This is a serious subject, but not for the reasons proposed by a blogger quoted by Daniel Finkelstein:
The blogger Neil Clark has posted about what he calls "a serious matter". He is concerned that I allowed Stephen Pollard to call Slobodan Milosevic a genocidal butcher "in Britain's oldest newspaper".
He asks people to write to me to complain. Surprisingly, when I last checked my email I found that no one has yet done so.
Perhaps Harold Pinter doesn't write emails.
I hold it as an article of religious faith always to ignore anything said or written directly by Mr Clark, author of a piece enterprisingly entitled "Milosevic, Prisoner of Conscience" that is proudly displayed on the website of the "International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic" (what has happened to the Committee, by the way?). Mr Clark used to write to me periodically to demand that I do or say something or other, including but not limited to apologising to him and paying him damages for saying something or other about him. It appears from Daniel's emails that my invariable practice of not acting on Mr Clark's requirements is widely observed. But if those demands are now being made known on reputable web sites, I will after all have a go at responding to the latest.
If you look at the comments underneath Daniel's post, you'll see that the Balkan historian Marko Atilla Hoare has already provided one expertly researched answer to the question:
Neil Clark is not being entirely accurate when he claims that none of us has ever provided evidence to back up our charges against Milosevic. In at least two blog debates with him, I put forward evidence indicating Milosevic’s responsibility for war-crimes in Bosnia, for which Clark was wholly unable to provide any response. Most recently, here (halfway down the thread).
Meanwhile, Clark has never been able to produce any documentary evidence for his own accusation against the late Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, who he claims recruited for the SS in Bosnia during World War II.
So far as Milosevic’s responsibility for genocide is concerned, this is easily demonstrated. The Srebrenica massacre was carried out by the Bosnian Serb army under Ratko Mladic. In his published diary, Borislav Jovic, former leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia and Serbia’s representative on the Yugoslav Presidency, describes how he and Milosevic arranged the formation of the Bosnian Serb army and Mladic’s selection as its commander. This was achieved through Serbia’s control over the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA). Mladic was appointed in May 1992 to command the Second Military District of the JNA by the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a body over which Milosevic’s Serbia enjoyed a formal majority control. By his own account, Mladic formed the command of the Bosnian Serb army directly from the command of the Second Military District. In other words, a body formally controlled by Milosevic’s Serbia put in power the author of the Srebrenica massacre. Jovic describes how he and Milosevic concentrated Bosnian Serb JNA units in Bosnia to form the new Bosnian Serb army. Bosnian Serb forces were formally under JNA command until 19 May 1992, when they were transferred to Republika Srpska command as the new Bosnian Serb army. So the army that carried out the Srebrenica massacre was set up by a body controlled by Milosevic’s Serbia (both de jure and de facto). This is all described in my book ‘How Bosnia Armed’ (Saqi Books, London, 2004) in greater detail.
I don’t know how much evidence would be needed to satisfy Clark, but I suspect that nothing would ever suffice.
It's only fair to add that, appropriately enough, the brother of a very funny comedian has added a comment - what looks like a letter to the editor that hasn't been published - defending the reputation of President Milosevic. Rodney Atkinson does this by citing General Lewis MacKenzie and mentioning - of all things, and for some reason - MacKenzie's Order of Canada decoration. Another aspect of MacKenzie's public life was reported by Roy Gutman of Newsday in 1993:
The former U.N. commander in Bosnia has participated in a speakers tour funded by a Serbian-American advocacy group that seeks to dispel the internationally accepted view that Serb fighters were principally responsible for the mass killings, rape and ethnic cleansing that has destroyed the former Yugoslav republic.
In an interview with Newsday, retired Canadian Maj. Gen. Lewis MacKenzie said he has done nothing unethical or improper in connection with last month's tour. MacKenzie last week acknowledged in a telephone conversation from Ottawa that his tour was funded by the group, SerbNet, but said he does not know how much he was paid. In his public appearances, including congressional testimony last month, MacKenzie never disclosed SerbNet's financial support.
MacKenzie said that he customarily receives up to $10,000 an appearance and that he "wouldn't be surprised" if SerbNet paid that rate through his agent.
Another demonstration of the accuracy of Stephen's description of Milosevic has been published by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. It is an order dated 10 July 1995 from the Bosnian Serb Minister of the Interior, Tomislav Kovac. The document instructs his subordinates to redeploy a unit that included members of the Serb police, the MUP, from Sarajevo to Srebrenica, to take part in what was to be the Srebrenica massacre. This order directly links the most notorious atrocity of the Bosnian war to Milosevic himself. The court document can be seen in its entirety in Serbian here and in English here. The crucial part of the order is point 1: "Detach a part of RS MUP forces that are taking part in combat operations on the Sarajevo front and send them sometime tomorrow, 11 July 1995, as an independent unit to the Srebrenica sector."
The well sourced character of Stephen Pollard's description of Milosevic is, incidentally and as Marko notes, not matched by the claims made by Mr Clark concerning the late Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, or by the accuracy with which Mr Clark has cited the sources for those claims. But I believe that all that need be said on that subject, as well as on Mr Clark's interventions generally, has been said.