Monday, February 28, 2011

A Beam In Their Eye

Last Thursday evening, February 24, Canadian authorities denied entry to Dr. Srdja Trifkovic and prevented him from giving a scheduled lecture at UBC.

Claiming credit was the ecstatic Emir Ramic, of the aptly named "Institute for [the Research of] Genocide" (read their URL to understand the irony). Ramic's Institute doesn't actually research genocide as such; it is only interested in one specific "genocide" - the one alleged to have taken place in Srebrenica, in July 1995. The Institute denounces as "genocide deniers" anyone who dares discuss the facts of Srebrenica, rather than blindly accepting the myth they are pushing.

By insisting on qualifying those events as genocide, they are stretching the definition of the term to the point of absurdity, and effectively engaging in denial of the actual genocides, from the Turkish mass murder of Armenians in WW1 (which inspired Hitler to believe he could act with impunity) to the Croat butchery of Serbs in WW2, and the Nazi genocide of Jews, Slavs and Roma in the death camps of eastern Europe. In fact, the most aggressively outspoken proponent of the "Srebrenica genocide" thesis is also the outspoken denier of Croat Ustasha atrocities.

People in glass houses really oughtn't throw stones for a living. It turns out that Ramic is on the editorial board of a Bosnian Muslim war veterans' magazine, Korak - and the magazine's editor-in-chief is on the board of Ramic's Institute - which routinely publishes militant jihad propaganda. And in his spare time, Ramic also engages in libelous attacks on honorable Canadian soldiers. This, then, is the sort of person the Canadian government takes its cues from, when it comes to deciding who may and who may not enter the country?

Earlier today, the Edmonton Journal published a particularly facetious attack on Dr. Trifkovic by one Srdja Pavlovic, lecturer at the University of Alberta. Asserting that "denying genocide" should not be called freedom of speech, Pavlovic claims that "One should, of course, have the right to one's own opinion but not the right to one's own facts."

That's a brave thing to say for one whose sole claim to historical scholarship is a vile pamphlet equating the Serbs with Nazis.

Pavlovic also has the gall to claim that:

"Trifkovic and his supporters do not want to have a dialogue. As any nationalist would do, they see their version of the past as true and valid, and demand that others believe it, too. While calling for a dialogue they shout at their critics, rather than talk to them and then have the audacity to call such shouting the expression of the freedom of speech."

The hypocrisy is simply stunning. This is precisely what a legion of professional Srebrenica advocates, and Pavlovic himself, are doing - yet he accuses Trifkovic of it!

Proponents of the claim that Srebrenica was a genocide have engaged in much more than "shouting" : character assassination, libel, defamation, lawfare and now outright repression. They never even bother to present any actual facts in support of their claim, preferring instead to cite ICTY verdicts - a situation anyone acquainted with logic ought to recognize as the fallacy of Appeal to Authority.

That certain parties in Bosnia have by this point resorted to bringing up Srebrenica for the purpose of jockeying for political power indicates that they really don't give a damn about the people who lived and died there.

If they truly believed their claim was the objective truth, as they so shrilly insist, they would not be so afraid to debate it, or subject it to cross-examination. How dare those who have repeatedly shown they don't accept anything but unconditional obedience talk about discussion and debate?

All of this suggests that Srebrenica was declared a "genocide" for that very reason - to silence any discussion of the Bosnian War with the charge of "genocide denial."

Any society that allows them to do this cannot truly call itself free.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Character Assassination, Part 2

Back in 2009, I first took notice of the "Srebrenica Genocide Blog," and later outed it as the outfit behind the propaganda project called "Palluxo." They responded with a vicious campaign of character assassination, using link farms and fake feeds to Google-bomb my name.

Their favorite "official academic", Marko Attilla Hoare chimed in, mocking me as a "romantic nationalist" (thank you for the compliment! - and no, I won't link to his blog, either). On his own blog, Hoare says that "some or all" of the labels used to describe him: "neoconservative, Trotskyite and Croat nationalist and a supporter of Islamism and Western imperialism", depending on definition, "may be accurate."
[edited for clarity: the labels are invoked by Hoare to describe himself, not me]

In March 2010, they tried again, declaring an essay I had written here to be an incendiary comment I'd left on SGB (as if!). I documented the lie.

Last year, the Congress of North American Bosniaks and something calling itself "Institute for Genocide Research" lobbied in Ottawa to get a Canadian parliamentary resolution recognizing the "Srebrenica genocide." I wrote against such a foolish decision, but it ended up passing on the sly in September. In December, the "Institute" re-published a libelous attack against Major-General (ret.) Lewis MacKenzie, accusing him of raping Muslim women during the war in Bosnia. And just last week, they launched an effort to prevent Srdja Trifkovic from speaking at UBC in Vancouver (British Columbia). For more about that sordid affair, I recommend the essay by Ambassador James Bissett, over at the Lord Byron Foundation.

Today, I got word that TV1, a TV station in Bosnia, ran a "news report" about my alleged "genocide denial" right after the headline news on the crisis in Libya. They used my clips from RT interviews, and images of my articles, but their accusations against me were taken straight from Hoare and the SGB. That leaves no doubt in my mind who was behind this character assassination. (TV1 is a relatively new station; set up last year by "Sanela Diane Jenkins" of the Ganic affair fame.)

Now, if it were just another attempt to libel and slander me, I'd be perfectly happy to denounce it here and expose its authors as liars and scoundrels. America still legally guarantees freedom of speech, and we're on equal footing here. However, the attackers were merely using me to get at my family, which still lives in Bosnia. My mother is an official of the Social Democratic Party, and currently chairs the parliament of Canton Sarajevo. It is the SDP, and my mother, that are the real targets of this smearbund.

Let me repeat here: They went after my family.

Think about this for a second. Even if my mother and I share the same politics (which we do not), how would she be responsible in the slightest for what I think or do, having lived nearly half my life halfway across the world? What sort of Dark Age values motivate TV1, that they impugn my mother's politics because of what a grown son of hers thinks or does?

They went after my family.

They didn't go after me, on the (still, relatively) level and fair playing field of the USA, where free speech is still in the Constitution and there are still certain rules of conduct and debate. They ran a hit piece on me on a TV channel in Bosnia, without ever calling for comment, without offering me any recourse or opportunity for rebuttal. If they take issue with things I've said or done, they ought to take that up with me. Instead, they went after my family.

Particularly disgusting is the fact that this is part of an intra-Muslim political conflict, between the SDP (whose membership is mostly Muslim) and former governing Muslim parties, or those that aspire to govern but - unlike the SDP - never got enough of those pesky votes in those pesky democratic elections. Yet who is the target of the anti-SDP campaign? An ethnic Serb.

Well, my American readers, this is the kind of Bosnia your government created and has nurtured for the past 15 years. This is the kind of "freedom of speech" that exists there, the kind of "tolerance" and "multiethnicity" and "democracy." I hope you're proud of it.

As for the smearbund, I have a simple message:

You went after my family. I will end you.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Still Smearing the Serbs

As I predicted last month, the Hashim Thaci Defense League has come out swinging, trying to discredit the Marty report as "Serb propaganda" aimed at "smearing Kosova." One good example is Dennis McShane (a Serbophobic former Labour official), writing in the War Street Journal this Tuesday, but the full extent of Empire's efforts to cover up their KLA monster can be found in Julia Gorin's excellently researched expose.

Note that the common strand in all arguments in favor of Thaci, the KLA and their "independent state" is the call for "evidence" to back up Marty's report. This is very important. These very people telling you today that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and that we shouldn't judge an entire nation based on allegations without evidence? They are the ones who have, for the past two decades, done precisely that: leveled outlandish allegations against an entire nation, without a shred of evidence - worse yet, with actual evidence running counter to their claims! But you see, the nation we should not judge are the Albanians (specifically, the made-up "Kosovars") and the nation we've become used to instinctively condemning against all the evidence to the contrary are the Serbs - so that's perfectly all right, then.

As if on cue, an example appears. There are many objectionable things in Newsweek's "Deposed Despots" feature, posted on Monday. I don't have time or inclination to go into all of them. Of the eleven "dictators" they list, only two were not clients of the Empire. Actually, I'm not so sure about Romania's Ceausescu. The one whose mention is the occasion for this post, of course, is Slobodan Milosevic.

Here's Newsweek's description:

This genocidaire brought horror to ’90s Europe and died while on trial for war crimes. After the fall of the “Butcher of the Balkans,” Serbia remains a hotbed of organized crime, and Kosovo’s independence sparked violent protests. But at least the mass ethnic slayings are gone.

Ah yes, the old Big Lie about the 1990s wars being Milosevic's fault. They weren't. There are confessions by Croat and Muslim leaders proving it, and memoirs of US officials who wanted to "give war a chance." That Milosevic is to blame for everything is an article of propaganda-induced faith; once you start looking for evidence for it, there simply isn't any. That is the problem the Hague Inquisition (a.k.a the ICTY) ran into when they put Milosevic in the dock. After almost 300 witnesses, they had no case. Milosevic's death, under suspicious circumstances, saved the ICTY the embarrassment of having to convict against facts - though that hasn't stopped them before, or since.

There was no genocide. The 2007 decision by the ICJ - an institution hardly biased towards the Serbs - rejected all the Bosnian Muslim claims to that extent, noting only that the events of July 1995 were categorized as genocide by the ICTY (a definition that insults elementary logic, as explained elsewhere).

It was the British tabloids that labeled Milosevic the "Butcher of the Balkans." With the details of KLA's butchery of captives to sell their body parts to rich Westerners beginning to emerge, it is becoming clear that Hashim Thaci is far more deserving of the moniker.

The declaration of independence by the Albanian provisional government in occupied Kosovo, three years ago, did actually spark protests. They were by and large peaceful - much more than the ones in Egypt, for example - but the propaganda machine seized on several smashed shop windows and an attempt to set the US embassy on fire. I actually do think that's the Serbs' own fault: they should have called it an "unfortunate accident," and claimed they really wanted to burn the Albanian embassy, but couldn't find it on the map. Hey, it worked for NATO when it bombed the Chinese embassy in 1999...

As a matter of fact, I agree that Serbia is a hotbed of organized crime: the current government, installed by Washington and Brussels, is the foremost criminal organization in the country. But I doubt that's what Newsweek had in mind. Conventional crime, then? Again, Serbia can't hold a candle to the "freedom fighters" in its occupied province of Kosovaristan.

"At least the mass ethnic slayings are gone"? Tell that to the Serbs remaining in today's independent Croatia, or the Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation, or "independent" Kosovo (where you can also check on the Roma, Jews and Gorani). If you can find any.

Newsweek's treatment of Milosevic actually fits Thaci more. But we can't have that, oh no. That would be smearing, and might just offend Dennis McShane. Every single claim made in the one-paragraph, drive-by character assassination is either completely false, or true in a sense Newsweek's reporter absolutely did not intend it to be.

It is amazing that in this world, where "progressives" of all stripes have declared tolerance, diversity and inoffensiveness to be the highest virtues, it is not only allowed to be hateful, and offensive towards the Serbs, it is expected as proof of one's political correctness. The Newsweeks and McShanes of this world see nothing wrong with demanding evidence when their ox is being gored, but inventing or ignoring it when they wish to smear someone else.
That's actually a bigger problem for them, and their countries and societies, than it is for the Serbs, who are used to such treatment by now and don't give a damn.

For all the faults and flaws he had, Slobodan Milosevic was a democratically elected president, who has done more for peace in the Balkans than any of the "democrats" in the surrounding client-states of the Empire. However, his insistence that he, his country, and his people would not be anyone's servants earned him Empire's enmity and endless demonization of the kind described and dissected above.

At least he is still treated with more respect and dignity than Saddam Hussein - who, interestingly enough, didn't make Newsweek's list, even though he was supposedly so evil that the U.S. absolutely had to invade Iraq and have him executed. Go figure.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Democracy, Egypt and Empire

As I pointed out in the most recent piece, the West has been the principal nemesis of democracy in the XX century, even as the U.S. elevated it into a veritable religion. The EU doesn't mouth off about democracy as much, and prefers bureaucratic repression to military one, but at the end of the day. the distinction hardly matters to those "democratized" by either.

Then there is the matter of "color revolutions," starting with the October 2000 coup in Serbia that established the template for them. By now, every time there is a "democratic popular uprising" somewhere, the first question on many minds is whether the Empire is really behind it.

I've heard such a question raised about Tunisia and Egypt over the past couple weeks. While I've seen some flags inspired by the CIA-trained and NED-funded "Otpor"movement in Serbia, and heard that some of the protest organizers were similarly trained, I still doubt the Empire was behind this deliberately. Both Ben Ali and Mubarak have been Imperial stooges for years; what possible reason could there be for getting rid of them, and in such a fashion besides?

Therefore, I am inclined to believe that the Tunisian revolt at least was quite spontaneous, and if Egypt may have been given a little push, that doesn't make the revolution there any less authentic. One Serbian journalist described the protesters as "hungry for freedom but fed up with Empire." That might be a projection of his wishes for Serbia - but it sounds about right nonetheless.

H.L. Mencken once wrote that "democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." I think we're about to see this demonstrated firsthand.

The protesters in Tunisia and Egypt claim to want democracy and freedom. If the Empire truly wants to help them (ha!) it will stay away. But the Empire cannot go against its nature. For all that he proclaims that the "people of Egypt" will decide their future, the Emperor follows that with a list of what "must" happen. How very democratic of you, Mr. Hussein.

For all its verbal commitment to freedom and democracy (as long as they get to define what both those words mean in practice, anyway), the Imperial establishment is running scared. They know all too well that in turbulent times, those with determination and clarity of vision come out ahead. Right now, the revolutionaries know what they don't want - Ben Ali and Mubarak, and their cronies - but it is people like the Muslim Brotherhood and Rachid Ganouchi who know what they do want, and are waiting in the wings to seize it. And there isn't much the Empire can do to stop them.

What if Islamic regimes do take over? It will be a pity for those Egyptians and Tunisians who didn't want that to happen, for one, but will it really be a disaster for the Empire? I mean, it will free up all that foreign aid that went to Cairo and Tunis for decades. And hasn't the current Emperor, like his predecessor, gone on about how the Empire isn't at war with Islam or the Muslims? So what's the problem, exactly?

Well, there is the whole matter of the Muslim Brotherhood wanting to wipe Israel off the map. Honestly, though, the Israeli military has soundly beaten the Egyptians in conventional wars four times in the past 63 years. The fastest way for that expensive US hardware in Egyptian hands to turn into a heap of scrap metal is for a hypothetical Brotherhood regime to attempt an attack on Israel.

Camp David made Israelis believe that trading land for peace was a real possibility. It also shifted the Arab-Israeli conflict from the realm of interstate conventional warfare (in which Israel excelled) to that of a low-intensity insurrection conducted by sub-state actors (the intifada, Hamas, Hezbollah), where Israel has fared much worse. So the possibility of a hostile, Islamic Egypt shouldn't really induce histrionics among the partisans of Israel, the way it seems to be doing.

If anything, given the importance of the Suez route for its possibilities of trading with Europe (in light of the recent acquisitions of Greek ports), it is China that ought to be concerned about the future of Egypt and its relationship with Israel. Yet we don't hear much fretting from Beijing.

From a historical perspective, odds are the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt will propel to power a more radical and violent regime (see Cromwell in England, the Jacobins in France, the Bolsheviks in Russia...). The silver lining would be the demise of the pernicious illusion - promoted by the Empire - that democracy means freedom (it doesn't; they are just about mutually exclusive, actually), and that everyone around the world should aspire to it. That may well be too much to ask, though. And besides - we should be careful what we wish for. We might just get it, good and hard.