Monday, June 29, 2009

Character Assassination

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.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Above the Law

On June 24, Bulgarian authorities arrested Agim Ceku, formerly a general in the Croatian Army and the terrorist KLA. They did so pursuant to an Interpol warrant, based on the charges filed against Ceku in Serbia in 1999. For a moment, it looked like the Bulgarians might actually abide by international law and extradite Ceku to Belgrade for a trial. Not for long, though.

Bulgaria is, after all, a loyal client of the Empire. It is a member of the EUSSR and NATO. It recognized the "Independent State of Kosovo" when told to do so. Why arrest Ceku, then? Most likely the Bulgarian law enforcement decided to follow the regulations and honor the Interpol warrant, and let the politicians sort it out. Which they did - in the same exact fashion as the Slovenians in 2003 and Hungarians in 2004. After some Imperial officials made some phone calls, Ceku was released.

The authorities in Serbia made noises of protest, but it was abundantly clear they didn't really want Ceku to be extradited. Putting Ceku on trial would have forced them to actually do something about the fact that the Empire was behind the occupation and separation of Kosovo. The Belgrade quislings are walking the tightrope between serving their foreign masters and avoiding a potential popular revolt. Talking tough on Kosovo but doing Empire's bidding in practice is a recipe that seems to be working for them, for now. Ceku in court would have upended that applecart.

This, by the way, is also the reason they can't rescind the warrants for Ceku, Thaci and other KLA leaders, issued a decade ago. They need them to maintain appearances, but God forbid they actually act on them. As one Serbian commentator put it, "our government is about as responsible as the Bulgarians are principled."

At least Colombia was honest, deporting Ceku last month when he dared show his face there for an international conference.

Next thing you know, Bulgaria will actually apologize to the KLA regime in occupied Pristina for "insulting" them by obeying the law. I'm sure Bulgarian officials have already abased themselves before an Imperial legate for creating such an annoyance in the first place. So, Ceku walks, Belgrade breathes a sigh of relief, and the sordid tragedy continues to play out, until the Serbs perish or the Empire runs out of reality. Whatever comes first.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Whose Hatred, Really?

Last month I wrote about the Skull Tower, a unique monument to the Ottoman legacy in the Balkans. To recap briefly, it is a structure made of stone, mortar and skulls of nearly 1000 Serbs who died in battle against the Turks in May 1809, outside Niš. The Turks won the battle, but with heavy losses. Their commander, Hurşid Ahmed Pasha, had the Serbs' heads skinned, stuffed and sent to the Sultan as trophies. The skulls were built into a tower 15 feet tall, intended to strike fear into any other Ottoman subject contemplating rebellion.

The Serbs kept on fighting, though, and eventually won their freedom. In 1878, when Niš was liberated, the crumbling tower was enclosed in a chapel, and stands there today as a monument to both the Ottoman cruelty and the Serbs' determination to be free.

But that is not what you'll read in this July's National Geographic. In a story about Serbia so typical of everything the Western mainstream media has made up and repeated over the past oh, two decades or so, the photo of the Skull Tower describes it as a "shrine to the Serbs' hatred of foreign domination."

Not the love of liberty. Not the cruelty of the Ottomans. Not the bitter legacy of Islamic conquest. It doesn't matter that any and all of these would be true, because none of them are politically correct. Liberty is verboten these days. Ottomans must always be described only as tolerant, multi-cultural and "diverse." And Islam is a "religion of peace." Therefore, it follows that the Skull Tower must be a monument to Serb "hatred."

What rubbish.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Persian Puzzle

Normally I wouldn't comment on Iran; what happens there is none of my business. But the whole post-election mess there has me wondering.

You see, it looks very much like a "color revolution" scenario: the US-favored candidate contests election results, claims victory, and his supporters riot till the government caves in. But then, couldn't the incumbent actually steal the election knowing full well that he can paint the resulting opposition protests as a CIA/NED coup attempt, whether that is actually true or not?

I freely admit that I haven't a clue what's actually true in the reports coming from Iran, whether Ahmadinejad or Mousavi actually won the vote, who stole what (or not). Given the track record of the mainstream Western media when it comes to the Balkans (as a rule, their reports are almost entirely false), why should I believe anything they say about Iran? Especially since the Empire is so determined to have a war with Tehran, one way or another.

The fact remains, however, that the technique of "democratic coup" pioneered by the Empire in Serbia - and applied elsewhere since - has made it effectively impossible to judge whether any election, anywhere, is actually legitimate. Even if we somehow possessed the knowledge to make an informed decision, there is still the matter of the Empire insisting that democracy is whatever it says it is. As a consequence, "democracy" has become just about meaningless. And that, regardless of what happens in Iran, is something definitely worth thinking about...

Update: Daniel Larison at AmCon offers some thoughts in a similar vein. Worth reading.

Update II: (6/19/2009) And here is Daniel McAdams at the LRC blog, confirming that the NED is involved, after all...