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Why Is The Daily Beast’s Russia Critic Silent About So Many Hideous Abuses?

Why Is The Daily Beast’s Russia Critic Silent About So Many Hideous Abuses?

Glenn Greenwald

A comprehensive review by The Intercept of the writings of Sam Charles Hamad — author of this Daily Beast article accusing the “global left” of remaining “silent” on abuses by Russia — reveals that he has been completely silent, shockingly and appallingly so, about the following wide array of severe global injustices, never once writing about, let alone condemning, any of this:

Thank you, Mr. Greenwald for a surely incomplete list of the many outrages now in evidence.

Following the logic of this statement (from the article):

“Or he could just be a propagandist, fixating on certain acts of abuse and violence committed by some regimes while systematically ignoring those of others.”

I’ve noticed that in the C.D. forum, the painful outcome of Haiti’s earthquake and the thousands left homeless are seldom discussed. What is always given front and center stage is the plight of the Palestinians. It IS a plight to be sure; however, it is spotlighted to the exclusion of many other horrors.

Mr. Greenwald’s list does not include the fate of Indigenous leaders who stand up to corporate plunder in South America… that is, those who attempt to protect the rainforests.

And most glaring in its absence from the list are the obscene levels of Femicide impacting much of Central America, Mexico, India, and some of the Arab nations.

What never ceases to amaze me is how much, and how often, male writers make the worldwide violence against women appear invisible… or is it, inevitable? Just another day of patriarchy doing what patriarchy does and insists upon as norm.

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Quantifying tragedy is tricky. The 43 students murdered in Mexico present us with a crisp number of lives lost, in this case wholly deserving of attention and strong condemnation. Bangladeshi floods force tens of thousands to relocate, fracking wrecks the environment in numerous pockets across large areas in the states were the practice is the most extensive, oil companies use their vast resources to lobby against and delay the adoption of clean technologies that might partially avert the worse consequences of climate change, thereby condemning future generations to more extreme horrors than would have been the case otherwise…etc, etc. How does one go about ranking these tragedies; how does one come up with a metric that can be used as the basis for claiming that story A deserves more attention than story B?


I must be missing something…Mr. Greenwald provides links to Mr Hamad’s article saying that he doesn’t condemn the bombing of the Afghan hospital by the U.S, just singles out Russia bombings of hospitals. (but he does, first thing in the article) . Then he provides links where he condemns Russian bombing of Syrian hospitals (but he doesn’t, it is all about the U.S. bombing). I think Mr. Hamad must have just struck a nerve.

I do get frustrated sometimes that articles cover the same old ground, the same old outrage de joure. Why don’t we ever hear of any of the things on his list? I mean never. Or many others.

For example, I work with two battered women’s shelters. (even I don’t know where they are physically located, as that has to remain secret for obvious reasons). They are both privately funded, and they are absolutely a place of last resort for women leaving abusive men. I never read about that sort of thing, the lack of space…food…toys for the kids…the lack of protection the law gives them…the uselessness of “restraining orders”. Just a little support would go a long way. Never makes the news though.

I would like to see more constructive articles…without the writer having an ax to grind. Shed a little light on problems that don’t make the news…then show people how they can help.

Ummm. I can’t find anywhere in this article where Greenwald says anything about what Hamad has or hasn’t said about the hopsital bombing. The only reference to the hospital comes at the end and is not linked to anything.

Interesting that in this article, despite a pretty long list of events which Greenwald explicitly does claim Hamad has not written about, you chose a completely different one in order to make your criticism of Greenwald.

What he is accusing Hamad of is smearing leftist journalists, not for failing to report on any single issue.


This is a classic tactic. i recall an assertion that one could not in clear conscience condemn Israeli crimes, because that was being selective, and there are other crimes that one is not condemning (supposedly “proving” that one is motivated only by bias against Israel and Jews, not by genuine outrage over crimes).

i pointed out that by this “logic” one could never condemn any crimes, because it is inevitably selective and there are always other crimes not being condemned.

In fact the outrage over “selectivity” itself is selective, in that my accuser was only defending Israeli crimes.

The task is to stay open to look at EVERYTHING, and regularly check ones own biases. It’s not easy in the first place, and it’s only more difficult when cheap panderers hurl tactical accusations designed to inflame, distort and distract our attention.

i like Greenwald’s effort here to point out what is being attempted with this tactic, and not get distorted or distracted. i’ve often been impressed by his rigorous level-headedness.


There another hypocrisy that Hamad overlooks.

Putin does not proclaim Russia as the worlds champion of democracy. Putin does not claim Russia as the guarantor of human rights the world over. Putin does not claim the right to force Russian"values" on peoples the world over. Putin has not proclaimed Russia as the worlds indispensable nation nor has he claimed Russian values as the epitome of human freedom.

The reason so many on the left focus on the USA is its Presidents do in fact blather all of this nonsense to the world even as they drop bombs on poor people the world over.


Oops…Having re read it. You are right. Well, at least on the part about hospital bombing. He did, however, provide a link on his calling out Russian actions…which just threw me into his article of the U.S. bombing. So, I should have read it more closely…thanks.

My bringing up the other subject was not a criticism of Mr. Greenwald ( at least it wasn’t intended as one), it was a criticism of how the news is reported, and how the subjects are chosen. Many things that should be talked about are never reported on, therefor they do not exist for most people. Guess they just aren’t sexy enough. Thanks

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I’m I missing something? no mention of Israeli slow genocide of Palestinians ?

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I don’t think it is possible to make Uncle Joe look good…

Why should ranking be part of any equation? Either there is compassion that produces acts of wisdom (and this, of course, requires anything but corporate capture of our courts, lawmakers, politicians, deciders, et. al) or there is not. Think the Biblical idea that Spirit knows when anything so much as a sparrow drops from the sky… and multiply that by enough tears to fill the deepest ocean.

While this discussion continues with each poster expressing concern about the atrocity personally considered to be the most horrific, Greenwald decides to decimate Hamad for not including a variety of atrocities he chose to list. Could it be Greenwald’s typical rant is based as much on ego as content? After all “The Intercept” is the source of personal income and consequently economic and public survival. Surely posters don’t assume “The Intercept” is merely accomplished by it’s owners solely for the purpose of informing the public? “The Intercept” is financed and consequently controlled by First Look Media owned by Pierre Omidyar who made his fortune after establishing E-Bay and Pay-Pal. Feel free to learn from Bloomberg or just check your favorite research website.


Suggest before accepting Greenwald’s rant as the gospel truth at least take some time to read Hamad’s article. Seems all considering the outrage here on CD
with the bombing of the hospital in Kunduz has there been similar outrage about other bombings of hospitals as well as those by the Russians as well as Assad in Syria?

Russia Bombs Hospitals. Lefties Shrug.
The global left vocally condemned the U.S. bombing of a hospital in Kunduz. But Russia bombing hospitals in Syria? Silence.

A poster who tries to discredit Mr. Greenwald by using terms like ego and rant is no friend of mine. Go back to the hole you crawled out of.

Polite and charming as always rose. Apparently, education related to your “hero” just isn’t of interest to you even if you choose to rant about the corporate state
who finances none other than Mr. Greenwald: your “hero.”

2-3 weeks of bombing by Putin and the players are at the table and talking ceasefire, possibly. 4 years of bombing by forces aligned with U.S. interests, and all we heard was " we’re not bombing enough " and " half-assed policymaking. " What that’s old saw, " don’t trust your lyin’ eyes, trust me ( Uncle Sam ) ". You sound like the horse thieving, cattle rustler who complained about being hung with a brand new rope, here.

Because I suggested posters should read the article Greenwald went off on and consider the source as well as the corporation who finances him? I don’t think I ever was a party to the claim “we’re not bombing enough.” Seems to me if one is going to quote old saws, as was pointed out by Hamad if you bothered to read his article noting how quiet "lefties had been about the hospital bombings by Putin and Assad, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

And Greenwald’s writings about Israelis are related somehow to Hamad’s article related to lefties being silent about bombings of hospitals other than the one the U.S. was responsible for at Kunduz? Should I apologize for not, as some apparently do, failing to worship at the Greenwald altar? Like Hamad Greenwald writes
for the owner of he corporation that finances him. You know one of the big time members of the “corporate state.”

Well, both the goose and gander here should be made to eat their own Foie gras, methinks. But, that’s another topic. False equivalency, pretty much, too. See my first comment, please.

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I absolutely agree with bligh. I find Glenn Greenwald’s riposte to Sam Charles Hamad extremely disappointing. Why can’t an activist journalist concentrate on Syria? What is so immoral about that? That’s his area, apparently. That’s fine. What is particularly bizarre about Greenwald’s critique is that he seems content to describe Russia today and responses to it as if it were the Soviet Union (not that the Soviet Union was some sort of paradise and was not deserving of criticism from the Left, to say the least … Ah, btw, that doesn’t signify praise of McCarthyism and America’s cold war!) Of course he is right to say the primary duty is to condemn the butchery, the imperialist crimes committed by the USA, the crimes of one’s own country. But to whitewash the enemy of your enemy, to suggest that it, ipso facto, must be a good guy, must be your friend, because it has received the fierce opprobrium of the United States is bananas. Anyway, the US’s defining Assad as the bad guy-to-be-removed, doesn’t mean that the US is prepared to remove him … The US doesn’t want a democratic opposition in Syria. Did the US act to support the opposition in the way that Russia has supported Assad? No, they did not, no, they have not. Did they allow anti-aircraft weaponry in? No, they did not.

Furthermore, on the subject of ‘whataboutery’: Greenwald’s article is replete with ‘whataboutery’. Why should Sam Charles Hamad, after all, not concentrate on Syria? Does that negate the horrors of the bombardment of Yemen? Or horrors perpetrated anywhere else? No, it does not. The mass slaughter of Syria’s citizens is staggeringly, overwhelmingly, to be laid largely at the door of Bashar al Assad and his allies, now horrifically stepped up by Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah forces.

Why so defensive over Hamad? Glenn Greenwald has not picked up the substance of the issues he presents. It does not befit Greenwald to be that thin skinned. How disappointing that he cannot show a modicum of empathy, at the very least, for the Syrian people’s horrible plight. Doing so does not obviate denunciation of the policies and actions of the West.