I recently received an interesting comment on my last post on the Israel Lobby Striking in Canada. The comment quotes:
But what I hate most of all is hypocrisy. Galloway was recorded defendng the Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir; if you would like to put this clip ‘in context’ for me, I’m all ears.
However it seems to me that Galloway is saying, or at least implying it’s OK for Bashir to kill Muslims and others – I’m certain he has killed more Muslims than Israel. Despite the moral implications of this belief, it is simply pure hypocrisy.
I, just like my friend who wrote the comment, am all ears for differences in opinions. I took this as an opportunity to validate what the commenter had to say, and to judge for myself what Mr. Galloway’s view on the subject is. So here goes….
Thanks so much for the comment. I’m a little more interested in responding to a request of yours regarding that Galloway was recorded defending the Sudanese dictator Omar al-Basir, and attempt to put the clip in context for you. Your assessment is that Galloway is implying it’s OK for Bashir to kill Muslims and others. I find a dab of hypocrisy in that statement as the anti-Galloway movement generally calls him a “Muslim lover”. So I don’t know why he would say it’s okay to kill them. I’m not an expert in the situation of Darfur, but regardless, I would like to try to put that clip in context, as per what I see the clip says.
First..Here is the clip..
From here, I’ll make my notes.
a) Title of clip, primarily, is an attack against Galloway obviously. “Galloway Supports Sudan’s Genocidal Dictator”. My first question is, is al-Bashir actually a dictator? As far as I know, again I’m not an expert in Sudanese affairs, but Sudan has elections and is considered to be an authoritarian democracy. Secondly, the term ‘genocidal’ can be widely argued. The MAJOR player deeming Darfur a genocide is, surprisingly, the US and Israel. Those who are against the US & Israel’s declaration of genocide, besides George Galloway, are:
– The United Nations:
“The Commission concluded that the Government of the Sudan has not pursued a policy of genocide. Arguably, two elements of genocide might be deduced from the gross violations of human rights perpetrated by Government forces and the militias under their control. These two elements are, first, the actus reus consisting of killing, or causing serious bodily or mental harm, or deliberately inflicting conditions of life likely to bring about physical destruction; and, second, on the basis of a subjective standard, the existence of a protected group being targeted by the authors of criminal conduct. However, the crucial element of genocidal intent appears to be missing, at least as far as the central Government authorities are concerned. Generally speaking the policy of attacking, killing and forcibly displacing members of some tribes does not evince a specific intent to annihilate, in whole or in part, a group distinguished on racial, ethnic, national or religious grounds. Rather, it would seem that those who planned and organized attacks on villages pursued the intent to drive the victims from their homes, primarily for purposes of counter-insurgency warfare.
– The 53 African States (including Rwanda by the way) has stated:
“The United States Senate during its 108th Congress declared on 13 July 2004 “that the atrocities unfolding in Darfur, Sudan, are genocide”. Despite this stance retained by the United States, no other country or international organisation has classified the crisis in Darfur, Sudan in the same category.” and “abuses are taking place. There is mass suffering, but it is not genocide.”
– Amnesty International:
“The grave human rights abuses … cannot be ignored any longer, nor justified or excused by a context of armed conflict.”
In summary of this section, regarding this “wonderful” clip on YouTube..Galloway’s position on the term of Genocide is in line with the United Nations, as well as the neighbors of Sudan (the AU), and with Amnesty International. As a note, however, when reading the United Nations description of genocide, I feel Israel and supporters of Palestine/Gaza might want to read those lines a few times.
B) In the video clip, Galloway starts off by saying the following: “This international system thinks the biggest international criminal in the world today is Sudans Omar Al-Bashir. Sudans biggest crime in the international community is having discovered an ocean of oil underneath its earth, and evern worse, agree to sell all of it, every last drop of it, to China.” After Galloways comment, the author of the video states “So, Killing half a million people is not a crime? This is all made up by the West?” As my facts in section A state, actually, yes, it is made up by the West. It’s only the West deeming this Genocide. Furthermore, in Galloway’s statement, he says nothing of saying its “OK” for all of these dead innocent people. He is essentially saying that it is a joke that the international community thinks Omar al-Bashir is the biggest international criminal. Of course, he is referring to Bush, Blair, Olmert, Barak, etc, as the words biggest international criminals seeing that the “West” has killed many more innocent civilians in the Middle-East than al-Bashir has done in Sudan. In that way, he is essentially saying it is a joke, and the “West” has motives more than innocent lives, and more to do with oil. In this line, I’d agree with him.
C) Galloway later states: “This warrant that’s been issued by the ICC is absurd”. The author responds: “Half a million people were murdered, millions more are starved and displaced, and it’s absurd to try to stop the man responsible?”
Again, Galloway is referring to the absurdity of claiming al-Bashir is the biggest criminal in the World. What is even more absurd is that the ICC has no jurisdiction in Sudan. Even more absurd, is that the US doesn’t even recognize the ICC!!! Even more absurd? What’s even more absurd is that Israel, also, doesn’t recognize the ICC due to the ruling that “the transfer of parts of the civilian population of an occupying power into occupied territory” is a war crime, and Israel is afraid that the ICC could “invent new crimes”. So, considering the ICC has no jurisdiction in Sudan, considering the US and Israel have no intention of acceding to the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court, considering the US and Israel are the first (and pretty much only) World players calling the situation in Darfur ‘genocide’, yet the rest of the World does not…Yes, I think it’s all quite absurd too. Don’t you?
D) Galloway then goes on to state:
“They are definately trying to destabilize, and i believe, dismember Sudan. They don’t want Sudan to be an Arab and African country with great power and wealth”
“But Sudan has an Arab government, an islamic government, and its agreed to sell all of its oil to china. and thats the source of sudans problems, and this absurd charge of the ICC towards Al-Bashir is the result of that.”
As most of the information above states, it is quite an absurd charge. Of course, us in the West have no idea of this. Our media says nothing over the contention of the term ‘genocide’. It’s not considered that the US accused Sudan (in the 90’s) of assisting al-queda, and sent cruise missiles their way. It’s not considered that the US & Israel are not memeber of the ICC. Yet, the media can create ‘sides’.
I know when I first heard about the ICC ruling, and then noticed Iran supporting al-Bashir, I thought “WTF?”. Then, when you look at it a little more closely, it’s kind of like the rest of the World is looking at us and thinking “WTF?”
Here is a little, less biased clip, on Galloway speaking on Sudan: