British MP (member of parliament) George Galloway told Al Bawaba on Wednesday
that the Americans are losing the war in Iraq as he also warned that the forerunners
of a civil war are peeking in on Lebanon.
He also called on the Lebanese opposition not to transform Lebanon into “a
knife in Syria’s back". Galloway also criticized British Premier
Tony Blair vehemently for denying the connection between his country’s
participation in the invasion of Iraq and the London explosions.
Galloway, who arrived in Amman on a leg of his Middle East tour, said “the
Americans are losing the war,” pointing out that the losses they incurred
in Iraq since the invasion in April 2003 are approaching the size of their losses
during the same period of time during the Vietnam war.
Galloway said that the American army’s announcement yesterday of the
death of four of their soldiers in an explosion west of Baghdad brought the
total number of deaths to nearly two thousand. Additionally, about ten times
that number has been wounded - 10 percent of whom are permanently amputated
Galloway, who heads the British opposition party “Respect”, said
it was unlikely that the US-led foreign forces would withdraw from Iraq in 2005,
as indicated by information that purportedly leaked from the British and US
Ministries of Defense.
Galloway said he did not believe they would withdraw in 2006, and that the
aim of this "misinformation" is somewhat of an enduring practice aimed
at procrastination and diverting the attention from the demands for withdrawal.
"The United States ties its withdrawal from Iraq to the building an Iraqi
armed forces capable of maintaining their own security in the country."
This, Galloway believes, is unachievable and, accordingly, "the foreign
forces will not leave in the coming years."
The British MP who is known for his fierce opposition to the war, expected
further deterioration in the security situation in Iraq in the absence of a
definite timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces that is being demanded
by the resistance.
“I believe that the resistance will grow stronger and stronger, and the
occupiers will pay dearly”, he said referring to foreign forces in Iraq.
He added that the situation in Iraq is extremely dangerous. “No one can
predict if the occupiers will leave on their own accord, or if the resistance
has come closer to achieving its goal (of driving the occupying forces out).”
Iraqi invasion and the London explosions
Galloway blasted the British Prime Minister for denying the connection between
his country’s invasion of Iraq and the London Underground explosions on
7 July that killed 56 people.
According to Galloway, the result of a poll published by the Times on Wednesday
showed that 65% of Britons believe there is a connection between their country’s
participation in the invasion of Iraq and the explosions…but Blair has
emphatically denied such a relation.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Blair renewed his condemnation of any explosions
in Palestine, Iraq, London, Egypt, Turkey or the United States. However, Galloway
derided Blair’s insistence that such a relationship existed, and said
“even the blind could see the connection.”
“Even the ordinary person on the street can see the absurdity in saying
that there is no connection between the Muslim’s anger and the explosions
in London’s underground and buses following the UK’s participation
in two wars against two Muslim countries in which more than 50,000 people were
killed…this is unreasonable”. “The two occupations (of Iraq
and Afghanistan) must end. If you want to continue with it, you must admit the
relation between the two events,” he added.
Galloway also strongly condemned the explosions which he considered “unjustifiable”.
He described what took place in London as mass murder of innocent civilians.
“It is a crime in any language, in any religion”. Not withstanding
the London explosions, public polls indicate that Blair’s popularity has
Galloway said that “Blair wants to make a new 9/11 and we want to make
another Madrid out of the London explosions, but both have not happened yet.”
Galloway has also expressed his outrage and disgust at the strict terror laws
Britain is trying to advance. These new laws, in addition to wider privileges
in surveillance and investigation of those suspected of having links with terrorists,
are expected to punish those that incite terrorism and/or prepare and train
terrorists. They also give the British government more flexibility towards deportation
and the refusal of entry of those suspected of either being terrorists or having
links to those suspected of it.
Galloway described these proposals as very dangerous and a slap in the face
of free speech. "This law means that, let us say, I said something having
to do with supporting resistance in Iraq and Palestine, and what I said moved
you to convince another person to carry out a terrorist act, I become subject
to trial,” he explained. “I could be on trial every day once these
new proposals become law,” he joked.
On the issue of the Muslim community in England, he admits that “Muslims
there are very concerned, and they have the right to be, especially since they
believe that these laws are targeting them in view of the fact that the perpetrators
came from the Muslim community in this country.”
Lebanon is a knife in Syria’s back
On the issue of Lebanon, Galloway, who visited that country priorto his stop
in Amman and is scheduled to visit Syria on Thursday, warned that a civil war
is on the brink in Lebanon. He also called upon the Lebanese opposition not
to transform Lebanon into a “knife in Syria’s back”.
During his visit to Lebanon, he felt that the elements of the Lebanese civil
war, which ended in 1989, are now back and Lebanon has become a dangerous place
now, alluding to Michel Aoun’s return and Samir Ja’ja’s release
from jail, both of whom are primary architects in the 15-year civil war.
Lebanon is currently witnessing an ‘atmosphere of war’ following
the February 14 assasination of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in a powerful explosion
that rocked downtown Beirut and the subsequent explosions targeting key Lebanese
Hariri’s assassination triggered a wave of demonstrations by the opposition
and the general public in a first of its kind display of Arab ‘street-power’
that led to Arab and international pressure that culminated in Lebanon’s
emancipation from Syria.
Galloway called upon the Lebanese opposition “not to allow Lebanon to
turn into the knife in Syria’s back and to better understand America’s
“America wants to use Lebanon to add more pressure on Syria and to push
it to collapse because of its persistent support of Hezbollah, the Palestinian
resistance, its rejection of the foreign occupation of Iraq and its unwillingness
to be more vigilant with its Iraqi borders.”
He also added that the American Administration, in collaboration with its European
allies, have purposely rekindled the Kurds’ demand for separation from
Syria, escalating the pressure on that country. But Galloway said it was improbable
that the US would risk invading Syria or undertaking a military operation in
Southern Lebanon that would force Hezbollah to disarm, as it does not want a
repeat of the bloody impasse its forces are currently facing in Iraq.
Playing with fire
The British MP is also warning the Arabs of what is being contrived against
them, especially by the neoconservatives in the American Administration. He
believes that the old Sykes–Picot agreement has become ineffective and
one should expect a new same-style carve-up of the region. He expects geographical
changes in Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
The Sykes-Picot agreement was a secret agreement between the French and British
colonial powers during the earlier part of the 20th century that would effectively
shape the borders and countries of the present Middle East and ensure a viable
Jewish state in what was Palestine.
He said that the new Zionist-Christian Conservatives in the US administration
have an interest in keeping things unstable as it weakens the regional governments
and diverts attention from US and Israeli interests in the Middle East. Commenting
on the open dialogues between US administration officials and the Muslim Brotherhood
in Syria and Egypt, he said “they are playing with fire.”
“By trying to bring these groups to terms and allying with them, America
thinks it is holding the tiger by the tail, but you cannot do that to a tiger
because it is a tiger”. “The Americans have not learned a lesson
from Al-Qaidah…when they discovered that the formations that they thought
they had created in Afghanistan bit them hard. They continue to make the same
In the 1980s, the CIA helped train Afghanis and Muslims under the umbrella
of Al-Qaida in their fight against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Following
the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Afghanistan, Al-Qaida took on the
task of ridding Saudi Arabia and the Middle East of US military presence. It
is also being held responsible for the 9/11 attacks in New York.
“You want to solve the problems of the Middle East in one easy step,
create a viable Palestinian state…dancing around the issue is of no help
to anyone,” he concluded.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)