Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"Fools' Crusade" Chapter Two [4]


You can guess what this section is about. The first part barely merits discussion, so I'll merely summarize the contents--Johnstone spends three pages huffing indignantly about the public relations firm Ruder Finn, hired in 1991 by the Croatian government and then in 1992 by the Bosnian government.

Johnstone is shocked that governments hire public relations firms, and clearly believes that by detailing some of the actions Ruder Finn took on behalf of their client, the reader will be equally shocked to learn that public relations firms engage in...public relations.

One sentence merits notice, however:

"In October 1992, Ruder Finn took up the job of public relations for the ethnic Albanian separatists in the Serbian province of Kosovo."

I don't believe it's any accident that Johnstone--who approves heartily of majority-Serb areas breaking away from Croatia and Bosnia--is careful to describe Kosovo as a Serbian province. Apparantly, while the internal borders of Yugoslavia's republics were artificial and could easily be ignored, the inclusion of Kosovo as part of Serbia is permenant and unquestioned.

Other than that, there isn't much of note in the first part of section 2. It's mildly amusing witnessing Johnstone--who continually scolds "the West" for being naive while presenting herself as a cool-headed voice of fact-based reason--getting riled up at these unexceptional examples of how governments do business in the mass media-driven real world. Whenever she's unsuccessful at avoiding it, reality has a way of getting under her skin.


Owen said...

Kirk, thanks for the link to the Mazowiecki reports, I've only just spotted it. Mazowiecki struck me as a very honourable man. Anyone wanting to convince me that I should not treat what he had to say with great respect has an uphill taks ahead.

Kirk Johnson said...

I should thank you--you're the one who spurred me to do it.

Owen said...

Whenever you need relief from Johnstone, just go and have a read of Mazowiecki from time to time to remind yourself what it's like to read something written by someone honest and decent. He even remembers to acknowledge the braveness of the individuals bringing in the humanitarian relief consignments in the face of all sorts of dangers.