Galloway: Bombings price of Iraq

Mr Galloway was a vocal opponent of the Iraq war

Londoners have paid the price for Iraq and Afghanistan, says George Galloway.
The Respect MP, whose Bethnal Green and Bow constituency includes the site of at least one of the bomb attacks, said the attacks were “despicable”.

He told the Commons it was the US-led coalition’s actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo which had inflamed hatred of the West in the Muslim world.

But minister Adam Ingram accused Mr Galloway of “dipping his poisonous tongue in a pool of blood”.

The armed forces minister added that Mr Galloway’s comments were “disgraceful”.

Same mistakes?

Earlier Mr Galloway said he was absolutely clear the bombings had been carried out by Islamic extremists inspired by Osama Bin Laden’s world outlook.

He argued that the bombings had not come out of the “clear blue sky” – the background was the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, photographs of abuses by US troops at Abu Ghraib prison and the continuing confinement of people by America at Guantanamo.

Mr Galloway said the West was in danger of making the same mistakes over and over again, continuing with “war and occupation as the principal instrument of our foreign and defence policy”.

He added: “And if we do then some people will get through and hurt us as they have hurt us today.”

Paid the price?

Mr Galloway who was expelled from the Labour Party over his outspoken comments on the Iraq war, linked the deaths of people in London to the deaths of those in Falluja at the hands of coalition forces.

Earlier, in a statement, the MP said: “The loss of innocent lives, whether in this country or Iraq, is precisely the result of a world that has become a less safe and peaceful place in recent years.

“We have worked without rest to remove the causes of such violence from our world.

“We argued, as did the security services in this country, that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain.

“Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the government ignoring such warnings.”

‘No immunity’

Mr Galloway urged the government to remove people in the UK from “harm’s way” by ending the occupation of Iraq and focusing on finding a real solution to conflicts in the Middle East.

Downing Street declined to comment on Mr Galloway’s comments.

But Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said it was wrong to think that withdrawing from Iraq would make the UK immune from the threat of attacks.

“People have to remember that 11 September was in 2001 before the military action,” he said.

The US terror attacks had caused the action in Afghanistan and the changed atmosphere they had created had contributed to the cause of the Iraq war, said Mr Straw.


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