Galloway tells Arabs to fight 'Crusaders'
By Colin Brown, Political Editor
Electronic Telegraph - September 29, 2002
George Galloway, the Labour MP and a leading defender
of Saddam Hussein, yesterday called on Arab states to
fight the British and American "Crusaders" if a
military attack is mounted against Iraq.
In remarks that have caused fury among ministers, Mr
Galloway said Arab countries should deny American and
British forces use of their land and air space and
unite to repel any invasion force.
"Will they [the Arab states] send forces to defend
Iraq this time in 2002 or will they allow the use of
their forces, air space and land by the Crusaders and
foreigners to attack Iraq and start a fire in an Arab,
Muslim country that is part of their big entity?" Mr
Galloway said on Al Jezeera, the Arab satellite
"Will they allow this entity to be torn and paralysed?
If they do, then they deserve what is awaiting them in
the next 100 years."
Mr Galloway, the MP for Glasgow Kelvin, has been so
slavish in his praise for Saddam that he has been
dubbed "the member for Baghdad Central". His latest
remarks were monitored by officials in Whitehall, and
one minister described them yesterday as "bin
Bernard Jenkin, the shadow defence secretary, said:
"Mr Galloway is perilously close to advocating attacks
on our troops and airmen already enforcing the no-fly
zone. I don't know how Tony Blair can allow him to
remain in the Labour Party."
But Mr Galloway, who spoke at a rally in London
yesterday to oppose the war on Iraq, said: "I stand by
every word. If the Arabs watch Iraq destroyed as part
of a plan to keep the Arabs divided and weak, they
will face the same kind of century as the one they
have endured in the past and they should rise up and
Asked whether he would support military action against
British and American forces, he said: "This line of
questioning stems from the assumption that because I
am British, I believe in my country right or wrong. I
am against this invasion. Therefore I am in favour of
everything than can be done to stop it - everything."
• More than 1,700 troops returning from peacekeeping
duty in the Balkans have had their leave cancelled
because of the possible attack on Iraq and the need to
provide cover during the forthcoming firemen's strike.