In Defense of Alex de Waal
A reader has left a comment to my previous post in which he alleges that Alex tipped off Bashir that the OPT was going to seek his arrest and speculates that Alex might have promised Bashir to oppose the genocide charges.
I have reluctantly left the comment up, because I don’t believe that it is my role as a blogger to police the comments to my posts. That said, I want to make one thing absolutely clear: the commenter’s allegations are completely ridiculous and unequivocally false. I have very significant disagreements with Alex about whether Bashir is legally responsible for genocide in Darfur, and I did not pull any punches in my previous post. But I have nothing but respect for Alex — very few people in this world can rival his expertise or his commitment to improving the lives of ordinary Darfuris. I believe that I am right where Alex and I disagree — as my mentor, Stanley Fish, once said, it’s impossible not to believe what you believe. But I freely confess that I always think twice before I disagree with Alex, and when I do disagree with him, I do so with trepidation. That is the highest compliment I can pay someone.
We are all better off for Alex’s work, as angry as it often makes some of us. I hope I will have the privilege of disagreeing with him for a very long time.