Galloway, a former MP-turned-broadcaster, spoke to RT.com about the latest US-led strikes in Syria, the pretext behind them and the potential consequences for both the Syrian people and the international community. Like many political commentators, Galloway questions both the timing and the authenticity of the reports on a gas attack in Douma outside of Damascus earlier this week.
“I believe that the entire Douma chemical weapons attack story is a deliberate fabrication… if Britain was involved in that fabrication I would be shocked but not surprised,” Galloway said. “It stands to reason that you can’t risk, even if the risk is small, the OPCW behaving with professional integrity and saying that there is no evidence of such a chemical weapons attack and certainly not one by the Syrian regime.”
“You can’t risk that so you have to, in Noam Chomsky’s words, ‘manufacture consent,’ for an attack and then launch the attack before that manufactured consent begins to dwindle away.”
Galloway also maintains that, in launching missile strikes against the Syrian government without sufficient international backing, let alone UN Security Council (UNSC) approval, President Donald Trump emulated the former US Commander-in-Chief Bill Clinton by using military action abroad to distract attention away from an embarrassing and widely publicized sex scandal at home.
“I believe that Trump did it, just like Bill Clinton… Clinton launched cruise missiles against Sudan and Iraq… In Clinton’s case it was Monica Lewinsky, in Trump’s case it’s… Stormy Daniels. And, of course, many other problems also beset Trump so he tried to bounce free from those travails in the time-honored way of killing foreigners and destroying their country.”
Trump, however, was not alone in taking unilateral action in Syria without the support of his government or his people; Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron both eagerly followed suit.
In May’s case, Galloway maintains she took the decision “because she was afraid that she would lose in the parliament.”
Regarding the conspicuous timing of both the alleged chemical weapons attack and then the subsequent US-led strikes that happened on the day that investigators from the OPCW were due to inspect the Douma site, Galloway believes that the bombings were a cynical attempt to undermine the probe.
“It’s much harder now for the OPCW to report a negative because they will then be exposing Britain, France and the United States, three members of the security council [as having] launched a war on an entirely false pretext. We must hope that the OPCW behaves with professional integrity and we’ll soon see if they do.”
Galloway, like many other political commentators, also drew comparisons with the Iraq war, which was, rather ominously, based on an entirely fabricated pretext regarding alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. He also highlighted the fact that military personnel from a number of P5 member states are operating in close proximity to each other, raising the stakes of the unauthorized intervention even higher.
“It is as illegal as the US-UK attack on Iraq and, of course, made even more dangerous by the presence in the country they’re attacking of very large numbers of personnel from security council country, namely, Russia.”
Galloway also scoffed at the French Foreign Minister’s suggestion that now was the time for diplomacy.
“Ha! Now it’s time. After you’ve launched a war… but it can’t be diplomacy which seeks to give the alphabet soup of Islamist fundamentalists [a seat] at the negotiating table which they couldn’t win and hold on the battlefield. If it is diplomacy that is designed to find a way out of this war, that would be a good thing. If it was diplomacy that, for example, sought partition of Syria and dismembered it, that would be entirely unacceptable.”
Finally, the outspoken former MP took aim at Donald Trump’s remarks that it was a case of “mission accomplished” in Syria following the coalition strikes.
“If the mission was to destroy universities, people’s homes and kill some people then that was accomplished but that wouldn’t be much of a mission. If the mission was to weaken Syria and its alliances I would have thought that was an epic failure. Apart from anything else, to borrow the slogan of George W. Bush at the end of the Iraq War: ‘War is, by any standards, a public relations disaster.’ I remind you that 95 percent of all the casualties in Iraq died after George Bush declared that the mission was accomplished.”