[Marxism] Gilbert Achcar interview

Lenin's Tomb leninstombblog at googlemail.com
Sun Aug 28 06:40:26 MDT 2011

On 28/08/2011 13:30, Greg McDonald wrote:
> I'm curious how Achcar arrives at the figure of 10,000 casualties,
> which he attributes to the Gadaffi regime, and contrasts with the
> lesser figure of 2,200 casualties in Syria.

This comes straight from the opposition itself, and should be taken with 
the usual pinch of salt, particularly in light of figures from HRW and 
Amnesty which tend to speak of scores, dozens, at most hundreds of 
deaths in particular cities.  Kuperman, citing HRW, pointed out that one 
of the biggest and most severely suffering cities, Misrata, had seen 257 
deaths in the first two months of conflict.  In all likelihood, the 
figure is a bit higher than this, as HRW can't possibly have verified 
every single death.  But the scenario Achcar depicts of big massacres is 
unsustainable.  Unfortunately, Achcar is using these dubious figures to 
morally browbeat his opponents: an adult discussion of the evidence is 
excluded in advance because it would "indecent" to take any position 
other than the one he adopts - of course, the trope of "decent" leftism 
has a peculiar and unsavoury history over the last decade.  I find this 
lapse into shrill, decentist vulgarity on Achcar's part mildly depressing.

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