I'm a firm believer in freedom of speech. But there's freedom of speech, and then there is calumny. A debate, however heated, is one thing - an anonymous, ad hominem screed, quite another.
Back in April I wrote a couple pieces about a surprise spike in propaganda appearing on an otherwise innocuous-looking website named Palluxo. For all its claims to be a news portal, it turned out that every single article in Palluxo's "International" and "Special Reports" sections was unrestrained Serbophobic propaganda. From pronouncements by Bosnia's top Islamic cleric about the "joint experience" of genocide with the Jews (even though it was Muslims who helped the Croat Ustasha exterminate the Bosnian Jewry in WW2) to the latest article titled "Albanian Kosovo Marks Another Victory Over Serbia". Well, at least they are straightforward, right?
Having eventually tracked down these uncredited pieces to the "Srebrenica Genocide Blog," the "Congress of North American Bosniaks" and professional Serbophobe Marko Attilla Hoare, I dismissed Palluxo as an attempt to smuggle crass propaganda as news, and paid them no mind since. That is, until someone sent me a link today to an article calling me a "disgraced Srebrenica genocide denier."
The entire piece is an ad hominem attack on yours truly. But it gets better. Apparently, I'm not to be trusted not only because I'm a Serb, but because I do "not have any PhD qualification in history, [have] never held an academic post, published his work in an academic journal, or even visited an archive."
This here leads me to believe the author of the invective in question is Hoare, since he routinely boasts about his academic background and links to respectable government institutions.
So I don't have a PhD. Many people who do have embraced the worst kind of lies about the Balkans, and some - like Hoare, for example - are peddling them enthusiastically. I happen to have a Bachelor's in history, an analytical mind, and a lot of experience in the region (and the Empire) that various hacks championing Official Truth could only dream of. I have even visited archives - but they must not count, because Hoare wasn't there to check?
The mystery author claims his "sources in Sarajevo" could not confirm my diplomatic and media connections. He should find better sources. Should I list the ambassadors, charges d'affaires, political officers and other officials I've met during the Bosnian War? Or the journalists who hired me to translate for them? I could, but I won't. Because unlike certain people, who draw their legitimacy and credibility from their names and people they know, I let my arguments speak for themselves. It's much easier to ignore the arguments and focus on the person making them, dismissing him or her because they don't belong to the ranks of those allowed to have an opinion.
The Palluxo piece doesn't attack just me. It goes after John Laughland, Germinal Civikov, and pretty much anyone who dares challenge the Official Truth as handed down by the Hague Inquisition and its willing executioners. Anonymous appeals to the authority of ICTY verdicts, and dismisses those who challenge them on purely ad hominem grounds. Oh, this guy is a Milosevic supporter. This one's "obscure." That one's a Marxist, did you know? And this Nebojsa character, why he's a Serb!
Ultimately, the worst Anonymous could come up with was that a "long time Jewish friend of ours described Nebojsa Malic as 'insensitive pig'."
Oh wow. Anonymous has a Jewish friend. And he called me insensitive! I am crushed! My life is over!
Or not. Honestly, I couldn't care less. Whoever wrote this garbage - and given the source of Palluxo's features, I've got a couple of decent guesses - deserves pity and contempt. Maybe not in that order. After all, they don't even dare sign their words with a fake name. By contrast, everything I've written over the past decade has my actual name on it. I don't even hide it on this blog, though I don't throw it into my readers' faces either.
In today's world, information is cheap. It's credibility that's expensive. And it takes a lot more to impugn my credibility than the anonymous rant of a character assassin.
Nice try, dirtbag.