WASHINGTON'S SLIPPING STANDARDS
'I know that standards in Washington have slipped in recent years.'
Those words from George Galloway will I suspect be long remembered. I watched George Galloway's performance in front of a Senate Committee with increasing amazement. In part I found myself fascinated by his defiance in bringing the fight to the very architects of the Iraq War. These people who rained depleted uranium and so much else on Iraq having conducted themselves with duplicity were at last being told what much of the world thinks of them with their right wing politics and distortion of Christian values.
But what amazed me more was the lack of evidence they possessed to back up the claims they had made regarding Galloway without asking him a single question. Don't get me wrong. I have never been a particularly great fan of Galloway although I had been impressed when I heard him in Cambridge before the war. Yet, I believe that every man is entitled to justice and this committee had conducted itself in a manner that would not be out of place in a banana republic.
Their case was ill thought out and in parts was easily dismissed. Yet on so little they had blackened a man's reputation. How can we rely on any of their other conclusions.
The real story seems to me that Galloway was effectively being set up because of his role in opposing the war. Interestingly, the committee seem to have been in the business of going after as many opponents of Bush's murderous war as possible whilst turning a blind eye to the circumventing of sanctions by US companies. The real inquiry needs to be about dirty tricks. Never forget the forged documents that the Christian Science Herald brought to attention. Increasingly we seem to have a series of dirty tricks that dwarf even the Nixon years.
The least impressive performance was that of Chairman Norm Coleman. Brave in smearing from a distance, his performance in mortal struggle was pathetic in the extreme. Not that much more can be expected from a man who has uttered the heresy of suggesting that George W Bush is God's answer to the prayer 'God bless America.'
None of this denies that Galloway has been unwise at times. His language on visiting Saddam in 1994 was frankly nauseating and at times he would have done well to stress more strongly the fact that Saddam was a vile dictator. In my opinion, greater caution should have been shown in his relationship with Mr Zureikat who was a significant financer of the Miriam Appeal.
Yet on Tuesday, he did us proud by standing up to the smear merchants of a Senate Committee which has treated justice lightly. Whilst so many of our leaders have fawned on the current right wing administration, Mr Galloway has remindded them that America deserves better leaders. And for that reminder that people however outrageous their views should notbe condemned without proper evidence and process, if for nothing else, I salute his indefagitability.