2006/11/15

Let me see if I understand this - Updated

In Emirates Today on Monday

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."

[update 2006-11-16]

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?

4 comments:

secretdubai said...

Yes - this is always the excuse here. "The West is worse" whine. I have heard it so often it sends me comatose.

As in: "so what about 3,000 Americans dying in the WTC attacks? Thousands more Iraqis have been murdered by American terrorists".

blah blah

Mubarak said...

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.

Mubarak said...

Anyway, too bad I am not a frequent visitor to this blog site; otherwise I think we could have informative conversations on various topics. Regarding ur comments, I guess I missunderstood ur argument because I find lots of westerns here take any opportunity to defend Israel ragrdless of the issue at hand. I agree 100% with with ur comments on bad reasoning cuz I beleieve wrongdoning does not justify another wrong doing.

p.s. is this post late by ur criteria bloggers?

oink oink said...

This is even later, but hey, what the heck.

Well, brn, guess yer starting to realise this aint paradise after all. You'll get a nice house and good pay (some of you) but there's a price to pay. Become an intellectual coward and you'll fit right in. And of course, do get used to arguments of the red herring kind. It's all you'll be hearing around here--just pretend it makes eminent good sense.

BTW, I just loved that link.