Tuesday, May 10, 2011

in defense of the Devil

Everyone in America will remember where they were when they heard the news that Osama bin Laden was killed. Though there are sure to be reprisals, and though I know few who consider this the end of the conflict with al-Qaeda, there's a palpable sense of relief across this country. Even as we start to grip the ramifications, good and bad, it's worth taking time to consider the political reasons behind the conflict, and indeed the reasons behind all political conflict.

I keep thinking of Terror's Advocate, Barbet Schroeder's fascinating documentary exploring the life and work of notorious lawyer Jacques Vergès. The path that led Vergès from his position in anti-Nazi forces during WWII to his work as the lawyer for some of the most reviled war criminals and terrorists of the last fifty years is fascinating to consider. And when such a person declares "...I'd even defend Bush! But only if he agrees to plead guilty." one has to take a broader view.

This thought-provoking film remains available on Jaman for our US viewers, offering questions of morality, politics, and conflict that sadly may always remain relevant.

Terror's Advocate

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