Sunday, August 13, 2017

Should Corbyn one-sidedly condemn the violence of Venezuelan Government forces?



You don't like Corbyn and you want to discredit him and his leftist supporters by pointing out his even-handed condemnation of violence in Venezuela. And now Trump has condemned the violence on both sides in Charlottesville, despite it being clear that it's alt-rightists that are primarily responsible. So can you now legitimately draw a very damaging (for Corbyn) parallel between Trump and Corbyn? In this instance, aren't they as bad as each other?

Well, first off you would have to show that there is a major imbalance in the violence from either side in Venezuela (as there is in Charlottesville). Arguably there is (that UN report suggests as much), but still it is clear there is also much violence from the protestors whose actions have also caused deaths (some accidental, as in the eight who were electrocuted, but perhaps also some quite deliberate). But suppose you can show there is nevertheless such an imbalance in the number of deaths caused by either side? Is that enough to condemn Corbyn as being, in this instance, 'just like Trump'?

No. You are not even close.

If we should condemn much more forcefully or even exclusively those who cause the most deaths in such situations - that being a reason why Corbyn should one-sidedly condemn the Government side in Venezuela - then what about Israel/Palestine? Palestinian violence kills very few people compared to Israeli violence. Yet Israel's violence is widely thought justified, proportionate, and acceptable. Should Corbyn condemn only the Israeli violence, then?

Or is it the fact that the violence is coming from the much more powerful side - Government forces - that should lead us to condemn the violence of the Government much more forcefully, or even exclusively? But again, what about Israel vs violent Palestinian protestors. And the UK Government vs the IRA? It seems we should then condemn the Brits much more than the IRA, and the Israelis much more than the Palestinians.

Corbyn's position in all these disputes - UK forces vs IRA, Israel vs Palestinians, Venezuelan Gov. forces vs protestors - is, to my knowledge, to condemn the violence on both sides. To suggest Corbyn is a hypocrite for not one-sidedly condemning the Government violence in this case seems to me unjustified, and, frankly, dumb. He would be a hypocrite if he did condemn only one side in this case, given his previous form. Corbyn's long-standing position on such violent situations may not be to your liking - and you may argue that some other position would be better - but it is principled and it is consistent.

Trump's position, on the other hand, is neither principled nor consistent.

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