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Attila the Pun
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
 
Hitch v Gruesome George

Christopher Hitchens has been an ideal pin up boy for pro-Iraq liberation people as he is an excellent writer, not afraid of a verbal stoush and best of all - a leftie.

George Galloway has been an ideal pin up boy for pro-Saddam people because he is pro-Saddam, pro-Syria, anti-US, pro-"insurgents" and best of all - absolutely shameless.

Hitchens has been on Galloway's cause for a while - pointing out the disgraceful situation of a someone, especially a member of the British Parliament, being an unabashed fan and cheerleader for fascist dictators.

His website contains his dossier against Galloway (using Galloway's own words) and makes interesting reading. Galloway in turn has heaped abuse on Hitchens during his recent trip to the US.

This background meant that a public debate between the two was always going to be fiery.

It is a shame that people's opinion of who won the debate seem to be entirely based on their existing thoughts on the war. My thoughts are pretty clear on that topic, so I will leave you to jusge who you thought presented the better case.

Here is a transcript.

For mine, it is pretty clear that Hitchens makes many damning points about the nature of Iraq and the "resistance", the anti-war "movement" and Galloway himself.

In return, Galloway attempts to discredit Hitchens (by pointing out his opposition to the first Gulf War - since acknowledged by Hitchens as an error by him) or just insult him. He also, three days after the anniversary of 9/11, whilst in New York, blames the US for the attacks on the WTC. That doesn't go down as well as he perhaps expected.

The transcript is very long, but some passages which I liked follow:

There are probably some people among you here who fancy yourself as having leftist revolutionary credentials, as far as I can tell that you do from the zoo-noises that you make... And the scars that you can demonstrate from your long, underground, twilight struggle against Dick Cheney. But while you're masturbating in that manner, the Iraqi secular left, the socialist and communist movements, the workers' movement, the trade unions, are fighting for their lives against the most vicious and indiscriminant form of fascist violence that any country in the region has seen for a very long time.

....

Well, that's easy then, leave them in control of Afghanistan, don't mess around with these people, don't make them angry, don't make them mean. It's your fault. Now this is masochism, uh, but it is being offered to you by sadists.

....

But, if you'll let, allow me to say so, Amy, just as I am not personally responsible for creating 100,000 al-Qaeda fighters, nor am I here as someone who can answers questions on behalf of the Bush administration, rather to the contrary. Um, the, it's, it's, it's a single issue question with me. I think the president was right to do what the previous president and vice-president, Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gore, had only promised to do, and what the United States Senate had only voted to do, which was to move Iraq into the post-Saddam Hussein era. All that was decided and repeatedly promised by the preceding administration and by the US Senate when George Bush was still a provincial governor of Texas. So I don't think this is a subject that can be changed just by saying Dick Cheney and knowing that there are enough morons that will always boo when you say that.

CH: I think I can be as precise, but perhaps not as terse as Mr. Galloway on this point. Um, I should thank him by the way, for eliciting, or allowing, allowing me to elicit, or you perhaps ladies and gentleman to elicit from him, what I feared, but didn't hope, but in other words a full declaration of support for the campaign of sabotage, and murder, and beheading that has taken the lives of great journalists, that demolished...

[Boos]

demolished the offices, demolished the offices, demolished the offices of the United Nations.

...

But I will have to add, that for people to start pumping out propaganda before the bodies have even been uncovered in New Orleans saying, and to make points, demagogic often, they wouldn't be dead if they weren't black. But people haven't been identified yet, whose parents don't know where they are. And to say this wouldn't have happened if we weren't wasting money on Arabs? That, that is an appeal to the most base, provincial, isolationist, and chauvinist mentality.

[Jeers/Applause/Boos]

CH: You're on TV.

...

And we have no right whatever, to, to, to, to insult, to insult the tremendous performance of the United States Armed Forces once they are put into action. And I will add one more thing, the 82nd Airborne and the 1st Air Cavalry, so far from being distracted by Iraq, have learned in Iraq matters of civil reconstruction, water-distribution, purification, culture. That have been extremely useful to them in New Orleans. The case, the case. Don't, I will advise you not to jeer these men and women while you're being televised, ladies and gentleman. I would advise you not to do it.

...

I'm not a member of the Bush entourage. I've never appeared on a public platform with a dictator, I never have and I never will. I couldn't face you if I had that on my record. It must be some sordid kind of displaced guilt that makes Mr. Galloway want to throw out accusations like this. I've never done that, and to come fresh from embracing these blood-stained bastards and to say to you that it's your fault that these people hate you. It's more than we should be expected to take.

[Jeers/"Go home!"]

etc etc. He ums and ahs more than Galloway, but he rips out some beautiful stuff on his feet. For his own take on it, look here.

Comments:
Just a test - a previous comment seems to have wiped out a post.
 
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