Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"Fools' Crusade" Chapter Five [5]



Four more pages of black-is-white recent history. Not worth my time to summarize or yours to read. In brief:

The problems in Kosovo were all about constitutional changes, and shifting Western attitudes towards them before and after the fall of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union. Kosovar Albanians were hard-line Marxist-Leninists and nationalists, while Serb forces (Johnstone conveniently blurs the distinction between Serb and Yugoslav authorities throughout this section) represented modernizing Socialism and reform.

Milosevic's repression of the Albanians wasn't any harsher than earlier Titoist measures, but the world had changed and the West no longer needed to tolerate socialism in Yugoslavia (this isn't an entirely meritless point, but Johnstone, Parenti, and others make far too much of it).

To conclude, Johnstone claims that the West objected to Serb measures in Kosovo because they didn't understand the constitutional issues driving events there; she claims that concern about "human right" (the parenthesis are hers) was merely a clumsy effort to fit events into a paradigm that Westerners could understand and care about.

That's about it. As you can see, my patience with this book has nearly run out--but also, there's precious little to discuss here. She skips from 1990 to 1997 in the space of a single sentence, as if the wars in Bosnia (and Belgrade's involvement in it) never happened. She tries to draw a picture of a reasonable, moderate Serbia trying to deal with difficult internal affairs when, out of the blue, the imperialist West and its NGO proxies falsely portrayed events as a way to turn the Western publics against "the Serbs" and in favor of intervention.

1 comment:

Katja R. said...

Happy Easter! This deconstruction of Diane Johnstone's writings has been very lengthy and very good.
I should mention that under the old pre-Socialist Yugoslavia,Albanians faced some serious problems as well. Whole villages were wiped out, it's refered to in 'Black Lamb and Grey Falcon'.
That book is WAY too long for the process you just went through and it's been very influential in the West.