Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Real Face of Evil

Mark Twain once famously said, "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

Richard Holbrooke probably never read Twain, and even if he had, that would hardly stop him. The man who ended the Bosnian War on America's terms (after Washington sabotaged every attempt to end it any other way), known for a complete absence of tact and only a loose attachment to the truth, Holbrooke is somewhat of an idol to Clinton-era interventionists, some of whom have been reborn as Obamamaniacs.

Once a month, he pontificates from the pages of the Washington Post, a newspaper that's never seen a Russian or a Serb it did not love to hate (unless the said Russian or Serb did Empire's bidding without a second thought; then he merely could not be trusted). He used this month's opportunity to gloat over the capture of Radovan Karadžić, former leader of the Bosnian Serbs.

Now, I'll give Holbrooke this; he doesn't hide his Serbophobia. He wears it proudly, like a badge of honor. That doesn't make him much different than the hordes of Serbophoboes-for-hire that infest Western capitals and media, but they usually have an excuse ready if someone brings it up, because their greatest fear is being accused of "intolerance". (Not that anyone cares about calling people on hatred of Serbs; in this day and age of political correctness, not hating Serbs is a hate crime.) But Holbrooke hates openly, and with pride. Fair enough.

Lies are another matter, though. His Post column today contains at least four verifiable untruths. I know, I know, a Serb-hater engaging in lies? What's the world coming to?! Well, I for one am sick and tired of lies. And I'm going to do something about it.

Lie the first: The one and only time he met Karadžić, Holbrooke and his team were in Belgrade, "trying to end a war that had already taken the lives of nearly 300,000 people."

This is what editors would call a "gross factual error" that should get any journalist fired on the spot. Not so Holbrooke, apparently. But the official demographic study of the ICTY (the same tribunal Holbrooke praises in his diatribe) from 2003 established the total death toll in Bosnia at just over 100,000 civilians and military. Subsequent research by a Bosnian commission reached the final figure of 92,000 dead. Yet the 250,000 or even 300,000 have been routinely used in reports of Karadžić's arrest as verified fact. It is, however, a lie.

Lie the second: Holbrooke blames Karadžić, Gen. Ratko Mladić, Slobodan Milošević and God only knows who else for the deaths of three of his colleagues, Bob Frasure, Joe Kruzel and Nelson Drew. They died when their vehicle slid off the road into a mine-filled ravine. In his Post column Holbrooke claims the road they traveled went through "sniper-filled, Serbian-controlled territory." In fact, the road they took went over Mt. Igman, a supposedly demilitarized zone under nominal UN control which was in fact occupied by the Muslims and used as their army's base of operations.

Furthermore, as Holbrooke reveals in his memoir, he blamed the Serbs because they would not give Frasure and his team a safety guarantee if they tried flying in. But the Serbs could not give any such guarantee, not because they were willing to shoot the plane down, but because they could not stop the Muslims from doing so. So the American diplomats used the road through Muslim territory and died. May as well blame the Serbs for the mountain being there in the first place...

Lie the third: Holbrooke claims his meeting with Karadžić resulted in the lifting of the siege of Sarajevo. Complete and utter nonsense. All he did was reopen the airport, which was closed due to ... drumroll... the NATO bombing of Bosnian Serb positions around the city! That was the bombing Holbrooke refers to in the column as threatening to continue (and he actually did, pleading with NATO to "give us bombs for peace," as detailed in his book). Even after the war ended, Sarajevo remained under an internal blockade, as residents needed permission from the Muslim authorities to leave the city.

Lie the fourth: Holbrooke claims that former Serbian PM Zoran Đinđić was assassinated in 2003 "as a direct result of his courage in arresting Milosevic and sending him to The Hague in 2001." Holbrooke may well believe this, as do many fanatical "democrats" in Serbia, but there has never been any actual evidence to prove it. To this day, it's just a conspiracy theory, which Holbrooke here presents as fact. Alright, then, Holbrooke was an agent of Al-Qaeda, tasked to arrange a deployment of American troops in Bosnia so they would present easy targets for terrorists and weaken America for the upcoming conflict with the Faithful. See how easy it is to just make up bullshit on the go?


I've just about had it with this sanctimonious, uncouth, arrogant, corrupt slimebucket. He actually had the temerity to title his Post column today "The Face of Evil." He ought to look in the mirror.


Post scriptum:

In addition to the four whoppers in Holbrooke's venomous diatribe, there is one passage that ought to be of interest to Balkans observers: "the negotiating team (meaning Holbrooke) had decided to marginalize Karadžić and Mladić and to force Milošević, as the senior Serb in the region, to take responsibility for the war and the negotiations we hoped would end it."

Here is the open admission that Milosevic was forced to negotiate on behalf of the Bosnian Serbs, and that he did not, in fact, exercise control over them, effective or otherwise.

Furthermore, Holbrooke's turn of phrase ("senior Serb in the region") suggests that neither he nor his superiors cared a whit about actual legitimacy of countries and leaders, but saw the Serbs as some savage tribe to be cowed into submission by a display o violence. Had this taken place somewhere in Africa, Holbrooke and his government would have rightly been accused of racism. But since the target of their hatred and contempt are the Serbs, no one cares.

4 comments:

andy said...

Nebojsa,

Holbrooke is an even bigger liar than you give him credit for. Holbrooke was absolutely given guarantees that Frasure, Kruzel and Drew could take the normal road from Belgrade to Sarajevo.

Milosevic's secretary, Goran Milinovic, contacted General Mladic and obtained written guarantees signed by Mladic himself that they could safely drive on the main highway from Belgrade to Sarajevo without being stopped at any Serb checkpoints along the way. Those written guarantees were physically put into Wesley Clark's hands during a meeting with Milosevic.

Holbrooke and Clark didn't trust Mladic's guarantees so they made the decision to send Frasure, Kruzel and Drew accross Mt. Igman instead. Those guys are dead because Holbrooke and Clark didn't trust the guarantees they were given. Holbrooke is such prick that he sent his friends to their death by ordering them to use that dangerous road on Mt. Igman. Now the lying bastard is trying to blame everybody else for the deadly consequences of his decision.

See: http://www.un.org/icty/transe54/031215ED.htm at page 30424

Gray Falcon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gray Falcon said...

Oh, so he's basically transferring his loathing of himself to the Serbs, because it's convenient and they can't defend themselves? You are right, he is worse than I thought (and that takes effort).

Thank you!

(Here's the live link: http://www.un.org/icty/transe54/031215ED.htm)

M said...

Gentlemen, I don't know whether the posting or the comments can be considered the better part of this thread. Wonderful job. I have done so all along but right now since Dr. Karadzic has been illegally deprived of his personal freedoms, I read your work Mr. Malic every morning as soon as I get to work, both on Antiwar.com and on the blog. Putting my head completely into the Serb sites that can be trusted is one of the very few ways to try to unload the anger felt at the moment. When the sad news on Dr. Karadzic is amplified by the lack of chances for the future that I can see for my Serb friends still living in the Serb lands, it's hard to find a way to help everybody unless they move abroad...but of course that's not a solution for each and every Serb.

All the best, keep up the good work