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"I Told You So" Says George Galloway As Cameron Warns of UK Terror Threat

Audio and Transcript

June 18, 2014 "ICH" - "VOR" -
Cameron said: "The people in that regime, as well as trying to take territory, are also planning to attack us here at home in the United Kingdom"

British politician George Galloway has condemned Prime Minister David Cameron after the PM said Britain was facing a terrorist threat following the explosion of violence in Syria, Iraq and Iran. He said he had warned the PM of this and said it was an accident waiting to happen. VoR's Tim Ecott spoke to Mr Galloway.

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British PM David Cameron told Parliament on Wednesday: " I can tell the House that the latest reports indicate that fighting is continuing on a front from Samarra to Baqubah; that the Baiji oil refinery in Tikrit is under attack by ISIL; and that the Peshmerga are fighting ISIL in Diyala province. But meanwhile there is this large-scale recruitment not only of Shi’a militias but also of other young recruits to the Iraqi armed forces, and it is vital that that proceeds and that ISIL is pushed back by the Iraqis.

He said: "The people in that regime, as well as trying to take territory, are also planning to attack us here at home in the United Kingdom, so the right answer is to be long-term, hard-headed, patient and intelligent in the interventions we make.

"The most important intervention of all is to ensure that those governments are fully representative of the people who live in their countries, that they close down the ungoverned space and that they remove the support for the extremists. We must do that not only in Syria, but in Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria and Mali, because these problems will come back and hit us at home if we do not."

"I told you so"

However, Galloway told VoR:  “What he didn’t answer was the question I asked him 12 months ago: would he explain to the [House of Commons] the differences between the al-Qaeda we are supporting in some countries and the al-Qaeda we’re considering a threat to life as we know it in other places.

“We are supporting al-Qaeda in Syria. We’ve given them very substantial sums of British taxpayers money, even more the way of military aid and logistics and training and the support of special forces.

“But when those very same al-Qaeda crossed the border into Iraq, well, it’s end of life as we know it and we must bomb them there, but support their bombing of others in the other country. So this simply as a matter of simple logic – cannot be squared and no British politician is addressing that contradiction.

"Well, I told you so. I told you so. And, more importantly, I told him so. I told him that these people that you’re encouraging in Syria will one day stalk the streets of our own country and the material that they have gathered there and the wherewithal and the knowledge and experience that they gained there will one day be practiced against us. That’s why I described Britain’s policy in Syria as close to insanity. I told William Hague, you’ve been wrong many times before. In fact you’ve been wrong most of your life, but you’ve never been insane before. This policy of encouraging Jihadism in Syria is close to literal insanity and we’re no closer to resolving that contradiction today, after David Cameron’s answers, than we were before he got to his feet, because we are still supporting these people in Syria but we are ready to go to war with them in Iraq.

“We are stuck because of where we are starting from. We cannot intervene in the conflict in Iraq even though that conflict may now lead to the physical separation of the country and this ISIS formation cannot possibly conquer Baghdad, still less conquer the south of the country, so – de facto – Iraq no longer exists. It’s at least three countries. It is the Kurdish entity, the ISIS-controlled Sunni heartlands and the Shiite-controlled capital and south. And that will be pregnant with many terrifying problems for now and for many decades to come."

The conundrum of Syria

GAlloway said: “They ought to relate to the government in Syria in an entirely different way to the one they are. They ought to support to Syrian government’s mortal struggle for existence against the seal-Qaeda elements. They must dispose of a trick they learned in the 1980s in Afghanistan which has led to so much trouble. Your enemy’s enemy isn’t always your friend. Sometimes your enemy’s enemy is worse than your enemy and sometimes it’s right to collaborate with your enemy against your enemy’s enemy, because the trick we learned in Afghanistan, was – apparently, temporarily – successful results was to link up with people who are the complete opposite of what we say we are ourselves in order to defeat someone else. And that’s the mistake that we made in Afghanistan which led to the Taliban, which led to Bin Laden, which led to al-Qaeda and so on.

“Our hatred of Russia was such that we were ready to ally with anyone against her. And look at all the trouble it’s caused.”

The shadow of Tony Blair

During Prime Minister’s Question Time on Wednesday, Sir Peter Tapsell asked the PM: “Is the Prime Minister aware of the growing sentiment that, as the publication of the Chilcot report has been so long delayed, the ancient but still existing power of Back Benchers to commence the procedure of impeachment should now be activated to bring Mr Tony Blair to account for allegedly misleading the House on the necessity of the invasion of Iraq in 2003?”

Galloway told VoR: [Blair] was hovering in the rafters in the chamber today. Not least when the very august figure of the Father of the House, Sir Peter Tapsell, himself a former soldier in the 1950s and 1960s, called for Mr Blair’s impeachment – something I, myself, began yesterday, though I am happy to hand it over to Sir Peter if he will lead it. Mr Blair’s presence was there, like Banquo’s ghost, but I think the day of reckoning for Tony Blair is rapidly approaching. More rapidly than I had even dared hope.

“Parliament could send him to prison. Admittedly, it hasn’t been done since 1806, but our power to impeach him remains. Our power to imprison him remains and I’m going to force parliament to make a decision on whether or not it wants to do that for the crime of making aggressive war against Iraq, misleading the British Parliament and Public, misleading Her Majesty the Queen, even though he remains a Privy Councillor. The Right Honourable Tony Blair, who is neither right, nor honourable.

One of the gravest of them all is the matter of war and peace, life and death. So every MP is going to be forced to vote for or against my motion to impeach him and their constituents, their votes remember there’s a general election coming up fast and I will be very interested in how they vote.

“The process has begun, the touchpaper has been lit. Sir Peter Tapsell gave it an almighty shove at Prime Minister’s Questions today. I think his time has come.”
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