[Marxism] Gilbert Achcar interview

Greg McDonald gregmc59 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 28 07:32:16 MDT 2011

I posed the same question on the NLP website, and here is their response:

Independent numbers of dead and injured in the conflict have still not
been made available. Estimates have been widely varied.
On 24 February 2011, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
reported that the International Criminal Court estimated 10,000 had
been killed.[193] The numbers of injured were estimated to be around
4,000 by 22 February.[194]
On 2 March, the World Health Organization estimated approximately
2,000 killed.[195] At the same time, the opposition claimed that 6,500
people had died.[196] Later, rebel spokesman Abdul Hafiz Ghoga
reported that the death toll reached 8,000.[197]


One must note the widely divergent numbers, and the fact that Achcar
picked the most inflated count.


On Sun, Aug 28, 2011 at 8:40 AM, Lenin's Tomb
<leninstombblog at googlemail.com> wrote:

> 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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