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Fuelling the Fire of Impeachment

George Galloway

NO-ONE should confuse the Prime Minister’s notice to the electorate that he is only prepared to put up with them for five more years as a sign of confidence on his part.

It is a demonstration of the weakness of his position, not strength.

Tony Blair may still be waving to the rapturous crowd at the new Labour conference, but as the savage reduction in his majority in Thursday’s Hartlepool by-election shows, he is still drowning in a sea of contempt among the British public.

And when the chief chimp is spotted as being past the zenith of his power, in physical decline, sending out signals of his own mortality, it is not long before the other chimps begin to prepare themselves for the coming struggle for power.

Brighton saw assembled the only remaining of people in the land prepared to stand clapping rhythmically their hero-worship of a war criminal.

It is to their collective disgrace that, instead of booing Blair out of the conference hall, delegates heckled instead the man who stood up to disrupt the criminal’s speech by telling him that he had "blood on his hands."

The subsequent debate on Iraq, which the leadership first tried to sabotage until they saw it could be won, will go down as one of the darkest days in modern labour history.

Thanks in large part to the cowardice and cynicism of the socalled "awkward squad" trade union leadership – Curran, Woodley, Prentice and Hayes – new Labour went one worse than last year.

Then, they simply voted not to discuss the elephant that was Iraq, which was wandering up and down the aisles of their conference.

This time, they decided to back the actions of the war criminals, support the occupation – at a vast cost that these union leaders seem prepared to pay – of Iraq and presumably, therefore, to meet full-on the bloody consequences, as more of our men come home in boxes or finish up as hostages in cages.

The British state subverted the trade union leaderships at Brighton and co-opted them into a bloody and catastrophic colonial adventure.

And the state brought along its very own Iraqi Quisling – Abdullah Muhsin, a trade unionist for 18 months who is now masquerading as the spokesman of the working class of Iraq.

Muhsin, until recently a pillar of the Iraqi Communist Party, is a spokesman for the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions.

Brought to Brighton as a guest of the party whose government is violently occupying his country, Muhsin was touted around the trade union delegations like a circus act.

His party piece was to break down in tears as he begged the delegates not to vote against Blair on Iraq. Muhsin broke down and wept at meetings with five different trades unions in Brighton.

If it was the case that our brave trade union leaderships can’t bear the sight of tears, perhaps the Stop the War Coalition – whose platforms used to resound to the promises of undying support from Woodley and Hayes – should have brought along Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was slaughtered on the altar of the war or, better still, the families of the tens of thousands killed by Bush and Blair in the war and occupation that British labour backed this week by a majority of six to one.

Much media focus during the conference was on whether or not Mr Blair had "apologised" over Iraq. He had not.

Anyone who understands the English language knows that while he said he "could" apologise that is not the same as doing so.

Indeed, he removed the word "sorry" from his previously circulated press copy of his speech upon delivery .

But what good would an apology have been?

Sorry is for when you tread upon someone’s toe or cause a minor bump to someone’s car – try saying "sorry" to someone whose car you have written off.

You can’t apologise for killing thousands of people, breaking a sovereign country into pieces and creating the conditions for extremism and terrorism to explode and infest that country, its geographical region and the world.

You can’t say sorry for making a secret deal with the illegitimate leader of a foreign power to subvert domestic and international law – it was Mr Blair himself, remember, who told us that a war in Iraq for "regime change" would be illegal after, as leaked Foreign Office documents show, he had pledged to Bush to join just that.

Thirty years ago, the path to the impeachement of President Richard Nixon began with the Pentagon Papers and the break-in at the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg.

This week, a Cabinet official in London was arrested over leaks of British government secrets and a new set of Pentagon papers was obtained by Andrew Gilligan – the former BBC reporter crushed to the verge of suicide by the hysterical vindictiveness of the Blair-Campbell conspiracy around the death of Dr David Kelly.

These documents establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that Tony Blair lied and lied and lied again, betraying his party, Parliament, the people and, not least, the armed forces of the country .

They show that – as the earlier leaked Foreign Office papers indicated – Blair agreed to join Bush in a regime change war on Iraq in early 2002 and that British military commanders were up to their knecks in the detailed preperations for war when Blair was lying to Parliament that there were absolutely no such preparations.

If Britain had a Parliament worthy of the name, these Pentagon papers would be added to the pyre being prepared for the impeachment of Britain’s Prime Minister.

Published in the Morning Star, 2 October 2004