught him how to make blister agents.

              Sure, other countries sold him Korean/Vietnam era crap in large quantities.  But we sold him the genie in the lamp.  So sure, they're "higher up."  Big deal what we sold was far, far more dangerous.

              Prior to OUR involvement, his NBC capability was WWI.  After, he was almost as sophisticated as the US in "C," ahead of us in "B" and not much of a player in "N."  And for those who don't know what NBC stands for, it's Nuclear Biological and Chemical.

    •  He got GBP 150.000 from the newspaper ... (4.00)
      ... that claimed he supported Saddam..

      "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

      by SteinL on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:26:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, that's absolutely wrong. (2.50)
        He received GBP 150,000 from the newspaper that claimed he was bribed to support Saddam. It was the unproven allegation of covert payments that the court repudiated, not the fact of his support for Saddam Hussein.

        Galloway visited Baghdad a decade ago to praise Saddam Hussein: "I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability." He acclaimed Hussein's decision to forcibly integrate Kuwait into the Iraqi "motherland." He made the laughable assertion that Hussein, who famously paid the relatives of suicide bombers, tendered no animus towards the Jews.

        Galloway is, quite simply, a Stalinist, and it is endlessly depressing to see the "progressives" of dKos scramble to defend him.

        •  Look beyond the propaganda (4.00)
          That speech was a huge mistake and in context, as Galloway contends, can be read as praise for the Iraqi peope and not Saddam in particular.

          The facts are that Kuwait was part of the province of the old Ottoman Empire. After WW1 the USA encouraged the British and French to rule the area as protectorates. Britiain administered what is now Iraq and Kuwait and did indeed split it away from the rest of Mesapotamia. There is considerable evidence that Saddam was emboldened to invade Kuwait by the support he had from the USA during the Iran/Iraq War and by the comments of the then US Ambassador to Iraq.

          "Payments to the family of suicide bombers" were part of Saddam's attempts to engratiate himself with the muslim world. He was secular and only started to have his revived visits to mosque publicised as part of this. Those payments were to gain popularity and were not a reward for the bombing but were to rebuild the homes the Israelis demolish as part of (illegal) collective punishment. Do not confuse the policies of the Israeli governments and Greater Zionism with Judaism.  

          •  And regarding Propaganda ... (none)
            That speech was a huge mistake and in context, as Galloway contends, can be read as praise for the Iraqi peope and not Saddam in particular.

            I know that any conservative politician who flew to Pyongyang and publicly praised "your courage, your strength, your indefatigability" would not receive a charitable "reading" and the benefit of the doubt from the DailyKos community. And I don't believe in suspending the most basic standards of intellectual honesty simply because of a shared opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

            The facts are that Kuwait was part of the province of the old Ottoman Empire. After WW1 the USA encouraged the British and French to rule the area as protectorates.

            Yes, Kuwait was part of the Ottoman Empire. "Iraq" is an artificial historical construct, its borders haphazardly demarcated by the British. Asserting that Kuwait historically belongs to Iraq is rather silly insofar as the sovereign state of Iraq had never included the territory of Kuwait!

            Payments to the family of suicide bombers" were part of Saddam's attempts to engratiate himself with the muslim world.

            And there was no element of anti-semitism to sponsoring the exploding of Jews? By your rationale, I suppose Adolf Hitler was only another aggressive secularist who wanted to ingratiate himself with the Christian world.

            •  You forget (none)
              Any Palestinian action against Israelis is not anti-semitic. Both populations are semites. Equally you should describe the Israeli government's actions against the Palestinians anti-semitic(and far more have been killed by them than Israelis killed by Palestinians)

              You are not the only one to forget their shared genetic inheritance. The Israelis did when they asked the old Apartheid regime in South Africa to develop a strain of a genertically selective virus that the boers were attempting to produce to selectively sterilise "Nie Blankes". The Israelis intended to use it to reduce the birth rate of non-Jews in Israel that threatens  the Jewish majority.

              As for the collective punishment of destroying homes - many live in over crowded areas so to demolish the family apartment of the bomber, the Israelis will flatten an entire block. Even if it is meerely the family home, such punishment meted out on relatives is illegal and, in the Occupied Territories, a war crime. Maybe you would like to propose a similar punishment in the USA. Let's demolish the homes of the kids who did the killing at Columbine High School with all their family's property inside.  If the Caterpillar bulldozer has to run over a few of the neighbors' cars and porches to get at them, too bad.

              I made it clear while paying for rebuilding the homes was a purely propaganda move on Saddam's part. He was not however making a payment for the killing as such, he was paying the families to restore the homes that had been illegal demolished by the Israelis.

              The point is that the south of Iran and Kuwait were part of the same province of the Ottoman empire. Both countries were artificial constructs  after WW1, which is why I used an archaic term to cover both. Considering other regions part of your own country is hardly unique or novel in the region. Exactly the same argument is used by the  "Greater Zionists" when they claim parts of the Occupied Territories are owned by Israel, using the Bible as evidence. Both their and Saddam's claim over Kuwait play on nationalist sentiments in their respective countries.      

                 

              •  you're misusing terms (none)
                The English word "antisemitism" means "prejudice against Jews".  Words in English are not defined by their etymology.  Or are you going to argue that we use all words according to their literal etymology?  If so, the neocons are progressives, because they support change.

                "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                by Delirium on Tue May 17, 2005 at 05:33:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  It is discouraging to see (4.00)
          even here on dKos, the cultural allergy to a society which permits people (and even elected politicians!) to speak out about their opinions, if those opinions should dare to fall outside accepted US conventional wisdom.

          Even here, all unconsciously, it seems the legacy of McCarthy survives. I'm old enough to remember... the poison slopped over into Canada, too, you know. "Oooh, oooh, communists, fellow travellers, pinkos... BAD, BAD, TERRIBLE. Better run away, better shake off the dust, better denounce loudly -- before someone begins to think I might support the devil, too!"

          It survives... I recognize it. But I also recognize Galloway.

          The dKos reactions to him here -- well, some of them -- prove that the US has not had a political left wing for so long, you don't know how to deal with an old-style leftist who doesn't mouth Americans' bullied-in rejection of anything even remotely left.

          In Canada, we got over McCarthyism. It never had quite the hold on us that it did on you, and of course it wasn't as frightening for us, because McCarthy couldn't reach across the border and ruin Canadians for life the way he did in the States.

          To me, Galloway is a colorful politician who has a lot of vigorously held opinions. I don't agree with all of them. I partly agree with some, and strongly agree with some others.

          But whether I agree or not, he has every right to think what he thinks. I'm not going to hurry to disssociate myself from him when he says things I agree with -- better than I could say them -- just because he has other opinions I don't support.

          For what it's worth, I think he's right about Castro having on the whole done very well for his people, given the circumstances, and right about the huge, mostly unreported, tragedy that resulted from the fall of the Soviet Union. I also think the people of Iraq are markedly worse off today than they were under Saddam.

          And I have to stand up and cheer him when he says things like:

          It's Mr. Coleman who's been all over the news and he's a lick-spittle, crazed neocon who is engaged in a witch hunt against all those he perceives to have betrayed the United States in their plan to invade and occupy Iraq.
          Lick-spittle, crazed neocon. How can you not love a man who can turn a phrase like that?

          Massacre is not a family value.

          by Canadian Reader on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:32:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Roast the Straw Men. (2.50)
            I criticized the misrepresentation of a judicial decision and impugned the irresponsible statements of a legislator; in no way did I imply, as you suggest, that Mr. Galloway should not be permitted to utter ludicrous nonsense, nor is my aversion to a man who lauds a Baathist mass-murderer indicative of any such "cultural allergy."

            But I congratulate you for your honesty: you cannot help but "love" a man who denounced "lick-spittle, crazed neocons". This is a fundamental problem. Pat Buchanan, Kim Jong Il and Osama Bin Laden also rant and rave against neoconservative imperialism, but I submit to you that they deserve neither our recognition nor our respect. We are defined not only by the enemies we designate, but by the company we keep, and I'll maintain a healthy distance from those who denounce one mass-murderer while endorsing others. The right-wingers love guilt by association; it is how they strangled unions, progressives and the peace movement during the Cold War, and it will be how they strive to restore their political hegemony with their fabricated "War on Terrorism." By finding our champions in Stalinists like Galloway, we both facilitate and validate their accusations. And I'd rather not whittle away our prospects for reclaiming America by embracing a British demagogue with a fondness for Saddam.

            •  Mishimishi (none)
              Thanks for the unexplained and unsubstantiated troll-rating, "mishimishi." At DailyKos, dissenting viewpoints are typically rationally debated, rather than reflexively down-rated. But as you have proven yourself a troll, I will be happy to subject a few of your deserving posts to the same treatment. Meanwhile, please pick up a dictionary, string some words together, and try to come up with a counterpoint.
            •  Guilt by association. Exactly. (none)
              You're still terrified of it.

              With some reason -- your current right-wingers are the political descendants of McCarthy. They are, in fact, more powerful than him, more dangerous, and much less scrupulous.

              All the same, you shouldn't internalize their attacks and timidly censor your own thoughts for fear they might accuse you. That is admitting defeat before any contest begins. What you have to do is attack back. Attack their smear tactics of "guilt by association". Call them the slimy bastards they are. Galloway is setting you an example: courage pays.

              As for me, I'm Canadian, so I don't have to be afraid of Coleman and his ilk. I can admire Galloway for the times when he's right, without having to tremble that someone fearsomely powerful might accuse me of agreeing with all his opinions.

              I can even applaud Pat Buchanan when he calls the administration on its BS, although in other respects I think he's a total lunatic. As for Kim Jong Il and Osama bin Laden... I call strawman on those. You threw them in to be rude. You can't justify comparing Galloway to them by throwing around the pejorative "Stalinist". Why not call him a commie traitor, and Unamerican into the bargain? Don't be deterred by the fact that he's British.

              When someone says something brave and true, and says it well, I don't feel I have to bite my tongue for fear of someone tarring me with guilt by association.

              You do, and I feel sorry for you.

              Massacre is not a family value.

              by Canadian Reader on Tue May 17, 2005 at 04:52:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  He was NOT (4.00)
      a supporter of Saddam.  He was, however, a supporter of lifting sanctions on Iraq under the Hussein regime.  He has a recorded history of opposition to the Hussein regime which supporting the Iraqi people.  Big difference.

      The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

      by RenaRF on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:45:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nothing "leftist" about that. (4.00)

        I'm a f***ing Republican (temporarily in exile as my party has been hijacked by nazis) and I was a supporter of lifting sanctions on everything but direct military equipment.  They were useless and inhumane and did nothing but impovrish Iraqis, breed hate and kill innocents.  
        •  Come... Join us... (none)
          Make the exile permanent.  :-)  Truthfully, I think that a great deal of centrist Democrats and moderate Republicans are closer to one another than either realizes.  It IS possible to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal in either party.  :-D

          The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

          by RenaRF on Tue May 17, 2005 at 03:41:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And you'll find this interesting (none)
          that you are the fourth person who has identified him/herself as a "disenfranchised Republican" that I've encountered this week alone.  I can't speak for you, but the other three are lifelong Republicans who are truly distressed as the Republican party's pander to the far right fringes of the party.  Do you think many like you are equally frustrated?  Just curious.

          The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

          by RenaRF on Tue May 17, 2005 at 03:44:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Logical Fallacy (4.00)
      Saying Galloway "supported Sadam" is moronic. Opposition to one policy does not impy tacit endorsement of another, or didn't you manage to get through composition II?

      "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

      by Tod Westlake on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:52:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Moronic" ... (2.00)
        So travelling to Baghdad and acclaiming Saddam Hussein for "your courage, your strength, your indefatigability" does not imply tacit endorsement of his regime?

        Did you also flunk Composition II, or do you simply enjoy undertaking absurd logical contortions on behalf of a Stalinist?

        •  Children (4.00)
          We'll have to stop the car and go home if you keep this up.

          This aggression will not stand, man

          by kaleidescope on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:24:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Stalin 101 (none)
          I would say all three of those qualities apply to Saddam Hussein, in spades.

          He stood up to the US Imperial War Machine, he managed to hang on to power for decades (most of the time being propped up by the US, or had you forgotten that part), and as for being indefagitable, the man had the tenacity of a deer tick.

          Admiring Saddam's guile has nothing to do with endorsing his policies, especially when one believes that that your own government is wrong. Or is decrying the death of 500,000 children a Stalinist principle?

          Maybe I missed that in Stalin 101.

          Speaking of whom, what a lovely man. Wish we had a few more genocidal maniacs in positions of power these days.

          Oh, wait.

          "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

          by Tod Westlake on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:37:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, yes. (none)
            Because flying to Baghdad a few years after Saddam Hussein mounted a murderous invasion of a sovereign nation in order to publicly express your appreciation for his strength, his courage and his resolution was simply intended as an objective and nonpartisan statement of fact.

            Even a Freeper would blanch at that illogic.

            But even that is a paradigm of rational reasoning compared to the supposition that follows: by criticizing a man who flies to Baghdad in order to publicly praise the peerless determination of a genocidal tyrant, I am implying that opposing the sanctions was Stalinist. After all, Galloway did both, so if I oppose one action, I must oppose the other, right? Well, George W. Bush invaded Iraq; he also promised billions of dollars in AIDS relief to Africa. Did you oppose the invasion of Iraq? Then you clearly want millions of Africans to suffer and die, you murderous racist! See how easy that was?

            And to think that you prefaced all this laughable nonsense by questioning a poster's level of education ...

            •  Here's One (none)
              Tom DeLay is shrewd, intelligent, and relentless. This, of course, should be taken to mean that I support everything he does.

              Sheesh.

              Wanna try another?

              "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

              by Tod Westlake on Tue May 17, 2005 at 02:05:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Unbelievable. (none)
                If you travel with Delay's blessing to Sugarland, Texas, and publicly announce before cheering throngs of Delay supporters that you applaud his strength, courage and resolution, then yes, I posit that you would be endorsing Tom Delay.

                "Composition II" is immaterial. Most prepubescent children would consider this axiomatic.

                •  I Never Left Puberty (none)
                  Galloway wanted to embarrass the Labour Government, plain and simple. I'd say he succeeded. Galloway is also a Marxist, as was, shockingly, the Baath Party. There just might be a correlation between those two points.

                  And how many times has Bush hosted a despot in the White House, or at his Potemkin ranch? Musharaf? Karimov? The list goes on and on.

                  FDR once said that Somoza was our bastard, as Somoza slaughtered thousands of people in the name of corporate America. You should really read Smedley Butler's take on this, if you've never done so. This country has a long history of apologizing for the behavior of tyrants.

                  Anyway, if you're saying that no one should have cozied up to Saddam, I'm with you, and you could say that Galloway was an idiot for having pulled that particular stunt, and it was a stunt. But if you're saying that it's okay for the US, or the Brits, to get in bed with authoritarians when it suits our national interest, but not MP Galloway, then you've lost me.

                  I can understand if you're being a purist, even if I think you're tilting at windmills. Two wrongs don't make a right, as the saying goes.

                  I'm sorry I insulted your education, by the way. I was out of line for having done so. You're clearly more erudite than I thought.

                  What say we call a truce and stay away from the ad hominem attacks? I will if you will ;)

                  "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

                  by Tod Westlake on Tue May 17, 2005 at 04:20:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Conciliation It Is ... (none)
                    George W. Bush entertains despots because of his supernatural ability to gaze into the eyes of murderers and "read their souls," and because friendly despots will happily douse suspected terrorists in acid as the right-wing punditocracy sings odes to freedom. Frankly, I expect no better from the tin-pot totalitarians of the G.O.P. I've always found Roosevelt's aphorism repulsive; that mentality guided American foreign policy during the Cold War, and we provided diplomatic and political cover for genocidal tyrants in Guatemala, El Salvador and throughout the so-called "Third World." The enemy of our enemy is not always our friend, and as intelligent and conscientious progressives, we should remember it even when the neoconservative cabal in Washington forgets.

                    Otherwise, my harping on "Composition II" wasn't intended as an insult to your intelligence, just a snide reference to a turn-of-phrase that I found patently inappropriate (though it had been directed against another poster). For what it's worth, I do understand your sentiments, and any vitriol in my statements is probably attributable to my distress that a Stalinist British MP has delivered a more effective rebuke to the Bush administration in a half hour than our Democrats have managed in four years. It was a brilliant performance from a deeply disreputable character. But discrediting the Bush administration is only half the battle, and our success on that front is well represented in any present public opinion poll -- our task is now to present a credible alternative. George Galloway lamenting the fall of the Soviet Union and offering homage to a murderous dictator is not a credible and appealing alternative; and even if he turns people away from neoconservatism, he will not turn them towards us.

                    •  I Still Think You're in Error (none)
                      Galloway's constituents just re-elected him by a very healthy margin, so I can't see what the problem is. And I think calling him a Stalinist is disingenuous if not outright mendacious. Being a Marxist (such as Galloway), or having Marxist leanings (such as myself) doesn't make you a Stalin lover. It's quite insulting and is yet another logical fallacy, that of guilt by association, though how Galloway could be associated with Stalin, who died when Galloway was a child, is beyond me.

                      Did Galloway get up and say, "Geez, that Uncle Joe, what a mensch," or "Boy, Saddam's gassing of the Kurds sure was neato?" No, he did not. He said Saddam was standing up to the imperialist West, and he admired him for doing so. The reference to Jerusalem in that speech was clearly directed at the awful situation in Israel/Palestine.

                      What happened to disagreeing with what a man says, but defending to the death his right to say it?

                      I think you're being way too hard on Galloway, and since neither of us (I'm assuming) can be considered an expert on British politics, perhaps we can give him the benefit of the doubt, or at least a modicum of such.

                       

                      "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

                      by Tod Westlake on Tue May 17, 2005 at 05:57:01 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  My Reasoning ... (none)
                        George Galloway won re-election with 35.9% of the vote, compared to 34.0% from his nearest competitor. I wouldn't call that a healthy margin; indeed, it is roughly equivalent to George W. Bush's victory over John Kerry on November 2. Moreover, Galloway mobilized his "constituents" in a community heavily composed of conservative Muslims by appealing to militant sexism and anti-semitism, proliferating photographs of his opponent Oona King, a black woman of the Jewish faith, in a revealing dress; she was later pelted with eggs while attending a service commemorating the Holocaust. Forgive me if that doesn't inspire confidence.

                        George Galloway traveled to Baghdad with the blessing of Saddam Hussein and acclaimed his host for his strength, courage and resolution in resisting the West while asserting that Saddam Hussein was historically justified in invading Kuwait and referring to the thousands of Shi'ites purged and murdered by the dictator in the early 1990's as a domestic "fifth column" who had undermined the Iraqi state. You've likened this astounding partisanship on behalf of a genocidal tyrant to an objective assessment that, for all of Saddam's faults, he was certainly determined. Would you be similarly charitable if Condoleeza Rice flew to Pyongyang and praised Kim Jong Il for his strength, courage and indefatigability?

                        "What happened to disagreeing with what a man says, but defending to the death his right to say it?"

                        I have criticized the substance of Galloway's remarks; in no way have I implied that Galloway should be legally prohibited from making them. Neoconservatives love changing an argument about the merits of a position into a dramatic struggle for the right to free speech; it's a way of sidestepping an inconvenient truth, and I don't think this aphorism has any place in our discussion.

                        •  And Mine . . . (none)
                          "Would you be similarly charitable if Condoleeza Rice flew to Pyongyang and praised Kim Jong Il for his strength, courage and indefatigability?"

                          No, of course not. Condaleeza Rice is secretary of state, and acts at behest of the president. That would be treason. If the president requested it, however, then that would be perfectly legal, if idiotic.

                          George Galloway, however, was never anything more than a back-bencher who was far from being trusted in the role of foreign minister, as Rice should never have been trusted in the role after her abysmal preformance as NSA. I can't remember Galloway's exact cabinet title but it was something akin to "Minister of Silly Walks."

                          As to Galloway's comments regarding Saddam's murderous rampage against the Shia, do you have a link to the speech? I would like to re-read it within the context it was given. I had one earlier but can't seem to locate it now.

                          Here's a quote from Galloway regarding Stalin:

                          "I am on the anti-imperialist left." The Stalinist left? "I wouldn't define it that way because of the pejoratives loaded around it; that would be making a rod for your own back. 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. If there was a Soviet Union today, we would not be having this conversation about plunging into a new war in the Middle East, and the US would not be rampaging around the globe."

                          Not a condemnation, but not an endorsement, either. The reporter should have asked him if he stopped beating his wife, as well.

                          As to the fall of the Soviet Union, Galloway echoes my feelings that a unipolar world, or a with a single superpower, results in "excesses" on the part of that superpower. I, too, sometimes long for the simplicity of the Cold War. Without the Soviets to keep this country's military busy overseas, our right-wing nuts are now looking for new targets, including their fellow citizens.

                          Apparently you know more than I do about the kind of campaign Galloway waged. If what you say is true, then he should be ashamed of himself.

                          As for the bon mot from Voltaire, I was referring to Galloway's speech in Iraq. What Galloway did was no more repugnant than Tom DeLay's undermining of support for the air war in Kosovo. The ugly precedent has already been set, I'm afraid, and neither man did anything illegal, respectively.

                          If you have any suggestions on how to get the genie back in the bottle, other than wishful thinking, I'm all ears.

                          "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

                          by Tod Westlake on Tue May 17, 2005 at 07:39:30 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Some More Thoughts (none)
                            The Independent, among other publications, has cited Galloway's description of Saddam's Shi'ite victims as a domestic "fifth column," and that newspaper is hardly a right-wing rag; as for context. I'm glad you agree that acclaiming Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang would be "perfectly legal, if idiotic," which happens to be exactly my assessment of Galloway's conduct.

                            Otherwise, I would posit that Galloway's nostalgia for the Cold War is unfounded; irrespective of vagueries about "moral clarity," the world objectively suffered far more under the subversions of the competing Eastern and Western blocs than it has under the neoconservatives of the Bush administration. As many as a million Koreans and over three million Vietnamese perished in utterly unnecessary wars instigated by fanatics who conflated nationalism and an international Communist conspiracy. We supported Guatemalan military dictatorships politically and financially as they butchered 200,000 in a campaign of genocide waged against the country's indigenous peoples; after all, they were conducting a "counter-insurgency" against elusive "Communist guerillas" in the countryside. And then you could discuss the tens of millions murdered by Stalin and the hundreds of millions who languished in peonage throughout Eastern Europe over the ensuing half-century.

                            I suppose Galloway could also lament the demise of Nazism and the end of World War II, insofar as the post-war era marked the end of a cooperative relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States. Somehow, I don't think a British politician who referred to the defeat of Nazi Germany as the "biggest catastrophe of his life" would be afforded the benefit of the doubt. But, of course, there is the matter of context. I can assume Galloway was merely speculating in an interview with a reporter in Britain; had he traveled to Moscow, however, to praise a murderous Stalinist in person -- which is essentially what he did in Baghdad -- that would be infinitely more reprehensible.

                  •  the Baath party was not particularly Marxist (none)
                    They used the word "Socialist", but more in keeping with "National Socialism" than Marxism.  They are/were hardline nationalists with strict party discipline and ruthless paramilitary security services.

                    "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                    by Delirium on Tue May 17, 2005 at 05:40:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  One last thing (none)
                  Does one need a visa to cross the Texas border?

                  "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

                  by Tod Westlake on Tue May 17, 2005 at 04:42:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  And Which.... (none)
          ... anonymous, gutless coward zero-rated my comment? Tell me, do you derive some sort of onanistic pleasure from nixing points you cannot refute with the click of a mouse?
          •  That was mishimishi -- (none)
            ...who should stop it, right now.

            It's bad form to zero-rate a comment because you disagree with it. Bad manners, too. When people have been here long enough to become a Trusted User with the power to zero-rate, they are supposed to know at least this much about the culture at dKos.

            On this thread, I agree with what mishimishi has been saying, a lot more than I agree with you. But I have to say that he or she is abusing the ratings system.

            Massacre is not a family value.

            by Canadian Reader on Tue May 17, 2005 at 06:15:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Why the Low Ratings? (4.00)
      Whether or not you agree with UpstateNY Dem, I don't think it is fair to give him a rating of 1.  That rating, the old "Troll" rating, now stands for "Unproductive."  But whatever definition it is you are using to rate, I think it is not logical to rate his comment as either trollish or unproductive.

      His facts are accurate, as far as I'm aware of Galloway's politics.  Now, you may or may not agree with the fact that Galloway isn't a very good guy.  But, agreement or disagreement, as far as I understand it, is not a reason to rate someone so low.  

      If you disagree with someone, it is better, I think, to craft a response rather than rate them low.  Investigate and counter his facts, if you see a hole in his argument.  But don't troll-rate him out of disagreement.

      •  Agreed. (4.00)
        Think hard before you troll rate, kids.

        In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

        by ablington on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:01:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (4.00)
        In this instance nothing less than a 2 is warranted. There was no attempt to bait, or belittle, and there was no obscene taunting. 0 and 1 should be reserved for troglodytes, racists, anti-Semites, and sociopaths.
      •  Agreed. (4.00)
        I call bullshit on the troll ratings.

        I deliberately do not check to see WHO is troll rating, lest my righteousw disdain for inappropriate troll rating be tempered by my possible friendship or camaraderie with any of the offending raters.

        SHAME on you for troll rating this Kossack. He has a fucking opinion that differes from yours or is misinformed -- so fucking DEBATE him. Troll rating comments solely because you disagree with them is chickenshit.

        Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

        by Maryscott OConnor on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:14:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  p.s. (none)
          The 1 is now "unproductive." That's the lowest possible rating upstate deserves, people.

          Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

          by Maryscott OConnor on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:16:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes indeed (4.00)
          A troll is someone who posts the contrary view just to be an ass.

          There is an important discussion taking place here, and what a shame it would be if it got wasted because the original comment got troll-rated into oblivion.

          Yes, Galloway said the fall of the Soviet Union was a tragedy.  And the context in which he said it was that the USSR used to be a check on American imperialism, and now there's no one to fill that role.

          Yes, Galloway was chummy with Saddam.  He explained it in the hearing today:  His goal was to end suffering and sanctions, while Rumsfeld was chummy with Saddam to sell him guns.  Agree or disagree that he acted appropriately - but there's definitely a context there.

          Yes, Galloway referred to the race of the Blair supporter he defeated in the election and said that she had caused the deaths of Iraqis "blacker than she was."  And it was in the context of a very iffy question from a reporter who suggested that Galloway shouldn't have run against this person simply because she was a black female.

          There are real issues here, they deserve discussion, and there is probably more depth to the issues than I have given them in this post.  But that's why we have an open dialogue.  How can we ever have a useful discussion like this, if the first person to suggest that Galloway is less than a saint gets troll-rated away without discussion?

        •  1= unproductive (none)
          Only about 200 people can "troll-rate" or whatever it's called now. I can't tell anymore.

          I used to be more careful about how I rated, especially the down rates. But since TU status is so hard to get now, I thankfully don't need to care anymore about getting into ratings wars. THATS GOOD. I'm not self-censoring.

          So lighten up MSOC, and enjoy passing out the low marks.

          Should this poster get 0's. Absolutely not. You are correct about that, as I would hate to miss the follow-on commentary. But to give this poster a 4 to balance the 0's suggests that you agree with the poster. A 3 is called for when you don't agree but defend the right to say whatever.

      •  Very Well (none)
        I re-rated his comments a "2," and only because this seems to be the current Zeitgeist here at Kos.

        I would like to point out, however, that UpstateNYDem's argument is entirely fallacious, and should, therefore, be dismissed out of hand.

        This would qualify as "unproductive," in my opinion, seeing as it would jumbo waste o' time to argue a point which has no basis in fact.

        "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

        by Tod Westlake on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:10:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it has a basis in fact (none)
          I just think that when you look at the overall context, that factual basis goes away for the most part.

          In my judgment, the majority of the accusations against Galloway are unfair, but that doesn't mean they're all complete fiction.  The concept is for people to look at the full picture and make up their own minds, and in that sense, I think this discussion has been VERY productive.  A lot of people are a lot closer to understanding who the heck George Galloway is.

      •  Strongly Disagree (none)
        The views expressed are biased hogwash calculated to provoke a response.  As I said elsewhere, the poster is lucky he doesn't have to read my recipe for borscht.

        The Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

        by DanielMN on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:26:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So what? Is he right or is he right? (none)
      Or do we vet everyone for everything they ever said before we listen to what they're saying right this second?
    •  Cajun Cracker Cod (2.50)
      Take a half-cup of oyster crackers per fish and put into a freezer storage bag. Add cayanne pepper, seasoned salt, paprika, lemon zest and garlic salt, in small amounts. Close bag and crush crackers into a fine powder. Shake until contents are well mixed. Brush cod fillets with olive oil and coat with crumb mix shake-and-bake style. Pan fry in butter and olive oil for five minutes over medium to medium high heat. Serves one per 4-8 oz fillet.

      Goes well with mashed potatoes or brown rice, and with a green veggie such as brocolli or (my favorite) brussels sprouts.

    •  That sounds a lot like... (none)
      Bush senior. And don't get me started on Bush Jr.'s love of Putin. Galloway may be out there, but he has more balls than most of our pathetic Congress.
    •  the fall of the ussr (none)
      was a tragedy. consider the civil wars, death, destruction, gangsterism, drug and sex traffic-ing that have resulted. in fact if the ussr still existed i would bet everything i own that the gulf war, the present iraq war and 9/11 would never have occurred.

      yes, it is quite easy to sit comfortably in our quiet cubicles and homes in the u.s. and say good ridance to the ussr.

    •  What difference did Galloway make? (none)
      Zero, in my opinion. Enjoying his show doesn't bring back Stalin's horror. Getting emotional about his pro-Soviet talk is, frankly, not meaningful. There is no more Soviet to overcome.

      Now, about Saddam. I hated Saddam. I really did. I was convinced the UN sanction was a great thing to do. I was waiting for Saddam to collapse. Am I any better than Galloway?  No way. I failed to see the suffering of Iraqis under the embargo.  

      So, let's enjoy the show. Those Senators who thoght they had a nice catch in Galloway are fools. They can't even handle the stupid, leftist, fringe politician.  They deserve far, far less.

    •  Who's your Daddy Mr.. Coleman (none)
      Earlier I described Galloway appearance as coming out and saying I am Rick James Bitch, and than preceeding to bend Coleman and the Bush adminstration over the table and doing them doggie style as Coleman screamed your my daddy. No I might not agree with what Galloway has said and done in the past but it was great to see someone, anyone stand up to the rethugs and to tell the truth on the lies about the war and all the smoke screens that they put up to try to keep us from finding out and telling the truth. It made my morning to watch this live and for one of the few times to hear truth spoken in the hallowed senate walls.

      Tom DeLay is a slimy snake!! Frist is just a snake!! Dubya does not have the brains of a snake!!

      by retLT on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:18:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Saddam Supporters like... (none)
      Oh.. George Bush Sr?
      Like oh say.. Ronald Reagan?

      Supporters of the Soviets? Well you can bet right now a large portion of the world wishes there were a counter to the US.

      Whatcha say we list supporters of Osama Bin Ladin?
      Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr, and a whole lot of prominent dems and republicans.

      Or how about supporters of the people who funded (and continue to fund) Al Qaeda. The Saudi Royal family.. Bush's buddies. How about the people who helped get the Bin Ladin family out of the US when americans werent allowed to fly? Like.. the white house.

      Thats the difference between British (Parliamentary) democracy and our sham democracy. They have politicians of every stripe. Politicians who represent all parts of the spectrum.

      If you want to post trollworthy propaganda you're going to have to get used to that big giant list of Zeroes...

      The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

      by cdreid on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:26:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you in favor of the war? (none)
      This is the exact same comment you made on an earlier diary, also in the first slot.

      What is your dog in this hunt?

      Seriously, are you saying you are in favor of the war? Why should we look up to you? What would you have preferred the outcome to be? Allow the Republican script to go by unchallenged.

      Please don't bring up Tim McVeigh again as you did on the other thread, in case you feel obliged to respond.

    •  You Say He Supported Saddam (none)
      But did he? Do you know that, or do you believe that because you were told that, the same as Americans were told John Kerry was some kind of VN criminal?

      He says he did not support Saddam. What's your proof? What's your basis other than the insinuation of news "commentators?"

      •  well, his own book praises Saddam (none)
        It also says Saddam was justified in murdering thousands of Shi'ites because they opposed him, and justified in invading Kuwait because it really should have been part of Iraq anyway.

        "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

        by Delirium on Tue May 17, 2005 at 05:42:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, But... (none)
          While I wouldn't praise Hussein, nor any invader or invasion of a country under such terms... Iraq did have a valid claim to Kuwait insofar as any such claim can be considered valid. Kuwait was carved off by the Brits and a puppet emirate put in place. And the Kuwaitis were not content with the oil on their land, they were drilling diagonally under the border into Iraq's.

          That absolutely still does not justify invasion, and I'll look into Galloway's comments. But if a Democratic politician said some such thing in a way aligned with the views that the Democratic Party espoused... Such as, say, Native American land claims are moot whether the treaties clearly say otherwise or not... Then he would coast. (As Spitzer has on that issue.) Galloway is not an American politician. His views on Saddam reflected the view of his constituents... Those in Europe more apt to be sympathetic to the Palestinians then the Israelis for example, and let us not forget that many of the people in his district who vote for him are Arab. Politicians have a responsibility not only to their own conscience but to representing their constituent's views.

          Doesn't mean I agree. I don't like authoritarian societies (British Labour does though.) Doesn't mean I want him for President. But I'm sure that was euphamistic on the part of the poster who suggested that.

  •  Smilin' Norm gets his (4.00)
    Galloway has made me actually laugh at a couple of times.  His attacks on the Neocon movements and the justification of going to war have been incredible.  Where are the speakers like this in our government.
  •  Ah, Galloway has been black-balled by many (4.00)
    He didn't have any more meetings with Saddam than Rumsfeld did...

    I have no idea whether he received any oil options or not - but he is definitely defending himself well. And I don't think the US Talking Points Mafia really like the fact that he's gotten this big a platform for his point of view.

    "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

    by SteinL on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:02:30 AM PDT

  •  It's live on CNN? (none)
    I tried to find a live audio or video feed online.
    CSPAN, Senate website, etc. No dice. I'm in MN, can't stand Coleman, and would love to see this.
  •  It's on European CNN live now - as well as... (4.00)
    ... other European channels.

    Hmmm - truly a shame if this is not showing in the US. (Probably got pulled once he began firing away at the committee)

    "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

    by SteinL on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:05:53 AM PDT

  •  Found it. (none)
    Live feed here:

    http://www.capitolhearings.org/

    Scroll down to the "SD-106" link:

    Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Investigations Subcommittee

    To resume hearings to examine the United Nations'Oil-for-Food Program, the illegal surcharges paid on Iraqi oil sales, and the nature and extent of the 2003 Khor al-Amaya incident.

    •  That Galloway is a mighty fine Brit (4.00)
      From your BBC link:

      In a combative performance before a senate committee, the British MP accused the US lawmakers of being "cavalier" with justice.

      He said: "I am not now nor have I ever been an oil trader and neither has anyone on my behalf."

      [snip]

      Mr Galloway, who travelled to Washington in a bid to clear his name, went on the offensive from the beginning of his testimony.

      He said he had met Saddam Hussein on two occasions - the same number of times as US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

      [snip]

      "The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and maps - the better to target those guns.  I met him to try to bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war," he said.

      The biggest sanctions busters were American companies "with the connivance" of the US government.

      Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshall

      by bronte17 on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:58:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Recommend! (4.00)
    Get this on the Recommended list. Everyone needs to be listening to this.

    Galloway is going to eat this committee alive.

    The New Deal is dead. We're getting the Raw Deal, instead.

    by Ghidra99 on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:09:25 AM PDT

  •  Coleman is (4.00)
    a first-rate, suckass, full-out moron.

    In addition, he's a traitor.

    Most importantly, he's a one-termer.

  •  Holy Shit Sherlock (4.00)
    I flicked on the tele for just a second and was amazed by ths guy.

    Talk about the courage of your convictions!

    The administration will rue the day they tried to bring charges against Galloway! Who is saying look in your own backyard, before you start tossing stones!

    My new hero!

    It makes our Senators look like wet noodles!

    And best of all........the media thought they had him, and were waiting to watch him squirm so they are covering his words of truth!!!! Hooray!  We get to see it on TV! Yeeeeeehhhhhaaaawww!

    spin positive... inspire change

    by missliberties on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:14:47 AM PDT

  •  This was a blow-up for the Repubs (4.00)
    Galloway came off well.

    He was given a platform to voice views that rarely are heard. He attacked the credibility of the evidence of the sub-committee, he charged the US with an illegal war, he undercut many accusations against him, he was never flustered and he managed to come off strong against them.

    "Everything they have accused him of is based on a pack of lies."

    And he attacked America and Congress with crimes against Iraq and the world. He also compared his two meetings with Hussein with Rumsfeld's two meetings with Saddam.
    He condemned Saddam Hussein, and showed to the record of his previous charges against Hussein. He claimed that Rumsfeld was a lot more chummy with Saddam than he ever was.

    "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

    by SteinL on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:15:04 AM PDT

    •  Exactamundo! (4.00)
      Norm got exposed as an empty suit.

      The press will try to bury this or spin this, but we can stop their spin in its tracks if we act NOW.

      Remember, we were able to pre-emptively stop their spin on the Bush-Kerry debates.

      If we get our letters out now, we can do the same here.

      Local Minnesota paper e-mails:

      opinion@startribune.com
      letters@pioneerpress.com

      National:

      letters@nytimes.com
      letters@washpost.com
      letters@latimes.com

      You know what to do.

    •  question time (none)

      The britts are a lot better than our senators at taking tough questions and talking in the face of confrontation, because their parliament is a lot more rambunctious than out senate.  Our guys are out of their league with the someone like him because he has to face hostile adversarys directly every time he walks into parliament.
  •  Aren't we forgetting (3.57)
    that Ahmed Chalabi was running a forgery factory in Iraq when he got arrested by the Iraqis earlier last year?  I read that he was busy trying to manufacture evidence against his enemies implicating them in all sorts of malfeasance, including the oil for food program smuggling.
    •  Exactly! (none)
      Remember, we were able to pre-emptively stop their spin on the Bush-Kerry debates.

      If we get our letters out now, we can do the same here.

      Local Minnesota paper e-mails:

      opinion@startribune.com
      letters@pioneerpress.com

      National:

      letters@nytimes.com
      letters@washpost.com
      letters@latimes.com

      You know what to do.

    •  Galloway (4.00)
      raised that point specifically in an indictment of the US-installed "puppet government".  He also used strong words indicating that US intelligence gathered from detainees is fundamentally invalid because of a) the US' past record with intelligence; and b) the US' documented methods for obtaining information from detainees.

      The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

      by RenaRF on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:56:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  its hard to know (none)
      I never liked the guy, but we don't know exactly what chalabi was doing in iraq because once he fell out of favor I wouldn't put it past bremmer et all from setting him up.
  •  Let's hope C-Span puts this up... (none)
    ... it truly deserves to be seen in full by people who missed it. I'll keep an eye out for whether BBC or other outlets here in Europe post the video.

    "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

    by SteinL on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:22:16 AM PDT

  •  Gratulerer med dagen, forresten! (none)

    Equally smart, more cosmopolitan, less crowded: join Booman Tribune!

    by Sirocco on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:25:54 AM PDT

  •  is it over? n/t (none)

    Let the Democratic Reformation Begin

    by Pounder on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:30:43 AM PDT

    •  Sounds like it /nt (none)
      •  No Not Over But Off (4.00)
        CNN

        I think Galloway is AMAZING and never in my life did I think anyone would ever stand up to the neocons bastard scum like THAT.

        He is a freakin hero and Coleman is the proud possesser of a brand new asshole.

        This is exactly what I thought the people who stood up to McCarthy must have sounded like.

        Never saw Galloway before but he is a freakin hero today.

        He's kickin' SERIOUS ass today.

        OMFG!

        I am gonna get the transcript of this and frame it.

        You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

        by mattman on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:44:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  why can't an American do that? (3.00)
          stand up for himself and tell us what's really on his mind?  That's what Americans used to be known for.  

          Now, look at the politicians in Washington, and elsewhere in the USA.  A pretty sorry lot.  

  •  Al Franken is playing long clips right now (4.00)
    on Air America.

    Rah!

    •  Is there anything here Franken can use (none)
      in a couple of years in his campaign ads against Coleman?

      The public wants what the public gets, but I don't get what this society wants -- Paul Weller

      by jamfan on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:43:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure Al can find something (none)
        He's good that way. And Coleman's such an empty suit that he'll be an easy mark.

        Is there anything here Franken can use in a couple of years in his campaign ads against Coleman?
  •  From a Diary I deleted (this one came first) (4.00)
    The hearing, spearheaded by Norm Coleman and entitled "Oil For Influence: How Saddam Used Oil To Reward Politicians and Terrorist Entities Under the United Nations Oil For Food Programme", is taking place today.  George Galloway stands accused of receiving monies for oil vouchers granted to him by the Hussein regime due to his stance on lifting then-existing sanctions against Iraq.

    Galloway and his Respect party has maintained consistently that the documents which mention MP Galloway by name were and are forgeries.  Although I have yet to locate an online copy of the documents in question, Mr. Galloway contends that his name was inserted into the document, that the typeface as well as the color of his name are different than other writing on the same line, and that his name appears on an angle as though inserted after-the-fact and then photocopied.  Moreover, Mr. Galloway has some support for his claim of forgery.  At least one individual, Sajad Ahmad Ali, claims to have been involved in the forgery itself.

    I don't know whether or not Mr. Galloway has participated materially in the oil-for-food scandal.  In his opening statement before Norm Coleman's committee, however, he vociferously defended himself and turned the argument around to place blame squarely at the feet of the American Government, the Senate, and Corporate stakeholders such as Halliburton.

    I don't have the full transcript of MP Galloway's opening statement to the Senate yet.  When I have it, I will post a link.  His statement did, however, stop me in my tracks.  He pulled no punches and took the offense against his accusers.  The BBC has published a few quotes from that statement which I will include forthwith:

    "The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and maps - the better to target those guns. I met him to try to bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war," he said.

    The accusations levelled against him was the "mother of all smokescreens", he said.

    The biggest sanctions busters were American companies "with the connivance" of the US government.

    From Reuters:

    "I'm not going there to change the minds of the committee, but to appeal to public opinion and to show just how absurd this report is," he said. "Justice George Bush style ... is what I expect from the right-wing hawks in Washington."

    Galloway levelled scathing criticism at the "neocons" in the Senate and the Bush Administration and hotly declared that the so-called evidence against him, obtained from former Huseein regime officials currently being held at Guantanemo, Abu Ghraib and Bagram Air Base  was false.  Moreover, he stated that information received from detainees was completely invalid because of the track record of the US for treatment of detainees.  He further implied that any intelligence gathered by the US was immediately suspect because of its well-known habit of getting intelligence patently wrong.

    As I said above, I'll post a full transcript as an update to this diary when I receive it.  I think all of can take a lesson in speaking truth to power from Mr. Galloway's opening statement - it was, in sum, a blistering indictment filled with incredulity that he stands accused when the "real" perpetrators of war crimes in Iraq are the US Administration with the complicity of Congress and the Corporations that have benefitted from the war in Iraq.  Also worth noting is that MP Galloway has been an outspoken opponent to the war and his testimony invoked an undertone of being targeted, along with French and Russian officials, for this very oppostition.

    The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

    by RenaRF on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:38:34 AM PDT

  •  By far the most important (4.00)
    story of the day.

    The criticism of US Republican Senators by a British politician in a prominent forum is the opening for us to force the Downing Street documents down the throats of America's citizens.

    They F***ED UP big time, tee hee.

  •  Damn, I missed it. (none)
    Has it been recorded anywhere?  I'd love to hear it.  <G>  I'd really like it if they replay the video of it somewhere.  I want to see Coleman's face.

    The descriptions sound just delicious.  Couldn't have happened to a nastier person.

    One-issue voters get what they deserve.

    by Heiuan on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:48:50 AM PDT

      •  Dayum (none)
        Oh, my Great God....THAT was an ass whoopin...

        One-issue voters get what they deserve.

        by Heiuan on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:57:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  WOW.... I transcribed this segment: (4.00)
        Galloway:

        It's a proven fact, it's a proven fact these forged documents existed and were being circulated amongst right wing newspapers, in Baghdad, and around the world, in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Iraqi regime.

        Now Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life's blood to try to stop the mass killings of the Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq, which killed a million Iraqis, most of them children. Most of them died before they even knew they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis, with the misfortune to be born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you (from) committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies.

        I told the world, that Iraq, contrary to your claims, did not have weapons of mass destruction.

        I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to Al Qaeda.

        I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11, 2001.

        I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

        Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, i turned out to be right, and you turned out to be wrong, and 100,00 people have paid with their lives, 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies. 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever, on a pack of lies. If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, whose dissmissal you demanded;

        if the world had listened to President Shirak, who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor;

        if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, We would not be in the disaster that we're in today.      

        Senator this is the mother of all smokes screens.

        You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth

        Have a look at the real oil-for-food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months, when 8.8 billion dollars of Iraq's wealth went missing, on your watch.

        Have a look at Haliburton and the other American corporations, that stole not only Iraq's money, but the money of the American taxpayer.    
        Have a look at the oil that you didn't even meter, that you were shipping out of the country and selling, the proceeds of which went who knows where.

        Have a look at the 800 million dollars, you gave to American military commanders, to hand out around the country, without even counting it or weighing it.

        Have a look at the real scandal breaking in the newspapers today, revealed in the * testimony in this committee, that the biggest sanctions busters were not me or Russian politicians, or French politicians, the real sanctions busters were your own companies with the connivance of your own government.

        •  He then commenced to bat down ... (none)
          ... every question sent him by the committee.

          Strong and forceful - and Coleman has some explaining to do, as he must have thought he had easy roadkill to dispose of today.

          "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

          by SteinL on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:01:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Anybody (4.00)
    read the Democratic Members of the committee report on this whole Oil For Food thing?

    http://hsgac.senate.gov/_files/REPORTwchartsIllegalSurchargesKhoralAmayaFINAL.pdf

    It centers around the US role in this whole thing but more specifically a company called Bayoil

    Here is an excerpt:

    The () are my own and not part of the report. And the bolding is my own as well.

    Using SOMO (Iraqi Oil Ministry) and other Iraqi records, Bayoil shipping documents, and U.S. Energy Information Administration import data, the subcommittee minority staff (The Democrats) estimated that, during the period surcharges were collected, the United States imported about 525 million barrels of Iraqi Oil on which 118 million in illegal surcharges were paid. That means U.S. Imports financed about 52 percent of the illegal surcharges paid to the Hussein regime.  

    There is a lot of interesting stuff in the report.

    Damn it feels good to be a Gangsta

    by EMKennedyLucio on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:54:11 AM PDT

  •  Time to shout about (4.00)
    the looting by the Coalition Provisional Authority.

    8.8 billion missing

    Listen all of y'all it's a Sabotage! - Beastie Boys

    by See you out there on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:54:55 AM PDT

  •  Off Topic (4.00)
    I didn't think it was necessary to troll his/her reply off the page.

    Way off topic - why would I have lost my TU status without ever getting troll ratings (or anything less than a 3 for that matter)?

  •  Amazing Galloway (4.00)
    Long-time opponents (like Galloway) of the UN "Oil-For-Food" program really find themselves in an rather strange position now: -those that were in favour of the program when Saddam was still in power now criticize it and those that were against it (because it was too harsh on the civilian iraqi population) are now somehow defending it.

    I've just watched Galloway's appaerance and I must say I'm impressed by what he said and, especially, how he said it. I believe that despite the awkward position described above, he's done a pretty good job not only in making his point regarding why he was against the "Oil-For-Food" program but also in demonstrating how the Senate Commission's alleged findings are completely unsubstantiated.

    In essence, all the Committee seems to have against Galloway is the alleged fact that documents have been found in Iraq with Galloway's name on it. As Galloway indicated quite clearly, there's no trace of the money he allegedly received from the Iraqi regime, pointing that an audit of the Childrens' Leukemia Fund Appeal (named by the Committee as a source through which Galloway received Iraqi money) accounted every single penny of money that it received and eventually spend, and none of it came from or went to Saddam's regime.

    Galloway also rightfully questions the validity of the information obtained from 'a former Iraqi Government source' as this particular person has been questioned in Guantanamo where he is still held. He also indicated clearly that the first person to come up with the 'famous Baghdad list' was Ahmed Chalabi, a man we now all know shouldn't be given too much credibility and who had been convicted previously on the accounts of fraud and forgery.

    What really stood out in Galloway's statement is the fact that while he never has been questioned, interviewed, been written to or even telephoned by any of the Senate Committee members regarding their allegations, convenient 'leaks' from certain members of the committee (i.e. by Norman Coleman) presented many of the allegations as if they were hard facts.

    As Galloway rightfully indicated, this whole Committee is nothing more than a smoke-screen for what actually happened during the "Oil-For-Food" sanctions. George Galloway, like thousands of people around the world, actively opposed those sanctions because they were simply too harsh in the Iraqi civilian population, a hard fact backed by various UNICEF reports and which eventually led to the resignation of not less than 2 directors responsably of the UN humanitarian program in Iraq at that time (Hans von Sponeck & Dennis Halliday). It were people like Norm Coleman that used the Iraqi disarmament imposed UN sanctions to achieve a whole different objective, namely a regime change, over the back of 500,000 dead Iraqi children.

  •  Yo Spineless Democrats... (4.00)
    not all Democrats, you know who you are. See what happens when you fight when you also have truth on your side? The Republicans need to be smacked down like this everytime they lie.

    Not the nervous laugh off, "Oh my colleague doesn't recall correctly...", No, your colleagues on the GOP side are lieing their asses off. Call them on it. Until you do, you will continue to dance their dance.

    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

    by Alumbrados on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:59:54 AM PDT

    •  I should have added.... (4.00)
      ...I don't endorse Galloway, I just like his strong opposition. This Iraq for Oil stuff is just a Red Herring to try and add credibility to Bushco's going into Iraq and divert public attention from the huge failure Iraq has become as a result of Bushco policies. in that light, go Mr. Galloway.

      Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

      by Alumbrados on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:08:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Important point (none)
        It's not just about talking tough.  The reason why Galloway was able to speak with moral authority is that he opposed the war BACK WHEN THE WAR WAS POPULAR.  It takes great courage for a politician to oppose the polls.  Which is why we have so few politicians who come across as courageous.
    •  This is precisely why... (none)
      ...I've been of the mind lately that everything happens for a reason.

      Dems save the filibuster?  Grand -- we've arrested the slide.  Filibuster gets nuked?  Grand -- because with the filibuster goes the end of civility in the Senate and probably by association the House.  Democrats no longer need to make nicey-nice because there's no upside to capitulation and appeasement, and before you know it, out breaks an epidemic of truth telling and genuine strength.  We've seen it in Boxer, Reid, Byrd, Conyers and a precious few others, but if we lose this procedural battle, get ready to see the fur fly.

      Two-step, lockstep, goosestep: Herr Busch's three-step plan to a righter tomorrow.

      by The Termite on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:56:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just saw him speak on HEADLINE NEWS.... (none)
    ...and he was compelling, to say the least!

    Horray for MSM! Doing it right for a change. There was no anti-Galloway spin. The anchor even seemed to be supressing a smile....

  •  How sane he sounded while.... (4.00)
    ...he ripped a new you-know-what on Senator Coleman.

    He spoke the truth - he stated what he said BEFORE the illegal invasion...then stated what has happened AFTER the illegal invasion. In every instance, the US has been proved wrong.

    Bush has made us look like filthy liars in front of the entire world...Galloway has the balls to say it to our television screens and our Senators faces.

    Enemies are so stimulating. - Katherine Hepburn

    by califdweller on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:14:23 AM PDT

  •  Gotta say... (none)
    ... this is not a good diary and why it is recommended is beyond me.

    Who is Galloway?

    Who is Coleman?

    What is the subject matter of the debate?

    What is the venue?

    Why is there a conflict?

    When is this occuring?

    Where is this occuring?

    Where is a link to find out these answers?

    How come should I care?

    (had to fit a How in there)

    Reading the comments and seeing some of the links there and having a slight clue from glancing review of preceeding news articles I'm able to piece together what this diary may be about but there are some basic pieces of information that should be included in a story in order to enable people to follow along... otherwise it is little more then a comment on someone elses story.

    "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

    by Andrew C White on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:16:50 AM PDT

    •  there's kind (none)
      of a practice here of having threads for ongoing hearings, so it is unlike the usual diaries.

      "....a relative newbie (user ID in the 18,000 range).. "

      by Miss Devore on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:24:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right-o (none)
        It's more of a liveblogging diary than an informative diary.  This is an event some people have been looking forward to for a while now.
      •  All well and good (none)
        but this dairy contains no content. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. My first grade teacher would have given me an F for it. It doesn't take much to provide the basis by which someone can follow the conversation... or heck!... even know what the conversation is about in the first place!

        "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

        by Andrew C White on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:49:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you don't like it, don't post on it (none)
          those of us who are paying attention like it fine. Just because it appears as  a diary doesn't mean you have to read it as a diary, its an ongoing discussion.

          aimai

          •  Well thank you... (1.00)
            ... for that incredibly helpful, informative and constructive commentary. I'll be sure to take to heart your advice to only read things I already know about. Either that or I'll simply read dKos 24 hours a day so as to never, ever, ever miss anything at all.

            My point was that there are basic forms of good writing. A good writer makes it possible for someone coming in with no knowledge of the subject whatsoever to get enough information to:

            a) decide if they are interested or not

            b) decide to read further and learn more or not

            c) and know where to go to read and learn more

            such good form should be followed online as well as off.

            Perhaps I came off peevishly. I don't mean to be a hardass but it is simply good form. Take a look at Kos's front page mention of this. A couple sentences and he gives you everything you need to know except the subject matter of Galloway's testimony. However, he does provide a link to the testimony itself which covers for that ommission.

            I've been busy in the real world the last day or two so here I am finding something that looks interesting and probably important but not finding enough info to be able to follow up and figure out if it is or if it is (wow 7 two letter words in a row - that's kinda cool) meaningless. This is what I mean about the value of providing a basic amount of contextual content.

            "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

            by Andrew C White on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:39:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry if my peevishness was (none)
              an overreaction.

              You are quite right, in general, about diaries.  Its just that a thread can be good, and fun, even if the diary isn't.  So I'd be sad if someone who is very excited and posts excitedly decided to stop doing it for fear of offending someone.  The proof of the pudding is in the eating and its actually proof that this diarist was on the pulse that their diary received excited comment--it was really just offerintg people a place to vent. I read it and went and saw the clip which I otherwise would have missed, so I enjoyed it.  I agree that diaries can be too self referential, to "insider" sometimes, though.

              sorry for my short and rude response to your earlier post.
              best
              aimai

            •  Cool... (none)
              I get troll rated for expressing a desire for some minimal standards of good writing. Ease off on the trigger finger folks.

              "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

              by Andrew C White on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:54:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Andrew - there was a previous diary with ... (none)
          ... more content. That one scrolled off, and this one was intended as a heads-up as it was going on!

          I will post a more sensible diary next time!

          (Though I was confident that the kosoverse was aware of Galloway's appearance before the sub-committee!

          "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

          by SteinL on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:04:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks.... (none)
            ... but sometimes you have a guy like me that has been busy the last day or two and came in on this dairy alone. I recognize the names of Galloway and Coleman but had no idea Galloway was testifying before congress so it made no sense to me why they would be together in the same discussion. Reading Kos's post makes sense of that. The only thing he left out was the subject matter of Galloway's testimony. A link to the previous diary would have done the trick too.

            Didn't mean to come off like a hard ass or anything but providing a couple basic pieces of information that the reader can follow up on for more detail is always good form.

            Peace,

            Andrew

            "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

            by Andrew C White on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:27:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I was just remembering... (none)
            ... a year or so back when Ernie Harwell the long-time announcer for the Detroit Tigers retired. I think it may have been Tim McCarver, himself an excellent common tater on baseball, that said that one of the things that made Harwell so great was that you could flip through the radio stations and come across the Tigers game and within a minute know who was playing, where, the score, the inning, the balls and strikes, number of outs, the pitcher, the batter, and which way the momentum seemed to be going... that he kept a running commentary on the game that always included the basic required information for the listener just tuning in to know just where the game stood.

            Ever since then when I flip on the tv or radio I  listen for how long it takes an announcer to let me know where the game stands. TV of course has graphics that display some of that for you now but most of the announcers can prattle on for a full 15 minutes without telling you a thing about where the game stands.

            For some reason that has stuck with me.

            (GO WHITE SOX!)

            "We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

            by Andrew C White on Tue May 17, 2005 at 02:10:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  See all the links above, frosty (none)
    •  Because everyone who wanted to comment about it... (none)
      ...needed a diary to attach their comments to. Without recommending one of the (admittedly sparse) Galloway diaries, discussion would have been split up every time an unrecommended  diary slid off the recent list.

      It's like nominating a speck of dust to serve as the seed for a snowflake.

      Those who cannot remember the future are condemned to repeat it.

      by Abou Ben Adhem on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:22:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  been listening to them on Air America Radio (none)
    It was greaaaaaaaaaat, to hear here this type of speach in fact that they all deserve it.  I want to have it on record and that all of America knows how the American government profited big time by the oil for food game.  I think the world knows the truth.  It is just the Americans do not know the truth...and if they do, they deny it or turn a blind eye on it.  It is nomenclature for America, I am afraid to say.  If we did take a big interest in our government the way the rest of the world does, I would say this administration would be  in a shamble.  I really used to respect and have some belief in my government, not not nowadays....none at all...

    When we do awaken to the situation and how this administration does SOP we all will be left without a voice by then.  What a shame they are in Washington.

  •  Sounds like a maverick (none)
    He was expelled from his own party for his remarks.  (Gee, I could get behind that idea with respect to Lieberman)  
    So he doesn't tow the party line, thinks for himself, doesn't deal in absolutes, makes strong statements but is willing to admit he is wrong.  I can't get on-board with all of his positions but then I can't get onboard with all of Harry Reid's either and yet I love the guy.  Why?  Because neither of these guys back down in a fight.  
    Consider who Galloway is pummeling today.  Can we honestly say that his views of the world and how it should function are less honorable than Norm Coleman's simply because Galloway has a socialist bent?  
    Compared to Norm Coleman, everyone at Kos is a "long-haired, hippy-type, pinko, fag" even if we're more middle of the road.  The scale has been pushed so far to the right that it's hard to tell where anyone falls on the spectrum.  
    What I find more promising is that Galloway seems to know things, he's not a US politician and therefore in no danger of losing an election here and he's already been through ostracism back home and managed to survive it.  When you are finally grown up enough to realize that your committment to your beliefs do not have to hinge on a popularity contest, you can feel free to speak your mind.  
    I find it refreshing.  Perhaps we can persuade him to teach a seminar to our toadies here.  

    "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:18:36 AM PDT

  •  Daily Telegraph (4.00)
    It was carried live on BBC Radio 5 - to overwhelming listener approval. My favourite part was when he quoted page 19 of the original senate report - which he branded "a schoolboy error" - which said that these allegations were entirely separate from the Daily Telegraph allegations. The Senate report was apparently implying that the DT libel on the oil-for-food accusations was based on documents from 1992/3. Apart from being before George Galloway actually visited Iraq, it was years before the O-F-F program was started. In fact the DT libel came from the very same time as the Senate accusations.

    Effectively The Senate report re-accused him of doing the very thing that a British newspaper had just lost massively in court about.

    And before anyone chips in with the odd way our libel laws work, the Daily Telegraph really did not have even the semblence of a case. The accusations were bunk.

  •  From the other side of the galaxy... (none)
    '08 DARK HORSES, CON'T [K. J. Lopez]
    Norm Coleman. Hmmm. An e-mail: "Young, moderate and midwestern, but still carries the water on a major conservative issue - UN corruption. His star is on the rise, and that's the type it takes to win the White House. Do you remember W in 1997?" He is the U.N. reform stud at the moment...
    •  GOP Classified Ad (none)
      Wanted: Young, attractive man willing to play puppet to Karl Rove's Presidential Puppet show. Must have no independent thoughts and be willing to say or do anything to support the party. Swing state residence a plus. Must have a winning smile.

      Note: it is anticipated that this position will open up on or around 5/18, when the previous Presidential Puppet candidate is expected to fail a required leadership test in spectacular fashion. We will respond to inquiries after the previous candidate has been removed and erased from party memory.

    •  Dark side indeed! (none)
      Not so young, conservative-moderate-liberal-socialist (depending on the lay of the winds), and midwestern via New York following his wife's career.  Cluelessly carrying water wherever GWB tells him to.  UN reform stud who's taking it in the, well, you know.

      The Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

      by DanielMN on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:48:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bleah! (none)
      Strange, 'cos our Normie ain't young and certainly isn't midwestern (despite larding his pronouncements with "folks", etc.).  Moderate....., well on this performance, moderately dumb, I'd say!

      Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as shall never be put out.

      by Bollox Ref on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:53:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Midwestern? (none)
      Norm is from Brooklyn, NY. He's Cheney's mouthpiece in the Senate, Cheney was the architect of his campaign against Wellstone, which he was never intended to win, they just wanted to raise his stock for next time. Then tragedy brought us to the point we're at now.
  •  Highlights are up now (none)
    At crooksandliars - woo hoo

    Impeach Gary Bettman

    by Edanger6 on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:29:37 AM PDT

  •  Righteous Anger (none)
    I watched Galloway on Sky News and I thought that he did a great job.  I thought that he was righteously angry and expressed himself very well.  I'm so angry at what is going on with The Administration concerning quite a few things but Iraq just makes me want to...just scream.

    Galloway said what I felt. So watching him made me feel somewhat better that someone is speaking out right in the heart of our government.

    The question about would he have felt concern if he found out that one of his major contributors was scamming the Oil for Food Program was stupid.  It seemed like a question that was a setup for a soundbite attack on Galloway in the future.  I wondered what reality these Senators are living to come up with such drivel.  What he answered was just brilliant in my opinion and finally made me realize how BIG this scandal could be if given the proper MSM TLC and the receptiveness of the general American Population to give a pig's ear.

    Janeo

  •  Anyone remember (4.00)
    Jon Stewart on Crossfire? I'm getting some serious flashbacks here....

    Regardless of what you think of Mr Galloway and his particular view on the world you've got to admit this is just humiliating for the Committee. Mr Galloway has gone into an environment to defend himself without ever seeing the 'evidence' and is just wiping the floor with the whole bunch of 'em. Oh, and notice the lack of notes too, this is all done on the fly.

    As for the evidence... uh, what evidence? There isn't any and the committee haven't done their homework (especialy regarding the charity investigation). I thought the comment from one inquisition member was quite telling... "giving you a chance to clear your name" wasn't it? Uh, what happened to innocent until PROVEN guilty?

    Oh well, if nothing else it'll create a new business opportunity for retired British politicians - going across the pond and teaching their American counterparts exactly where their spines are located ;-)

    •  All "done on the fly" and (none)
      erm, no lawyer holding his hand.
    •  Exactly! (4.00)
      This guy is a politician right?  By definition that makes him a scumbag and not somebody you can trust.

      Who cares?  He's crossed the Atlantic to stick it to the assholes running things around here.  If Hitler rose from the dead to point a moldy finger at Frist and say "Nein!" I'd cheer him on too.

    •  Certainly, it would be a delight ... (none)
      ...to see some U.S. politicians imitating Galloway's skillful, take-no-prisoners style.
      •  Though maybe (none)
        with a teensy bit more in the way of ethics... That said, I suppose at least he's an example of a politician standing up for his beliefs. Maybe if more of 'em did that it'd be a better world.

        Out of idle curiosity does anyone know if Mr Galloway is the first UK politician to be 'called to account' in the USA? If he is would it not have been a good idea for the committee to have something resembling evidence of misconduct other than hoping he'd convict himself with his words?

        As it is all that they seem to have acomplished is make the US Government (this is a bi-partisan panel isn't it?) look like amateurs in the world of real politics...

  •  Here's some video (none)
    Via Washington Post and MSNBC: here

    Blog this! Visit me at K Street Blues. It will change your life.

    by AggieDemocrat on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:38:45 AM PDT

  •  Would you brits (none)
    tell us how this plays out in your news over the next few days? I can read a few papers on line and get BBC news for the Americas, but that's not quite the same.
    •  UK Media Coverage (none)
      Galloway's initial speech was broadcast live on Radio 5, our main News and Sport radio station, along with excerpts of the subsequent questioning, and the audience reaction was overwhelmingly pro-Galloway.

      It's currently the lead story on the BBC News website.

  •  seems to me that (none)
    George Galloway is like the Rep. Jim McDermott of the UK.  Love him or hate him, you know where he stands.
  •  CNN international frontpage (none)
    http://edition.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/05/17/oil.food/index.html

    "Oil Charges: Pack of Lies"

    CNN US

    "U.K. lawmaker: Oil-for-food charges 'a pack of lies'"

    Oh they like this story....now they'll attack him.

  •  Coleman refuses to let go (4.00)
    Norm Coleman refuses to let go and is still in denial following the hearings

    From the WaPo:

    Coleman later questioned Galloway's testimony. "If in fact he lied to this committee, there will have to be consequences," Coleman said at a news conference after the hearing.

    Asked whether Galloway violated his oath to tell the truth before the committee, Coleman said: "I don't know. We'll have to look over the record. I just don't think he was a credible witness."</div<p> Sorry if my signature appears in the grey box.  i couldn't find a format that worked.

    "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." ~ George Washington

    by guyermo on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:00:21 AM PDT

  •  Fox's web headline..no surprise here (none)
    Saucy Brit Berates Congress, US.....

    More fair and balanced....is anything Galloway said incorrect?

  •  fringe politics (none)
    when the mainstream "knows" that the Earth is flat, its time to listen to the fringe.

    Not that the fringe is correct on everything.

    Galloway does regret the fall of USSR, and this makes him, hm, a Communist.  It does not make him guilty of everything, or wrong in everything he says.  I would compare him with McCain in this sense: I disagree with him most of the time, but I agree with him sometimes.

    I understand that he is too left to be an orthodox Labour member, but the specific heresy for which High Inquisition of Labour Party excommunicated him was to be correct when the party policy was to lie.

    If one follows the links to Guardian, Galloway was condemming Saddam's human right abuses when Saddam was de-facto American ally, and  later he was addmitting that Saddam is an abusive dictator.  He also said that he regrets that he called Saddam "indefatigable" etc. (although Saddam probably was indefatigable, which is not always a nice trait).

  •  its hilarious (4.00)
    I saw the British Election and

    once I heard he was going to be given a microphone on the senate floor I spewed my coffee..

    How stupid can those republicans be?

    They should have figured out that they wouldn't want him on the floor for the same reason they are not letting us hear what saddam wants to say  ;)

    awesome!

  •  BBC is saying that (none)
    "Mr Galloway's testimony will be available in full shortly"

    on their webpage.

  •  <nelson>ha, ha!</nelson> (none)
    what the hell was coleman thinking, inviting a MP from a country where politicians actually debate issues openly in their houses of government to testify? next thing you know, we'll ahve question hour and coherent, two-sided political debates!

    say what you will about galloway, but saddam was nowhere near as dangerous as the bush administration, either to the people of iraq or the world, and the soviet union's dead and gone. the fact that the man is actually willing to speak truth in the halls of congress is enough for me, and shames every other non-facist who has entered that place yet has refused to speak so plainly about the threat to peace and democracy that the PNAC crew and their enablers pose.

    crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

    by wu ming on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:00:48 PM PDT

    •  Can't watch streaming video at work - grrrrr!! (none)
      Itching for the transcript. Can't wait for this smackdown!

      What was Coleman thinking? Invite a confirmed contrarian Leftist, who's strong enough to form his own party and be reelected? One who's entire career is based on standing up to US foreign policy? Then have him answer your accusations, in a country away from his voters, where Galloway isn't even at any risk by standing up?

      And then leave the cameras on ??

      It would appear that Galloway brought game. Coleman must have been expecting some GOP-debased stereotype of a weak, polite, ineffective Euroliberal.

      More and more, that stereotype exists only in the GOP's imagination. I hope for and expect more rude awakenings to come...

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Tue May 17, 2005 at 01:21:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Testimony is up on BBC! (none)

    "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

    by SteinL on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:09:22 PM PDT

  •  asdf (none)
    "I understand that he is too left to be an orthodox Labour member"

    That is, he is too left to be an orthodox new labour member. New labour has left many of its long term card-carrying members behind: when I was attending all the anti iraq war marches there were several in our local group who tore up their cards and sent them to downing street.

    I hope the american people (I mean kool-aid drinkers) take note - this is what politics can be like: if bush & co had to slog it out in the house of commons, or face a question time, they would be torn to shreds. I don't particularly like Galloway, and don't agree with all his views but that is OK. He is a prime example of a hard-hitting, street-fighting 'old labour' back bencher: long may they flourish. Even in the UK, we need reminding that Blair's slick, spin-filled ,polish and lies, is not all there is.

  •  I Still Repectfully Disagree (none)
    Didn't he win a judgment against the paper that called him a "Saddam Lover," or did I dream that part?

    "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's." - William Blake

    by Tod Westlake on Tue May 17, 2005 at 12:13:48 PM PDT

  •  "I am not now nor have I ever been (4.00)
    an oil trader" is Galloway's reference to the fact that Coleman's committee, the Subcommittee on Investigations, is Joe McCarthy's old committee.  How appropriate!
  •  Link (none)
    Wow!!!  I just saw the little clip.  Galloway just spoke the truth with outrage!!  Why isn't there one American politician that could say what Galloway just said today???

    Where is a link so I can watch the entire testimony, please???

  •  He's been smeared for years (none)
    Guardian Unlimited Politics | Comment | No need for balance: "In all other essentials, the allegations made by the Senate committee are the same as those originally outlined in the Telegraph articles that resulted in Galloway being awarded 150,000 pounds in libel damages and 1.2 m pounds in costs, though an appeal against the high court ruling in his favour is still outstanding.  During the case Galloway successfully rebutted every point in the Telegraph story that led its journalists to conclude that he had profited from Saddam's government. So it's hardly any wonder that Galloway has found himself repeating his former denials.  In so doing he has argued that the Senate committee is a creature of President Bush and therefore part of a US Republican conspiracy, implying that they may wish to help their Iraq war ally, Tony Blair.

    When you are under as much public pressure as Galloway is just now, it's easy to imagine you are the victim of a plot, but there is certainly no media conspiracy against him. In a sense it's worse than that. He has become so much of a pariah that a plot is unnecessary.  Galloway has achieved the dubious honour of being the media's new leftwing whipping boy, following in a line that includes Arthur Scargill, Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone. Like them, he has dared to confront not only the old establishment but also its Labour alternative (or, in his eyes, the new establishment), having been expelled from the party on the basis of what might be charitably described as rather dubious reasoning.  Along the way he has also outraged the media by refusing to accept its attacks on him, having survived any number of scrapes with newspapers anxious to find him guilty of wrongdoing. He has regularly sued for libel and, worse still in the eyes of journalists, has always won, sometimes handsomely. I must declare an interest here: I have also lost to him in a libel action; but, unlike many who have suffered similarly, I bear him no grudge.

    Galloway raises the hackles both of the collective media and of individual journalists. How else can one explain the extraordinary way in which Jeremy Paxman greeted Galloway's election victory for his Respect party over Labour's sitting MP, Oona King, in east London? 'Mr Galloway,' demanded Paxman, 'are you proud of having got rid of one of the very few black women in parliament?' Galloway rightly replied, 'What a preposterous question,' and soon walked out of the interview."

    You can judge a man by his enemies.  Norm Coleman.  Tony Blair.  George Bush.  The corporate media.  I like this guy.

    •  Ah-hah. (none)
      Galloway...has argued that the Senate committee is a creature of President Bush and therefore part of a US Republican conspiracy, implying that they may wish to help their Iraq war ally, Tony Blair.

      That explains why Coleman would put himself at risk, to do something like this.

      It also shows that the Repub's don't know crap about British politics, and seem to be completely unused to the possibility of hard, fact-based debating. It makes the fact that it's blown up in Coleman's face even more awesome.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Tue May 17, 2005 at 01:25:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ummm, I was refering to Galaway (none)
    Now, if you go back and read my post, you will see it in a whole 'nuther light.  
    ;-)

    "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Tue May 17, 2005 at 01:19:15 PM PDT

  •  Transcript of Galloway's statement (4.00)
    http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0517-35.htm

    Choice quote:

    "Now you have nothing on me, Senator, except my name on lists of names from Iraq, many of which have been drawn up after the installation of your puppet government in Baghdad. If you had any of the letters against me that you had against Zhirinovsky, and even Pasqua, they would have been up there in your slideshow for the members of your committee today.

    "You have my name on lists provided to you by the Duelfer inquiry, provided to him by the convicted bank robber, and fraudster and conman Ahmed Chalabi who many people to their credit in your country now realize played a decisive role in leading your country into the disaster in Iraq.

    Can you feel that, Coleman? Can you feel that??

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Tue May 17, 2005 at 01:30:09 PM PDT

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