MAY 26th 2006
Mr Galloway maintains it is logical for those who have had their countrymen, friends and family killed during the current campaign in Iraq to feel morally justified in fighting back against the forces responsible, their commanders and the political architects of the campaign, personally. This is true if you are an Iraqi who believes that the military overthrow of Saddam was wrong, and that he and his supporters should have been left alone to run Iraq in the way he was doing it. It might even be true if you are an Iraqi who thinks that the military operation was started and continued without due regard to what is euphemistically called 'collateral damage', though in that case it would be more for revenge than any other motive, as murdering Tony Blair is not likely to improve at this stage the circumstances of anybody in Iraq. It seems hard for some people to believe that every effort was made at the start of this operation to remove Saddam without an invasion, and that the invasion when inevitable was planned to take as few lives as possible.

There are those indeed who think that bringing democracy and open government, freedom of assembly and speech to Iraq is wrong; but there are very few who believe it could have been achieved by asking Saddam to do it, or his inheritors. Mr Galloway has never explained his view of how things should have proceeded under an alternative scenario. He is much better informed on some matters than the people whose feathers he ruffles. When he was accused by the Daily Telegraph and members of the US Congress of certain things I warned they could end up with egg on their faces That in no way makes sense of his claim that Blair, or even Bush, have given the orders to murder thousands of people. Peace to a tolerable extent could have come quickly if the legacy of Saddam's rule had not left so much inter-ethnic distrust and hatred or if the coalition had made the proper preparations to control the country after the removal of Saddam. But the moment the UN shirked its responsibility and the US military had decided 'we don't do peace' there was nowhere to go but through hell, as was pointed out on pages on this website at the time. Preparations of that sort take years in the planning, and the public, even in the coalition of the willing, were unwilling to allow the process to be taken in advance so long as they thought there was a chance to either prove Saddam had no WMD, or force him from office. There was no chance of either without a UN determined to follow through. Hans Blix and others wandering around was just a joke played on the mathematically challenged, of which he appeared to be one.

To carry out an operation of this kind, the national powers acting for the UN had to be united, domestically and amongst themselves. They were not. They should have been. To pull the fat out of the fire now, Iraqis must put their common good and their country first. All terrorism and crime cannot cease immediately, anyone can understand that. But amongst those of reasonable intelligence who have a will to work for the future, it can. Galloway is still more interested in Galloway than anything else. His contribution today is not helpful.