Heads I Win, Tails You Lose
George Galloway is declaring victory for the insurgency in Iraq. (Hat tip: The New Editor) The Middle East Language translation service MEMRI renders Galloway's speeches on Arab TV in the following way:
Galloway (on Syrian TV, July 31, 2005): Mr. Blair is using this crime and all these dead people as a justification for this absurd idea of a war on terrorism. "Terror" is a word... Terror is a tactic, it's not a strategy. The idea that Muslims have some kind of sickness in their bodies, which must be cured, which is the idea behind Bush, behind Mr. Blair, and behind Mr. Berlusconi's government in Italy - It must be resisted. It's not the Muslims who are sick. It's Bush and Blair and Berlusconi who are sick. It's not the Muslims who need to be cured. It's the imperialist countries that need to be cured.
The real question is, after the evidence of Sykes-Picot 1, are you ready to accept Sykes-Picot 2? What does Sykes-Picot mean to the Arab world? Nothing except division, disunity, weakness, and failure. Two of your beautiful daughters are in the hands of foreigners - Jerusalem and Baghdad. The foreigners are doing to your daughters as they will. The daughters are crying for help, and the Arab world is silent. And some of them are collaborating with the rape of these two beautiful Arab daughters. Why? Because they are too weak and too corrupt to do anything about it. So this is what Sykes-Picot will do to the Arabs. Are you ready to have another hundred years like the hundred years you just had?
Sykes-Picot, for those who are unfamiliar with it, was a division of the Middle East into spheres of influence by France and Britain during the First World War. Galloway neglects to mention that Iraq itself -- one of the two beautiful 'daughters' he mentions -- was created by Sykes-Picot, from a compound of Kurds, Assyrians, Shi'ites and Sunnis, lately under the absolute diktat of his former friend Saddam Hussein, from whom he received money. From a commercial point of view, Sykes-Picot was a godsend to George Galloway. As for Sykes-Picot2, that is still being discussed by representatives of all Iraqi ethnic groups who are preparing a constitution that will be submitted for approval to the Iraqi voters and hence, may not be entirely to Mr. Galloway's liking. But Galloway had other things to say:
Galloway (on Al-Jazeera TV, July 31, 2005): This started out as a wish to terrorize the world with American power, or as Sharon would say: "Terrrrrrorize" the world with American power. But in fact it ended demonstrating the exact opposite. They can control the skies, but only if they don't come within range of an RPG, but they can't control one single street in any part of occupied Iraq. Not one street. Not one street anywhere. These poor Iraqis - ragged people, with their sandals, with their Kalashnikovs, with the lightest and most basic of weapons - are writing the names of their cities and towns in the stars, with 145 military operations every day, which has made the country ungovernable by the people who occupy it. We don't know who they are, we don't know their names, we never saw their faces, they don't put up photographs of their martyrs, we don't know the names of their leaders. I'm sure, for all the times I spent in Iraq, that I never met any of them before. They are not the comfortable in the former regime, they are not the leaders, with maybe one exception: Izzat Ibrahim Al-Durri. They are the base of this society.
Unfortunately, most of the people being killed by the "145 military operations every day" aren't the hated American 'terrrrorrists' but Iraqi security guards, commuters, election workers, children and the like. Violence in Iraq is less and less about killing Americans and more and more about Sunnis killing Shi'ites and vice versa -- the conscious policy of the very men who are writing "the names of their cities and towns in the stars" -- in the ink of blood, of course. Yet would that not constitute another form of victory? Those who argue that America is being defeated in Iraq because it cannot prevent a civil war are making the saddest of arguments: 'the Arabs have won because America cannot keep them from killing each other'. Shorn of his posturing, it is Galloway himself who assumes that "Muslims have some kind of sickness in their bodies, which must be cured"; he speaks not as one man to another, but as a snake-oil salesman to his mark.