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Why the media is critical of Galloway

Saturday May 14, 2005
The Guardian

Roy Greenslade's famous talent for cool analysis deserted him in his
apologia for George Galloway (No need for balance, May 13). He claims that
Galloway is not being given a fair crack of the whip by the media. What
nonsense. Mr Galloway is a clever bully, brutal in his criticism of others
but so thin-skinned that he resorts instantly to the libel laws to cow his
own critics. Whatever the truth about his relationship to the Oil for Food
programme, much more important is that Galloway was for many years the most
diligent propagandist of one of the most fascistic of modern leaders.

In1994 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.)
In 1994, Saddam was already well known (inter alia) for having gassed the
Kurds, murdered thousands of his political opponents, practised brutal
ethnic cleansing on the Marsh Arabs, attempted to expunge a member of the
UN and kidnapped hundreds of Kuwaiti citizens (all later found to be

Saddam killed more Muslims than any other leader alive. Yet for years
Galloway lobbied for Saddam. And now he has the effrontery to pose as a
defender of Muslims. That is Mr Galloway's offence and I suggest to Mr
Greenslade that it is a very good reason for people to dislike and to
criticise him.