Sunday, October 08, 2006

"Fools' Crusade" Chapter Two [7]


I promised myself when I started this project that I would see it out to the bitter end; that no matter how repetitive or offensive the subject matter I would never skip ahead without at least a cursory examination of the contents of a particular section and some comments. Those of you who have stuck it out with me to this point might at times wish I hadn't been so diligent to this point; this stuff gets tedious after awhile. But I believed when I started--and I still believe now--that the lies being propagated by Johnstone and her ilk must be vigorously confronted and systematically discredited. I believe I've shared the anecdote about the offhand comment made by a friend of mine; he was quoting "some UN general from Canada" who had, to my friend's recollection, dismissed the idea of Western intervention in Bosnia because "those people have been at each other's throats for generations" or something very similar. I'm sure you can guess that the general was Lewis MacKenzie. My friend was unaware of MacKenzie's track record in Bosnia and of his ties to nationalist Serb organizations after the war. The war in Bosnia may be over, but the battle to control the history of that war rages on.

That said, this section of the book is testing my commitment. The subject is pretty obvious. Her methods are the usual--extend the sloppy Serbs-as-Nazis metaphors to cover all Western accusations of genocide, or even widespread human rights abuses, against the Bosnian Serb military and leadership so that all charges can be dismissed as "demonizing the Serbs"; cherry-pick isolated incidents and reports out of context; ignoring the testimony given by any actual Bosnian Muslims; and, when all else fails, simply lie. This time the particular subject of her scorn are the stories of mass rape that came out of Bosnia. Even if a person refuses to believe that ethnic cleansing was the goal of the Serbian leadership or that the use of systematic gang rape against large numbers of Muslim women resulted from deliberate policy, there is no doubt that a large number of women were brutally raped in Bosnia. One might think that this is one battle Johnstone might want to avoid fighting. One would be wrong. Her willingness to spit in the face of the women who were brutalized and traumatized in this fashion is stunning.

Honestly, there is part of me that would like nothing more than, having skimmed through this section once, simply move on to section 4 and be done with it. The tedium of confronting this woman's dogged campaign against honest discourse and simple human decency becomes exponentially more maddening when she turns her attention to the "problem" of rape in Bosnia.

All this is my way of saying--I really wanted to post today, but I just don't have the stomach for this crap on such a beautiful day. I'm re-reading this horrid filth one more time, so that tomorrow I can pick up and hopefully breeze through it quickly.

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