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Re: (Fwd) 4546-Anatol Lieven/Through a Distorted Lens: Chechnya an

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  • H. Mark Hubey
    ... Excuse me, but admitting those crimes cannot undo them but stopping a crime that is taking place will save lives. Stopping a crime that is about to be
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 30, 2000
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      Jan Mayen wrote:
      > Dear all,
      > > If we do use Lieven's argument, then the only people who would
      > > ever be guilty would be the Assyrians. After all, if Russia can
      > it can't be my task to explain Lieven's point here, nor was it my
      > intention to defend him. But if I got him correctly, he was not
      > asking to excuse the Russian crimes in Chechnya by mentioning Western
      > crimes in Algeria or in WW2, but he was asking not to forget these
      > latter crimes - he seemed to feel annoyed by the common super-
      > morality of French intellectuals.

      Excuse me, but admitting those crimes cannot undo them but
      stopping a crime that is taking place will save lives.

      Stopping a crime that is about to be committed is even better.

      Even if we might share this
      > attitude (I do), in this special detail he was wrong, since French
      > intellectuals of the same couleur as Glucksmann were among the most
      > slashing critics of the French war in Algeria. And what Mr.
      > Glucksmann did was definitely not the behavior of an armchair
      > soldier. But Lieven in my opinion indeed is right when he reminds us
      > of the tradition of moral hauteur of certain western countries who
      > themselves during their history committed the most abominable crimes.
      > "The say the Bible and mean cotton."

      Lieven is committing a simple logical fallacy.

      If a doctor says "smoking is bad for you", just because he smokes
      does not mean that what he says is false. Smoking is bad for you
      and it is bad for him.

      That cannot be used as an argument.

      It is not necessary for me to have a beautiful wife on the world
      scale to be able to make a statement (presumably correct) that
      "X's wife is ugly."

      What Russia's defender's are saying is "Look you did it, and now
      let us do it (again, as if they never did) and then when it is
      finished you can compare us to what others did. Why stop us?"

      It is like saying "Well, let us wipe out the Chechens so that
      there are a few left, like the native Americans, and then we

      We are not talking about who is better, US, Russia or France.
      We are talking about doing the right thing now, and stopping
      massacres. Human Rights is not about ranking "goodness" of
      nations based on past N years of history. It is about creating
      moral societies now, and in the future.

      Isn't that what this is all about?

      The mere act of pussyfooting that Lieven is indulging in
      itself is perverting the whole concept of what Human Rights
      agreements are about.

      It's another logical fallacy called "Red Herring". You discuss
      seemingly related things to distract from the real purpose.

      > > in the Boer War,
      > Thanks for mentioning this one example.
      > But my own point in my last posting was a completely different one. I
      > was not at all talking about morality or legality, but was asking for
      > a historical, structural if you like to, comparison between the
      > Algerian War and the Chechen Wars. I'm absolutely sure some Frenchman
      > will have worked on this topic but so far I didn't come about such
      > literature.

      We are not dealing simply with comparisons for comparison's sake.

      Regards, Mark
      /\/\/\/\/\....I love humanity. It's people I can't stand...../\/\/\/\/\
      hubeyh@... =-=-=-=-=-= http://www.csam.montclair.edu/~hubey
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