Wednesday, August 03, 2005

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.


Blogger sunguh5307 said...

I think Norm Geras has this one pretty much nailed down.

8/03/2005 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Galloway is another guy who can't be accused of treason because the Brits like the USA, don't have anything or anyone worthy of betrayal.

sadly too, tonight on Fox, O'reilly's principle military commentators turned bearish on the situation there.

and that mostly because the timeline for completing the job in iraq will not adhere to the next election cycle.

that said the bearish talk, I saw-- may have something to do with getting the Iraqis to draw up the new constitution by aug 15.

certainly, left to their own devices they would dither forever under the US umbrella--or more precisely, the shia would sit on their lead. ie the point of the bad news bears may be to lean on the shia.

8/03/2005 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger PatCA said...

If the Brits let Galloway back into their country, I will lose respect completely.

8/03/2005 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

The London bombs: Iraq or the “rage of Islam”?

The London bombings on 7 July were followed by a brief period of political unity in Britain, but very soon the voices of commentators arguing that the outrages were the result of the government’s involvement in the Iraq war swelled into a chorus. Politicians like George Galloway and journalists like John Pilger (whose cover story in the New Statesman was headlined “Blair’s Bombs”) accused Tony Blair of bringing the atrocity on London’s citizens.

A contrary argument centres round a term coined by Bernard Lewis in a 1990 article “The Roots of Muslim Rage” (Atlantic Monthly, September 1990). Lewis’s arguments there and subsequently are well considered and historically grounded, although popular discourse takes up the idea of “Muslim rage” to imply an essential quality of religious sentiment.

It is notable that the London bombers killed on 7 July and those arrested after 21 July are not Iraqi or Palestinian. The fact that some of them are of Pakistani descent is relevant, if at all, only for logistical reasons to do with the central role of that country in the international jihadi networks.

The idea of the division of the world into antagonistic religious communities is an old one, and not confined to Muslims. There have been pogroms of Jews in Tsarist Russia and elsewhere in Europe.

So, what of the initial question regarding the role of the Iraq episode in the bomb outrages in London? The main contribution of Iraq is in reinforcing the ideological picture of the universal Islamic community doing battle with Christians and Jews.

One element in Iraq, however, is highly pertinent to global jihadism. The invasion of the country has provided a fertile territory, a “failed state”, for recruitment and training of the cadres of jihad.

8/03/2005 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger david bennett said...

"Our mission in Iraq is clear. We're hunting down the terrorists. We're helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We're advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability"

This is our mission as stated by the president of the United States one month ago. Note a "free nation that is an ally on terror."

If Iraq splits with the Shiite portion allied with terorist supporting Iran, if the nation devolves into civil war, if other parts of the region are pulled in then we have failed as defined by the president of the United States.

That those who gloat about such a victory are engaged in satanic laughter does not end the fact that we will fail to meet our stated goals.

Nor will it in any way redeen those who mocked the warnings, who tried to warn the nation that this wasn't easy. We were told things like the Siites would reject fundamentalist government. IN his last article Vincent claimed hundreds of murders very month in Basra alone. Who knows the numbers in the other fundamantilists cities of the south.

We were warned that there would be no alliance with Iran. Now, there are kinds of deals and promises that Iraq will never be used as base for operations against Iran by the newly elected government. And one of the guys who promised us easy victory, a certain Mr. Chalabi openly allies with Iran against the United States. Those who warned against him were mocked.

We were told that there was no chance of a civil war and those who warned that the structure imposed by the recent elections could aggravate it were mocked. Now the possibility seems rather high and Mr. Vincent said many of the hundreds murdered monthly in Basra were sunni.

2 years ago you were writing things like:

"The inauguration of the Iraqi Governing Council opens the political endgame against the Ba'ath."

The entire July archives are an exercise in pompous "proofs" of why we were winning, why there was no possibility of a guerilla war etc.

During the same period, Hillary and others weere starting to say we needed more troops, that we needed to go back towards the plan developed by Generakl Zinni and others. They were mocked and accused of subverting the president and ignoring all the good news.

But now it seems far less certain that we are going to have a friendly, prosperous, democratic and peaceful Iraq and people like you are starting to accept a much more feeble definition of victory and will soon start proving that what we planned all along.

8/03/2005 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

July 21, 2005
“I was sustained by one piece of inestimable good fortune. I had for a friend a man of immense and patient wisdom and a gentle but unyielding fortitude. I think that if I was not destroyed at this time by the sense of hopelessness which these gigantic labors has awakened in me, it was largely because of the courage and patience of this man. I did not give in because he would not let me give in."

-Thomas Wolfe

Some people come into your life like a leaf settling onto a pond, their arrival causing nary a ripple. Others hurtle in like a stone falling from a high cliff, their entrance marked by a riot of spray and a corona of liquid motion. But after their explosive entrance these too quickly fade, the circlet of energy disappearing as its kinetic seed settles to the bottom. And then there are people who pass through your life like a smooth river rock skipping across the surface. Their swift trajectory doesn’t allow them to settle into the chill depths of being, but their dance between the elements of air and water momentarily suspends the boundaries between all things. And shows you, if only for a brilliant moment, that all things are possible.

There are no words that accurately describe those rare individuals, nor are there words to express the sorrow you feel when they have to move on. If there is a consolation it comes from the knowledge that their lessons are inscribed on the most durable of mediums. Your soul.

Danjel Bout, a 32-year-old captain and logistics officer from the California National Guard who blogs as Thunder 6 was mentioned in this wired magazine article about milblogs

8/03/2005 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger husker_met said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/03/2005 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger husker_met said...

Galloway cheers, "Go insurgency!" and socialists everywhere chime in, "Rah! Rah! Rah!" You can set your watch by it.

The Left's 20/20 hindsight grows more irritating every day. What's worse is that it's not even 20/20.

How 'bout let's all wait for the worst to happen before popping off about how you told us so.

8/03/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...
Gingrich Says Ohio Race Holds Lesson for GOP

By Dan Balz and Thomas B. Edsall
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 4, 2005; A04

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) warned fellow Republicans yesterday not to ignore the implications of the party's narrow victory in Tuesday's special election in Ohio, saying the public mood heading into next year's midterm elections appears to helping Democrats and hurting Republicans.

"It should serve as a wake-up call to Republicans, and I certainly take it very seriously in analyzing how the public mood evidences itself," Gingrich said. "Who is willing to show up and vote is different than who answers a public opinion poll. Clearly, there's a pretty strong signal for Republicans thinking about 2006 that they need to do some very serious planning and not just assume that everything is going to be automatically okay."

Gingrich's reaction came after Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and vocal critic of President Bush's Iraq policy, came within 4,000 votes of upsetting Republican Jean Schmidt in the solidly GOP 2nd Congressional District in southwestern Ohio.

8/03/2005 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

August 03, 2005
Posted by thunder6 at 02:17

Present suffering is not enjoyable, but life would be worth little without it. The difference between iron and steel is fire, but steel is worth all it costs. Iron ore may think itself senselessly tortured in the furnace, but when the watch-spring looks back, it knows better.

-Maltbie Davenport Babcock

I once read that when Japanese artisans’ repair shattered items they fill in the cracks with whisper thin lines of gold. They make no attempt to return the object to its earlier incarnation - the resurrected piece forever carries a tracework of golden lines. At first blush the painstaking process might seem like a colossal waste of time and treasure, but there is a subtle lesson to be learned from the artist’s careful labor. When the Japanese see the subtle web of golden lines crease an object they see the damage for what it really is – the physical manifestation of the items unique history. And it is that history that makes the object rare and beautiful.

A few days ago my path seemed brilliantly clear, but as sometimes happens a fork appeared in the road. At first I was stunned that the map I was following no longer matched the terrain. Anger followed a half step behind, and for a few hours I silently raged with a fury that matched the superheated atmosphere. What quenched the flames was a simple but universal truth - sometimes you can’t have what you want. When that happens you can succumb to bitterness and screech at the heavens at the change in circumstance or you can pick up the pieces and move forward. Since I’ve never been big on wallowing in pity I decided to move out. I’m not sure where this new path will lead, but if I fall again I’ll just get back up and continue forward.

When we leave this careworn outpost I imagine more then a few hearts will carry shimmering veins of gold. I know mine will. But that won’t necessarily be a bad thing. It just means we will be unique. And beautiful.

8/03/2005 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

An incitement to war must ultimately be answered with bombs and bullets. If we are to endure the seditious rants of the like of George Galloway we must answer his unmistakable call. At what point is the ability of our intelligence services overwhelmed by the opposition forces who answer this escalating drum beat?

The treason must be stopped, you are either with us or you are with the enemy. If the slightest muttering of hatred is a state crime here in the west, how can we stand for the hate filled screeds of the like of gorgeous George abroad? It must stop.

If our government can do nothing, then maybe someone who is truly concerned for the future of his daughters can take Galloway to task for his plea for murder, for murder is what is being demanded and murder it will be. Our adversaries may make the rules but it is anybodies game to play. May the fragments not carry too far.

It is an abrogation of responsibility for a government to allows it’s citizens to travel abroad to taunt and call on an enemy to act out in “self defense” (defense of ones daughters), an enemy that is finding it increasingly difficult to rationalize anything but war. It is incitement to Jihad nothing less, and if our government cannot protect it’s citizenry from such madmen, perhaps it should be handled by the “Minutemen” of more rational minds. George Galloway must answer to his crimes against humanity now!

8/03/2005 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I didn't know Jimmy Carter had a Scotch Cousin.
David Bennet,
Have you heard what Al Sistanni is up to/thinks these days?

8/03/2005 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger Wild Bill said...

But, for those who know what is right and what is wrong, what is just and what is justifiable, there is only the matter of who is most powerful.. The enduring force concept died more than a half-centure ago.. Please, God help us, if we do the same again to end this war.. The whole world wishes to live in peace, but, those among us, want to use our peace-loving nature against us.. How more cruel can a clan be ?? How can anybody be more deceitful and conniving ?? These radicals, insurgents, terrorists, are no-less disgusting and repulsive than the KKK was/is.. Think about it.. Unless you are a Democratic Senator, you will be spat upon and mocked.. Castigated into your realm of oblivion. No more power, fear, noteriety, acclaim.. Disdained only to the point of being another bug that needs squashed.. What a waste of human intellect, that has only been used in destructive means and not constructive means. Brilliant minds that could have been used to devise a cure for AIDS, or a remedy for malaria, and the money that has been spent to counter those who would rather make bombs to kill children, than to make children safer.. And of the title, "heads I win, and tails you lose", this isnt a crap-shoot, where the loser goes home with his pants pockets wrong-side-out, this gamble sends folks home with their guts wrong-side-out in a body bag.. What part of "you are either for us, or, your against us" does Galloway not understand?? Maybe Hanoi Jane has room for him on her veggie-fueled bus tour..

8/03/2005 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

It 's nice to know that of all the people who could have said it George Galloway is the one who finally did say it: "The idea that Muslims have some kind of sickness in their bodies..."

Wow! Tell it like it is George. Go for it. Let it all hang out. Clear the air.

The post Christian English are mostly too and I mean tooooo "considerate" of their dark complected guests and toilet cleaners to tell them the truth but not ol' George.

Such a relief. Somebody finally spoke up.

Thanks Wretchard. I feel better.

8/03/2005 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

So for Christs’s sake, we should of all listened to Hillary. There’s enough to go around to make a sh*t sandwich. So there are those who hoped for a better outcome, and there are those have been cheering on a more perfect evil. I have chosen my side and I am getting the feeling it aint your side. May all of Western Civilization meet in the battlefield soon.

8/03/2005 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Is not Galloway married to a Muslim named Dr. Amireh Abu-Zayyad (married in 2000)? Could that fact cause him to be slightly biased? Was not his district populated with Muslims? Further, he is now he going through a divorce because he has been unfaithful to his wife. Did not Galloway wear his infidelity like a badge of honor by saying: "I travelled to and spent lots of time with people in Greece, many of whom were women, some of whom were known carnally to me. I actually had sexual intercourse with some of the people in Greece" [1]. Galloway is just another political opportunist - and now a traitor.

1. See Early Early and Personal life and see parlimentary career

8/03/2005 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wow, like a cross between Joe Wilson and Bill Clinton.

8/03/2005 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger Avogadro's Pancreas said...

21 Marines have been killed in the last couple of days. This is a geo political cluster fuck. The human capacity for denial is apparently limitless.

8/03/2005 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Not only does Galloway commit treason, he uses a vocabulary deliberately designed to inflame the passions of a highly excitable culture, particularly about 'their' women.

How many Iraqi deaths will he cause?


But not his own, he lives in England.


PS - but something has changed in Iraq, and I don't know what it is.

8/03/2005 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Galloway can best be summed up by using his own words:
"Yes, I did support the Sovet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life."

Obviously knows where and how his bread gets buttered.

8/04/2005 04:18:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

We shouldn't offend Mr. Galloway, he has feelings too you know - a little sharia law in London would do em' all some good I should think. Cheerio!

8/04/2005 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger sunguh5307 said...

I seriously wonder if this would qualify as treason in the UK. If so, why wouldn't they enforce it?

I've read alot of stuff talking about why we didn't prosecute the 'fellow travelers' in our midst- basically the martyrdom aspect. But it still doesn't sit well.

8/04/2005 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...


We've been over this ground before. OIF was worth it regardless of what comes after. Taking down the Hussein regime was that important, whether you embrace the truth or not.

As for the other, the government and prosperity of Iraq was always going to be up to the Iraqis. We are fighting with optimism and hope, but sometimes you shoot for the stars and come up short. It's not over yet, and Iraq has seen more progress than you know, but it may come to internecine warfare. Still won't make OIF not worth it.

8/04/2005 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

How soft the west has become when it considers the lost of 21 soldiers a 'geo-political clusterfuck'. . . or even the loss of 1800 for that matter. More soldiers have been lost in a single day in every significant prior conflict the USA has engaged in. Yet the doomsayers rattle on about it as if our cities had been emptied of all their young men.

As for Galloway, it's hard to see how anyone except the idiot fringe could take anything he says at face value anyway. At least the USA isn't the only nation with senators/MP's that obviously paid no attention to the history courses they took in school . . .not that I would wish such politicians on ANY nation.

8/04/2005 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger E.M.H. said...

It is a sad thing to observe. Galloway praises the "resistance" efforts, yet deliberately ignores the fact that most of the death those fighters cause is to other Iraqis. He talks in glowing terms of overcoming the American "Imperialist" occupation, but blinds himself to the atrocious, sick philisophies of those fighting the US, UK, and Iraqi people, not to mention the fact that much of the insurgent leadership is foreign too. He alludes to Coalition war crimes, yet ignores the crimes commited by the anti-Coalition fighters, as well as the coercive and duplicitous enlistment of fighters (how many families told reporters that they were threatened with death unless a father/brother/cousin was forced to fight; and anyone remember that mentally disabled man who's family was tricked into allowing him to become a suicide bomber?). I fully agree that western society needs its critics; we absolutely must have people courageously speak out about problems others miss or ignore. But the problem I see is that Galloway's criticisms are much less based on honest appraisals of real problems and more on romanticization of those he chooses to idealize. As if their hatred of the west excuses the sickness of their worldview. I don't have a problem with a politician associating with the poor and downtrodden, but I don't seem him doing that as much as associating with the haters and contra-progressive elements. Plus, is his empathy truly with their suffering, or is it simply a tool that helps enable his spite at western society? In other words, does he truly care for those he claims to represent, or does he just care about them as numbers for his cause? I'm afraid I believe it's the latter.

8/04/2005 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...


There has been much discussion on Galloway for years. His career is a mess. He's probably on the pad from some foreign entity. He reminds me of the French prostitutes in WWII who entertained the Nazis at the expense of their own country men. The guy is sick. Galloway is probably building his own gallows. Here is Galloway from Syria:

... It's not the Muslims who are the terrorists. The biggest terrorists are Bush, and Blair, and Berlusconi, and Aznar, but it is definitely not a clash of civilizations. George Bush doesn't have any civilization, he doesn't represent any civilization. We believe in the Prophets, peace be upon them. He believes in the profits, and how to get a piece of them..."

See: Galloway Spews Incitement

8/04/2005 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger demosophist said...

So, would there be, like... a revolution or something in England if they just sort of executed Galloway for treason? I mean, just what does "aid and comfort" mean, anyway?

Prediction: If he blatantly gets away with this sort of thing it'll expand and become entrenched. Personally, the world wouldn't be that much poorer with one less Galloway, especially if he doesn't even play tennis.

[Oh, did I say that out loud? And yeah, I know it's Tim Gallwey not Tim Galloway. Gimmeabreak.]

8/04/2005 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Reading Galloway, I now understand the concept of "the prostitution of art and literature".

What a whore!

8/04/2005 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Someone assassinate this idiot already. Damn. Where's a good anarchist when you need one.

8/04/2005 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I'd love for someone to call some real Arabs out on this whole "why do the Arabs suck so hard at everything but bitching?" thing. Absolute genius bitchers. Too bad there's no money in that, as my moms would say.

Man, isn't there another channel on? This crap is getting boring. Let's just go and unprovokedly carpet bomb something on the "you want something to CRY about!? HERE! HERE'S SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT!" theory. That usually shuts em up. Worked on me anyway. Time to go poke smot. Aw yeah. Blah, blah, blah...

Nothing'll ever get done until the next hard hit against the USA. Why? Cuz then the media will be distracted and we can go back to Iraq news blackout, i.e. a state of normalcy, since they have no media of their own. Perhaps they will be reduced to the kind of remotely scoldy but ultimately completely left-field reports out of, say, Egypt like "The Egyptian presidential elections scheduled for May 5th this year still aren't democratic, but the undemocratically elected President assures the 'electorate' that reform is one of the main planks in..."


You know what sucks? No good rock bands. Discuss amongst yourselves.

8/04/2005 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I'm afraid we haven't seen another attack on US soil because we're not close enough to the 2008 election yet. Not 2006, but 2008. There's zero chance that Bush will pull out of Iraq - in the political calculus, why should he? But if Islamist terrorists maintain any capabilities in this country from, say, mid-2007 onward, that would be the time to try carefully to inflame the American electorate - "carefully" meaning "just enough to make them wonder whether it'd all stop if we got out, out, out of Iraq; not enough to make them mad." So I continue, every chance I get, to exhort Democrats to put up a hawk, the most badass man or woman you can find in your ranks - and Republicans, for God's sake, don't chicken out. We dare not pay that Danegeld.

8/05/2005 11:41:00 AM  

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