Saturday, October 01, 2011

Human Rights Watch - Crusader or Crusher?

I find myself joining a growing group who are becoming suspicious of HRW.

Here is an example.

It is important to study Peter Bouckaert’­s “bait and switch” presentati­on of this video. First the dramatic discovery of documents and film in a Government archive then a quick switch to the real subject – a video tape brought to him by the brother of the condemned who “wants it digitised so he can view it” (a service available in any Tripoli neighbourhood prior to the “rebellion”). This is a little bit of showbiz to titillate the audience - shocking new revelations to come.

Bouckaert then shows the video pointing out the children in the crowd and “Huda the executione­r” exhorting the crowd to a murderous pitch. He neglects to mention that Qaddafi is nowhere near the auditorium and that the trial and execution are conducted by the People's Revolutionary Council - many of whom no doubt are now converts to the NTC.
We are told that this is a classic "forced confession" when in fact it is a plea for mercy by a man who has been condemned by tribunal for an assassination attempt. It is brutal, barbaric justice but what is assassination if not brutal, arbitrary killing in the absence of trial?
Bouckaert also makes much of "Huda" pulling on the legs of the condemned, a heinous act in his eyes. Historically, this was considered an act of mercy, curtailing the victim's suffering.

Who could guess, from his presentation, that the video is old news?
It was broadcast around the World in 1984 when consent was being manufactured for another Libyan bombing.

In this version you will see a different crowd. No children, an all male audience as far as I can tell and a different auditorium.

This raises a number of questions about Peter Bouckaert and Human Rights Watch.
Was he not aware that the video, far from being secret, had been screened on Channel 7 in 1984?
Did he or his organisati­on insert the (probably sports fan) crowd scenes being roused by Huda – the Minister of Sports? Notice that the angle of seating in the auditorium is much less acute than the almost vertical bleachers in the Buckaert version and that the crowd scenes are preceded by the black lines of editing.

It could be that Bouckaert has been duped by those who gave him the film but HRW has been leading the charge against Gaddafi with their “Abu Salim Massacre” story which, as I point out below, they admit is based on just one witness and “cannot be verified”. This is touted as the primary motivation for NATO’s action which, according to the TNC, has now cost something like 30,000 lives.

Another point to ponder:

When was the last time a populace enjoying free Health, free education, 92% home ownership and enjoying a Human Development Index rating in the top third of the World rebelled against their Government without outside interference?

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