Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Fact-Checking Gorgeous George

As I noted earlier, George Galloway was in full anti-American rant mode before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations yesterday. The committee chair, Senator Norm Coleman, tried hard to remain calm in the face of Galloway's demagoguery. It seemed to me that he stayed too calm, and wound up looking a bit weak. Rarely do I have good things to say about Carl Levin, but he actually did a fine job of trying to force Gorgeous George to actually answer his questions instead of going off on another kindergarten tirade. Unfortunately, though, I fear that Galloway ended up getting exactly the platform he wanted to spew his garbage.

I've probably already devoted far too much time to this vile pro-totalitarian demagogue, but I feel that I need to offer some final comments on Galloway's statements.

-Gorgeous George made much of the allegation that 1 million Iraqis died as a result of UN sanctions imposed on Iraq between 1991-2003. This figure is a gross exaggeration at best, a lie at worst.

-However much the numbers have been inflated, the Iraqi people certainly suffered under sanctions. Galloway places the full blame for that misery on the US and UK. At no time, such as during his fawning, lickspittle appearance before Saddam in January 1994, did Gorgeous George suggest that it was a bad thing for the Iraqi dictator to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on palaces while his people suffered. In 2002, Saddam Hussein spent $16 million on health care and $350 million on his Military Industrialization Commission. Galloway's silence on Saddam Hussein's priorities speaks volumes.

-The MP from Bethnal Green and Bow referred to the democratically elected Iraqi government as a "puppet government". I can think of over 8 million Iraqis who would disagree. For Galloway, this is irrelevant. He has been outspoken in his support of the Baathist/Jihadist terror alliance that has inflicted so much devastation on the country he purports to care about. As far as Gorgeous George is concerned, the rightful ruler of Iraq is Saddam Hussein.

-Galloway claimed that the UK Charity Commission's 2003 investigation of his Mariam Appeal charity proved that "no impropriety was found". The commission released a statement yesterday that says otherwise. In fact, Galloway had the Mariam Appeal's financial records sent to Jordan, and the commission never saw them.

-Finally, Galloway's last non-answer in response to Senator Levin showed clearly that he could care less if he did get illegal Oil-for-Food funds through his friend Fawaz Zuriekat.


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