Monday, July 20, 2009

Different Strokes: Some obvious examples

On page 20 of Harvard professor Samuel Huntington's book Who Are We, he states:

"The infuriating inescapability of identity is well demonstrated in the work of the distinguished social theorist Leon Wieseltier. In 1996 he published a book, Against Identity, denouncing and ridiculing the fascination of intellectuals with that concept. In 1998, he published another book Kaddish, an eloquent, passionate, and explicit affirmation of his own Jewish identity."

Different strokes? Well, I guess!

Earlier this July, famed Canadian lawyer Edward Greenspan wrote a passionate op-ed that argued in favour of due process and in the presumption of innocence against the backdrop of the disturbing allegations that pop star Michael Jackson was a child molester.

Greenspan: "Everyone is presumed to be innocent and is, in fact, innocent unless and until the government proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." 1

Twenty-five years ago, Greenspan argued the opposite, calling for a broad vilification campaign to rouse public hostility against any person accused of Nazi war crimes in order to prejudice the case against them.

He advocated that the "pictures of the war criminals should be published in a book listing all the allegations against them and widely distributed to bookstores, libraries" and even - wait for it - the "homes of their neighbours." 2

Back then, Edward Greenspan’s egalitarian "everyone" would not have literally included everyone. Now?

Toronto lawyer Alan Young, Jewish like Edward Greenspan, is on the record as favouring coercion to enforce intellectual conformity among those holding dissenting views of history, especially Holocaust doubters or skeptics or “deniers” who he finds grossly offend against his own grasp of history. Young:

"For crimes of supreme stupidity we need Clockwork Orange justice -- strapping the hate criminal into a chair for an interminable period, and keeping his eyes wide-open with metal clamps so he cannot escape from an onslaught of cinematic imagery carefully designed to break his neurotic attachment to self-induced intellectual impairment." 3

History buffs may recall the kind of "Clockwork Orange justice" Young advocates was routinely employed by KGB officers in psychiatric wards in the Soviet Union against dissidents of all stripes, including, of course, Jewish refuseniks.

The quaint thing about Young is he often appears on radio and TV shows to discuss legal affairs, and often cites his deep concern for the human and civil rights of the accused without any fear of being challenged. He’s a protected species, you might say.

1. Edward Greenspan, "Jackson not guilty: King of pop cannot be remembered as a pedophile," The Calgary Sun, July 6, 2009, p. 15.

2. "Greenspan Attacks Inaction on War Crimes," The Jewish Times (Toronto), 10-23 February 1984.

3. Alan Young, “Hate criminal needs deprogramming,” Toronto Star, March 28, 2004.

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