Monday, September 25, 2006

"Fools' Crusade" Chapter One [19]

She's baaaaaaaaaack!

I rushed through the end of Chapter One before returning my previous copy. In this post, I'll just cover anything I skimmed over, and then in the next post I'll start Chapter Two.

Remember folks--I'm reading Johnstone so you don't have to!


I'll try not to choke on my own bile and return, just for a second, to where I basically left off; in the section entitled "Ideals versus facts", the title of which neatly encapsulates the snide tone of Johnstone's cherry-picking of conspiracy-friendly, decontextualized facts. This was the section in which she claims that the genocide in Bosnia simply didn't happen.

The games she plays with conflicting casualty rates is simply astounding. It is hard not to understand that death tolls during the war were inexact--for one thing, press access to areas of Republika Srpska was limited; for all of Johstone's laments about how much the Western media covered the war, most of the ethnic cleansing occured off-camera. Nor should it be surprising that the Bosnian government used the biggest figures it could get away with in order to stir up international outrage. Not to defend that practice, but it strikes me as disproportionate to focus your outrage on inflated civilian death tolls when civilian deaths were a deliberate aim of Bosnian Serb tactics.

Here's the concluding paragraph of this paricularly loathsome section:

"What was being destroyed in this "genocide" was not the Bosnian people, who despite undeniable hardships and heartaches--yes, and despite Srebrenica--have survivied, although widely dispersed. What was being destroyed was the Western intellectual's multicultural dream. Meanwhile, by readily believing the worst horror stories, they exacerbated hatred on all sides and helped to destroy the Yugoslavs' multicultural reality."

So you see, what happened in Bosnia wasn't a genocide, because not every single Bosnian was killed; they were merely "widely dispersed" after some "hardships and heartaches." And the real culprits in stirring up the killing weren't far-right nationalists or the brutal paramilitaries who inflicted the majority of those 'hardships'--no, it was those clueless Western intelllectuals who made everything worse. Why couldn't they have stayed out of it?




As for Johnstone's take on Izetbegovic; if you know anything at all about the SDA, you know that it was a Muslim nationalist party, and that its behavior during the war was not always laudable. And, if you know anything about Izetbegovic, you know that he was more religious and 'orthodox' a Muslim than the majority of Bosnian Muslims.

But Johnstone is forever tilting at the windmills of shallow media coverage as if she's the only one who 'gets it.' Deliberately confusing public statements with actual policy decisions is her stock in trade.

Izetbegovic probably wasn't the best leader; he certainly had his shortcomings. That one of those shortcomings was that he spectacularly FAILED to prepare for war is a fact Johnstone steers well clear of. It's amazing how much blame she appears to be preparing to heap on the ethnic leader who was NOT arming for civil war.

She concludes this short section with a paragraph discussing the election deal made with Fikret Abdic, who actually won more votes. The deal was somewhat fishy; later events would show that Abdic would not have been the man any sensible person would want leading Bosnia, but nevertheless he did win the most votes among Muslims. At any rate, here's Johnstone on Izetbegovic:

"This was supposed to be a shared presidency, to be rotated annually between a Muslim, a Serb, and a Croat. But Izetbegovic proved immovable."

It should go without saying that the reason Izetbegovic didn't step aside for a Serb might have had something to do with the civil war that raged for nearly all of his time in office. Johnstone, as usual, doesn't expect her narrative to slavishly follow the chronology of real-world events; she just floats above the time-space continuum at her leisure, lighting down whenever she spies a stray fact, incident, or quote which might pretty up the stories she keeps telling herself.


Actually, I realize I breezed through quite a bit of the end of this chapter. The above, one-page section is just the opening salvo on a sustained 10-page attack on Izetbegovic, his leadership, the SDA, and, implicitly, the 'Muslimness' of Bosnia's largest ethnic group. It deserves more attention. So, lucky reader, we're not quite through with Chapter One. More next time.


Anonymous said...

That woman and the other left revisionists really makes me mad, I dont' know how you could stand to read as much of it as you did!

Owen said...

"What was being destroyed in this "genocide" was not the Bosnian people, who despite undeniable hardships and heartaches--yes, and despite Srebrenica--have survived, although widely dispersed. What was being destroyed was the Western intellectual's multicultural dream."

This woman has not read the Genocide Convention or has chosen to ignore what it says. Otherwise she couldn't have written that first sentence. Even without the evidence of her wilful obtuseness that your quote provides, her analysis would be worthless. It must be hard fighting the good fight against a toxic jelly but keep up the good work, Kirk.

Kirk Johnson said...

You hit the nail right on the head, Owen--that's the point I was trying to make a couple of weeks ago when in "Chapter One [18]" when I said she was changing (I probably should have said "ignoring") the actual meaning of the word 'genocide.'

And Katja--righteous anger is what keeps me going! :)

Shaina said...

Great, I'm looking forward to more conspiracy theories about the supposed NATO-AL QAEDA nexus in the Balkans and Izetbegovic turning Bosnia into an Islamist state. Perhaps Bin Laden will make a cameo appearance?
Of course, if Johnstone's fellow traveler Ed Herman had anything to do with this book (and no doubt he probably did) then I think we can look forward to the "fact" of Izetbegovic and bin Laden's "strong alliance".
oh boy.

ita with you.
The most frusterating part, IMO, is that there is no way to reason with these people. Because all of the facts related to the Bosnian genocide: film clips from the camps, first hand accounts, State Department reports, CIA reports, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Red Cross reports, UN accounts, mass graves, dna and destroyed villages; all of that is part of some great conspiracy in the eyes of Johnstone and co.
Johnstone exist in an Alice in Wonderland word where up is down, down is up.

Srebrenica Genocide said...

"The games she plays with conflicting casualty rates is simply astounding. It is hard not to understand that death tolls during the war were inexact."

Of course, it was inexact, how can you say how many people died with pin-point accuracy in the middle of the battle with Sarajevo under siege? No way. Only estimates.

Another offensive lie is that war-time president Alija Izetbegovic was a mujaheedin or "Muslim terrorist" etc. Izetbegovic - leader of Party for Democratic Action - was one of key figures responsible for destruction of communism in Yugoslavia. He fought for democratic, secular, multicultural, and internationally recognized Bosnia-Herzegovina. He wrote several books analyzing Islam. Serb propagandists took some of his statements out of context, as Noel Malcom ("Bosnia: Short History") pointed out.

More than any other text, the Islamic Declaration is cited by Serbian nationalist propaganda as evidence of dangerous 'Islamic fundamentalism' in Europe which must be suppressed... or else. Often cited to justify persecution of the Bosnian Muslim civilian population during the former war, the Declaration and its author, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, former president of Bosnia, have been demonized and frequently blamed for the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. One might explain these accusations as viscous political propaganda brought on by war. However, as early as 1983, Izetbegovic and his writings were the target of a virulent campaign against Islam in Communist Yugoslavia. This campaign had its contemporary roots in the early 1970's when Bosniaks were allowed for the first time to declare themselves as a national group, but its deeper roots may lie in what Serbian scholar Bogdan Denitch calls "the pathological suspicion and hatred of Muslim Slavs."

Serbian propagandists (and other left-apologists) took out of context President Izetbegovic's words from Islamic Declaration (Izetbegovic's book criticising Islamic governments): "There can be no peace or co-existence between the Islamic Faith and non Islamic institutions". Part II of the Declaration, "The Islamic Order," explains how Muslim society should be reorganized based on Islamic principles. Parts of this section are often quoted out of context to prove that the Declaration advocates violence. It is crucial to note that Izetbegovic was speaking here of Islamic countries in which false modernist or conservative Islamic doctrines have been institutionalized in the political and social system. He was simply criticising Islamic governments and in many instances praised Western achievements. He was not speaking of Western countries or his native Bosnia-Herzegovina (Bosnia is not even mentioned in the book). A close reading of the Declaration reveals that Izetbegovic was advocating a cultural, not a political revolution, especially in countries (like Yugoslavia) where Muslims were a minority. As Noel Malcolm pointed out, Bosnia was not even mentioned in Izetbegovic's book and he even praised Christian governments and Christian achievements in arts and science.

Anonymous said...

You, that writes shit on this blog, are a stupid fucking fool. But then we should let you eat all this shit and die... you fuck.

Kirk Johnson said...

Thank you, yodaddybich, for your valued input.

I see you have a restricted website as your only link. And no way to be reached.

Cowardly little turd. It doesn't surprise me that a blog like mine upsets trash like you.

Kirk Johnson said...

I wouldn't advise clicking on 'yodaddybich'. My 'comments' count has gone down to zero now that I have. That's odd.

Probably a racist hacker, I'd guess. I'm leaving his/her/its comment up, just as an example of how the opposition 'thinks.'

Owen said...

It's always useful to have a reminder of the sort of thing that's hiding under all those stones out there. I suppose we must be grateful for a little plain and simple aggression, however crude, to take the place of misrepresentation and victimhood.