Skip to comments.Victim of Saddam makes Galloway shut up
Posted on 04/05/2003 5:34:22 PM PST by Oorang
Victim of Saddam makes Galloway shut up (Filed: 06/04/2003)
A woman tortured in Iraq tried in vain last week to meet the MP who has praised the Baghdad dictator. Charlotte Edwardes went with her
For someone who happily consorts with a brutal dictator who has murdered people for just smiling at the wrong time, George Galloway was curiously frightened by a demure Iraqi Kurdish woman last week.
"I am very suspicious of you," George Galloway hissed down the phone to Freshta Raper, a 37-year-old exile and mother of one. "I have a gut feeling about you. What do you want to ask me?"
Mrs Raper had spent much of the week trying to catch up with the Left-wing Labour MP to discuss his anti-war pro-Saddam stance. The last 48 hours had, in particular, been frustrating as the MP assiduously avoided her efforts to speak to him.
Her strong view - like those of many Iraqi Kurds - is that the war is necessary as the only way to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein, the tyrant responsible for killing 21 members of her family in 1988 when the regime sprayed chemical weapons on Halabja, the Kurdish area in northern Iraq, killing 5,000.
Mrs Raper finally escaped Iraq in 1991 but only after suffering imprisonment, torture and rape. She has been burnt by one of Saddam's chemical bombs, and she has been anxious to tell Mr Galloway about her experiences with the dictator, whom the MP has visited eight times, once telling him: "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability."
Mrs Raper, a teacher who lives in north London, first came to prominence when she appeared on BBC'S Question Time and berated Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, the columnist, for her anti-war views. "She should be grateful that as an Asian immigrant she has a British passport and not an Iraqi one," she said, to approval from the studio audience.
She turned her sights on Mr Galloway last week when the MP called on British troops not to fight and urged Arab leaders to "stand by the Iraqi people". He described Tony Blair and George Bush as "wolves" and said: "The soldiers are lions led by donkeys, sent to kill and be killed."
Mrs Raper was keen to make him hear her views. Despite his many appearances on anti-war platforms and in the media, however, the Labour MP for Glasgow Kelvin was elusive.
Mr Galloway refused to meet Mrs Raper when she initially asked, through The Telegraph, if he would agree to a formal interview to discuss Saddam's treatment of the Kurds.
So, like all good activists, she went to his Westminster office to question him informally. Mr Galloway ducked down into an underground passage when he saw her waiting and drove off in his Mercedes.
Mrs Raper tried another tack. She went to visit him at his three-storey house in south London. Mr Galloway didn't answer her taps on the door, although his car was parked in the driveway. Through his front window his love of Iraqi artefacts were plainly visible - a large urn encircled with Koranic inscriptions took pride of place in the fireplace; his hookah pipe stood, recently used, next to the large sofa.
Finally, he answered his home telephone. "I am very suspicious of you," he told Mrs Raper, when she explained her situation. She said that yes, she could provide proof that she was Iraqi, and he finally agreed to a meeting. "OK, come to my office on Monday," he said, before adding: "On second thoughts, don't."
Mr Galloway supports direct action such as marches on Number 10 or the US embassy, although his view is very different when it is his stance that is under scrutiny. "What do you want to talk to me about?" he barked.
"I just want to ask you about Saddam Hussein's human rights record," said Mrs Raper. "As a Western politician, have you ever tried to discuss this in Iraq?"
"I don't have to answer that question," said Mr Galloway defiantly, before adding: "Don't you dare contact me again. If you go to my house again I will have you thrown out and call the police."
The line went dead as Mr Galloway hung up. Perhaps it wasn't so hard to see why Mr Galloway gets on so well with the Butcher of Baghdad.
And this punk actually weilds power in London ?!?!? This is deplorable !
You may have a point, although I suspect Galloway's perversion isn't for teenage girls, but pubescent Arab boys with liquid brown eyes...
Waste of time. Like the Ba'ath party, they are socialists (or communists) and they have no problem slaughtering people to bring about their new world order.
How much? $$$$$$?
They are craven human beings and the truth is the least of their concerns.
I almost vomited when I read a captured journalist's account of how he heard a guard breaking another prisoner's bones and then he begged a cigarette off the butcher.
There are no words vile enough for these moral lepers.
An insult to humanity
Proud ... but Joy Stevens, here showing a photo
of soldier son Ian, was attacked by MP
By DAVID WOODING, Whitehall Editor
and DUNCAN LARCOMBE
FURIOUS Sun readers labelled traitor MP George Galloway an insult to humanity yesterday for urging Arabs to kill British soldiers.
Our offices were flooded with calls and emails demanding the treacherous Labour MP be stripped of his powers and kicked out of the country.
Some even said Saddam supporter Galloway dubbed the Member for Baghdad Central should be prosecuted for treason.
The Sun told yesterday how the Glasgow Kelvin MP called on British soldiers to disobey what he called illegal orders, and claimed the Allies attacked Iraq like wolves. He also declared: Iraq is fighting for all Arabs. Where are the Arab armies?
However last night Galloway pulled out of two Stop The War meetings in Blackpool on police advice after receiving threatening phone calls.
Yet despite the outrage at his remarks made on Abu Dhabi TV Galloway remained unrepentant.
Yesterday, in an insult to 45,000 British forces in the Gulf, he claimed troops who obeyed commanders orders were war criminals.
And he stunned radio listeners by ATTACKING the family of two British soldiers in a live BBC interview.
Joy Stevens, whose son Ian, 22, and 24-year-old nephew Mark are serving with the Desert Rats, politely questioned the MP on his views on Five Live.
But arrogant Galloway ranted: I oppose this war, I consider it illegal and disastrously counter-productive. The only people fighting legally are the Iraqis.
Last night Joy, 55, said: I could not believe my ears. My son and nephew are risking their lives for £60 a day to free Iraq from Saddam and an MP back home is branding them war criminals.
Joy, from Notts, added: I was shaking my head in disbelief at what Mr Galloway was saying. I hope voters will remember his words at the next election.
Earlier, Sun reader Ian Taylor summed up the nations fury when he emailed us to say: Tony Blair will be failing the people of this land if he does not remove this insult to humanity from public office.
Victor Gorringe, 70, from Bury St Edmunds, said: He is a disgrace he should be forced to resign.
Bridget Chalkley, of Brentwood, Essex, said: May Galloway burn in hell. Hes a traitor to this country.
And reader Steve Cotton wrote: Labour should not only withdraw the whip from him, but also use one to teach him a serious lesson.
In Galloways Scottish constituency, where he polled a 7,300 majority, feelings also ran high.
Labour supporter David Brown, 60, said: Ive voted for Galloway, but these remarks utterly appalled me.
Even locals against the Iraq war blasted the MP.
Window cleaner Michael Swift, 29, said: I dont support the war, but now were there our job is to back the troops.
Horrified ministers last night disowned Galloway amid the backlash.
Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram said: Im ashamed hes a member of the Labour party. We take an oath of loyalty and that must be respected
Education Secretary Charles Clarke said: George Galloway has been naive and gullible. The words he used were completely unacceptable.
Slippery Galloway has made a career out of being unpopular.
At 26 he entered politics in his home town of Dundee, flying the PLO flag over the town hall.
As general secretary of the charity War On Want from 1983 to 1987 he was heavily criticised for his lavish expenses. An inquiry cleared him of alleged fraud.
In 1987 he became an MP and in his first Press conference he reported on a working trip: I travelled to and spent lots of time with people in Greece, many of whom were women, some of whom were known carnally to me.
In a 1994 speech in Iraq he addressed Saddam as Your Excellency, Mr President.
He appeared to say: Sir, allow me to salute your courage, your strength and your indefatigability.
Galloway later said the tribute was aimed at Iraqi people and that he uttered so, not sir.
- THE Sun yesterday served a notice of treason at a London magistrates court, calling for Galloways prosecution under the 1351 Treason Act, which carries a maximum term of life in jail.
Our move came as a YouGov survey for ITV News showed 42 per cent of people think charges should be brought against Galloway.
Additional Reporting: DIANA BLAMIRES
and HARRY MACADAM
I agree 99% with this statement... I withold the 1% because I wouldn't call him a man... he's p.o.s. coward.
So, go ahead and try to get through to the fellow travellers. But the leaders are definitely craven and have sold their souls for idols and power.
I'm normally less belligerent, but my blood is up what with our service members being on the front lines right now.