Skip to comments.Voters urge Galloway to go and live in Iraq
Posted on 04/01/2003 2:08:22 PM PST by MadIvan
GEORGE GALLOWAY, the outspoken MP with close links to Iraq, faced a Labour backlash yesterday after calling on Arab leaders to wake up and stand by the Iraqi people.
In an interview for Abu Dhabi television, he accused British and American troops of attacking Iraq like wolves and predicted a long war of liberation by Iraqis to repel them.
The war will continue, he declared. I dont believe these wolves will be able to enter Baghdad and occupy Iraq. They must know this is the beginning of a long war of liberation to be staged by the Iraqis against the occupying forces. They must understand they are in the Iraqi quagmire and it will not be easy for them to get out.
He called on other Arab states to cut off oil supplies to Britain and America, saying: Even if it is not realistic to ask a non-Iraqi army to come to defend Iraq, we see Arab regimes pumping oil for the countries who are attacking it.
We wonder when the Arab leaders will wake up. When are they going to stand by the Iraqi people?
Downing Street issued a contemptuous response. The Prime Ministers official spokesman said: George Galloways views on Iraq have been known for some time and the Prime Ministers disagreement with those views has, equally, been known for some time.
The Prime Minister has more important things to focus on today and for the duration of this conflict than George Galloway. He is more interested in the objective of freeing Iraq from weapons of mass destruction and allowing Iraq to be run by the people of Iraq rather than a tyrant such as Saddam.
There was more anger at Mr Galloways outburst elsewhere in the Government. Adam Ingram, the Armed Forces Minister, told ITN: I am ashamed he is member of the Labour Party. Mr Ingram even questioned whether his remarks breached the oath of loyalty that MPs swear to the Queen.
There were signs of a backlash against Mr Galloway in his constituency of Glasgow Kelvin, where people approached by The Times came out two to one against him. The most common refrain was: If hes so keen on Baghdad, why doesnt he go and live there?
Andy McCreevy, a taxi driver, went so far as to offer to buy Mr Galloway an airline ticket to Iraq economy class and, he emphasised, one-way.
John Aitchison, a shop assistant, said: The guy is an absolute loony who has got away with saying this kind of thing for far too long. If he admires Saddam so much, why doesnt he go and work for him instead of taking money from British taxpayers?
Malcolm Green, chairman of the Kelvingrove Labour branch in the heart of the constituency, struggled to defend Mr Galloway, while casting doubts on the language that he had employed. George is entitled to his comments because he has a knowledge of Arab regimes which the rest of us do not, he said. But he is also known for his colourful language and he feels very strongly about the war as well as the Palestinian crisis. Mr Green said that the constituency party fully supported Mr Galloways general anti-war line, but he added: We know that George is George. I do not think anyone will want to rock the boat in the party with elections coming up, but we may discuss the whole episode when the election is over.
If Mr Green was choosing his words carefully, one Labour voter was much more candid in defending him. Grace McDonald, a grandmother who said she had voted Labour for nearly 40 years, compared her MP favourably with Clare Short, the International Development Secretary, who did not carry out her threat to resign from Mr Blairs Cabinet over the war.
Mrs McDonald said: This war is crazy and what George is saying is that we should recognise that. No, of course our soldiers arent wolves, but I dont think he actually said that. At least you wont get George Galloway doing a Clare Short. At least hell say something and defend it. Hell not go running to Blair begging for forgiveness.
Mrs McDonald was in a minority. Most people agreed with the description of Mr Galloway as a traitor.
MP stunned at actor's outburst
BBC News - Saturday, 4 May, 2002
A Scottish Labour MP is taking legal advice after the Hollywood star John Malkovich allegedly said he would like to shoot the politician.
Malkovich is reported to have said that the Glasgow Kelvin MP, George Galloway, was one of two people he would most like to kill.
The source of Malkovich's anger appears to be Mr Galloway's condemnation of Israel's action against Palestinians and his criticism of the west's policies on Iraq.
The actor was addressing students at the Cambridge union debating society when he was asked who he would most like to "fight to the death".
Malkovich, star of movies including Dangerous Liaisons and the Killing Fields, replied: "I'd rather just shoot them."
He named Mr Galloway and The Independent newspaper's Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk.
Union spokesman Julian Blake said: "He had been speaking to the union president before the event and he mentioned then that he read the British press and had been following George Galloway's comments.
"People were fairly surprised when he brought him up though."
The actor did not explain exactly why he disliked Mr Galloway. He said only that Mr Galloway did not tell the truth.
Mr Galloway said he was astonished that the actor should have such animosity against him.
The MP said he assumed that his outspoken criticism of American policy in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Iraq was behind the outburst.
"In the current climate of terrorism and violence and so on, if it was a joke it is not very funny and if it wasn't a joke, he will be hearing from my lawyers," he added.
"We can have a high noon at the Old Bailey if he likes.
'Very strange man'
"His comments are especially dangerous because in a couple of days' time, I will be in the Palestinian Authority visiting President Arafat and there are a lot of bullets flying around there."
Malkovich is in the UK filming Johnny English with Rowan Atkinson and Natalie Imbruglia.
Mr Galloway asked: "Who can get inside the head of John Malkovich, a very strange man offering a dangerous liaison - indeed, offering a killing field?"
Last month, Mr Galloway renewed his call for people in Scotland to boycott goods from Israel in response to violence in the Middle East.
His choice of enemies is most excellent.
File this under 'I have a rifle and a shovel, and you won't be missed', Mr. Malkovich has quite good taste. I'm pleasantly surprised.
Funny. I don't recall you lot saying such things when we signed up for this fight, with soldiers who I strongly remind you, are continuing to win victories.
If England has earned anything, it is a respite from armchair pundits condemning us without any basis apart from their own bile.
Yes, well the last person who believed such a thing was Adolf Hitler. And look what happened to him.
And your qualifications to pronounce on England being doomed are...? You don't live here, you obviously don't understand us, and you've just as obviously bought into the whole idea that a Labour government represents the end of the world. Clinton didn't represent the end of America, a Labour government does not represent the end of us. We're not French after all.
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