UAE-based journalists ... also said the publication of the [Human Rights Watch] report raised “serious question marks”.
“Labour violations in the UAE are so trivial if compared to the flagrant violation of [human] rights in the Occupied Territories by Israel,” said one journalist.
So it is wrong to complain about anything but whatever the worst crime is? Does that really make any sense? If someone had punched that reporter at that instant, you think he would complain, or would he say, "Well, you know, compared to the violence in the West Bank and Gaza or Iraq or Darfur, that punch in the nose was so trivial."
mubarak in the comments says:
I find it so strange, nothing attracted your attention in the whole issue except this statement by this journalist. You could defend the labourers' rights without making reference to Israel.
The thing that first struck me about the article was the fact that these journalists were acting much differently than the ones that I'm used to in America. That doesn't make them wrong, but the tone was very jarring to me and my cultural experience.
I haven't written anything about laborers here one way or the other (that I can remember), and certainly not about this HRW report. I am not even disagreeing with the reporter's comment that things are worse in the Occupied Territories.
But that is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand (indeed, this would make a perfect illustration of a "red herring"). Either the HRW report is true or it isn't, regardless of everything else in the world. I haven't read the report and so I'm not getting involved in that fight.
My complaint here is about bad reasoning; on any side, it bothers me. If President Bush stated, "Complaints about Abu Ghraib raise serious question marks, because what happened there wasn't as bad as [fill in this blank with whatever you want]", would such an argument meet with your approval? Would you be suspicious of someone who pointed out the silliness of that argument?