Monday, October 20, 2008

Alan Dershowitz, good grief.

I note from my morning newspaper that Alan Dershowitz is planning to depose Radovan Karadzic, in the trial of Momcilo Krajisnik; not only this, but he described the case against Karadzic as "very weak", and deplored the practice of "selective prosecution" of Serbian war criminals.

Obviously everyone deserves a fair trial and legal representation, but really - what is it with Dershowitz and total creeps?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Professional courtesy.

10/20/2008 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Dershowitz has come out for Obama (via Gene). He's also a liberal. ("As a liberal supporter of Israel, I try to combat that false image.")

Oh god, what to say? A pretty terrifying endorsement for our side. Though on this, and on his reasons ("First, because I support him on policies unrelated to Israel, such as the Supreme Court, women's rights, separation of church and state and the economy.") I think he's right.

Whatever, watching Melanie Phillips brain meltdown should be fun. (Though I doubt this will happen. Barrack Obama's middle name is 'Hussein', so he's really an Arab, and all Arabs hate Israel. All the logic Mad Mel needs.)

I just checked Gene's comments. Larry Teabag gets my vote - he calls the send quote from AD I used above "a perfectly reasonable point, but not when it comes from Fingernails Dershowitz."

10/20/2008 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger BenSix said...

Professional courtesy.

Hmmm...I wonder if he'd accept a job offer from a "terrorist suspect"...

10/20/2008 07:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting one, this, for the Decents. Surely Dershowitz's fervent pro-Israel views put him on the side of Decency; whereas, as a Bosnian Serb, Karadžić is worse than the Devil incarnate.

10/20/2008 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Paul, well we wait for Marko Attila Hoare to give us the definitive answer to that; but to me, the reasonable view is that Dershowitz is simply behaving professionally. After all, if he does represent Radovan Karadzic, he stands to make a lot of money, so denouncing RK now would be a very silly move professionally (also ethically? - can lawyers say defamatory things about the guilt or innocence of potential clients of rivals?). As B2 says, even RK "deserves a fair trial and legal representation". In fact, if RK can't get representation, he can't be tried. Holding this against Dershowitz's judgment would therefore seem misguided to me.

Of course, this ignores the point of the post: why would RK choose Dershowitz in particular? I wish the answer were simply, "because he's extremely good, and extremely good lawyers win their cases most of the time."

10/20/2008 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

Just googled for "Jacques Verges" and "Deshowitz" out of idle curiosity.

The "would you defend Hitler?" question is one many lawyers ask themselves, Schroeder says. It even turns up in another of Schroeder's films, Reversal of Fortune. This 1990 feature is based on the real-life case of Claus von Bulow, accused of the attempted murder of his socialite wife, who was defended on appeal by well-known lawyer Alan Dershowitz. In the movie, Dershowitz, played by Ron Silver, talks about a recurring Hitler dream, in which he asks himself, "Do I take the case, or do I kill him?"

There is another moment in Reversal of Fortune that also reminds Schroeder of Terror's Advocate. It's when Dershowitz says to his notorious client, "You are a very strange man," and von Bulow, played by Jeremy Irons, says drily, "You have no idea." That line, says Schroeder, could have been uttered by Verges. "In fact, with Verges, you have two characters in one. He is Dershowitz, and he is von Bulow."

10/20/2008 08:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You have no idea"

It is worth watching the entire movie just to hear Irons utter that line.
For me its the most louche delivery in cinematic history.

10/20/2008 08:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well we wait for Marko Attila Hoare to give us the definitive answer to that

yes we do, particularly as he once accused me of having "No integrity whatsoever", simply for making a favourable remark about Splintered Sunrise, who once in the distant past had said that some Serb nationalist party or other were all things considered a bad idea but one couldn't help a grudging admiration for their bloodymindedness.

Now Dershowitz is being favourably cited all over the face of Harry's Place as the authentic face of the liberal left, and he's in court defending Serb war criminals. As a Welshman, I savour grudges like the French savour wine, and I'm happy to watch this one slowly decant and aerate.

10/20/2008 09:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look forward to Dershowitz's forthcoming book, 'The Case for Republika Srbska'.

10/20/2008 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am now getting dozens of emails asking me how as a supporter of Israel I can vote for Barack Obama. Let me explain. "

I don't understand this or chardonnay chap's bemusement. There's no contradiction. After all, Obama is one of the most pro-Israeli figures in American political history if you take him at his word. McCain I presume, will take Bush's stance and push for a two-state solution (however half-heartedly). Since the division of Jerusalem is presumably the sine qua non of any such deal then Obama is clearly the better friend of the Israeli rejectionist right.

10/21/2008 04:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know its just a bit of tittle tattle but I was a little shocked to discover today that the Hitch could only manage a third
when he was up at Oxford. Too many extra-curricular activities perhaps...

10/21/2008 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

There is an odd way in which some people, especially on the right fringe of the 80s Cambridge rightwing historian set, seem to think that accepting the existence of any genocide would imply accepting whichever particular one they don't want to admit.

10/21/2008 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Islingtonset, my "bafflement" wasn't surprise - it was "is this good for Obama or not?" I'm leaning toward 'not'. Norman Geras called torture an indecent instrument with particular reference to Alan Dershowitz. AD's beyond the pale for me, regardless of his abilities.

I'm getting really excited about Marko now. He's written a new post, but not about Radovan Karadic or Obama. Before the London mayoral election he came out for Paddick (sort of) and wrote: "I’d rather have Boris Johnson as Prime Minister than Livingstone." (He'd rather vote for Livingstone though, which is where he lost me. And I don't understand why he - and Gordon Brown, amongst others - didn't consider it possible that Boris would fuck up mightily, setting the Tories back a decade.) Anyway, after all that, Boris supports Obama and has a lengthy dig at Mad Mel. It's now got to the point where who supports Obama is no longer interesting. (Colin Powell was in Bush's first cabinet etc etc.) It's who doesn't - and who's just not saying anything, despite having had no end of opinions earlier.

10/21/2008 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Btw, and off topic, what were the poitical leanings of the Jewish Chronicle before now? Pollard has taken over as Editor, and of course he's the man who believes: "The mainstream Left has demonstrated clearly which side of the battle to preserve Western civilisation and freedom it is on. The Left, in any recognisable form, is now the enemy" which you would think would be extreme for any newspaper.

10/21/2008 04:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently the JC has been hawkish in terms of foreign policy i think.

On the 'Andrew Anthony on comedy' topic, from a week or so ago, it's good to see that his favourite comedian is doing him proud...

10/21/2008 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The JC's politics are sort of centrist-Zionist, ie they are pro-Israel but not necessarily in the Likudist sense which that epithet tends to be associated with in this country.

Their coverage of Israeli politics has hitherto been quite good, though I wonder how long that will continue under SP.

10/21/2008 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

OC- what is it with these idiots? That's really not Silverman's fault. She's a stand-up comedian; how long do you expect her to be on stage for? Do the idiots think there'll be an interval with man-eating tigers romping the stage or sshe'll be backed by 50 gorgeous go-go dancers and a laser light show? Of course she's only on for less than an hour. She tells jokes; it's not "Long Day's Journey Into Night." That's not her fault; that's her agent. But if there's the demand, then prices will rise.

She's not Ken Dodd. He's a genius and he's been around forever - and when I saw him he had a dreadful support act and an interval. I don't know what rock gigs Ed Stafford has been to (is he related to David Stafford who used to be quite amusing in tehgraun?), but an hour isn't bad actually. I've certainly seen bands play a lot less. I saw Depeche Mode once play their one hit at the time as an encore because they didn't have any other material. Shorter me: bollocks to the rock band comparison. Come to think of it, bollocks to the per minute value for money thing. I don't know how much tickets cost here.

I do know that no one heard a note and it was a bargain. That's a fucking rock gig: pretty much a riot from start to finish. "We were only on for thirty minutes."

Well, that was a bit of a rant. Shorter Ed Stafford: "she's subversive, consistently inventive, politically right-on and sexy. ... Ken Dodd it isn't." Some of us might call that a tautology.

Back on topic: this treason flyer is great, given that Nick's writing a book called Traitors. Gotta love "communist-controlled United Nations....United Nations - Berlin Wall - Missle [sic] removal - Cuba ... Communist ... Communist-inspired racial riots. He has consistantly [sic] appointed Anti-Christians to Federal Office: Upholds the Supreme Court in its Anti-Christian rulings. Aliens and known Communists abound in Federal Offices..." Pretty much the concerns of Decency in a nutshell.

10/21/2008 09:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CC, I think most people would expect a comedian playing a large venue like the Apollo to be on for well over an hour. The average would be about 90 minutes, going up to a couple of hours if you're lucky.

10/21/2008 10:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's a stand-up comedian; how long do you expect her to be on stage for?

that's the rub - she's not a stand-up in the classic sense of the word, or at least, any show at the apollo won't be the equivalent of a spot at jongleurs or the Lee hurst club or wherever else - which is really my problem with the comparisons AA was making. a one-person show at a venue like the Apollo will be scripted to an inch of its life and is expected (and this one was billed, by all accounts) to be a lot longer. It is the promoter's fault for not getting a support act in, to an extent.

I have friends who saw Chris Rock and were similarly disappointed by the other main criticism of the SS show - what we get over here is a weird 'greaest hits' act which means that most of the jokes are known to the audience already.

The rock band analogies don't really work, but comparisons with other comedians playing similar venues do. The only British 'stand-up' who consistently puts in sub-one-hour shows at large venues is Ricky Gervais, who seems to be able to do anything and be called a genius.

however it is true that the Grauniad rarely reviews live comedy without slating it.

onto Nick - Traitors is a very strong word, isn't it? And I'm not really sure what he's going to put in it that wasn't in What's Left already, considering that he's still milking that (highly unoriginal) book for column material now.

10/22/2008 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

Traitors is a very strong word, isn't it?

Nick's sense of humour, probably. I doubt that'll be the title when it's published. Personally I laughed when I read about it. I'll laugh less if I'm wrong.

10/22/2008 08:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dershowitz-Karadzic connection just makes me feel old - because twenty-odd years ago it would have been exactly what we'd expect. For some reason I was thinking of Alan Burns's 1970 play Palach the other day (some older kids put it on at my school a few years later) - and how, while the play was properly outraged about Jan Palach's martyrdom and the Czech regime that drove him to it, its politics weren't in the least Decent. Back then, denouncing Stalinism didn't mean you supported capitalism, it meant you opposed the whole damn thing. (Happy days.)

In that perspective, Dershowitz and Karadzic? One's a neo-liberal hawk who believes in torturing people who pose a threat to the status quo, the other's a post-Stalinist autocrat who believes in killing people who pose a threat to the status quo - of course they go together, it's a match made in heaven.

But yes, it will be interesting to see what Marko makes of it.

10/22/2008 08:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion, anyone who goes to see live comedy at a venue the size of the Apollo is almost bound to end up disappointed - though I seem to remember Bill Bailey being good. Forty minutes is taking the piss though, and would have been even if there was a support act.

Back on the subject of Dershowitz, it appears that his comment about "selective prosecution" was meant to get us thinking "yes, why isn't the Hague going after the real villains, by which I mean the Palestinians". Hilarious.

Also, I think I mentioned a while back that the concept of the "continuum of civilianity", invented by Dersh as an excuse for bombing Lebanese civilians who might or might not have had Hezbollah as neighbours, looks ideally adapted for the case of Sudan's al-Bashir, who also believed that there were basically no innocent parties in Darfur. Dershowitz could have quite a caseload going soon.

10/22/2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/29/2008 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One's a neo-liberal hawk who believes in torturing people who pose a threat to the status quo, the other's a post-Stalinist autocrat who believes in killing people who pose a threat to the status quo - of course they go together, it's a match made in heaven.

But yes, it will be interesting to see what Marko makes of it."

Oh yes, and your evidence for the preceding is exactly...what? Let me guess, a plethora of Soros funded NGO's, the NATO-owned ICTY kangaroo court in The Hague, and the corporate controlled news media.

And with a straight face you dare to mention Marko Attila Hoare - a former employee of the NATO-owned ICTY whom just happens to be the son of a Marxist Croat by the name of Branka Magas - as some kind of supreme authority and paragon of neutrality on matters pertaining to the Balkans?

Are you for real?

12/20/2008 02:52:00 PM  

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