Readers will have noticed that I’ve had nothing to say about George Galloway’s current speaking tour in Canada. It’s time to rectify that omission, perhaps. But some on my side of the fence should prepare to be offended.
It was wrong to keep him out in the first place (whether by bluff or by law), and anyone who puts a finger in Jason Kenney’s eye gets points with me on principle, but…couldn’t we progressives find someone a tad more salubrious to wax all fannish about?
I find myself (gulp!) in general agreement with (this is hard for me) Terry Glavin on the subject of George Galloway. I don’t like Terry’s low style, and I’d disagree on more than a few of the details—his half-truths about the court judgement linked above being but one example—but Gorgeous George has a lot to answer for, if progressives would just ask the damn questions.
Know what did it for me? This:
“Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability.”
That was George Galloway, addressing the late, unlamented Saddam Hussein. I opposed both incursions into Iraq, by Bush père and Bush fils, but to offer such nauseatingly oily praise to that mass murderer, torturer and genocidal maniac is too much to bear.
If you opposed Blair and Bush, you didn’t have to love Hussein. Isn’t that what we all said at the time when we were under attack by the hawks? And then Galloway comes along to stick it to us. I wish we could set aside the “no true leftist” fallacy just this once.
He’s given similar encomia to lesser monsters as well. But one incident in particular stuck with me ever since it took place. In Glavin’s words:
It was four years ago this month that Galloway came all the way to Canada to attend a celebration of the 74th anniversary of the founding of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party in Ottawa. The SSNP has its own distinctive swastika, its own Nazi-style uniforms and an anthem that’s sung to the tune of Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles.
As I said to my pal Jay Currie, who has recently found himself in bed with the dubious Jewish Defence League, my enemy’s enemy is not necessarily my friend. For all I know, George might be saying all the right things during his trek across our nation, but I, for one, don’t give a toss. I just want this all to stop before I die of embarrassment.