The British member of parliament George Galloway, arguably one of the most high-profile critics of the Anglo-American war of aggression against the Iraqi people, now finds himself the target of the attack dogs of the Tweedle-Bush/Tweedele-Blair war axis.
Valerie Palme, a CIA operative who just happened to be married to a man who blew holes into Bush administration claims that Saddam Hussein tried to acquire nuclear material from (wait for it!) Africa, had her cover blown by a White House leak to a Bush Baby in the media.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not an apologist for either Galloway (pictured right) or the CIA. The former is more than capable of taking care of himself, as attested by his robust defence before the US Senate some months ago - when he demolished allegations he had been in the pay of Hussein - and his libel victory against Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, forced to pay him a king's ranson in damages for peddling those claims.
And, for all I care, the CIA, those purveyors of political assassinations and proxy wars in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East down the decades, can go jump in the ocean.
However, both these instances are symptomatic of the lengths to which this imperialist war machine will go to settle scores with those who step on their powerful toes.
The latest episode in this saga of powerful folks socking it to their critics and tormentors came with this week's "independent" report, by former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volker, that Galloway allegedly received 18 million barrels of oil from the Hussein regime. The report says also that the latter paid hundreds of thousands of dollars into an account belonging to Galloway's estranged wife.
The combative MP has now challenged both the US and UK authorities to prosecute him, while claiming among other things that he did not benefit personally from any links with the former Iraqi regime. There are suggestions also that a charity he set up to help Iraqi child victims of leukemia and to campaign against sanctions on Iraq, the Mariam Appeal, had received funds from Hussein's regime.
Whether or not the Mariam Appeal received funds from Hussein through a labyrinthine route will no doubt be ascertained at some point by an independent inquiry. But even if it did, so what? Let us assume for a moment that Galloway's accusers are right, that funds to the Mariam Appeal can be traced back to the former dictatorship.
Here was a charity founded by an internationalist moved by the suffering of people under inhuman sanctions imposed by a so-called civilised world - sanctions that resulted in the deaths of millions, many of them children denied life-saving drugs as a direct consequence. Where were these now self-righteous and right-thinking accusers when those kids were dying slow, horrible, unthinkable deaths?
Remember also that this man had been a relentless campaigner against Iraq at a time when these self-same accusers were busy supping with the Iraqi devil and arming and financing his war against neighboring Iran and his own people. He was a sonofabitch alright, but he was their sonofabitch, their kindaguy!
Galloway, who must be considered innocent until all the facts are in, may have been unwise and gullible in some of his dealings. But whatever he may or may not have done pales into irrelevance when compared to Bush and Blair, the architects of the mass murder of innocents and the bloody, internecine strife that is the aftermath. When will they be called to account?
So some money from the regime may have found its way to a charity set up to alleviate the suffering of its people under the yoke of a barbaric embargo. Did it? I honestly don't know. If it did, should it have? Maybe not, but again why not? Is Galloway and the Mariam Appeal guilty of some crime? No, Bush and Blair are. This is not an apologia for Galloway. It is an attempt to put things in perspective.
If the Mariam Appeal did get money from Hussein - as these whiter-than-white, latter-day witchfinder-generals say - it would make no difference to the way millions feel about the controversial MP. Did Tweedle-Bush and Tweedle-Blair lose elections after the slaughter that killed 100,000 Iraqis?
Moreover, a guilty Galloway would not make the murderous Iraq adventure right: It would not absolve Bush-Blair of war crimes committed for oil and Greater Israel under the guise of a "war of liberation". Or was it for world peace?
White is Black
This imperialist posturing over Iraq and the Middle East as a whole would be laughable were its consequences not so tragic for the people of the region. It provides a unique insight into the new world order of political skullduggery and doublespeak.
This is Orwell vindicated with a vengeance. Mass murder is liberation. Chaos is freedom. Civil strife is democracy. Anti-imperialist activists are terrorist sympathisers. Black is white.
It would appear this appetite for war can never be sated. They launched the first Gulf "war" (read: turkey shoot) over a decade ago on the pretext that Iraq had invaded Kuwait. This after the then US ambassador, April Glaspie, assured Hussein that if he were to annexe Kuwait, her government would consider it a "dispute between Arab brothers to be settled within the Arab family".
Even in his wildest fantasies about PanArabism and world domination, the tyrant would never have attempted to take Kuwait without a nod and a wink from Uncle Sam. They set the trap, he entered it - and they pounced! No matter hundreds of thousands perished - they were just collateral damage!
After Galloway has been hung and quartered, the Americans might like to consider instituting an inquiry into how billions of dollars of Iraqi money were used to award lucrative "reconstruction" contracts to Halliburton - with close links to VP Dick Cheney - and other corporations that fund the Republican Party and are are fully paid-up members of the military industrial complex.