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Galloway’s dancing partner dies

Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, who loyally provided an urbane facade to Saddam Hussein’s unspeakably brutal regime, has died in hospital at the age of 79.

George Galloway once wrote of his experience on “the crowded dance floor of a North African nightclub … dancing with Tariq Aziz, the deputy prime minister of Iraq.”

After Aziz was arrested, Galloway called him a “political prisoner” and said:

“The obvious fact is that Mr Tariq Aziz is a more respectful man than the people who are holding him now. He is viewed with high esteem worldwide by figures like the Pope in the Vatican and other international figures who have valued his counsel, met him, discussed and negotiated with him. He is an eminent diplomatic and intellectual person.”

Aziz apparently had little voice in deciding Iraqi policy during Saddam’s reign, but he was always willing to defend, excuse or deny his boss’s worst outrages and serve as his diplomatic mouthpiece.

He was sentenced to death in 2010, but Iraq’s president refused to sign the death sentence.

Nevertheless Galloway tweeted on the news of Aziz’s death:

And he retweeted this:


Update: Some appalling tweets from Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow:

If there’s a connection between those tweets and this, it’s willful ignorance.

(Hat tip: Harvela)

Alec adds: from Evert in the comments, Robert Webb calls out the Walter Duranty and Hewlett Johnson of Channel Four News.