April 04, 2006

Judge A Man By The Company He Keeps?

Further to that recent post in which I mentioned Walt and Mearsheimer's controversial report on excessive pro-Israeli influence in US government decisions...

It is worth noting that the most vocal critic of the report (in the WaPo article at least) was a Harvard Law professor named Alan M. Dershowitz:
Harvard Law professor Alan M. Dershowitz says the professors "destroyed their professional reputations."

"We've heard all this before, the talk of powerful Jewish lobbies and the language one hears on Arab and extreme right-wing Web sites," Dershowitz said in an interview. "This is paranoid and conspiratorial."
Now, I have just finished watching a Cutting Edge documentary on SBS television about the war in Liberia, AN UNCIVIL WAR. Here's the blurb:
In Liberia, the summer of 2003 was pure insanity when a rebel army attempted to overthrow a government run by an indicted war criminal. Two armies engaged in the final battle of a decade long civil war. Hundreds of innocent civilians died from mortar shells launched from afar and thousands more suffered hunger while the soldiers, mostly teenagers, kept the capital city under siege. Tonight's Cutting Edge investigates one of the many brutal civil wars that were being raged across Africa. Liberia: An Uncivil War follows reporters, Jonathan Stack and James Barbazon as they investigated the power struggle between the rebel movement LURD (Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy) and President Charles Taylor as it reached its climax with the imminent capture of Liberian capital Monrovia in the summer of 2003. While Stack followed the besieged government, Brabazon entrenched himself with rebels as they advance on Monrovia.
What it doesn't mention is the disgraceful actions of the US government during this horrific carnage (video included a man holding up a human heart which he was about to eat). The Bush government did nothing, despite the Liberian people's repeated pleas for US inervention. When a handful of troops did show up, they only guarded the US embassy and covered the beer deliveries. Eventually, desperate locals started leaving piles of bodies at the gates of the US embassy in protest...

But Bush was disengaged (surprise) and US troops were over-extended in Iraq. So the USA did nothing. Finally, seventy soldiers from Nigeria entered the country, and the violence came to an almost immediate halt.

Anyway. The former leader of Liberia, Charles Taylor, is now under arrest and facing charges of crimes against humanity. Guess who he wants on his defence team?
Taylor's aides have said he would like Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz to lead his defence.
That's pretty bizarre, isn't it? What is the link between these two men? Are we allowed to ask?

UPDATE: It seems that Alan Dershowitz may have made a 2003 trip to Liberia in the company of Tucker Carlson, Al Sharpton and Cornel West.


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