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« Some links | Main | More on Karadzic's crimes »

July 23, 2008

Comments

Neil Craig

[I have deleted this characteristic comment from a racist nutter, as it repeats a grossly defamatory accusation for which ITN won substantial and deserved libel damages in a famous case a few years ago. OK]

Ian Cresswell

I couldn't help but notice that Guardian splashed the Karadzic story all over its front page. The Telegraph had a couple of short paragraphs that were continued on page 17. A subject they don't want to dwell on I suppose.

This is something that may amuse Oliver. A good while ago he asked whether right wing Bosnia revisionists had been taken on and exposed in the same way that their leftist counterparts. Not academically that I'm aware of (but please correct me if I'm wrong) but one, at least, has been in court.

Srdja Trifkovic.

look from page 13735 onwards

http://www.un.org/icty/transe24Stakic/030318IT.htm

and the following day

http://www.un.org/icty/transe24Stakic/030319IT.htm

Ms Korner does a really fine demolition job. It's a fun read as well as informative.

Sadly, this hasn't reached the ears of the World Tonight's producers who had him on last night offering his predictable factoids and describing him as a expert.

sackcloth and ashes

'The Telegraph had a couple of short paragraphs that were continued on page 17. A subject they don't want to dwell on I suppose'.

Indeed. This paper's coverage of Bosnia was not it's finest hour. Its editorials basically proclaimed the FCO line that 'They're all as bad as each other, and there's no point getting involved, and if only those uppity Moslems role over and play dead all will be well'. I remember one of its pundits - Geoffrey Wheatcroft - proclaiming that the cause of the Yugoslav wars was the secession of Slovakia (sic) from the FRY. A classic example of ignorance mixed with callousness. I only wish I'd kept a clipping of that op-ed piece.

'What this Byzantine saga [the capture of Karadzic] reveals is the influence of the European Union at its deepest level. The lumbering behemoth, for all its superstructure of political controversy, has a profoundly benign influence on the cultural as well as economic polity of the region. The arrest of Karadzic shows how the EU works as a "soft power". The lure of membership leads those who want to join into changes which are social and legal as well as political. A place in the European family depends on embracing European values of justice and human rights.'

This is a typical piece of 'Indie' crap, and it also doesn't mention the fact that it was the despised Americans who actually rallied NATO to defeat Karadzic's forces in September 1995. One slighting reference to NATO deliberately obscures the fact that it took 'hard power' to defeat the Bosnian Serbs, and the deployment of NATO's IFOR-SFOR to enforce a peace.

Furthermore, the much-vaunted EU's efforts to try and resolve the bloodshed caused (principally) by Greater Serb nationalism ended in complete ignominy in 1992. 'Soft power' in the Balkans is nothing without the 'hard power' of military enforcement, as demonstrated in 1995, 1999 and 2001.

Furthermore - and I don't need to remind anyone here surely - for all the good press the Conservatives are getting now there is at least one voter who has not forgotten that they stood by and let genocide happen when they were in office.

phildav76

I don't know what Neil Craig has written but, ITN won the libel case against Living Marxism because LM were not able to prove that ITN deliberately misrepresented the TV pictures. But in his summing up the judge said "Clearly Ian Williams and Penny Marshall and their television teams were mistaken in thinking they were not enclosed by the old barbed-wire fence, but does it matter?"

If the Bosnian Serbs had planned a campaign of "genocidal aggression" then why did they along with the Bosnian Croats and Muslims sign the Lisbon agreement or Cutileiro plan in February 1992 before the war? It was Izetbegovic who withdrew his signature under US pressure.

This agreement was for an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina divided into three autonomous, constituent and geographically separate parts.

It wasn't NATO defeating the Bosnian Serbs that caused the Dayton agreement to happen, but to a certain degree it was the opposite. The idea of the NATO air power was to give the Muslims and Croats the advantage on the ground. At first they pushed back the Bosnian Serbs, particularly around the Drvar area next to Croatia. But the front lines again became stalemate and hopes that they would be able to capture most of the Bosnian Serb territory faded. This led to the Dayton agreement which in the end was similar to the Lisbon agreement that was rejected 3 years and many lives before.

Mark

Sackcloth and Ashes- are you referring to sometime leader writer Noel Malcolm when you castigate the Telegraph's coverage of the Bosnian War, or just Geoffrey Wheatcroft's comment (of uncertain provenance, as you state yourself)?
I don't think Oliver should get too agitated about clandestine arms shipments that breached UN resolution 713 either.As Committees of both Houses of Congress found in 1996, in April 1994 Clinton enunciated a 'green light' policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian muslims vis Croatia- and many of the arms were of Iranian origin.As the House select sub committee said at the time, this amounted to 'unauthorized covert action'.

Mark

Sackcloth and Ashes- are you referring to sometime leader writer Noel Malcolm when you castigate the Telegraph's coverage of the Bosnian War, or just Geoffrey Wheatcroft's comment (of uncertain provenance, as you state yourself)?
I don't think Oliver should get too agitated about clandestine arms shipments that breached UN resolution 713 either.As Committees of both Houses of Congress found in 1996, in April 1994 Clinton enunciated a 'green light' policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian muslims vis Croatia- and many of the arms were of Iranian origin.As the House select sub committee said at the time, this amounted to 'unauthorized covert action'.

Marcus

Where's Neil Clark? Isn't he coming on here to breathlessly proclaim how Karadzic was really a perfect little angel and the whole thing's a Giant NATO Conspiracy?

Michael

Although Clark has certainly tried to play down the Srebrenica death toll, he seems markedly less keen on Karadzic than he was on Milosevic - whose only crime, lest we forget, was that he was a socialist.

Alcuin

"Bosnian war as a campaign of genocidal aggression, and not an incomprehensible explosion of ancient ethnic conflicts"

What's the difference, apart from that one interpretation sees agency and the other automata? Or the difference between a cold cynical programme and visceral hatred. Or if a Mafia hit man points a gun at you says "this is not poysonal, just bizniss". The results are the same.

If I may hazard an explanation, and it involves both genocidal aggression, and ethnic conflict - after all, what motivation for the former could there be that did not involve at least some of the latter? The Jews harbour very little, if any, hatred for Germans, while the Serbs obviously harbour much hatred for Muslims.

Why? May I suggest because the Germans have both owned up to, paid for, and expressed deep contrition for their horrific behaviour during WW2, while the Bosnian Muslims (who enthusiastically enrolled in the Waffen-SS Handschar Division) have expressed none such. That makes a very big difference, and it underlines much (very much) current "Islamophobia".

"The Guardian got it right very early. The quality of its reporting from the region remains a great strength."

Perhaps, but it could also be that what it wanted to see just happened to be what was there - this time?

Agree with all your primary points.

Marko Attila Hoare

Having spent many years researching the role of the Bosnian Muslims in World War II, I can state categorically that Alcuin's 'explanation' above is ignorant nonsense. To sum up:

1) More Bosnian Muslims fought in the anti-Nazi Partisans than fought in the SS;

2) The Bosnian Muslims' positive record in World War II of protesting fascist genocide, and protecting its victims - including Serbs - was almost unprecedented in all occupied Europe;

3) The readiness of some Bosnian Muslims to join the SS or the Ustashas was parallelled by the readiness of some Serbs to join collaborationist or quisling formations (such as the Chetniks and the Serbian Volunteer Corps);

4) The liberation of Sarajevo from the Nazis in 1945 was spearheaded by a predominantly Muslim Partisan unit - the 16th Muslim Brigade;

5) Bosnian Muslim SS troops were among the most unenthusiastic of all Hitler's minions; Muslim and Croat SS troops mutinied and staged an uprising against the Nazis in France in the autumn of 1943; and thousands of them deserted to join the anti-Nazi resistance in Bosnia; many of these then fought bravely against the Germans;

6) The Bosnian government - comprised of Serbs, Croats and Muslims - spent the entire post-war period denouncing the crimes of the Nazis and their Muslim, Serb and Croat collaborators; its record in this regard was as good as post-war Germany's;

7) Under Alija Izetbegovic, anti-fascist public holidays in Bosnia were still celebrated; streets in Sarajevo named after Muslim anti-Nazi fighters were for the most part not renamed; and Izetbegovic himself laid claim to the Partisan legacy in a well-publicised speech to his troops in 1993.

Of course, none of this prevented the Muslims becoming victims of Karadzic's and Milosevic's genocide in the 1990s. And it has not prevented them being defamed and denigrated by ignorant, Islamophobic bigots in the West, either.

Alcuin

This is not the first time that the pretentiously named Hoare has used the fatuous term "Islamophobic bigot" against me and others merely for their well substantiated disdain for Islam. Last time he got a fairly rough time on Harry's Place for such truculence.

While I defer to his greater historical knowledge of this area of history and accept that his points may dull mine, I do not accept a refutation, certainly from the point of view of the Serbs (rightly or wrongly): viz. from the Serb pov, the behaviour of the Handschar Division, and the lack of subsequent contrition are a powerful driver.

sackcloth and ashes

'Sackcloth and Ashes- are you referring to sometime leader writer Noel Malcolm when you castigate the Telegraph's coverage of the Bosnian War, or just Geoffrey Wheatcroft's comment (of uncertain provenance, as you state yourself)?'

It's not of uncertain provenance - I didn't keep the clipping, but I recall reading it fully. And I also recall the general tenor of the Telegraph's coverage of the war, which effectively endorsed the gospel according to Douglas Hurd. If you really don't want to take my word for it, a visit to the newspaper archive at Colindale will surely satisfy you.

'If the Bosnian Serbs had planned a campaign of "genocidal aggression" then why did they along with the Bosnian Croats and Muslims sign the Lisbon agreement or Cutileiro plan in February 1992 before the war?'

As they say, actions speak louder than words. Look at the way that the Bosnian Serbs - with JNA, Cetnik and MUP assistance from Serbia proper - waged war in Eastern and Northern Bosnia in the spring and summer of 1992.

'ITN won the libel case against Living Marxism because LM were not able to prove that ITN deliberately misrepresented the TV pictures'.

LM couldn't prove any aspect of their claims - either that Trnopolje and other camps visited by the ITN team and Vulliamy were just 'refugee centres' (as opposed to concentration camps where the inmates were being murdered and tortured in egregious ways), or that ITN had misprepresented their evidence. They couldn't prove either case because they had no evidence - save some comment by a crank called Thomas Deichmann who thought that the fence looked odd.

As for the comments about the Clinton administration arming the Armija BiH in 1994 (two years after the war started, during which time Milosevic's Serbia effectively sustained Karadzic's forces), I must admit ignorance here and leave the floor to Marko.


Marko Attila Hoare

Alcuin cannot pass his vicious chauvinism off as mere 'disdain for Islam'. This is what he said about Somali immigrants in the UK:

'Somalis come with no concept of democracy or the rule of Law, and cannot be said to enhance our culture or economy, Rageh Omaar notwithstanding.'

http://www.hurryupharry.org/2008/07/09/sending-them-back-to-al-qaeda/

Sounds to me a lot like outright racism against an entire ethnic group, not just 'disdain for Islam'.

And here is his statement of the threat to Britain posed by Muslim babies (same link):

'While they remain Muslim, no matter how much they have suffered at the hands of Islam, they and their progeny are a potential threat.'

A lovely, enlightened, tolerant fellow, no ? And it is precisely this sort of character who would like to justify the 1990s genocide of the Bosnian Muslims by ill-informed reference to Bosnian World War II history, about which he clearly knows nothing.

And by the way, Karadzic comes from Montenegro, not from Bosnia, so it's highly improbable that his motive for genocide had anything to do with anything suffered by the Serbs in Bosnia during World War II.

Alcuin

A few hormones talking there, aren't there, old chap? And for the umpteenth time, Muslims are not a race.

Harry's Place is a domain of robust debate, and I see no point in euphemisms or skipping inconvenient facts to avoid offence. We do not yet have Thought Police in this country, much though you may wish it, and particularly as your clarity of thought leaves much to be desired, despite your quite impressive CV.

Do you deny that Somalis were ranked as 26th out of 26 in terms of employment and economic activities in the IPPR report on Britain's Immigrants last September? Figures on violence are a bit more difficult to come by, but you would be hard pressed to prove that Somalis were not involved in London crime at all levels. Due to the violence many had suffered in the lawless Somalia, this can to some extent be understood, but there is little point in denying or tolerating it.

As for Muslims being a threat, that would seem to be self-evident to all but the most obtuse self-hating liberal.

"A 'racist' is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal. - Peter Brimelow

"Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil" - Thomas Mann

sackcloth and ashes

"Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil" - Thomas Mann

Indeed it is, Alcuin, so can you take your obsessive loathing of Moslems somewhere else, such as the BNP website?

Hasan Prishtina

And for the umpteenth time, Muslims are not a race.

Alcuin, Muslim is indeed a religious rather than ethnic label in most of the world, but here we are talking about Bosnia. In Bosnia, 'Muslim' has been used to describe an ethnictiy officially since the 1940s and otherwise since the birth of Yugoslavia. Indeed, I remember being at a conference in 1990 where a speaker identified himself as a 'a Muslim of the Orthodox Christian faith.'

Alcuin

This is about the trite smears that some have laid on me, and not about Bosnia, if Oliver will forgive me. I do not intend to make any further posts on this thread.

... your obsessive loathing of Moslems

You will forgive me if I reserve to myself the judgement of what I "loathe" and what I do not, you impertinent troll, nor your dishonest distortion of my views from Islam to Muslims. Such rhetorical tricks characterise those who can muster no honest response.

Unlike some here who see human behaviour through the distorting mirror of Marxist political theory, and being trained and employed in the unforgiving logic of the hard sciences, I see it through the lens of Evolution. Hear this, Mr Ashes, Darwin trumps Marx, and always will.

There are ants that are solitary, and ants that are social, i.e. that have queens, drones and workers. The latter all submit to the common good. It is evident that the advantages (for ants) of one system over the other are comparatively slight.

I look at Islam as an evolutionary force that is pushing humanity in the social direction, tapping into a deep flaw in human nature that derives from our violent pre-history. However, no social structures among higher animals resemble those of insects (the nearest would be packs of dogs), so it looks like there are few advantages here. Add to this the fact that most major human advances derive from the ideas of rare gifted individuals, and the fact that such people have not thrived (or even survived to any useful degree) in Islam for some 800 years, and it is obvious that Islam forms a model of human society that has a dismal record in terms of progress, only ever thrived due to its parasitism on older cultures, suborns freedom to slavery, and introduces a level of suffering not seen in any other society.

I do not "loathe" Muslims - I see them (like Renan) as victims of Islam - enslaved in a culture where only mind-addling doublethink allows one to function in a decent society while revering a most reprehensible man and his nasty ideas. I do not even "loathe" Islam - whose gift to the world consists mainly of conflict, suffering and poverty. But I must oppose it, because to live under Islam as it is practised in OIC countries (and as some would wish it here), would be hell for any free-thinking individual.

Neither do I see any point in sugar coating the (pretty obvious) judgement that some cultures and some people are better than others. If that upsets your PC sensibilities, too bad.

sackcloth and ashes

Alcuin, for all the fine words you are a bigot, pure and simple. In fact, you are the mirror image of the Qawadaris of this world. You do not belong on a site like this, so piss off to Stormfront or somewhere else where likeminded Islamophobes live.

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