Galloway says Blair and Bush ‘have blood on their hands’
Tony Blair and George Bush have “far more blood on their hands” than the terrorists who carried out the London tube bombings, George Galloway said today.
Mr Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green, said that the attacks on the capital by Islamic extremists could not be separated from the invasion of Iraq and Britain’s treatment of the Muslim world.
He said that the “al-Qaida phenomenon” had arisen directly as a result of western policies in the Middle East.
Mr Galloway had already attracted criticism for remarks made to Syrian television, attacking Arab governments which collaborated with foreigners in the “rape” of their “beautiful daughters” of Jerusalem and Baghdad.
In an interview with the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning, in the wake of the latest al-Qaida video blaming Mr Blair for the destruction in London and warning of more attacks, Mr Galloway insisted that he too condemned the bombings.
“The people who brought destruction to London were primarily the people who committed the acts of mass murder,” he said.
“What we say is we refuse to be part of a conspiracy to deny that it has anything to do with the fact that our country is going round the world setting fire to other people’s countries and killing them.
“I think there is hardly a sentient being in the land left who doesn’t believe these things are connected.
“I am utterly against the punishing of innocent people for the crimes of the guilty, whether it is done on the underground in London or the streets of Fallujah by George Bush’s air force.”
He repeated his view that it was Mr Bush who was the world’s “biggest terrorist” and said that the US president and Mr Blair had shed far more blood than the bombers.
“If it is a question of quantum, there is far more blood on the hands of George Bush and Tony Blair than there is on the hands of the murderers who killed those people in London,” he said.
He denied that he was seeking to justify the terrorist attacks.
“If I say a car has four wheels and the Ford Motor Company say it has four wheels, that doesn’t make me part of the Ford Motor Company,” he said.
However, he said that the rise of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida was the direct result of western policies.
“The al-Qaida phenomenon arose out of the first war on Iraq; arose out of the occupation of Jerusalem and the killing of the Palestinians and the dispersal of the refugees around the world; arose out of our support for the puppet presidents and corrupt kings of the Muslim world,” he said. Mr Galloway’s comments were condemned as “twisted” and “absurd” by the shadow foreign secretary, Liam Fox.
“I think that George Galloway is a sad and twisted but ultimately irrelevant politician,” Mr Fox told the Today programme.
“I think that his self-righteousness is matched only by his stupidity. I think his views are quite ridiculous.”
He said that it was “deeply offensive” to describe insurgents and terrorists as “martyrs”.
“He talks about them as martyrs which, I think, is language extraordinarily sympathetic to people who kill the innocent. It is the sort of language used by university debaters, not serious politicians,” he said.