Thursday, August 31, 2006

"Fools' Crusade" Chapter One [12]

6. MULTICULTURAL BOSNIA VERSUS MULTICULTURAL YUGOSLAVIA

This long (24-page) section, which concludes Chapter One, is a sustained assault on Bosnia itself--the multicultural ideal it represented, the historical and cultural integrity of the country, its Western allies and sympathizers, its Muslim leadership, its right to self-defense, and so on. Having already claimed that the borders of the republics were meaningless administrative boundries drawn by the communists (the same communists who created the 'traditional' distinction between "nation" and "nationality"), Johnstone has already taken the first step towards dismissing the legitimacy of Bosnia and Hercegovina; she now procedes to throw anything she can think of in hopes that at least some of it will stick. Her arguement isn't logically consistent or overburdened with a sense of fidelity to fact, but it sure is wide-ranging. Besides the EU, NATO, the faithless Slovenians and proto-fascist Croatia, and the imperialst USA, we can now add Western journalists and liberal intellegensia, the Islamic world, and Israel to the cast of characters lined up against the misunderstood Serbian leadership.

In this section, Johnstone will indulge in more than a bit of Islamophobia, redefine the meaning of the word "genocide", seriously entertain the division of Bosnia between the actively nationalist-led countries of Croatia and Serbia as being in the best interests of the Muslims of Bosnia, and flat-out lie about easily quantifiable statistics. It's quite an epic piece of work. I have two days--tomorrow and Thursday--to get through it, if I'm going to finish this chapter before I have to return this copy of the book. While I generally make at least a token attempt to craft my posts in essay form--or at least with some semblence of compositional continuity, mostly likely I'm going to have to simply throw out quotes with commentary as I go through the section. Any larger themes or underlying misconceptions or distortions will have to wait until later.

2 comments:

Owen said...

I'm very intereted to know what her definition of genocide is.

Kirk Johnson said...

Well, I'll get to that tonight or tomorrow, but essentially--she doesn't have one. What she seems to do is to hold up the Holocaust as the standard; anything that falls short is not a genocide. Again, after work today I'll get to this.