When it comes to George Galloway, where do we begin? In recent years, the former British Labour MP—now representing the Respect Party for the district of Bethnal Green and Bow—could be found lauding Syria as a force for stability in Lebanon, defending the fraudulent re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran and denying Hezbollah’s long record of international terrorism. In response to a question in 2006, he said that the assassination of George W. Bush and Tony Blair would be “morally justified,” while carefully adding, “I am not calling for it.”
And last week, he was deported and banned from Egypt after leading an aid convoy to the Gaza Strip whose transit through Egypt left dozens wounded and at least one Egyptian border guard dead. Mr. Galloway, for the record, denies that he is or has ever been a supporter of Hamas, just as he always denied knowingly lending aid and comfort to Saddam Hussein, or being a beneficiary of the dictator’s largesse. As for his aid missions to Gaza, he insists it was solely for the benefit of its people. Any propaganda value for Hamas that might arise out of his efforts is purely, so to speak, collateral damage—as were the death and injuries that resulted from his latest foray into freelance diplomacy.
But then, this is what it is to be George Galloway: He’s a scold of the perceived moral compromises of others who does not hesitate to make moral compromises of his own; a self-professed crusader for democracy who rarely bothers to vote in Parliament; a champion for the dispossessed who does not hesitate to cozy up to tyrants when it suits his purposes. Reconciling these paradoxes isn’t difficult to do, since when it comes to Mr. Galloway, all of his crusades are about nothing except the glorification of himself, regardless of the costs to others.