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I wrote this yesterday in as part of an email exchange with a Gaddafi supporter. Then I thought; that was a pretty good critique of the Boston Globe article XX sent me; what else can I do with it? So here it is:

On 05/02/2011 01:03 PM, XX wrote:

Spread the word and protest during African Liberation Month - as NATO kills the son and grandchildren of Moammar Kaddafi.

False pretense for war in Libya?

By Alan J. Kuperman
Boston Globe, April 14, 2011

EVIDENCE IS now in that President Barack Obama grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya. The president claimed that intervention was necessary to prevent a “bloodbath’’ in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city and last rebel stronghold.

But Human Rights Watch has released data on Misurata, the next-biggest city in Libya and scene of protracted fighting, revealing that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government.

Misurata’s population is roughly 400,000. In nearly two months of war, only 257 people — including combatants — have died there. Of the 949 wounded, only 22 — less than 3 percent — are women. If Khadafy were indiscriminately targeting civilians, women would comprise about half the casualties.

Once again XX, do you consider HRW a reliable source or not? When I quote them, they are not to be believed. Then you come back citing them as fact when you think they support you. What's up with that?

Unfortunately Alan Kuperman didn't provide his HRW source, so I went looking for it. What I found was some stuff that will cause you to claim they aren't reliable again:

Libya: Cluster Munitions Strike Misrata
Human Rights Watch Witnesses Attack Into Residential Area
(New York) - Government forces loyal to the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, have fired cluster munitions into residential areas in the western city of Misrata, posing a grave risk to civilians, Human Rights Watch said today.

You will notice that I give my source as a convenient link, and my source is the HRW website - no middle men - generally I think that is the best way to back up you point.  Now I am asking you specifically how you would square the above citation with the statement "Human Rights Watch has released data on Misurata, the next-biggest city in Libya and scene of protracted fighting, revealing that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government?"

I am requesting a serious response here. Not the usual. You ignore the point and move on to a new one, send me more stuff that somebody has cobbled together, which I also should not bother critiquing because you're not listening.

And while you are promoting the counter-revolutionary lie about the kindness of the Gaddafi dictatorship, you might also want to consider these reports from HRW:  

Libya: Journalists Killed in Misrata
April 20, 2011

Libya: Government Attacks in Misrata Kill Civilians
Unlawful Strikes on Medical Clinic
April 10, 2011
(Benghazi) - Attacks by Libyan government forces in the western city of Misrata have endangered civilians and targeted a medical clinic in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said today. The assessment is based on interviews with two doctors still in Misrata and 17 wounded civilians recently evacuated from the city, which is largely cut off from the outside world by Libyan government forces.


and in that article we find the statement:
According to Dr. Muhammad el-Fortia, who works at Misrata Hospital, medical facilities have recorded 257 people killed and 949 wounded and hospitalized since February 19, 2011. The wounded include 22 women and eight children, he said

Now we can see that the failure to cite was not accidental because this HRW publication is no doubt the basis for the Alan K. distortion:
Misurata’s population is roughly 400,000. In nearly two months of war, only 257 people — including combatants — have died there. Of the 949 wounded, only 22 — less than 3 percent — are women.

But Dr. el-Fortia didn't say that only 257 people have died did he? He said that only 257 deaths had so far been recorded by the hospitals [as of some date before April 10th], which is quite another matter isn't it? Because in Misrata we hear many stories of corpses rotting in the streets because people can't get to them. Because nobody bothers to take dead people to the hospital. Because Muslims, when they can get to the bodies, bury their dead in 24 hrs. Because the hospitals themselves are under assault by Gaddafi's forces, a point that HRW makes in very first para of the article from which Alan K. no doubt is taking his numbers to create the illusion that HRW is saying  "that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government."

And that is complete rubbish. It is shoddy and deceptive journalism. It is dishonest and as such cannot serve the people. It is propaganda worthy of Goebbels but the Boston Globe should be ashame.

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