Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Is Craig Murray following Straw?

Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan who was removed after taking a stand against the human rights abuses in that country, is to stand against Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in Blackburn.

Murray's principled stand against torture and human rights abuses has made him a popular figure and there have been some who have compared his campaign in Blackburn to Martin Bell's famous and successful white-suited challenge to Tory Neil Hamilton.

But is Murray about to make the same kind of shameful compromise he rightly criticises Jack Straw for?

Straw and the British government turned a blind eye to human rights abuses in Uzbekistan because the country was an ally in the Afghan war. But is Murray about to turn a blind eye himself to supporters of terrorists and human rights abuses?

Leading RESPECT figures such as the pro-Saddam George Galloway, Lindsey German and John Rees are open in their support for armed Iraqi groups which they call a 'resistance'. These groups have been involved in a series of terrorist outrages in Iraq, beheadings, murders and suicide bombings against civilian targets. Their crimes against humanity dwarf even those of the Karimov regime in Uzbekistan.

“I don’t propose to lecture the Iraqi people on the methods they use, and neither should we," said RESPECT's John Rees when asked about a meeting he held last year in Beirut with leaders of the al-Sadr movement - accused of serious abuses of human rights, including murder and executions while they held control of the Iraqi city of Najaf.

According to RESPECT's website Murray, is now to appear with Rees and co at RESPECT's campaign launch on April 6 in London.

Is he about to become an official or de facto Respect candidate?

There is still time for Craig Murray to think again.

Does he really want his reputation as a honest opponent of human rights abuses to be tarnished by association with the apologists for horrendous crimes in Iraq?