Saturday, December 05, 2009

"Americans for Bosnia" Celebrates Post #500 with an All-Star Extravaganza

Well, no, not really. I considered writing a "looking back" post to remark on how things have changed in Bosnia in the over 3 and a half years I've been writing this blog; after all, back in the spring of 2006, Radovan Karadzic was still a free man!

But, there's too much going on in and related to Bosnia as it is, and I've been so lax about keeping this blog up that it seems a waste of what little time I've been able to dedicate to keeping up to the good fight on a retrospective of what I've done, or on recap of recent events which most every reader is already aware of anyway.

I will take a few minutes to reflect, however. One thing I am happy about with this blog is that it has developed something of an identity; for better or worse, "Americans for Bosnia" is first and foremost a blog of book reviews. I do, of course, sometimes link to articles or weigh in on current events, but there are many, many blogs and websites out there who do the same thing, do it better, and much more reliably. Had I tried to compete with them, this blog would have ended up as little more than yet another well-intentioned, earnest failure. As it is, I like to think that I have been able to make some modest contribution to the Bosnian cause.

I also must confess that while not everyone enjoys my lengthy review of revisionist works such as "Fools' Crusade", those projects are among my favorites. I really enjoy the work of confronting such disingenuous works on their own terms, and systematically refuting both the specific charges in those books as well as the underlying premises they are founded on. Sorry to say, but you can expect a few morer such projects in the future. Unfortunately, Balkan revisionists have found a willing market for their poison, and the more places unwitting potential readers can stumble across contentious "corrections", the better.

That said, I also have some regrets. One is that I have not yet followed through on my promise to create an annotated bibliography of works about Bosnia, the war, and related topics. This would be a worthy project, and I have nobody but myself to blame for not having made any meaningful progress on it to date.

A smaller regret--and perhaps a concession to my own ego--I wish that my "review of one section of Jimmy Carter's Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope had either received a bit more attention, or triggered a bit more scrutiny, or at least been part of a larger reexamination of Carter's misguided views on the crisis he intervened in without bothering to understand. It was noted by many at the time that his negotiating was a disgrace, but I still feel that too few people took note that over a decade later, Carter still didn't get it.

Another shortcoming of my work so far is less a regret than an impatience--I have felt for some time that I have been fitfully crawling towards a larger, and more all-encompassing, purpose in this blog. Some sense that the lessons of Bosnia apply in a larger sense to the post-Cold War world; but also that the arguments over intervention and Bakan revisionism concern larger issues about national sovereignty, human rights, global citizenship, international interventions, and so forth.

That said, I have enjoyed working on this blog for many reasons, but the main one has been the new contacts I have made, the discovery of like-minded people who are passionate and informed, and generous with their time and their comments. It has been a joy and a privilage to get to know some of you through our correspondence.

That said, I'll be back to regular blogging shortly, and I look forward to the next 500 posts!

8 comments:

sarah correia said...

Congratulations, Kirk, I am always looking forward your posts!

Your reviews are very useful, I would say more useful than academic reviews published in journals, because they are available to everyone.

The review on Carter that you mentioned was an eye-opener to me when I read it.

Let's hope that among the next 500 posts there will be room for more positive news (not that things look promising), meanwhile, no truce for genocide deniers!!!

Shaina said...

Well first of all a well-deserved congratulations and thanks! for all of your hard work on the blog. I appreciate all of the effort you've put into maintaining this blog, particularly the disection of Johnstone's book.

*Are you still considering doing a bibliography of Bosnia, former-YU related books in the future?
If you are, please drop me an e-mail. I'll be more than happy to give you a list of additional books, that you may (or may not) have read(and brief synopses) to add to a bibliography.

Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor said...

Oh my God Kirk, you almost gave me a heart attack. Reading your post, I was afraid you would conclude it with a note: "Thank you all for your support, but I got tired of European history and politics!"

I cannot be happier that you will continue blogging! Awesome! Having said that, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 500TH POST! Kirk, did you know? Your blog has been mentioned on more than 130,000 web sites and sources. Click here to check them out on Google!

I am proud of you man. Good job. You made a huge positive impact in the field of human rights and anti-genocide denial activism. Huge. We're all proud of you.

Owen said...

Kirk, the key is persistence. What your select band of followers appreciate is your willingness to do the hard work of providing us with a closer understanding, by someone we can trust, of works that we know are significant - negatively as well as positively - but for the time being are unable to get to grips with ourselves.

Go at your own pace, feel your way towards what you want to be doing, but anyhow be confident that your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Congratulations on your landmark!

Owen said...

Kirk, the key is persistence. What your select band of followers appreciate is your willingness to do the hard work of providing us with a closer understanding, by someone we can trust, of works that we know are significant - negatively as well as positively - but for the time being are unable to get to grips with ourselves.

Go at your own pace, feel your way towards what you want to be doing, but anyhow be confident that your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Congratulations on your landmark!

Owen said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to be persistent myself and send two copies. But Twice Cheers!

Kirk Johnson said...

Ombudsman: Actually, this was the 499th post; I had one unpublished post in my queue which threw the count off. Oops!

Owen said...

We forgive you!