Christopher Hitchens: George Galloway Is Gruesome Now, watch me debate him. - Slate Magazine Galloway...is nothing if not grimly consistent. Here, just for an example, is what he said as recently as July, after speaking at the Al-Assad Library in the Syrian capital of Damascus, about the host after whose foul dynasty that library is named: We covered the whole world in 60 minutes. I was very impressed by his knowledge, by his sharpness, by his flexible mind. I was very, very impressed. Syria is lucky to have Bashar al-Assad as her President. Not that the Syrian people had any say in their good fortune, in being passed from the rule of a megalomaniac father to a feeble son. And not that anyone in Syria is permitted to disagree when Galloway comes to give one of his speeches. More serious still, it had been on the preceding Feb. 14 that Rafik Hariri, a former elected prime minister of Lebanon, was murdered by a bomb of military-grade force. The U.N. investigator of this odious crime, Detlev Mehlis, has since caused the arrests of four senior pro-Syrian Lebanese officers. All or most of this was known or at the least seriously suspected when Galloway went for his asshole dialogue with Assad in July, and also delivered an asshole monologue of his own. Indeed, the outrage in Lebanon had already led to a Syrian "withdrawal," even though Syria still does not recognize the existence of Lebanon as a state. Galloway publicly deplored this withdrawal, saying that Syria's presence in Lebanon was "legal," which it was not after the Taif Accords of more than a decade ago, and adding that "the beneficiary from the absence of Syria is the US and Israel." Fawning on dictators, posing and posturing for a state-controlled press in front of a coerced audience, managing to overlook the existence of death squads and torturers, and praising the invasion and occupation of neighboring statesthis is the same George Galloway who in 1994 flew to Baghdad and addressed Saddam Hussein in the following terms, commiserating with him on his failure to annex the Arab and Muslim state of Kuwait: Your Excellency, Mr. President, I greet you in the name of the many thousands of people in Britain who stood against the tide and opposed the war and aggression against Iraq. I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability. Now, you can be a flatterer of dictators and murderers and stilljust aboutbe a pacifist, or "anti-war." But here is what Galloway said about the car bombers and beheaders and suicide fanatics of Iraq, again this July 30 at the Al-Assad Library, as broadcast by Syrian state TV and by Al Jazeera the following day. He informed the Arab world: Two of your beautiful daughters are in the hands of foreignersJerusalem and Baghdad. The foreigners are doing to your daughters as they will. The daughters are crying for help, and the Arab world is silent. Some of them are collaborating with the rape of these two beautiful Arab daughters the "anti-war" movement has as its new star a man who is openly pro-war, but openly on the other side. A man who supported the previous oppressors of the regionthe Soviet army in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraqwho supports its current oppressorsBashar Assad and his Lebanese proxiesand who still has time to endorse its potential future tyrants in the shape of the jihadists in Iraq and elsewhere. Galloway began his political life as a fifth-rate apologist for the Soviet Union, but he has now diversified into being an apologist for Stalinism, for fascism, and for jihadism all at once! All this, and Jane, too. One's cup runs over. There has been a real question as to whether or not Galloway does all these favors to despots for free. A shallow and superficial press has allowed itself to be used as his megaphone and has allowed him to change the subject by means of tirades of abuse that are considered brilliantly apt and witty. At www.hitchensweb.com, you will find a compilation of the hard evidence that he has very good reason to try and change this dangerous subject; you will also find a great deal more chapter and verse about the record and the true opinions of this disgusting figure. Galloway's preferred style is that of vulgar ad hominem insult, usually uttered while a rather gaunt crew of minders stands around him. I have a thick skin and a broad back and no bodyguards. He says that I am an ex-Trotskyist (true), a "popinjay" (true enough, since its original Webster's definition means a target for arrows and shots), and that I cannot hold a drink (here I must protest). In a recent interview he made opprobrious remarks about the state of my midriff, which I will confess hasas P.G. Wodehouse himself once phrased it"slipped down to the mezzanine floor." In reply I do not wish to stoop. Those of us who revere the vagina are committed to defend it against the very idea that it is a mouth or has teeth. Study the photographs of Galloway from Syrian state television, however, and you will see how unwise and incautious it is for such a hideous person to resort to personal remarks. Unkind nature, which could have made a perfectly good butt out of his face, has spoiled the whole effect by taking an asshole and studding it with ill-brushed fangs.