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George Galloway: ‘The Iraq war has scarred the world’

Hundreds of people attended a Stop the War rally in central London on Thursday of last week. Respect MP George Galloway spoke at the meeting about the disaster of the war on Iraq

Issue No. 2039

‘Not only have 655,000 Iraqis died, there are also hundreds of thousands of maimed Iraqis, hundreds of thousands of homeless Iraqis, millions of Iraqis with no electricity and no water.

According to the United Nations, four million Iraqis have fled the country or fled their homes to live elsewhere in Iraq.

That’s the scale of the disaster that these criminals, George Bush and Tony Blair, have taken us into. This is a disaster that has scarred the face of the world forever. It has disfigured the entire legal, diplomatic, economic face of the world.

This is a disaster which has spread hatred and bitterness across the world. There is burning indignation in the hearts of millions of British Muslims who hate what their own country has done to their coreligionists around the world.

We in the anti-war movement have to say clearly to those young Muslims, we know that you’re angry, you’re right to be angry. But the best way to be angry is to join hands with the rest of us who are angry and hold these criminals to account once and for all.

Catastrophic

We’re not just marching on Saturday to stop the war we are already in. We stand on the brink of an even more catastrophic war.

You might think that after the disastrous way this war turned out, it is inconceivable that the same people would start another. Well, think again.

Look at the disaster in Vietnam. The US government was sinking into the pit they dug for the three million Vietnamese whom they drowned with chemical weapons, whom they bombed remorselessly 24 hours a day.

They didn’t decide, “We’re in so deep we have to get out”. Like a crazed gambler they decided it was double or quits, to bet the farm on another war in Laos, in Cambodia, and another four million people were killed as a result.

Those people at the top today are contemplating another war.

Foreign secretary Margaret Beckett was invited to say as her predecessor Jack Straw had said, that an attack upon Iran was “inconceivable”.

She declined the opportunity to say so, preferring the weasel words, “Nobody is contemplating an attack on Iran”.

Invasion

But of course they are contemplating it. The Israeli air force is practising on a weekly basis, flying to Gibraltar because the distance from Tel Aviv to Gibraltar and back is exactly the distance from Tel Aviv to the targets in Iran and back.

They’re using Gibraltar as a mock target point for the bombing runs on Iran.

Seymour Hersh, the man who broke stories about Vietnam, has told us exactly what detail that the US war games are predicated upon – exactly the attack upon Iran that Margaret Beckett claims that nobody is contemplating.

There is abroad, and in the British parliament, the feeling that an aerial bombardment of Iran is some kind of cheap option, that after all, it’s not an invasion.

An aerial bombardment with cruise missiles and bunker busting nuclear tipped bombs, by Israel, by the US, or both, would open the gates of hell throughout the Muslim world.

Iran is not a broken backed country, smashed by war and sanctions. Iran is a strong, powerful and rich country. Iran is not without friends, in the way that Iraq was without friends. Iran has friends everywhere – in Lebanon and throughout the Muslim world.’


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Sat 24 Feb 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2039
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