Human Rights Watch math

How many civilians died in South Ossetia, when after being cut off from water supplies for more than a month, they were attacked by U.S./Israeli trained Georgian military forces? Somewhere between 133 and 1,492. 1,492 is the figure given by local authorities. 133 have been identified so far by Russian investigators. How many does Human Rights Watch claim? Dozens. “We believe we are talking about dozens rather than thousands,” claimed Anna Neistat, a Human Rights Watch representative.

That’s right, the same Human Rights Watch which sports the blowhard Jorge Castañeda on its board of directors, the same HRW that has a more than $100 million budget, nearly half of which comes from “government funding,” (easily dwarfing the few millions it gets from private foundations) and the same human rights group that pays its executive director a salary of more than $340,000 a year. Speaking of math.

But Human Rights Watch doesn’t stop there. It accuses the Russians of dropping cluster bombs on Georgian cities. The accusation engendered protests in front of the Russian embassy in Dublin, and was widely picked up by major media which usually did not bother to air the Russians’ response, which was that they had not used cluster bombs and had no reason to do so.

This is nothing new for HRW though, which took a similar approach to Venezuela earlier this summer, after swallowing the documents from Colombia’s magic laptops, hook, line and sinker – demanding “answers” from Venezuela about its relationship with FARC guerrillas.

Human Rights Watch is calling for international organizations to send “fact-finding missions [to South Ossetia & Georgia] to establish the facts, report on human rights, and urge the authorities to account for any crimes.” What a great idea. Too bad there aren’t any international human rights organizations with the money to sponsor such an endeavor that aren’t, like HRW, completely compromised. HRW’s own reports on the conflict reveal a surface willingness to blame both sides (they’re not as brutish as Reporters Without Borders after all), as long as the lion’s share of the blame rests with the side least favored by the United States.

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