Saturday, June 09, 2007

"To Kill A Nation" by Michael Parenti [1]



I have a copy of "To Kill A Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia" by Michael Parenti, which on cursory perusal appears to be a cruder and more blatant piece of revisionism than "Fools' Crusade". I will begin the review in the next post.

First impressions? Well, Diana Johnstone eased into her revisionism, presenting herself as a disinterested outsider and academic who approached the Yugoslav wars from the perspective of a Western-based critic of American/NATO/Western "imperialism." Parenti, on the other hand, seems to be pretty nakedly in the pocket of right-wing anti-American nationalists from the get-go.

We'll get to that in the next post, when I begin with Chapter One. In the meantime, Parenti is so eager to show his hand, he cannot even wait until page one--in the very first sentence of the Acknowledgments Parenti lets us know where he is coming from:

"Gregory Elich and Barry Lituchy, two superb Balkan specialists, did a critical reading of the text and generously put their deep expertise at my disposal."

It only takes the magic of Google find out that these two men have been active Balkan revisionists for years now. Before he has even begun, Parenti makes it clear that he will not step out of the closed loop of Balkan Revisionism.

Barry Lituchy on Bosnia

Gregory Elich on Bosnia

These two articles should warn the reader not to expect balance, reason, or a deference to reality in Parenti's book. We are in blatant revisionist territory here. Be warned.


Anonymous said...

Dear Kirk,

Before going into further discussioin, I would like to point to the readers of your blog that SREBRENICA GENOCIDE IS NOT AN OPINION, IT'S A FACT, IT'S AN INTERNATIONAL RULING (sorry for caps, I am not yelling, I just want the statement prominently displayed.)

I have dealt with this "business" of revisionism and genocide denial extensively. One of survivors told me how hurt he gets every time he stumbles upon Srebrenica genocide denial material on the internet. One time he got extremely high panic attack which forced him to the ER. The point being that Srebrenica genocide denial is a tool that revisionist activist use to hurt those who survived genocide.

Historical revisionism is a well-accepted part of the study of history; it is the reexamination of historical facts, with an eye towards updating histories with newly discovered, more accurate, or less biased information (e.g. DNA evidence points to 8,000 victims and we did not have this information 10 years ago). The implication is that history as it has been traditionally told may not be entirely accurate. The term historical revisionism has a second meaning, the illegitimate manipulation of history for political purposes (as is the case with Srebrenica genocide deniers). For example, Srebrenica Genocide deniers (or Srebrenica Genocide revisionists as they like to be called) typically willfully misuse or ignore historical records in order to attempt to prove their conclusions. While historical revisionism is the re-examination of accepted history, with an eye towards updating it with newly discovered, more accurate, and less-biased information, Srebrenica Genocide deniers/revisionists have been using it to seek evidence in support of their own preconceived theory, omitting substantial facts.

I have spoken about Srebrenica Genocide denial, and attempted to define it, here (please read and add your comments):

Your opinion is, as always, highly appreciated and highly respected.

I thank you wholeheartedly for your hard work and for your strong condemnation of genocide denial. God Bless you Kirk.


Kirk Johnson said...

Daniel, thanks as always for your kind comments. Please know that I am a regular reader of your work, even when I don't post comments. Often, I don't feel that I have much of substance to add to the very excellent discussions you often provoke. Keep up the good work.