2005-07-17

The beauty of blogging

The beauty of blogging is that it allows you to rant on without necessarily advancing our knowledge. Debating Holocaust deniers, for example, is such an exercise in futility since nobody serious can disagree about the key facts. That doesn't keep fools like Major General (ret.) Lewis MacKenzie -- who was nowhere near Bosnia in the summer of 1995 -- to declare that the massacre in the UN safe haven "was not a black and white event in which the Serbs were solely to blame." (He's right on that one -- I'd also blame the Dutch.) He doubts that more than a few thousand were murdered (which presumably would make it somehowe okay). He blames the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica for provoking the attack. He claims Naser Oric (whose name he misspells twice) was responsible for as many killed Serbs outside Srebrenica as the Bosnian Serbs were for killed Muslims inside the town. And he concludes, with admirable intellectual coherence, that the massacres couldn't possibly have been genocide because the Serbs let the kids and the women get away.

MacKenzie, of course, is a notorious revisionist who has been paid by Serb lobby groups for his fine work promoting their viewpoint. But I'm afraid that his views carry a certain weight with people on the far left who'd rather sacrifice a few thousand Muslims than allow any course of action that might result in an increase in U.S. power, or who compulsively dispute everything that is "fed" us by the "corporate" or "mainstream" media.

What I don't understand is how a fine paper like the Globe and Mail can give space to such lunatics. (By the way, it seems like you need a subscription to access the MacKenzie op-ed, but in a service to mankind another balanced news source has reproduced the piece on their website.)

4 comments:

Yakima_Gulag said...

aaaaaaaah good ol' Serbiana can always trust them for the straight dope eh!
The proliferation of subscription new sites has become a serious nuisance. MacKenzie is an ass.
And yes I too find the whole left going along with this stuff annoying. Some of it is plainly Yugonostalgija. This is why you see genocide defended or excused or denied in places like Antiwar.com. Mr Malic there is a regular source of such opinion. I've had a hard time with some of my pacefist buddies over stuff in that source because it's a popular source for lefties in the Gulag. The name fools them, and then since their bloodpressure would go up if they spent a lot of time listening to the daily propaganda broadcasts by Paul Harvey, Mike Savage and Rush Limbaugh well they don't know how close they are to the right wing on this question.
Another thing, and this is hard for certain lefties, admitting that the U.S. was right to finally intervene in BiH means haveing to acknowlege that the U.S. Army is NOT full of rottsen torturers. I am capable of makeing this leap, but then I personally saw U.S. soldiers in BiH and saw that they were among the better people present for peace keeping. It's not acknowleged much outside of the Indian subcontinent, but Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi peace keepers with the U.N. have also done very good work, and comeing from a nation where communal violence is used to political ends they bring to their work a better than average understanding of how it works.
I have to say that reading MacKenzie is going to require fortification and an empty stomach. Thanks for the link.

Steve Albert said...

"What I don't understand is how a fine paper like the Globe and Mail can give space to such lunatics."


MacKenzie is a Canadian who has held an important position. It is entirely possible that his notoriety alone was enough to get his rant posted as a web only feature, without anyone taking the trouble to fact check it.

The problem with debating MacKenzie is that you draw attention to his contention that Srebrenica was not as serious as all that.

This and other articles claiming that the Srebrenica massacre was no big deal are being written when attention is being focused on bringing the people who are responsible for the massacre to justice.

If the deniers wish to have this matter settled once and for all, perhaps they could demand that Mladic and Karadzic surrender. Then the questions about their responsibility and the extent of their crimes could be decided in a court of law.

Steve

T K Vogel said...

Good suggestion there, Steve. The scary thing is that MacKenzie is among the slightly more sane (or less insane) deniers -- he's not in the same league as the folks over at Swan's or this Carlos Martins Branco dude who wrote a piece a few years after the event, in which he claimed ground-level knowledge even though he'd just been a UN bureaucrat in Sarajevo, far away from any action, etc. etc. Those are the real nutcases but their stuff still circulates on the web. (By the way, Bildt seems to have joined the doubters too -- check out his blog here:
http://bildt.blogspot.com

Michael M. said...

The comparison to holocaust deniers is apt. He even does the whole "the math doesn't add up!" schtick. You really get the sense that it pains him to have to admit that there was a massacre at all.