As it turns out, the SGB was the source of articles appearing at Palluxo.com, a news portal otherwise dedicated to "all things Apple." It wasn't a case of "iJihad", after all.
The outrageous statement of Mustafa Ceric I blogged about last weekend, claiming that Bosnian Muslims and Jews had a "joint experience of persecution," was posted on the SGB on March 28. Another article that appeared on Palluxo, about the "victims of Serb terror" is on SGB as well, with pictures.
Why would the SGB try and feed its propaganda through a third-party portal? Well, Palluxo promises: "Your press release will appear in Google News immediately" (emphasis added). And so they do! Yet Palluxo's contact page explicitly states that "All submissions will be manually reviewed. Submissions without contact details will not be published." Granted, though they say anything "Apple-centric" will be published for free, they don't explicitly exclude other topics - yet there is nothing else on that site that is not actually related Apple products, except for the "Srebrenica genocide" propaganda. Interesting.
But the hows and whys of Muslim propaganda getting published on an Apple-related news portal are less interesting than the content of that propaganda. Not only is it seeking to equate the Serbs with Nazis by imagining parallels between the Bosnian War and the Holocaust, it also claims that the Serbs were the real thing - actual allies of the Nazis in WW2, who persecuted Jews with enthusiasm.
To someone wholly ignorant of the Balkans, such as the bulk of the Western public, this twisted argument might make sense. People don't just turn into Nazis overnight, there has to be a background to it, right? And if one proceeds from a premise that the Serbs committed genocide in recent years, then the claim they had committed genocide before seems all the more plausible. Except the premise is completely wrong - and the very people advancing this propaganda are doing it to hide their own Nazi connections!
In the early 1990s, the Croatian government and the Izetbegovic regime in Bosnia sought help from American PR agencies in order to not just demonize their Serb adversaries, but cover up their own links to the events of WW2. Croatian president Franjo Tudjman was a Holocaust revisionist and an apologist for the Ustasha regime, which began the mass slaughter of Serbs and Jews in April 1941 and whose brutality horrified even Hitler's envoys in the Balkans (Neubacher, von Horstenau). Alija Izetbegovic, the supposedly "multiethnic democrat," was an active member of Muslim Youth, an organization that during WW2 supported the Ustasha regime. (At the time, Muslims were considered "Croatian brothers.")
With all this in mind, the PR companies proceeded to actively target the Jewish public opinion:
"...the Croatian and Bosnian past was marked by a real and cruel anti-semitism. Tens of thousands of Jews perished in Croatian camps. So there was every reason for intellectuals and Jewish organizations to be hostile towards the Croats and Bosnians. Our challenge was to reverse this attitude. And we succeded masterfully." (James Harff or Ruder Finn, 1993 interview)
A transference took place: the real Nazi connections of Muslims and Croats (and later Albanians) became the fabricated Nazi connections of the Serbs. It was the Jews and Serbs who found themselves targeted by the Nazis and the Ustasha, while Muslims and Croats (and Albanians) did the persecuting. But the mass murder of Serbs in WW2 was kept under wraps by Yugoslav authorities after 1945, as it would have unraveled the fictitious history of "brotherhood and unity" which they used to run the country. As a result, the mass extermination, displacement and forced conversion of Serbs under the Ustasha regime remains virtually unknown in the West.
On May 1, the SGB published an excerpt from "Serbia's Secret War," a 1997 propaganda pamphlet allegedly written by "Dr. Philip J. Cohen," accusing the Serbs of being Nazi allies in WW2, persecuting the Jews, and then covering all of it up with a massive propaganda effort. One doesn't have to be a psychologist to recognize projection here.
Advertised as relying on sources "previously unknown in the West," the book received a lot of attention. There is just one small problem (in addition to it being completely false, that is): Cohen, a dermatologist, is not a historian, and speaks not a shred of Serbian, Croatian, or "Bosnian." How could he have written this book?
The obvious answer is, he couldn't. Serbian-American historian Carl Savich argues that the real author of "Serbia's Secret War" was Croatian propagandist Ljubica Stefan, and that Cohen (as well as David Riesman, who wrote the prologue) were recruited to give the Croatian propaganda a Jewish face. Not only was this supposed to be more effective in targeting the Jewish public opinion, but any criticism of the book could be dismissed as anti-Semitism.
Savich's argument is compelling. Compare, for example, the claims made here (site run by a Croatian propagandist), crediting Ms. Stefan, with those made on the SGB and quoted from "Cohen's" book. Identical!
It is revolting enough that propaganda has distorted the reality of recent Balkans events to suit today's political agendas. But the fact that propagandists, PR specialists and hack "historians" have twisted Balkans history from WW2 to portray the actual victims of genocide (the Serbs) as perpetrators thereof... now that's just plain horrifying.
Update (May 6, 2009): As if on cue, Marko Attila Hoare appears on (the new, redesigned) Palluxo to defend Official Truth (as established by him and his family). All of the things he cavalierly dismisses as fabrications are either true, or he's phrased them as to be straw men. But hey, don't listen to me: read his defense of Franjo Tudjman! I won't waste my breath debating this lowlife, except to point out that his academic credentials tell more about the pathetic state of higher education in the West than about his "expertise" as a historian or anything else.
Update 2 (May 7, 2009): And here's another "Hot Topic" feature promoting "Serbia's Secret War" by Ljubica Stefan - erm, Philip Cohen. I think it can be safely assumed that Palluxo is fully in service of propaganda interests represented by Hoare and the SGB.