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War Blog By: FrontPage Magazine
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, October 26, 2005


GRIM COUNTDOWN

05.10.25.GrimCountdown-X.gif

www.coxandforkum.com

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"GRIM MILESTONE" WATCH

U.S. Military Deaths Reach 2,000 in Iraq.

A U.S. Army sergeant died of wounds suffered in Iraq, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. The death _ along with two others announced Tuesday _ brought to 2,000 the number of U.S. military members who have died since the start of the Iraq conflict in 2003.

Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander, Jr., 34, of Killeen, Texas, died Saturday at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, of wounds suffered Oct. 17, when a bomb exploded near his vehicle in the central Iraqi city of Samarra, the Defense Department said. ...

The grim milestone was reached at a time of growing disenchantment over the war among the American public toward a conflict that was launched to punish Iraqi President Saddam Hussein for his alleged weapons of mass destruction. None were ever found.

Major Chaz points out that this “milestone” might be better described as a “phony milestone:” The Big 2K: The Coming Media Myth.

The MSM is starting to gear up (and the anti-war left has been ready for a while) to present us with the story of “the milestone of 2,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq”.

Unfortunately, this story is bogus for a few different reasons. Please keep in mind I am military, and none of that which follows is to make light of any of the deaths not matter what column they fall into, but rather to point out that those that make hay about this milestone, are actually celebrating it to further their own cause.

First, being in the military is a high-risk enterprise, even when you are not in combat. Humvees roll over, helicopters crash, people commit suicide, people get hit by vehicles. People die. But in this instance, since they happened in a combat zone, they fit neatly into the meme of the leftists that “Bush Lied, People Died”. They would have you believe that all of these brave souls died as victims of imperialist government fighting in an illegal war. Bringthemhomenow.org says “So far, more than 1950 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq ....”

But only slightly more than 1500 have actually died from hostile fire. More than 400 military members have died due to non-combat causes. And not all of the almost 2000 deaths have actually happened in Iraq. If a military member dies in the AOR, on orders for OIF, his/her death is counted towards “the milestone of 2,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq”.

ANTI-SEMITIC POEM IN UK SCHOOLBOOK

Just appalling: Anti-Semitic poem in children’s school book.

A poem which praises the murder of Jews by the Nazis has been included in a book of children’s poetry to be distributed amongst schools in the UK.

The publication, entitled Great Minds, features the work of school children aged 11 to 18 who won a nationwide literary competition. But one poem has generated outrage amongst Jewish groups, politicians and Holocaust charities for its anti-Semitic content.

The entry by the 14-year-old Gideon Taylor is apparently written from the viewpoint of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

It includes the lines “Jews are here, Jews are there, Jews are almost everywhere, filling up the darkest places, evil looks upon their faces.”

Another part reads: “Make them take many paces for being one of the worst races, on their way to a gas chamber, where they will sleep in their manger? I’ll be happy Jews have died.”

[...]

Young Writers editor Steve Twelvetree, who also edited the book, said the poem was included as it illustrated how the writer was able to empathise with the infamous Nazi Fuehrer.

Twelvetree told the Telegraph: “From Gideon’s poem and my knowledge of the National Curriculum Key Stage 3 his poem shows a good use of technical writing and he has written his poem from the perspective of Adolf Hitler.”

The editor continued: ”Key Stage 3 history requires pupils to show knowledge and understanding of events and places - to show historical interpretation and to explain significance of events, people and places, all of which World War II and the Holocaust is part of. The poem clearly states ‘I am Adolf Hitler’ and it recounts a historical fact, something Young Writers and Forward Press are not willing to censor."

RULE AMERICA?

Here’s a great piece by Jonathan Last at the Daily Standard on the downfall of the British Empire, and its disturbing parallels with the current US situation: Rule America? (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll.)

WHAT DOES MODERN HISTORY have to teach us about the age of American empire? The final chapters of the British Empire offer lessons and parallels aplenty. Empires don’t last forever, and the combination of martial victory, popular ennui, and liberal anti-patriotism is a dangerous mix for a superpower.  Tuesday, October 25, 2005

PIGGY BANKS BANNED IN BRITAIN

Banks in the UK have banned the use of piggy banks, because of fears that the time-honored British symbol of saving may offend Muslims.

British banks are banning piggy banks because they may offend some Muslims.

Halifax and NatWest banks have led the move to scrap the time-honoured symbol of saving from being given to children or used in their advertising, the Daily Express/Daily Star group reports here.

Muslims do not eat pork, as Islamic culture deems the pig to be an impure animal.

Salim Mulla, secretary of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, backed the bank move.

“This is a sensitive issue and I think the banks are simply being courteous to their customers,” he said.

ISLAMIST SCHOOL WINS EXCELLENCE AWARD

School for Shar’ia : Islamist School Wins Dept of Education Blue Ribbon for Excellence Award. (Hat tip: Dhimmi Watch.)

October 20, 20005 - Philadelphia, PA - PipeLineNews.org - Jihad through Da’wa [conversion of non-Muslims] in the form of domestic Islamic education has gotten a boost from an unlikely source, the U.S. government.

The administration has just presented the New Horizons Islamic School in Pasadena, California the United States Department of Education’s “Blue Ribbon for Excellence” award.

This first ever award to a Muslim school appears to validate the predictions which cleric Yusuf Qaradawi made a decade ago, at a Muslim Youth conference in Ohio.

“...Some countries will fall to the armed Islamic jihad, but in others, such as the United States, victory will come through Da’wa - the teaching of Islam to non-Muslims - which will trigger Westerners to convert to Islam ‘in droves.’ We will conquer America not by the sword but by Da’wa.”

Qawadari has since been banned from the U.S. due to his terror connections, but his vision of Da’wa transforming America into a United States of Allah, is reflected in the curriculum used in schools like that of New Horizons and as developed by affiliates such as ISNA [The Islamic Society of North America]. the BIAE [The Board of Islamic and Arabic Education] and the UK based IBERR [International Board for Education Research and Resources].

The BIAE, based in Los Angeles - which plans the curriculum of the New Horizons School together with the Islamic Center of Southern California even offers an Islamized version of the Pledge of Allegiance on their website. It begins with the phrase - “As an American Muslim I pledge allegiance to ALLAH and his Prophet.”  Monday, October 24, 2005

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog

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JIHAD LEADER: NO MORE PEACE IN OUR TIME

Neville, the Gaza peace party is over. "Terror leader: Lull is history," from Ynet News, with thanks to all who sent this in:

The relative lull in Israeli-Palestinian violence “is history,” an Islamic Jihad commander in the Jenin area says in the wake of the killing of the group’s West Bank leader on Sunday, followed by a Qassam rocket barrage directed at the southern town of Sderot Monday afternoon.

The rocket fire is only an initial response, Abu al-Muamen warned in a conversation with Ynet.

“Throughout the recent period, we and all the Palestinian organizations were committed to the lull,” he said. “But the Zionist enemy continued its offensives against our people, and particularly against members of the movement. At a time when our commanders and leaders are in Israel’s sights and are being eliminated one after the other, we can’t talk about respecting the lull, which in our view no longer exists. It belongs to history.”

TENNESSEE: MAN WHO THREATENED JIHAD GETS 4 YEARS-PLUS IN PRISON

Ahmed Hassan Al-Uqaily update from the Tennessean, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:

An Iraqi national living in Nashville who made threats of “going jihad” was sentenced this morning to a 57 months in prison for illegal possession of machine guns and a hand grenade, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Ahmed Hassan Al-Uqaily agreed to be deported after serving his prison term, a release from the U.S. attorney’s office said.

He had expressed animosity for the Jewish community and discussed two Jewish facilities in the Nashville area, but he gave no indication of specific plans, according to a plea agreement earlier this year.  Tuesday, October 25, 2005

http://jihadwatch.org

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THE LAME ASSESSING THE "BLIND"

Eugene Robinson, an embarrassment even by the standards of the Washington Post's op-ed page, has looked into the soul of Condoleezza Rice and concluded that, as an African-American, she just won't do.

Robinson traveled to Rice's hometown of Birmingham, Alabama with the Secretary to determine how she, as an African-American, could "work so loyally for George W. Bush" (perhaps Rice could have maintained her racial authenticity in Robinson's eyes by working for Bush but being less loyal). Keeping an open mind, Robinson adjudicated among three theories: "Is she blind, is she in denial, is she confused?"

Robinson appears to favor blindness. The problem, don't you know, is that because her Birmingham neighborhood was a "bubble" during the 1960s, it was difficult for the sheltered Rice to understand the harsh reality black people face (I'm not making this up; Robinson is). It is true that Rice's father guarded his neighborhood with a rifle to protect it against the KKK. But Robinson concludes that Rice must not have appreciated what was happening, being too busy playing the piano. It's also true that Rice's friend was killed in a church bombing. But Rice doesn't speak of this with enough emotion to satisfy Robinson.

Despite the gun-toting dad and the slain friend, Robinson is quite certain that Rice's parents successfully sheltered her from the reality of racism. His evidence? She shows no bitterness. To Robinson that can't be a sign of a superior spirit; it must be lack of vision

Robinson has another beef with Rice -- she only brought one black professional with her from the National Security Council to the State Department. Robinson apparently didn't ask how many total employees she brought with her, how many blacks were at the NSC, how many of them wanted to make the move, what their qualifications were, etc. Or maybe he asked but didn't like the answer. He dismisses out of hand Rice's statement that the pool of black foreign policy experts available to the administration is small. Yet the premise of Robinson's piece is that no right-thinking black would want to serve President Bush.

Robinson sizes Rice up as having "somehow missed" the "guiding principle" that blacks are obliged as they climb to reach back and bring others along. Robinson, by contrast, has grasped the universal principle that, when someone climbs ahead of you, you are obliged to attempt, however lamely, pull her back or tear her down.  Tuesday, October 25, 2005

www.powerlineblog.com

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www.daybydaycartoon.com

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REUTERS' SELECTIVE MEMORY AND OUTRAGE

By Bill Roggio

The attack on the Palestinian Hotel has created a media backlash against violence directed against journalists, but not against al Qaeda in particular. Media giant Reuters weighs in on yesterday’s multiple suicide assault. While Suicide bombings have been the calling card of al Qaeda in Iraq and its Islamist affiliates and allies, incredulously, Reuters feigns ignorance of the origin of the attackers; “Until now, the perpetrators remain unknown.” Reuters does not even hazard an educated guess.

Reuters is very careful to remind us of the accidental attack on the Palestinian Hotel during Operation Iraqi Freedom, as if the terrorist’s three car-bomb assault yesterday, which incidentally killed three photojournalists, is comparable to the U.S. tank firing on the hotel 2003. While the Committee to Protect Journalists is cited in this article, there is no mention of their finding on the incident at the Palestinian Hotel during OIF, which absolved the U.S. forces of intentionally targeting journalists. Regardless, Reuters devotes over half the article to remind us that the United States kills journalists, too.

This is not the first time the hotels have been targeted. In April 2003, the Palestine Hotel – a traditional way station for journalists and consultants – was hit by US tank fire. That incident resulted in the deaths of two journalists, one from news agency Reuters and the other from a Spanish television network.

Notably, on the same day, US troops also opened fire on the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network's Baghdad office, killing television reporter Tariq Ayoub.

US military officials later apologised for both incidents, which they said were the result of erroneous intelligence regarding insurgent positions.

Oh, and the U.S. and Iraqi government also intimidate journalists in country, so says an unnamed journalist.

Some Baghdad-based reporters say that journalists are regularly subjected to intimidation by the authorities, who hope to suppress coverage of the war's less flattering aspects.

"Journalism in Iraq has been in crisis since the beginning of 2004," said one reporter who preferred anonymity. "The Iraqi government and US forces have put pressure on us because they're afraid of what we have been showing the world."

This fails to explain the myriad of negative reports submitted from Iraq hourly.

As I stated in today's post explaining the suicide bombing and its consequences, “The media’s reaction to viewing al Qaeda’s purposeful attack on their own is unlikely to match their fury over the accidental deaths of journalists during Operation Iraqi Freedom by U.S. forces at the very same hotel.” Reuters never fails to disappoint.   Tuesday, October 25, 2005

http://billroggio.com

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MEANWHILE, IN THE REAL WORLD...

Tomorrow may bring indictments of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby on charges that can charitably be described as trivial. Tonight, one of our readers urged us to link to President Bush's great speech to the Joint Armed Forces Officers' Wives' group rather than being distracted by the minutiae of the day. Good suggestion. President Bush gave another magnificent speech; here are a few highlights:

Some have argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals. I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September 11th, 2001, and al Qaeda attacked us anyway. The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue, and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse. (Applause.)

The government of Russia did not support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and yet the militants killed more than 150 Russian schoolchildren in Beslan. Over the years these extremists have used a litany of excuses for violence -- the Israeli presence on the West Bank, or the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, or the defeat of the Taliban, or the Crusades of a thousand years ago. In fact, we're not facing a set of grievances that can be soothed and addressed. We're facing a radical ideology with inalterable objectives: to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world.

No acts of ours involves the rage of killers. And no concessions, bribe, or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans of murder. On the contrary; they target nations whose behavior they believe they can change through violence. Against such an enemy, there is only one effective response: We will never back down, never give in, and never accept anything less than complete victory. (Applause.)

The murderous ideology of the Islamic radicals is the great challenge of our new century. Yet, in many ways, this fight resembles the struggle against communism in the last century. Like the ideology of communism, Islamic radicalism is elitist, led by a self-appointed vanguard that presumes to speak for the Muslim masses. Bin Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims -- and I quote -- "what is good for them and what is not." And what this man who grew up in wealth and privilege considers good for poor Muslims is that they become killers and suicide bombers. He assures them that this is the road to paradise -- though he never offers to go along for the ride. (Laughter.)

When 25 Iraqi children are killed in a bombing, or Iraqi teachers are executed at their school, or hospital workers are killed caring for the wounded, this is murder, pure and simple -- the total rejection of justice and honor and morality and religion. These militants are not just enemies of America or enemies of Iraq, they are the enemies of Islam and enemies of humanity. (Applause.)

We have seen this kind of shameless cruelty before -- in the heartless zealotry that led to the gulags, the Cultural Revolution, and the killing fields. Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy pursues totalitarian aims. Its leaders pretend to be an aggrieved party, representing the powerless against imperial enemies. In truth, they have endless ambitions of imperial domination; they wish to make everyone powerless, except themselves.***

Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy is dismissive of free peoples, claiming that men and women who live in liberty are weak and decadent. Zarqawi has said that Americans are, "the most cowardly of God's creatures." But let us be clear: It is cowardice that seeks to kill children and the elderly with car bombs. It's cowardice that cuts the throat of a bound captive. It is cowardice that targets worshipers leaving a mosque. It is courage that liberated more than 50 million people; it is courage that keeps an untiring vigil against the enemies of a rising democracy. It is courage in the cause of freedom that will once again destroy the enemies of freedom. (Applause.)

Some observers look at the job ahead and adopt a self-defeating pessimism. It's not justified. With every random bombing and every funeral of a child, it becomes more clear that the extremists are not patriots or resistance fighters -- they are murderers at war with the Iraqi people, themselves. In contrast, the elected leaders of Iraq are proving to be strong and steadfast. By any standard or precedent of history, Iraq has made incredible political progress -- from tyranny to liberation, to national elections, to the ratification of a constitution -- in the space of two and a half years. (Applause.)

There's always a temptation, in the middle of a long struggle, to seek the quiet life, to escape the duties and problems of the world, to hope the enemy grows weary of fanaticism and tired of murder. That would be a pleasant world -- but it isn't the world in which we live. The enemy is never tired, never sated, never content with yesterday's brutality. This enemy considers every retreat of the civilized world as an invitation to greater violence. In Iraq, there is no peace without victory -- and we will keep our nerve and we will win that victory. (Applause.)

Throughout history, tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that murder is justified to serve their grand vision -- and they end up alienating decent people across the globe. Tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that regimented societies are strong and pure -- until those societies collapse in corruption and decay. Tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that free men and women are weak and decadent -- until the day that free men and women defeat them.

It is rather pathetic, frankly, to compare the soaring vision of freedom that President Bush has elaborated over the past five years to the cramped, hateful hectoring the Democrats have produced during the same time.

A WORD FROM MAJOR E.

Major E. is our man at Camp Victory in Baghdad. Today he writes to comment on the attack on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, heading his report "Bombs in Baghdad -- Spectacularly Ineffective":

By now, I am sure that many of your readers have seen the eye-catching video of multiple vehicle bombs detonating in front of a Baghdad hotel. Since it is being broadcast all over the airwaves, I just wanted to remind readers that even though it was an apparent public relations success for the terrorists, the attack was a failure in military terms.

The number of terrorists involved and the follow-on small arms attacks make it clear that the overall goal was to use suicide vehicle bombs to breach the security perimeter, then take over the hotel and hold the international guests as hostages. Instead, they failed to achieve those objectives and the attackers were killed.

Now, the terrorists can only hope that the video of a failed attack will result in a strategic victory by undermining the level of support that war-weary American people have for the democratization of Iraq. I am writing to encourage readers to take a different view.

The media sources I have seen breathlessly point out the spectacular nature of the attack and show the video clip over and over. They do not seem, however, to be pointing out that the Iraqi Police were instrumental in repelling the assault. They did receive some assistance from the US quick reaction force that arrived later, but the real story here is that the Islamic terrorists in Iraq are incapable of even seizing, let alone holding, a hotel full of journalists. Meanwhile, the Iraqi security forces continue to get stronger and more capable by the day.

During my last couple of months in theater, I interacted with various US units that have been working more and more closely with the Iraqis in order to bring about the transition of military responsibility from the coalition. Across the board, the US troops are impressed with the progress being made by their Iraqi counterparts. That progress was demonstrated under fire during successful operations in Tall Afar last month, where a majority of the troops that defeated the terrorists in that area and destroyed their operational safe havens were Iraqi.

But good news is so slow to get out, if it ever does. As I mentioned last week, I have been speaking and sharing slides with local civic and political groups here at home and, unfortunately, almost no one with whom I have spoken has even heard of Tall Afar or any of the positive developments coming from there.

On the other hand, seemingly every person knows of Fallujah and remains aware of the high casualties taken by the Marines who secured the city late last year. Yet no one seems to know that just last week, an estimated 70,000 Fallujans voted in the referendum. That is a dramatic increase over voter turnout last January, when essentially zero votes were cast because the lack of security made it too dangerous to establish polling stations.

Many Americans seem to know the bad news from last year, but not the good news from last week. While I am glad that the public knows that many gave life and limb for Fallujah, I am saddened that so few know the incredibly positive result of that sacrifice. There is so much good happening in Iraq in terms of rebuilding the society and offering the people the priceless opportunity of freedom and democracy, yet so little of the good is being reported in the media. I hope those reading this will make the connection between the sacrifice of the troops and the ever-expanding freedom of the Iraqi people.

Every American deserves to know that the sacrifice made on the streets of Fallujah by US servicemembers last year is what made possible last week the jubilant dancing of Iraqis waving their ink-stained fingers after they had cast the first vote of their lives. The Iraqi people know and appreciate what we have done for them, and I hope that the American people will come to know it more and more as well.

The conflict will, however, continue to be a tough fight because the terrorists know that the stakes could not be higher. The continued march toward an elected government with the legitimacy of several popular votes, each with successively higher turnout, thwarts their desire to impose Islamic tyranny on the Iraqi people.

Thank you for reporting positive developments and I pray that your readers will continue to read widely in order to get a more objective sense of what is going on there--and then tell everyone they know that things are much better in Iraq than the media would like you to believe.

V/R
Major E.  Tuesday, October 25, 2005

www.powerlineblog.com

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PLAYING TO THE GALLOWAY

On May 23, 2005, while newspapers were waxing delirious over the rhetorical drubbing that George Galloway was apparently administering to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, the Belmont Club on the old site noted something peculiar about the apparent passivity of the Senators towards Galloway's barbs.

The really striking thing about the Galloway's testimony as transcribed by the Information Clearing House is how the Senators and the Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow were pursuing a non-collision course. Galloway had come to score press and public relations points at which, by all accounts, he was successful at doing. But Senator Coleman and Levin seemed totally uninterested in responding to Galloway's sharp political jibes. It was almost as if the Senators were deaf to his political posturing. Instead, they focused exclusively and repeatedly on two things: Galloway's relationship with Fawaz Zureikat and Tariq Aziz. Zureikat was a board member of Galloway's Mariam foundation who is also implicated in the Oil For Food deals. Tariq Aziz was Saddam's vice president.

During his testimony Senator Coleman asked this seemingly innocuous question of Galloway about his relationship with Fawaz Zureikat.

SEN. COLEMAN: If I can get back to Mr. Zureikat one more time. Do you recall a time when he specifically -- when you had a conversation with him about oil dealings in Iraq?

GALLOWAY: I have already answered that question. I can assure you, Mr. Zureikat never gave me a penny from an oil deal, from a cake deal, from a bread deal, or from any deal. He donated money to our campaign, which we publicly brandished on all of our literature, along with the other donors to the campaign.

SEN. COLEMAN: Again, Mr. Galloway, a simple question. I'm looking for either a yes or no. Did you ever have a conversation with Mr. Zureikat where he informed you that he had oil dealings with Iraq, yes or no?

GALLOWAY: Not before this Daily Telegraph report, no. ...

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D): Thank you, Mr. Galloway.

Later, it was the turn of Senator Levin to ask these mild-mannered questions of the firebrand from Bethnal Green and Bow about his dealings with Tariq Aziz. He was shortly followed by Senator Coleman who asked the same question but with different emphasis.

SEN. LEVIN: ... I wanted just to ask you about Tariq Aziz.

GALLOWAY: Yeah.

SEN. LEVIN: Tariq Aziz. You've indicated you, you--who you didn't talk to and who you did talk to. Did you have conversations with Tariq Aziz about the award of oil allocations? That's my question.

GALLOWAY: Never.

SEN. LEVIN: Thank you. I'm done. Thank you.

SEN. COLEMAN: Just one follow-up on the Tariq Aziz question. How often did you uh ... Can you describe the relation with Tariq Aziz?

GALLOWAY: Friendly.

SEN. COLEMAN: How often did you meet him?

GALLOWAY: Many times.

SEN. COLEMAN: Can you give an estimate of that?

GALLOWAY: No. Many times.

SEN. COLEMAN: Is it more than five?

GALLOWAY: Yes, sir.

SEN. COLEMAN: More than ten?

GALLOWAY: Yes.

SEN. COLEMAN: Fifteen? Around fifteen?

GALLOWAY: Well, we're getting nearer, but I haven't counted. But many times. I'm saying to you "Many times," and I'm saying to you that I was friendly with him.

SEN. COLEMAN: And you describe him as "a very dear friend"?

GALLOWAY: I think you've quoted me as saying "a dear, dear friend." I don't often use the double adjective, but--

SEN. COLEMAN: --I was looking into your heart on that.--

GALLOWAY: --but "friend" I have no problem with. Senator, just before you go on--I do hope that you'll avail yourself of this dossier that I have produced. And I am really speaking through you to Senator Levin. This is what I have said about Saddam Hussein.

SEN. COLEMAN: Well, we'll enter that into the record without objection. I have no further questions of the witness. You're excused, Mr. Galloway.

GALLOWAY: Thank you very much.

In that May post, I wrote that the tone and manner of Galloway's examination suggested that the Senators were trying to establish a specific point for the record, in the hopes of using Galloway's testimony against him later.

In the exchange above it is abundantly clear that both Coleman and Levin simply wanted to enter Galloway's denial of having discussed Oil for Food business with Tariq Aziz in the record. Levin immediately ends his questioning after eliciting Galloway's "Never". Coleman is content to merely establish that Aziz and Galloway were "friends" who had met "many times" before saying "I have no further questions of the witness".

The London Times reports that  "The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will refer the Respect Party MP for possible prosecution after concluding that he gave 'false and misleading' testimony at his appearance before the panel in May." In particular, the Senate alleges they have found a paper trail showing payments leading from Fawaz Zureikat to George Galloway's wife. The Washington Times further reports that "Mr. Galloway personally asked for and received from Mr. Aziz and others eight allocations from 1999 to 2003 for the rights to 23 million barrels of oil." In any trial over perjury, Galloway's response to the Senator's questions in May will loom large. Galloway is laughing the whole thing off. The BBC reports:

But Mr Galloway told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The specific allegation against me is that I lied under oath in front of a senate committee.

"In this case the remedy is clear - they must charge me with perjury and I am ready to fly to the US today, if necessary, to face such a charge because it is simply false."

The Bethnal Green and Bow MP also launched an attack on the senate investigators.

"They have been cavalier with any idea of process and justice so far, but I am still willing to go to the US and I am still willing to face any charge of perjury before the senate committee," he said. 

(Speculation alert) It was Galloway's contempt for the intelligence and capability of his Senatorial pursuers that may have gotten him into this perjury mess in the first place. It wasn't enough to remain silent on his relationship with with Zureikat. Playing to his gallery, Galloway boomed, "I can assure you, Mr. Zureikat never gave me a penny from an oil deal, from a cake deal, from a bread deal, or from any deal." Nice touch about the cake and the bread. Perhaps he couldn't imagine, at the time, why these yokels were asking him simple questions that were beneath his level of rhetorical ability. Even today Galloway may think so little of his adversaries that he was willing to boast on BBC Radio that "I am ready to fly to the US today, if necessary, to face such a charge because it is simply false." He is as smart today as he was then.

PLAYING TO THE GALLOWAY 2

Seixon has a detailed exposition of how and when oil money was moved into Fawaz Zureikat's account and then transferred to George Galloway's Mariam Appeal. The documentary chain is probably unbreakable. Hence, Seixon thinks that:

The only defense Galloway can mount against these allegations is that he did not know that Zureikat was using money from oil deals to donate to his campaign. In other words, he would claim that he never asked Zureikat about the source of this money, thus was not part of this money laundering scheme. 

If all that stands between Galloway and a conviction for perjury is the defense that he was misled by Zureikat, it follows that Zureikat must agree to cover for him. The Simply Appalling blog has an interesting reference to a dead link in the Independent, which hints that Zureikat may not be so willing to go down with Galloway.

Well, Kim Sengupta and Terri Judd of the UK's Independent were able to reach Mr. Zureikat for comment, and he had some interesting things to say.

The Jordanian businessman accused of passing oil money from Saddam Hussein to George Galloway has revealed that he is once again trading in Iraq and making trips to America with the approval of the US authorities. Fawaz Zureikat was speaking publicly for the first time since he was named by a US Senate investigative committee examining the United Nations oil-for-food programme. He told The Independent that neither the new government in Baghdad nor US officials had raised any objections to him renewing his trade with Iraq.

There's a new government in Baghdad, which is incidentally trying Galloway's old pal Saddam Hussein for capital crimes, and Mr. Zureikat would understandably be anxious to carry on his business with the current government. He would be in a potential position to remember names, locations, other witnesses and documents that may cast doubt on George Galloway's assertion that he knew nothing of the provenance of the money that showed up in the Mariam Appeal accounts.  Tuesday, October 25, 2005

http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com

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