7 thoughts on “Quote Of The Month: Hitch on Galloway”

  1. I thought this was better,
    In a small way–an exceedingly small way–this had the paradoxical effect of making me proud to be British. Parliament trains its sons in a hard school of debate and unscripted exchange, and so does the British Labour movement. You get your retaliation in first, you rise to a point of order, you heckle and you watch out for heckler. The torpid majesty of a Senate proceeding does nothing to prepare you for a Galloway..

    But still slightly dissapointing after the Times hit-piece’s description of the event:

    When mortals appear before Senate panels, they are expected to show proper deference to these lawgivers of the American republic. But while senators may consider themselves Solons, Pericles they most assuredly are not. Going through life in an impregnable carapace of sycophancy is agreeable, no doubt, but as Marie Antoinette discovered, it does not tend to sharpen one’s skills in public argument. So when a feisty member such as Mr Galloway shows up in the midst of these august figures, the effect is a little like a character from a Damon Runyon novel let loose among the Gatsbys.

    I’d have loved to see these hearings come to a more just fruition (or better yet, see Annan go down for this), but this inept fool Norm Coleman surely makes lying to the cameras a painful act. If only we had a George Golloway to take care of George Galloway…

  2. I’ll add that I was especially tickled by the comparison of Galloway to Oliver North, and by this Hitchens quote, which was even better in some ways but not as pithy:

    bq.. “Let me phrase this another way: Those who had alleged that a million civilians were dying from sanctions were willing, nay eager, to keep those same murderous sanctions if it meant preserving Saddam! This is repellent enough in itself. If the Saddam regime was cheating its terrified people of food and medicine in order to finance its own propaganda, that would perhaps be in character. But if it were to be discovered that any third parties had profited from the persistence of “sanctions plus regime,” prolonging the agony and misery thanks to personal connections, then one would have to become quite judgmental.

    The bad faith of a majority of the left is instanced by four things (apart, that is, from mass demonstrations in favor of prolonging the life of a fascist government). First, the antiwar forces never asked the Iraqi left what it wanted, because they would have heard very clearly that their comrades wanted the overthrow of Saddam. (President Jalal Talabani’s party, for example, is a member in good standing of the Socialist International.) This is a betrayal of what used to be called internationalism. Second, the left decided to scab and blackleg on the Kurds, whose struggle is the oldest cause of the left in the Middle East. Third, many leftists and liberals stressed the cost of the Iraq intervention as against the cost of domestic expenditure, when if they had been looking for zero-sum comparisons they might have been expected to cite waste in certain military programs, or perhaps the cost of the “war on drugs.” This, then, was mere cynicism. Fourth, and as mentioned, their humanitarian talk about the sanctions turned out to be the most inexpensive hypocrisy.”

    p. Hitch is just being his usual shy, reticent self. “Norm Geras, writing from the Left, has made similar points,”:http://normblog.typepad.com/normblog/2005/03/the_argument_ov.html in longer form and not as tightly. But then, that is no shame. By the way, loved this bit from “The Scotsman’s report:”:http://instapundit.com/archives/023065.php

    bq. “And it was a Democrat senator, Carl Levin, rather than the Republican committee chairman, Norm Coleman, who gave him the hardest time as Mr Galloway sought to turn the tables on his inquisitors, leaving him no closer to clearing his name than when he took his seat in front of the sub-committee of the Senate’s homeland security and government affairs committee in Washington.”

    Kudos to Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) for his persistence. Bluster is fun to cover, but its utility will fade before a really determined investigation. Americans may not have the British tradition, but you’d be surprised how many prosecutors end up in politics. Handing a guy like Gollway the rope and waiting for him to hang himself with statements you can disprove later on is a classic tactic, and demands the sort of response we saw. Histrionics time comes later.

    Coleman isn’t the quitting type, and judging by the performance with Galloway Levin seems set for the long haul too. Very promising.

  3. Liberalis Gun Toteus,

    I would allow Quote of the month for that one if that meant most excellent snide aside, but let’s add content. I prefer:

    “And now, on the same (East London) turf, there struts a little popinjay who defends dictatorship abroad and who trades on religious sectarianism at home. Within a month of his triumph in a British election, he has flown to Washington and spat full in the face of the Senate.”

    From the same piece but just more properly dismissive of the wanker I thought.

    My blog resides on the website of the Capital Times, Madison’s Progressive Daily. The fun part is that in addition to their silliness and my ability to smack them, I have John Nichols who also writes for The Nation as an editor to play with. His piece about Galloway chafed me and I let loose a fun retort which I trackbacked to, and unsurprisingly Hitch helped out immensely.

    Never give a clown an even break.

    Cordially,

    Uncle J

  4. Hitch: The bad faith of a majority of the left is instanced by four things (apart, that is, from mass demonstrations in favor of prolonging the life of a fascist government)…

    Did we even need four more things? Did it take four more things than that before they locked up Sir Oswald Mosley?

    BTW, as an interesting addendum to the National Socialist thread, here is a classic definition of Mosley’s Fascism, from a Mosley fan site I won’t link to:

    You still see Mosley described as a Right Wing extremist. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Extreme Right want to preserve things the way they are (or even were) Mosley on the other hand was a revolutionary who wanted great social changes. When asked where he stood on the political spectrum he always replied that he was on the Hard Centre. The word ‘Hard’ was important, it differentiated him from the liberals whom he regarded as the Soft Centre …

    He was able to develop political policies that synthesised the opposing interests of Capital and Labour; Industry and Agriculture; Science and the Environment; Youth and Old Age; Pacifism and Militarism; Traditionalism and Modernism; and Town and Countryside, to name but some.

    That’s ten more allegedly good things than Galloway has ever done, so as I have always believed that they should have hung Mosley by the neck like the treasonous dog he was, I have to recommend the same for Galloway. To be consistent, and stuff.

  5. Just another example of why Christopher Hitchens is on my top 5 list of people i’d love to have a drink with.

  6. Frankly, its not the Galloways, McDermots and McMurrays, Deniacs the Commie postmodern professors ANSWER and moveon moonbats, that surprise me.

    Its Hitchens, Goldberg, Geras, from Tammy Bruce to Camile Pagela, its the Lefts defectors, that I find so interesting. and those from Keith Thomas to Ronald Radosh and David horowitz.

    I dont see a lot of evidence Norman Geras has let go of His Socialistic affections, and that might be true to some extent for Hitchins.

    But at least they are true enough to their values to see the intristic worth in the overthrow of a blood stained tyrant.

    Now all they need to do is look with more understanding at their former fellow travelers that has them so dismayed, to understand why their own socialist dream ends up just as horrific in reality, in fact, the most horrific, measured in mountains of murdered of any of mans inhumanities to man.

    You do not need marxism to have Justice or Freedom, it has proven far more horrific than the old tyrants, America has a better idea. Perhaps at least they are closer to Accepting that individualist based Freedom and Liberty has merit after all.

    More from “Kieth”:http://www.thompsonatlarge.com/work22.htm

    bq. This past January, my liberalism was in full throttle when I bid the cultural left goodbye to escape a new version of that oppressiveness.

    Its why socialist utopias have mass graves, he begins to see leftist as the totalitarians that they are.

    bq. I departed with new clarity about the brilliance of liberal democracy and the value system it entails; the quest for freedom as an intrinsically human affair; and the dangers of demands for conformity and adherence to any point of view through silence, fear, or coercion.

    Its a good thing he chose to depart before the left had that victory, before that departure would be cause for deportation to the nearest gulag for re-education.

    bq. True, it took a while to see what was right before my eyes. A certain misplaced loyalty kept me from grasping that a view of individuals as morally capable of and responsible for making the principle decisions that shape their lives is decisively at odds with the contemporary left’s entrance-level view of people as passive and helpless victims of powerful external forces, hence political wards who require the continuous shepherding of caretaker elites.

    Hell thats a core fundamental principle difference between Freedom and Liberty, and the left.

    It rates right under the principle that a man is a soverien owner of himself, as well as the finite life energy he expends to better his own condition, and so on …

    bq. Leftists who no longer speak of the duties of citizens, but only of the rights of clients, cannot be expected to grasp the importance (not least to our survival) of fostering in the Middle East the crucial developmental advances that gave rise to our own capacity for pluralism, self-reflection, and equality.

    And they dont, some are making mild references that life was better under Saddam. How pathetic.

    bq. A left averse to making common cause with competent, self-determining individuals – people who guide their lives on the basis of received values, everyday moral understandings, traditional wisdom, and plain common sense –

    Because the left considers the individual an incomptent with his own freedom.

    bq. is a faction that deserves the marginalization it has pursued with such tenacity for so many years.

    They are yet to receive the full measure of marginalization they deserve.

    Returning to Hitchins, he backs up what Keith said, Galloway is not that exceptional for a leftist, if not for his gall and bluster.

    bq. I could still hold a martini without spilling it when I was “the greatest polemicist of our age” in 2001–but please note that the real thrust is contained in the word “Trotskyist.” Galloway says that the worst day of his entire life was the day the Soviet Union fell.

    Hitchins can include his contemporaries sharing wordspace with him at The Nation.

    bq. His existence since that dreadful event has involved the pathetic search for an alternative fatherland.

    He can include the rest of the left in that, Cuba ? N Korea before the death camps nudged past the leftist media filter ? The Islamic-Socialists like Arafat who was a creation of the KGB ? Baath Socialist Iraq ?

    bq. He has recently written that, “just as Stalin industrialised the Soviet Union, so on a different scale Saddam plotted Iraq’s own Great Leap Forward.” I love the word “scale” in that sentence. I also admire the use of the word “plotted.”

    I love the phrase “Great Leap Forward” Galloways hat tip to Mao, some 27 Million starved to death due to that “Great Leap Forward”.

    Perhaps the only thing that seperates Galloway from the McDermots, is that Galloway has been cought with Saddam’s blood-money spilling out of his pockets

    bq. The exhibits clearly showed that pro-Saddam political figures in France and Russia, and at least one American oil company, had earned the right to profit from illegal oil-trades, and had sweetened the pot by kicking back a percentage to Saddam’s personal palace-building and mass grave-digging fund.

    bq. but you must keep in mind that the material does not show transfers directly to Galloway himself; only to Zureikat, his patron and partner and friend. In an analogous way, one cannot accuse Scott Ritter, who made a ferocious documentary attacking the Iraq war, of being in Iraqi pay. One may be aware, though, that the Iraqi-American businessman who financed that film, Shakir al-Khafaji, has since shown up in the captured Oil-for-Food correspondence.

    And the money goes into Canada too, and into the pockets of Maurice (We must have Koyoto to destroy captitalism) Strong Of Rio Summit and Agenda 21 fame.

    If I might borrow a bit from Agenda 21, the ruse of benevolent intent in the part of these commie-leftist creaps is no longer “Sustainable”.

    So where does this leave the disaffected of the Left ? Will we see Hitchins and Norm Geras advocating school choice as an escape from the destroy-america cultural marxist “social engineering project”:http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com that has control of the schools in those commie-democrat controlled areas of America ?

    Will we see them sharing the podium with Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, David Horowitz, and documentary filmmakers Maloney, Browning and Greenberg to introduce the final cut for the film “Brainwashing 101?”:http://academicbias.com/bw101.html

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