Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Enemy's Friend -- The Preface to My (Future) Book on George Galloway

Oh, my friends! What a horribly negligent blogger I have been. While excuses abound as to why I have not touched my favorite virtual platform in nearly a month, I think it would do better to skip the alibis and instead present you with reading material. As an apology, I would like to show you the preface to what I hope becomes a book denouncing the demagogue George Galloway. There is no promise that this work will be completed, only that it is brewing in the back of my head and I felt the need to type out the premise. Galloway is a Goliath that, I think, is well deserving of the right stone. Perhaps, in time, this work will serve. 

Apologies again for my absence. Please enjoy this Preface. Who knows, perhaps it will turn into something more weighty and tome-like in the future?

(photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk)

The first time I heard George Galloway speak, it was in his remarkably telling tirade masquerading as a debate on YouTube, discussing whether or not the war in Iraq was just. Regardless of the fact that his opponent was the indomitable Christopher Hitchens, Georgie didn’t stand much of a chance—his constant appeals to unimaginative insults and continuous approval-seeking from the audience quickly showed his ineptitude at making a valid point. Despite this, I endeavored very hard to hear what he had to say objectively, to understand the case that he was trying so desperately (and failing) to make. After all, wasn’t he speaking from an empathetic, humanist platform? Was he not appealing to the thousands of lives, needlessly thrown away, belonging both to American soldiers, Iraqi soldiers, and civilians on either side? This is a poignantly striking stance—the ultimate banner to which all in the Left flocked on this subject—and, in my mind, deserved to be considered. So it was with gritted teeth that I watched him slosh about in his own puddle of ad hominem excrement, referring to Hitchens as “the first ever metamorphosis from a butterfly back into a slug,” (he was unaware, I suppose, that slugs don’t turn into butterflies…) and that he “mention[s] slug purposefully, because the one thing a slug does leave behind it is a trail of slime.” If this was supposed to be a metaphor for an argument of Hitchens’s, it was never elaborated on. In this instance, as in many others, Galloway simply enjoyed hearing himself talk and enjoyed much more the rousing troglodytic howls that greeted him whenever he did this.
            If I hadn’t already made up my mind as to the necessity of the liberation of Iraq from its insane dictator before, Hitchens’s case would have convinced me in this instance. But it was not Hitchens that drew my intense curiosity at the end of the spectacle—it was the mustached Scot whose face would burn red with every failed accusation, and whose hand sawed the air so fervently that I expected the Dane himself to rise from the audience and end the robustious periwig-pated fellow tearing the passion to tatters. Galloway had grasped at astonishing straws to prove his point, such as showcasing the hurt feelings of Casey Sheehan’s mother (the absurdity of this tactic shall be elucidated later), but I quickly realized that whether or not his argument was based in moral foundation, its mouthpiece was not as fortuitous.
            The rap sheet for Mr. Galloway is not like that of Henry Kissinger or Richard Nixon. One does not need to wait for declassified documents from the United States government in order to find the details one needs to draw up a reasonable opinion of him. A quick Google search and any number of interviews, appearances, and articles are freely available on the internet that can show that his public actions are grotesque enough to hide in open spaces—that is to say, there is quite literally nothing to bury. In this way, he is much like Agnes Bojaxhiu or Pat Robertson or Saddam Hussein himself—the evidence exists in plenty to the public, yet there seems to be some strange screen that prevents the intelligent reader from perusing it, and instead contents him- or herself to continue in ignorance. This is a phenomenon I have never understood and always detested. So, it was made immediately apparent to me that Galloway was considered a champion for the Left, with his brash brogue standing proud for the liberties of homosexuals, the rights of countries to live in peace without foreign invasion, and several charitable efforts on an international level. It is very easy to see how a lazy subscriber to political ideologies (especially on the Left, as these causes are so self-evidently moral) could decide that the résumé of George Galloway, when annotated here, is worthy of support and admiration. But the debate alone was enough to show that this was not the case, and further reading was required.
            It was not merely sufficient to know that George Galloway had been expelled from the Labour Party (of which he had been a member since the age of thirteen) for inciting British soldiers to regard their orders while in Iraq as “illegal”; it was not adequate to discover that, in his own words, the biggest catastrophe of his life was the fall of the Soviet Union; it was not enough to read that he believed the indescribable tragedies of September 11th, 2001 in New York City and July 7th, 2005 in London were the results of the foreign policies of the respective countries—an insipid proposal in which, I am incredibly sorry to hear, many others join him. The vomit-inducing commentary comes from his admonitions that Hezbollah is not and never was a terrorist organization, or that it was not responsible for the murder of the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafiq Hariri in 2005; for praising the Saddam Hussein regime and saluting its “courage” directly to the face of the despot himself; for donating personal money to Hamas and publicly raising funds for the same, convincing the American Left that this was a mission worth engaging; for saying without blush that a hypothetical suicide bombing that successfully killed then-Prime Minister Tony Blair without any further casualties would be a moral action—for these contemptible assertions, dealings, and many more of the kind, the true character of George Galloway was revealed to me. I expected the research to be more difficult: the results begged to be seen. Needless to say, I was appalled—not merely at the despicable endeavors of this man in his political career, but at the nonchalance of so many who had free access to witness them. On Amazon at the time of the writing, a search for “George Galloway” in the book section reveals two volumes about him specifically, one of them being his outrageously overpriced autobiography (a work so masturbatory it was everything I could do to get through it without an umbrella), and another that is clearly appreciative of him on the outset. There is nothing of the dialectic or polemic, and while pieces in article form have appeared here and there, and interviews have been recorded expressing well-deserved disdain for the villain, it seems as if this humble work is setting out on something of a maiden literary voyage. The hope is that at least one dissenting voice can be available if ever the Amazon search were repeated.
            More than anything, I felt myself betrayed and pitying the hallmarks of Leftist thinking that had been so blatantly excoriated by Mr. Galloway, who was supposed to be their white knight in the face of (what he and many others feel to be) imperialism. True, Galloway is a kind of Leftist, in that he is a proclaimed socialist, but the economic concerns of the Left are only one facet of its ideological constitution. Some would argue that the more important (or at least more demonstrable) pillars of Leftism are its social obligations—equality of race and nationality and sexual orientation, social responsibility, philosophical and religious harmony. Galloway vividly demonstrates his treachery for most of these virtues as he walked out of a widely anticipated debate that was held in Christ Church College at Oxford University when he discovered that his opponent was Israeli; he holds a personal view that women shouldn’t be allowed the choice for an abortion; and, despite being anti-war, he supported the use of Syrian troops in Lebanon against a potential Israeli invasion rather than find a diplomatic solution. To many who see Galloway as a herald of Leftist virtues, it should be illuminated that such hypocrisy is rarely seen by leading figureheads on either side of the political spectrum. One cannot be against war and totalitarianism and simultaneously shake the hands of fantastically violent warlords who themselves have annexed neighboring countries, contributed to incalculable environmental damage by setting alight the Kuwaiti oil fields, and be himself overly sympathetic to a religion that eradicates the rights of women by every standard we would acknowledge in a civil and secular society. To the Left, Galloway should be seen as exactly what he is: a fraud of Shakespearean proportions. They should be irate to find that they have been so callously misrepresented, and that their hopes and respects were kept in the hands of a man who reveled in greed and contempt for a free market, democracy, and the overthrow of fascism.
            The truth of my deduction is inherent in the title—Galloway’s telling capitulations to Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Tariq Aziz and others are the building blocks by which anyone should erect a judgment of him. Much as the enemy of my enemy is my friend, the friend of my enemy is undoubtedly my enemy, and Galloway has not only filled this position with vibrant enthusiasm, but he has managed to convince too many of the voting public that he has done it expressly (and successfully) for the cause of peace. It is a charade which must be exposed. The masochism he expresses in his hatred for our countries, our cultures, its people and its leaders—while entirely within his rights to do as much as he pleases—must be called by what it is: not a staple or clarion call of the Left, but a selfish ideology that allows him to become lickspittle to those he idolizes. Let us not idolize him for it.

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