Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An Orgy of Lies

The arrest of Radovan Karadzic yesterday (or Friday, as some reports indicate) occasioned an orgy of Serbophobia in the Western press, as wire services, newspapers and TV networks competed in who would trot out more rancid propaganda to "spice up" otherwise factually sparse reports about Karadzic's capture.

Karadzic was thus described as minion of Milosevic (false), a "key organizer" of the Bosnian war (also false), the "Butcher of Bosnia" (that one's new), an architect of "genocide" in Srebrenica (wasn't that supposed to be Mladic?) etc. Dozens of reports I've read have repeated the baseless assertion that Karadzic had disguised himself as an Orthodox priest and hid in monasteries - a claim calculated to defame the Serbian Orthodox Church.

To describe the war itself, the media dug up every trope and cliche from their old clipboards: "Europe's most murderous conflict since the end of World War II" is just one example. Similarly, the siege of Sarajevo was alleged to have killed 12,000 (only if one counts the military fatalities, and then on both sides, could this number possibly be true), and the Bosnian war a "quarter-million" people. I mean, come on, that crap again?

I could also dwell on the lazy (or malicious? you decide) description of what supposedly happened in Srebrenica; to hear the mainstream media say it, Serb forces stormed the unprotected, disarmed civilian town, seized 8,000 men and shot them on the spot. Except none of this - none - is actually true.

It's revolting. It's disgusting. It's normal for the folks that brought us "Kuwaiti incubator babies" and "Saddam's weapons of mass destruction" and God knows how many other lies invented and disseminated to justify the Empire and its wars of conquest.

My next column on Antiwar.com will deal with the Karadzic affair, but I just wanted to express my intense revulsion with this obscene orgy of lies. I've actually survived the war in Bosnia, inside Sarajevo no less. It was terrible enough without presstitutes, pseudo-diplomats and NGO scum making up preposterous stories, as they have for the past 16 years. Everyone claims to be championing the "victims," but they don't; they use the victims to achieve their own ends, be that greater circulation/ratings/awards, conquest and domination, or simply money.

Now, if you want some actual facts about Radovan Karadzic and his role in the Bosnian war, I direct you to an excellent essay by Srdja Trifkovic posted earlier today. But if you are happy to feed on the offal poured down your trough by the mainstream media, what the hell are you doing reading this blog anyway?

17 comments:

A. Radojevic said...

I have been reading Serbian online newspapers for two days now, barely able to complete any of my own work in my search for any news of an opposing force. The comments by readers are the most interesting. Many, many people have, in their frustration, written their feelings. The one word they use over and over again: SRAMOTA.

Looking forward, as usual, to Mr. Malic's piece on the neverending tale of upsetting events in Serbia.

Bartek said...

And on that note: R. Holbrooke on CNN yesterday explaining why he did not want to shake Karadzic's hand, cause "he got blood on his hands"... I mean, interesting comment from a U.S. official...

Gray Falcon said...

@ A. radojevic: Yes, it is a disgrace. But my question to the people in Serbia is whether they are ready to do something about it. They don't expect a handful of us exiles to do the work for them, do they?

@ bartek: Ha! Holbrooke should be the one to say! Mr. "Bombs for peace" who sat down with the KLA and openly boasted of directing the 1995 Croat offensive that resulted in massive ethnic cleansing? Oh, that's rich, even from him.

440TNT said...

I read your blogs and columns regularly and wanted to say thanks for addressing this, it's with revulsion that I've been reading the fane-stream and (most) reader commentary about Karadzic's arrest over the past few days.
Sad that he was captured, and equally sad that so many swallow and parrot the MSM trot regarding what went on in Bosnia in the 1990s.

Red Star said...

Sorry, could someone translate SRAMOTA? (pronunciation?)

Cossack said...

Sramota it is, without a doubt. And, to what end? Do the Serbs honestly believe that kowtowing to the same disreputable beasts that bombed them and, in many ways, caused much of the misery that was the Wars of Yugoslav Dissolution, is in any wise going to benefit them? Will is get them earlier entree into the rapidly disintegrating EU? Why on Earth would they want that anyway? Jadni moji srbi!

Gray Falcon said...

Red Star, "sramota" means "disgrace" or "shame." Its use is appropriate for this situation, though I think it perhaps a bit mild. I mean, one has to be capable of feeling shame for it to mean anything, and these people are utterly shameless.

I was right, some governments are worse than others; I just had no idea how much.

Cossack said...

Oh yes, I almost forgot! On NBC Nightly Sleaze errr, News, the idiot talking head called Karadjic "the former President of Serbia." Good grief, these people are TOTALLY ignorant and brain dead. And we wonder about the dumbing down of America!

M said...

Mr. Malic, great post as usual. I was so shocked yesterday (22 July) when I heard what happened (after getting to work, which at least allowed me to curse far and wide!)

Now I'm more worried than ever for the future of the Serb friends that I have and who haven't left the country yet. I actually started floating the idea to one or two of them to move away.

The news of the new government was bad enough to digest, this one was simply terrible. Luckily, we can all rely on the usual news sources to try to feel better and to know what's really happening but the huge problems remain for the Serbs.

If they don't start acting right away, how can they hope to keep Kosovo and Metohija? And they also need a different government, both at the Belgrade level and at the national level.

I wonder how the Belgrade police responded to that protest by what I guess may have been SRS people yesterday. Certainly with a bit too much energy. It's impossible, if you are a foreigner with Serb friends and you love the Serbs, not to be more concerned for them than ever. What can be the next bad news? Can it be about Raska or Vojvodina? Where's the end? Will the good news start coming before it's too late? In 2004, a Serb friend living in the US sent me an e-mail predicting in 10 years the outright disappearance of Serbia from the maps. Best wishes to all. PS: Thankfully, this year I'll be able to massively donate to an NGO here in Rome that works to help Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija....

Steve said...

You're right, Gray Falcon, the appropriate word would be IZDAJA, and that word has been, unfortunately, the most used one in the Serbian history!

kapetan Mile said...

When Karadzic defended serbs, during what as been categorized as a civil war by a UN court, he was a hero, a god almost. Now some serbs (in power) cant wait to catapult him to the that kangoroo court. We should be ashamed of our selfs. Do you think someone is going to step up one day and defend us again. Certainly not Tadic. and we keep electing this serbophobe.

Sasa said...

@cossack: I truly believe that we Serbs need an iron hand to rule us, otherwise we turn against each other. Maybe that rapidly disintegrating EU could be the iron hand that will bring us back to the right path, teach us some discipline etc. Maybe the idea of joining the EU is good, maybe not, future will show. However, we need to live here and now, not tomorrow. There is nothing more far from the truth then if I say I like US politics, or generally EU politics. Very far from that. But what other option do we have? To become a ghetto, surrounded by EU and/or NATO countries, historically not so friendly to us? I am, as many of my mates, somewhere else, not in Serbia. But I want to go back, to live in my country, to help it rebuild. However, I am not ready to plan my, and the future of my family there if it become a ghetto.

weylin said...

I completely agree with you. And I have also had a chance to watch the ridiculous Holbrooke CNN interview yesterday morning. It's absolutely despicable how everyone tries to come up with the "best" (i.e. most horrific) version of how it all went back then.

On a side note: I'm somewhat happy that so far Karadzic seemed to refuse to say anything. Because, frankly, it's very likely that everything he might (even rightfully) say would in one way or another be used against him - first and foremost in the media. In my country there have already been reports on television that labeled everyone "Serb ultranationalist" (whether one actually was Serb or not) who would not immediately join the happy Karadzic bashing...

Gray Falcon said...

@ Cossack: Not surprised. After all, most Americans don't know the difference between "Bosnian" and "Bosniak" (which is why I never use the latter).

@ M: If Serbs do perish as a nation, I can now rightly say that will to some extent be their own fault. Yes, they face mighty enemies, but none bigger than themselves.

@ Sasa: I could not agree with you less. Serbs have a history of mistrusting authority and being notoriously difficult to rule. But even if you were right on that account, read your argument once more, and tell me how it makes sense... How can the "rapidly disintegrating" EUSSR be the "iron hand"?

@ Kapetan Mile: The way I see it, we spend all this time waiting for a savior, and do nothing to save ourselves. I mean, it's vaguely blasphemous; wasn't Jesus enough?

@ weylin: I remember commenting once that Serbs are always "hardline" or "ultra-" nationalists, as opposed to the "regular" kind. I remain convinced that if the people in Serbia could actually hear/read what is said/written about them in the West, they would abandon the whole notion of being EU subjects faster than rats could jump off a sinking ship...

Cossack said...

@Saša: Perhaps you are right, however, the Serbs have had their own 'iron hands'; Karadjordje, Knez Miloš, Knez Mihajlo, Kralj Peter, Kralj Aleksander, who served them well in the past. Our best bet is to rely on ourselves. We need not be a 'ghetto'; is Switzerland a 'ghetto'? If so, please let me in! "Srbija bogota je!" If Serbia and Serbs were simply allowed to run their own affairs, without foreign interference, they would do quite well. Serbs should now DEMAND a referendum in Republika Srpska if they would want to join with Serbia (after all, the 'international community' can't complain since they've taken it upon themselves to rip Kosovo, a constituent part of Serbia, away unilaterally!).

With the aid and backing of our Slavic brothers (Russia) Serbs need to start standing up for themselves and demand that they be treated as the sovereign nation they are. Serbia does not wish to be part of the (evil) Empire and should be allowed free reign to do as its people see fit.

Sasa said...

@gray falcon: hmmmm, even rapidly disintegrating (with which I disagree) EU would be more efficient in disciplining us than totally disfunctional government of Serbia. Even if joining EU won't directly improve lives of everyone residing in Serbia, it will at least give the... opportunity for some to do something for themselves without seeking better future somewhere else.

Gray Falcon said...

Sasa, your argument is completely upside-down. It's not the government that creates conditions for prosperity, it's the society. Right now we have no society because everything has been controlled by the government for at least sixty years (64, I guess). The problem with the Serbian government is not its inability to provide for a better life; no government can do that. It is its inability - or rather, unwillingness - to defend the country from foreign depredations. As for the actual economic development, the regime in Serbia compares to those in the West like ebola to a common cold: it is so efficient in destroying wealth and preventing its creation that it is killing the society on which it feeds. Governments in the West have learned to soak their subject gradually and in increments; Serbian quislings steal everything that isn't nailed down as soon as they can, because their time in power is short and uncertain.

If you are looking for the EU to deliver you from domestic thieves, you are in for a rude surprise: those very thieves are the first to become EU's enforcers. Before joining the EU you'd still have a chance to get rid of them; once Brussels saddles you and begins to ride, it's all over.