Sunday, October 22, 2006

"Fools' Crusade" Chapter Two [23]


The second factor Johnstone considers fundamental to the charges against Radovan Karadzic was the famous threat he made in the Bosnian Parliament. Johnstone frames the debate as having been between a reasonable Karadzic and a stubborn Izetbegovic.

The speech is well known; I won't quote it here. Johnstone's reaction to it is stupifyingly clueless. Or, rather, she assumes a stupifying level of cluelessness on the part of her intended audience:

"Despite the double negatives, these are strong words, uttered in the heat of debate. They are certainly no more warlike than Izetbegovic's statement months before, in February 1991, that he "would sacrifice peace for a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, but for that peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina...would not sacrifice sovereignty." Karadzic's statement could be interpreted as a warning to Izetbegovic of the dangers of war and an invitation to compromise to save the peace."

The only way in which that statement could be taken as a sincere gesture towards compromise and peace (she doesn't specify the terms by which this peace would be established, naturally) is if you are ignorant of the context in which it was made, of contemporary events in Yugoslavia, and of other, more inflammatory, comments made by Karadzic and others in the SDS. You would have to be ignorant of the shifts within the JNA, and the devolopment of Serb militias and shadow governments. You would have to be blissfully ignorant of the nationalist breakdown of Yugoslavia and how it threatened to tear Bosnia apart and leave the Bosnian Muslims with nothing.

Ignorant; or deliberately ignoring what is known. Johnstone has read the same sources I have. She surgically removes isolated facts, incidents, and quotes which support her propoganda. Yet she never addresses or even acknowledges that many of these sources support an interpretation of events in Bosnia far more orthodox than hers.

Of course, it is impossible that she is not familiar with the large body of information and eyewitness testimony supporting the orthodox interpretation of events she is trying to distort. While combing through documents, books, and eyewitness testimony to find the few shards of possibly favorable documentation and interpretation she used to piece together her tediously constructed paranoid fantasy, she could not help but be exposed to the unpleasant truth.

Unlike her ideal reader, she is not ignorant; she deliberately hides what she knows. And she's good at hiding truth from herself--she has to be, to be able to write something like the above quote.

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