EARLY THIS MORNING, a committee of the British House of Commons suspended the flamboyant George Galloway, member from Bethnal Green and Bow, for 18 days for concealing the Iraqi funding of his "charity," the Mariam Appeal. Founded in the late 1990s to bring attention to the suffering of Iraqis under U.N. sanctions, the Appeal was the platform from which Galloway pursued his anti-West campaign. The committee found that
the Oil for Food Programme was used by the Iraqi government, with Mr. Galloway's connivance, to fund the campaigning activities of the Mariam Appeal. In acting as he did, Mr. Galloway breached the advocacy rule and damaged the reputation of the House.
Galloway was courting Saddam Hussein well before the dictator fell out of power and into fashion in radical leftist circles. "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability," Galloway told the tyrant in 1994. "And I want you to know that we are with you until victory, until victory, until Jerusalem."
With his tireless defense of Saddam's hegemonic ambitions, Galloway won the affection of jihadists and the disgust of public intellectuals like Christopher Hitchens who, nonetheless, commended him for "being 100 percent consistent in support for thugs and criminals."
Inciting jihadists on Al Jazeera television in 2005, Galloway declared:
Two of your beautiful daughters are in the hands of foreigners-Jerusalem and Baghdad. The foreigners are doing to your daughters as they will. The daughters are crying for help, and the Arab world is silent. Some of them are collaborating with the rape of these two beautiful Arab daughters. . . .
The foreigners here are the Western capitals--Washington and Galloway's adopted London.
For its part, Washington has long been on Galloway's trail. On May 17, 2005, Galloway testified before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations during its inquiry into corruption in the U.N.'s Oil for Food program. Firmly denying that he solicited or accepted Iraqi crude oil from Saddam's regime, Galloway issued a haughty condemnation of the Iraq war.
The committee released a report on October 25 of the same year citing new evidence that Galloway had solicited and received 23 million barrels of oil from Saddam between 1999 and 2003, as well as gifts to his wife and to the Mariam Appeal. The report concluded that "Galloway knowingly made false or misleading statements under oath before the Subcommittee at its hearing on May 17, 2005."
Galloway denied these accusations, even challenging the Senate to indict him for perjury. It is, therefore, doubtful that the House of Commons' suspension will cause him remorse, though it should finally discredit him as a paid armchair jihadist.
While terrorists were blowing people up for their cause, this Castro biographer, Soviet nostalgic, and promiscuous jihadist was apparently cashing in. No doubt Galloway will find only 36 virgins in heaven.
Garin Hovannisian is an intern at THE WEEKLY STANDARD. Alec Mouhibian is a writer living in Washington, D.C. They keep a blog at LuckyFrown.com.