Saturday, May 9, 2009

counting in Gaza

at TNR: How many civilians were killed in Gaza? Meet the people who do the counting.

3 comments:

Eric said...

Have you followed Elder of Ziyon's project over at his blog debunking PCHR's inflated numbers here.

Matt said...

I know of it. As the TNR article makes clear, a big part of the discrepancy is in definitions. At least in conventional warfare, by standard legal practice, even soldiers are "civilians" when they're not on duty. So it's not quite precise to say "debunking."

But it does seem to me that standard legal practice is inadequate to the situation. If terrorism is a police matter, the police don't view criminals as such only while committing crimes. They remain criminals when they go home, and if arresting them results in deaths it's tragic rather than a war crime.

I think we're in a no man's land between these two frames.

Eric said...

That's a good point. I've never thought of it that way.