Why accept the socialist-driven Iraq War narrative?

George Galloway may be a master orator, but we'd do well not to allow him free rein over the Iraq War narrative

All for oil? Really?
Jonathan Bracey Gibbon
On 27 February 2013 13:43

We are in Iraq anniversary month it would seem. First of all there was the anniversary of the anti-war protest march, when anything between 750,000 (police figures) and 2,000,000 (Socialist Worker Party figures) people marched in support of Saddam Hussein's right to remain in power and brutalise his citizenry unfettered.

Then there is the actual vote on the invasion (carried). And in time there will be the anniversary of the subsequent election, largely influenced by that policy, at which this country largely supported the government at the time. It was a result that those that marched that day, and the majority on the left, simply cannot accept. That it was a government of the left that was returned illustrates that these anniversaries are far more painful for the left than for, say, the Tories.

Other events have underlined this anniversary. Colossal Marxist-bore Richard Seymour has published a hatchet job of Christopher Hitchens, Unhitched. This had to happen at some stage, and I'm guessing those potential candidates, Alexander Coburn, Tariq Ali etc., for chief apostate prosecutor are keeping their powder dry. For now.

As Unhitched reviewer Robert Hainault points out on the Not So Review blog, “The mainstream press have written [Unhitched] off as little more than wank fodder for sad radicals”.

Indeed it is, and it is ironic that, whatever the merits of the debate, a writer as lyrical as Hitchens finds in death, as his gadfly, a critic as insufferably joyless, turgid and ultimately irrelevant as Seymour. Which brings us to his brother in arms, and Hitchens's vanquished nemesis, the Dear Leader, George Galloway.

What the Hell has happened to the Dictator's friend? Wrong on rape, one minute; wrong on race the next. This was the man that took on the US senate in 2005 and 'won'...

Despite the fact that, like any cogent being, I disagree with 95 percent of George's effluent, I bow, with great deference, to his, ahem, indefatigability. Anyone viewing his Dr No-meets-Emperor Ming turn on BBC Question Time a few weeks back could barely fail to be taken in by his 'powers of oratory'. Indeed no less than sage of the left Owen Jones observed as such in a somewhat ill-advised piece for The Independent, the gist of which being, like him or loathe him, GG gets the message across.

Jones's argument had a slight whiff of 'Say what you like about Hitler, but at least he made the trains run on time'. But then, when George flounced out of a debate on the grounds that his opponent was an Israeli citizen, he rather stuck it to poor Owen, who I suspect won't be calling upon Galloway as a 'communications role model for the Left' any time soon.

Much is said about Galloway's alleged powers of oratory, the fact that he can win over Question Time audiences unlike any other. So given these God/Allah/whatever-given powers, why turn and flounce out of a debate like a big girl simply because his youthful opponent was an Israeli citizen?

Could this be George's biggest own goal since his feline metamorphosis? Shiraz Maher's devastating critique of Galloway illustrates just how far he and his ludicrous Respect venture has come. With the, ostensibly decent, Salma Yacoub gone, one wonders what remnants can be salvaged from Respect as long as Galloway remains at the helm. Especially so as history revises his Season in the Sun, the Iraq war.

An interesting stat quoted by David Aaronvitch in his Times comment last week – there were 4500 violent deaths in Iraq last year. But that compares with 22,000 in that jewel of the left, Venezuela. It is no surprise Galloway tweeted triumphantly last week on 'Commentadore Chavez's' deliverance the week before. I'm not sure if George knows the Spanish for indefatigability.

As is the way of things, as time goes on, the actual facts of the matter slowly subsume the ludicrous hysteria of the time and something close to reality emerges, as does the left's glee in falsification of casualties. The ignorance of the facts; the appointment of Hans Blix over Rolf Ekeus; the 'illegality' nonsense; and worst of all, the denial of WMD capability.

Of all the myths, this is the one most effectively pedaled by the anti-war racket.

There certainly were WMDs, if not the proven capacity to enrich uranium to weapons grade. And this was achieved by Iraqi nuclear scientists – educated largely at western universities – who had proudly worked with French assistance, on a nuclear power programme, the Osirak reactor, eventually destroyed by Israeli jets in Operation Opera in 1981.

Not that Saddam's ardour for nukes was in anyway dampened. He effectively forced those scientists into a wholly illegal and secret weapons programme, holding their families hostage in lieu of deliverance. Very indefatigable.

The results those scientists achieved, given the sanctions and limited resources at their disposal, were astonishing. They were also a testament, not only to their ingenuity as scientists, but also their courage under the most intolerable pressure from Saddam, for whom no target or deadline was too unattainable or ridiculous.

Furthermore, Syria had brokered an agreement between Iraq and North Korea for an off-the-shelf delivery system prior to the invasion. North Korea had actually taken a deposit when the invasion scuppered the deal; Kim's men apparently taking the money and running as the cruise missiles were flying.

All this occurred under the noses of UNSCOM, and the remnants of the programme, hidden in data form under orders from Qu'say Hussein in the garden of Iraq's chief physicist, Madhi Obeidi, was finally surrendered to US forces.

Indefatigably, in retrospect, it was clear that Saddam was closer to a deliverable nuclear device than anyone knew. That, and the prospect of Saddam in power, stronger than ever, with oil at $130+ a barrel, illustrates just how essential it was to invade.

Anyone who opposed the invasion, no matter how indefatigably, really has to look at their conscience with this in mind, and reconsider the mindless, all-about-oil, socialist-driven narrative of the useful idiot.

The real war crime was the attempt to do it on the cheap and completely botch the occupation. Over to you, Don.

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