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Forget Gorgeous George

I’ve seen George Galloway argue with heavyweight Christopher Hitchens for two hours on whether it is right to invade Iraq, I’ve seen him wax lyrical over the injustices sanctioned by the Israeli government, I’ve seen him talk at length on the miscarriages of justice felt by Muslims in this country, I’ve even seen Galloway talk about why Jade Goody was not being racist as such in the Big Brother house, but rather, reacting to a series of overlooked class prejudices bestowed upon her by Shilpa Shetty.

Each time I’ve ever seen Galloway speak, despite not being his biggest fan, I’ve always been quietly impressed, and moved in some respects to the anger and fire that he has in his voice.

Which is why I am very surprised that during his light touch interview recently with, effectively his employer while being at PressTV, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the interview amounted to niceties and nothingness.

Although, quite why I should be surprised is beyond me. Galloway, after all, is obviously keen on Ahmadinejad – who he calls “his excellency” – and the President’s commitment to the poor of Iran.

In the video (below) Galloway’s last question directed to the Iranian President concerns the stoning of Sakine Mohammadi Ashtani, the woman in Iran due to be put to death by stoning for supposedly committing adultery.

Galloway asks:

Final question Mr President, every so often an issue comes along, which is seized upon by the enemies of Iran, and magnified, and it becomes a heavy problem. One such is the punishment, scheduled originally against a woman convicted of adultery. The so called stoning case. I see that president Lula from Brazil has asked Iran if he can take this woman into exile there, to solve this problem. Can Iran agree to this?

Ahmadinejad answers by saying little more that the courts are separate, he hopes to see the matter resolved soon, and on the point of whether President Lula of Brazil – who along with President Erdogen of Turkey recently – should offer asylum to Ashtiani, Ahmadinejad says he would prefer to export technology, not such people to Brazil.

The interview finishes there, no more is said, and Galloway in his closing comments back in the studio has the cheek to say “The president gave me the indication that this matter would be resolved.”

This is not something that could happen in the future; it is something that is happening now. Galloway shouldn’t just let Ahmadinejad get off by saying the courts are separate, but then what more should I expect from Galloway – whose sick perversion of politics and commitment to appealing to his enemies enemy as a friend has seen him “glorify the Hizbollah national resistance movement, and [him] glorify the leader of Hizbollah, Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah – who was reported to have said the numbers of Jews who died in the Holocaust had been exaggerated, and has shown courtesy to Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.

In fact, Galloway made no mention of Ahmadinejad’s view that the figures of those who died in the Holocaust had been exaggerated. Galloway didn’t even touch on the subject of homosexuals, and how not only do they exist in Iran (see below), but they are frequently hanged in public for being so.

On the subject of Ashtiani, Galloway made no mention of how Iranian courts exploit Article 105 of the Islamic Penal Code which states “The Shari’a Judge can act upon his own knowledge in the cases of [defending] the God’s Rights and People’s Rights and carry out the punishment constituted by the God and it is necessary that he documents his knowledge.”

The sheer openness of this article means that judgements can be made entirely on interpretation rather than documented evidence, which is the case for Sakineh where forensic evidence of her adultery is missing.

Galloway made no mention of the fact that even within Islamic law itself, adultery cannot be proven satisfactorily before the perpetrator has confessed under free conditions on three separate occasions, or if four males, whom the court are happy to trust, actually witness the act of penetration – rendering the charge of adultery almost impossible unless these things have been satisfied.

Galloway made no mention of Mohammed Mostafaei, the lawyer of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtani, who is on the run from Iranian authorities after receiving a course of intimidation from them, who also pray on his wife and his brother in law who have been arrested.

Galloway did not mention the human rights abuses, particularly of women; in fact Galloway missed an opportunity so golden, I fail to see why we should listen to a single further word he has to say.

Mr Galloway knows how to make a clear, tangible argument, and is normally not afraid of doing so. But if he thinks he has satisfied his critics by asking Ahmadinejad a few soft questions, and not challenging him or his legitimacy as both President and bringer of justice, then he is wrong.

Mr Galloway is a coward and no element of the left wing in this or any other country should have anything else to do with him. He represents a perversion of politics based upon befriending those who his enemies distrust, and no sensible political theory or action can rest upon this.

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  1. Brian Beddowes
    August 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    GG obviously has to interview the president of Iran with some restrictions. These restrictions would be conditions of having an interview at all. Almost every interview you see whether it’s a Hollywood star or politician will state what can and cannot be mentioned.

    GG must of felt that an interview with these restrictions is better than no interview at all.

    Coward? Are you serious? Thrown out of the Labour Party for standing up againt the Iraq war? Jailed for supporting the ANC? Beaten by islamic fundamentalists for announcing his desire to give muslims more rights? leading the viva palestina convoys to Gaza? Standing up for workers and unions against corporate greed? Taking on the US senate within a heartbeat of hearing their accusations against him?

    He is very far from a coward. If he was a coward he would not doubt still be a senior labour politician.

    • August 19, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      On the Ashtiani question, he obviously wasn’t restricted – he asked the question. He then boasted that he got the president to agree to getting this matter resolved. I genuinely think that there would be more good come out of withdrawing the interview than this arse kissing mess.

      And, yes a coward, in spite of those things, if he is for the rights of that poor woman, then he ducked out of serious questioning like a coward.

  2. Xerexes
    August 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    The attack he refers to for which he claims to have police protection was nothing more than being heckled. See:

    http://azarmehr.blogspot.com/2010/03/galloway-begged-police-to-detain-us.html

    GG is a disgrace and a useful idiot

    • August 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm

      cheers, yes I saw this over at HP – I dispair at the thought that this may have been a way of getting Ahmadinejad to feel a bit sorry for him, and see GG as a superheroic voice in the UK.

  3. August 19, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I interviewed George Galloway last year and pressed him on his support for Ahmedinejad. While I disagreed with him almost entirely on the issue, which he sees purely in anti-imperialist terms, it’s worth mentioning he did strongly criticise Ahmedinejad’s views on the holocaust.

    • August 19, 2010 at 5:52 pm

      Well I should bloody hope so – I’m in no way accusing GG of holocaust denial or anti-Semitism – I’m lambasting him for assuming that since a group of people can be anti-US/anti-Israel they must be allies to a cause; I suspect his politics are less about principled left wing causes and more about sticking with the enemies’ enemy. It’s a perversion of left wing politics and it is epidemic – Ahmadinejad is a twisted conspiracist and we should allow him no consolation because he is from the middle east – there ought to be no moral or cultural relativism amongst the principled left wing.

  4. August 19, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Thank you for drawing attention to the latest example of this loathsome power-worshipper grovelling before a fascistic dictator (as he did before Saddam). Galloway’s disregard of any form of human rights – whether for women, gays or trade unionists, makes him a figure of the far-right, not of the left. His brown-tonguing of dictators gives us a pretty good idea of what society would be like in the (happily unlikey) event that he and his followers in “Respect” ever achieved power.

    As for “strongly criticisng” holocaust denial, that nseems to be for domestic consumption only. When he’s face to face with Ahedinejad, he’s much too polite to mention it. I suppose we should be grateful that Galloway didn’t (quite) salute Ahmedinejad’s courage, strength and indefatigability.

    • August 19, 2010 at 5:55 pm

      I’ve always had this fantasy where the Iraqi translator, faced with this word you don’t hear everyday – indefatigability – just turns to Saddam and says “he has said you don’t sleep your excellency” – and that is why GG owns no oil!!

  5. August 19, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    The vile specimen Galloway has never met a jackboot he hasn’t immediately gone down on his knees to kiss.

    Wot Jim said

  6. August 19, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    “I’m in no way accusing GG of holocaust denial or anti-Semitism”

    Why not? He quite clearly is an antisemite. Very litigious as well — i know — but that only makes him a litigious antisemitic scumbag.

    • August 19, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      hehe – well there are even some opinions that I’d hate to have to substanitate in a court of law – even though I know Jack of Kent will lend a hand (well, at least I hope he would).

  7. August 19, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    I don’t think GG is an anti-Semite or holocaust denier himself – at least, I’ve never heard him say anything of that kind. However, he certainly hangs out with people who are both to the nth degree – in fact, just doesn’t hang out with them, but is their groupie.

  8. August 20, 2010 at 1:55 am

    k b fuckwit is a posh bint with two heads. she thinks dawkins is ‘strident’ for fucks sake.

    galloway is the plainist and simplest example of an antisemite that i have ever fuckking hurD of.

    end of.

  9. August 20, 2010 at 1:57 am

    PS. Sunny Hundal doesn’t mind a bit of antisemitism — ‘as long as it is in a good cause’.

  10. August 20, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “strident” in my life, though Will quotes it. It’s chucked at any woman who opens her gob, so I avoid it. Similarly “shrill”.

    However, Will being so scrupulous in debate will no doubt link to where I’ve used it.

    As for GG, I think if he heard the accusation “anti-Semite” thrown in his direction he’d defend himself quite honestly at not being that and add that it’s thrown willy-nilly at anyone who gets involved in pro-Palestinian politics. His crappiness is not of an anti-Semitic variety, but of small-scale demagoguery at crowds that do contain thorough-going, triple dyed Rupert-Murdoch-is-a-Jew anti-Semites eg Islamists, as well as doing PR for a bunch of theocratic nutters. He’s a disgusting shit. But I don’t think he’s an anti-Semite.

  11. August 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I find Dawkins shrill and strident – but then I’m not a girl, I get away with it.

    Where, Will, has Sunny ever been anti-Semitic or are you just being a daft bastard now?

    KB Player – spot on.

  12. August 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I deleted Will’s comment calling me a thick cunt in accordance with clause 3 of the TCF comments policy [http://thoughcowardsflinch.com/comments-policy/] thank you

  1. August 21, 2010 at 12:00 am
  2. September 8, 2010 at 11:54 pm
  3. September 9, 2010 at 12:08 am

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