Thursday, May 24, 2012

Srdja Trifkovic and the Right.

For his actions and his writings, Vulliamy was named “Foreign Correspondent of the Year” in 1992 – an accolade he fully deserved. But that was two decades ago. After the end of the Bosnian war he moved to America, where he reported on such things as the drugs war along the Mexican border, and the aftermath of 9/11. One might imagine that, with so many new crises to think about, he would have “moved on” (as the cant phrase has it). But however far he has moved, Bosnia has stayed with him, for two reasons – one good, and one bad. 

The bad reason is the campaign of denial about the camps which still rumbles on to this day. A article called “The Picture that Fooled the World”, published by LM Magazine (“LM” was short for “Living Marxism”), accused the journalists of deliberate deception. One of the news organisations involved, ITN, sued for libel and won. Yet the lies put about by atrocity deniers – for example, that Mr Alic, the xylophone-ribbed man, was a TB sufferer who looked like that normally – still circulate on the internet, and Vulliamy is obliged to set the record straight again and again

Srdja Trifkovic gets a fair amount of time in the Conserve-o-sphere and has many supporters amongst people whom are otherwise quite clear thinking individuals. I suppose he gets the traction that he does because he is a good writer with monarchical tendencies and a strong anti-Islamist. I think therefore his writing resonates with the sympathies of many conservative and they tend to think of him as "one of us."

His bio, which can be found here at Wiki makes for interesting reading. He was a cheerleader for the Serbian Republic in Bosnia and their two founding fathers Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. Two very, very nasty men. My beef with Trifkovic is not because he is pro-Serbian. As a conservative, I expect a man to love his country; my beef with him is the ideology he supports is evil, and his love of Serbia is of the same type as Hitler's love of Germany; to the exclusion of everyone else.

To understand the war in Yugoslavia, one doesn't need to delve into complex histories or study very many books. To understand the war in Yugoslavia all needs is to understand the ideology of Grossdeutshland Greater Serbia.

All the troubles in the last Century of that region ultimately hinge around issues of support or rebellion against the ideal of Greater Serbia. In fact, WW1, which was probably the most calamitous event in terms of the destruction of traditionalism in Europe, was started by an assassination which was meant to further this aim.  So much for shitty little backwater provinces not being important.

Now, as a Christian Conservative, the only conservatism that I'm interested in is the conservatism that supports God's law. Trifkovic's conservatism is not of this kind, so he kind of rubs me the wrong way. He is quite good on condemning the crimes perpetrated by others onto the Serbs but basically turns a blind eye when team Serbia is pursuing the dream. The issue then becomes more "complex".  To Trifkovic, Srebrencia (7000 Muslim men and boys executed by Mladic) is a political event blown way out of proportion. Never mind the video.

Srebrenica was the final straw which snapped the world passivity to Greater Serbian aggression. As the Serbs were surrounding Muslims in other pockets, domestic pressure, especially in the U.S., led to NATO airstrikes against Serbia to stop further repeat massacres. To Trifkovic, it was a naked expression of  U.S. imperialism.

Unlike in the 30's and 40's where there we no television crews to report on events. The day to day coverage of the war in Yugoslavia left Serbia with a tarnished reputation. A reputation which finally began to turn the corner with one pivotal event;

September 11.

Muslims which were only of trivial concern to the U.S. suddenly became the number one enemy and the apologists for greater Serbia were able to seize on this change in sentiment with gusto to rehabilitate it. Just like the Nazi's who claimed that their war against Russia was a war against Bolshevism instead of a pursuit of Lebensraum, the Serbs recast their territorial expansion as a war against Islam. Suddenly they're the West's friends. This is why Trifkovic, in my opinion, is beating the Muslim menace drum. He's not concerned about Europe as much as he is concerned about rehabilitating Serbia.  We're all on the same side now.

Trifkovic, from what I see, also uses several other journalistic devices to further his aims.

Firstly, with regard to the war in Yugoslavia he claims that the Serbs were unfair victims of public opprobrium during the war since all parties committed morally repugnant acts. And like all great lies there is an element of truth in them; yes all sides did commit atrocities. But anyone who looked at the facts squarely saw that the vast majority of the crimes were committed by the Serbs.  The Allies bombed Dresden, but only a moral idiot could equate the occasional sin of the Allies with the systematic evil of the Nazi's.

Secondly, he argues that the break up of Yugoslavia was not the Serb's fault since they did not want succession. Once again mixing a lie with a bit of truth. Neither did the Croats or the Slovenes want full independence initially, but the Serbian nationalism reasserted itself with the fall of Communism, and being the privileged parties in the former Yugoslavia they were quite keen to keep their exploitative positions. Britain too, did not want America to gain independence. The Americans were obviously bastards for wanting to leave such a "happy family".

Finally, in issues of moral clarity against his cause he needlessly introduces complexity into the issue whilst in issues favouring his, the moral clarity is obvious. So with regard to issues like Srebrenica, a few Muslim men who clearly committed atrocities are roundly and explicitly denounced, whilst Serbian crimes are obfuscated away.

Trifkovic's problem is his moral relativism, which is at the heart of the Western disease. His inability to clearly distinguish between right and wrong (especially with regard to matters Serbian) stains his conservative credentials.The conservative patriot will damn his own "in-house" murderers as harshly as those of others. When he starts excusing his then I damn his moral relativism, in him, and in any Croat\Greek\German\Englishman who thinks the same. He carry's within hm the Western Disease, the inability to see the difference between right and wrong. The fact that he speaks sensibly on some things is more a co-incidence between Western Conservatism, with its emphasis on the truth,  and Serbian monarchic nationalism with its primary good being Serbia. The real test of his conservative credentials is where he stands when the two differ. He has failed the test.

He wins the Walter Duranty award.


40 comments:

Will S. said...

Interesting, Slumlord. Thought-provoking, and troubling.

Brendan said...

I'm not a fan of Trivkovic or other supporters of the Mladic/Karadzic crowd.

While the acts of these chaps were clearly morally reprehensible, the overall situation in the former Yugoslavia is much more complex than "Serbia bad, everyone else good". History is a bit more complex.

The Croats were actual Nazis in WW2 and the Serbs were "their" jews: the Croats made them wear arm-bands with the letter "P" (for "pravoslavniy" which means "Orthodox") and put some of them in concentration camps (google "Jasenovac"). During the Yugoslav period, Serbs migrated into Croatia -- some in Eastern Croatia and some along the Dalmatian coast. One of the first things that happened when the house of cards fell apart in the 90s was that the Croats ethnically cleansed these Serbs militarily from Croatia, and Tudjman began renaming streets in Zagreb after Ustase "war heroes" (who were responsible for the camps, in part, during WW2) and so on. This doesn't reduce the moral depravity of what monsters like Mladic and Karadzic were doing in Bosnia at the time, but the Croats did their own ethnic cleansing and shelling of civilian areas and so on during the 90s as well. Similarly, the Albanians were engaged in an aggressive campaign of cultural and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo immediately prior to, and during, the NATO intervention and bombing of Serbia.

Make no mistake -- Mladic and Karadzic were monsters and Milosevic was hardly any better. But there were many assholes on all sides involved who were committing crimes that were largely overlooked or minimized due to the enormity of what was happening in Bosnia, as well as a general lack of understanding of the history involved (not really ancient history, here) and some of the complexities of the historical relationship between Serbs and Croats in particular, and how this related to Bosnia, which was unfortunately stuck between them.

Will S. said...

@ Brendan: Indeed, I was aware of the Croats' siding with the Nazis in WWII, the Ustashe. "Za dom spremni!", they used to say...

There have indeed been enough atrocities to go around, in the last century, on all sides, there...

I knew a Croat guy in university, Mario, who proudly declared he came from the "Land of the Throat-Slitters". I avoided saying back to him what popped into my head, "As opposed to Serbia, Land of the Croat-Slitters." ;)

Will S. said...

IMO, the only ultimate way out of the troubles for the former Yugoslavia, would be the way the Northern Irelanders found their way out of their Troubles: by everyone stopping the tit-for-tat, nursing past grievances, holding on to memories of historic offenses, and simply deciding they wish to have peace and not killing, and find a way to put the past behind them, somehow.

But, the Balkans' issues are a lot older than those of even Northern Ireland, and harder for people to let go of, alas.

Johnycomelately said...

For someone who seems to wage war against the mainstream liberal block and their historical revisionism this post was way out of character.

Anyone with a keyboard by now knows Srebrenica was precipitated by Muslim massacres and the death count completely exaggerated.

According to your logic Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and Gaddafi deserved to be sodomized and murdered by Weatern backed jihadis as well.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Johnnycomelately

Even the Serbs acknowledge the Genocide.

@Will S

It's a common myth that Serbs and Croats have been at each others throats for hundreds of years. The reality is though, that Serbs and Croats lived side by side for hundreds of years, in the old Hapsburg empire without any troubles at all.

The troubles only started after the formation of Yugoslavia. Given their past history, the Croats with few exception wanted to join with Serbia to form a new South Slav state. So good were their relations.

It was only after the union, and the subsequent Serbian domination, that the troubles began.

Most people in Croatia, particularly, want to forget about the war and the atrocities. They're sick of it. But the problem is the people living next door.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Brendan

Serbia bad, everyone else good

It's not Serbs bad and everyone else good, there's quite a few good Serbs. The problem is that a significant chunk of the population still hold onto the grossSerbia ideal.

The currently elected president, whom Trivkovic speaks fondly of, is a traditional grossSerbian nationalist. Admittedly, he has toned down the rhetoric but it waits to be seen how he behaves.

As for the Ustashe, they were a vile and reprehensible blight of the times. I'm fully aware of their dreadful crimes and join all normal people in condemning them. But even they would not have come to power were it not for Serbian Nationalism.
The Ustashe were not some long simmering sentiment in Croatian culture, rather they were the radical reaction to Serbian oppression in the 1920's. The more moderate faction, which wanted dialogue with the Serbs was imprisoned or murdered. The Ustashe were, in the end, fathered by the Serbian Nationalists. But what's even worse, both side collaborated with the Nazi's against their own people and with each other.

Croatian Fascism has been rightly condemned but it amazes me why Serbian Fascism still gets so much traction amongst Conservatives when the bastards were arguably just as bad. Trivkovic is "old school" and hence outside the conservative fold.

Will S. said...

@ Slumlord: I see.

I suppose most paleocons don't appreciate how closely Srdja Trifkovic was connected to the two regimes, or don't think much about it. Hence, as you suggest, given his 'on message' articles about Islam, etc., he thus gets categorized as one of the paleocon fold, whether or not deservedly...

Somewhat disturbing to consider...

Boban said...

A good start would be spelling his name right.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Boban.

It would be a good start. My bad.

Brendan said...

Eh, in my own personal experience with Croatians (best friend in HS, Dad was from old country, a Croatian couple I knew pretty well when I was married), the Croatians are every bit as nationalist as the Serbs are, and every bit as bigoted as the Serbs are. Serbs were variously described as "dogs" and "animals" and "a different race" (long before 1990s war). The Croatians talk a good game to most of us in the West because they are Westerners, unlike the Serbs, and they used this to a huge PR advantage during the 1990s conflict (a good resource for this is Misha Glenny's book "The Fall of Yugoslavia"), but when you get to talk to actual Croats -- seemingly reasonable highly educated doctors and lawyers suddenly start describing Serbs as being of a different race, or being animals and dogs. I'm not saying that the Serbs are any better (I have known quite a few of them as well over the years through church), but I do know that the Croats are neither blameless nor at all pleasant when dealing with these issues.

spandrell said...

Whatever the moral sense of the Serbs and their Muslim neighbours, it was not the USG's business to go there and give the muslims 2 states.

Serbians and Bosnians killed each other. Big deal. Serbians were better at it. Big deal.

Trivkovic may be a fascist, but he's smart, and he knew that something was going on when Wesley Clark proclaimed that Serbia was just the first stone in a new world order enforced by American bombs:
"There is no place in modern Europe for ethnically pure states. That's a 19th-century idea, and we are trying to transition into the 21st century, and we are going to do it with multi-ethnic states."

Well Trivkovic smelled that that meant Serbia was in the same side as all traditionalists. If you draw a line and put Mladic and Clark on each side, who do you want to be with?

Black Death said...

“If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the Balkans”

"The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier."

- Otto von Bismarck

I am an American with no personal or ethnic ties to anything Balkan. I just got back from Zagreb, where they have a military museum devoted to the glory of the Croatian warriors and the wickedness of the Serbs. What a mess. Best to leave them alone. (Zagreb was very nice, by the way).

The Social Pathologist said...

@Spandrell

it was not the USG's business to go there and give the muslims 2 states.

Yet the problem is that Muslims have lived there for hundreds of years, and until current war were very, very moderate. They were secularised to an unbelievable degree. The war radicalised them as well. The only people who were helping them in the early stages of the War were the Arab states. The West had turned their back on them.
When you ignore the moderates you get the radicals. It's a recurring theme in history.

All the Western Powers, including the U.S. were loathe to get involved, apart from enforcing an arms embargo which in the initial stages favoured the Serbs immensely. Srebrenica and the seige of Sarajevo changed everything. It was at that point that the world felt finally goaded by their consciences to do something. Had Mladic et all pursued a more moderate policy against them then it is very likely there would have been no Muslim states.

If you draw a line and put Mladic and Clark on each side, who do you want to be with

Easy, Clark. He didn't didn't deliberately aim at women and children, unlike Mladic.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Backdeath

The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.

Yeah, they all say it, but they all keep putting their fucking fingers in there all the time. Everyone likes to play there. As soon as the war started, the French and English could not turn away, instead putting up an arms embargo on the Croats, Slovenes and Muslims. The Germans, Austrians and Old Hapsburge countries allowed arms shipments to get through. They all diss the area but can never quite seem to leave it alone.

Zagreb was very nice, by the way

I'm not that big a fan of it but the women are very nice.

CMC said...

So how many books on the topic have you read? Fluency in any of the languages?

Will S. said...

@ CMC: Slumlord has admitted that he's of Croatian ancestry.

The Social Pathologist said...

@CMC

I don't know how many books I've read about the region over my lifetime. I'm familiar with Misha Glenny's book, which I feel has a strongly pro-Serb bias. The best book I read on the subject was Mark Almond's, Europe's Backyard War.

I don't read Cyrillic but am Fluent in Croatian. I took an interest in the war whilst it was happening and was able to follow the Croat and Serbian news. The worst sources of news were paradoxically the local ethnic ones. I like to read between the lines.

Being fluent in the language and a medical practitioner, I got to see a lot of the refugees Serb/Muslim/Croat that were settled in my bit of the world. I got a lot of first hand reports. It was a brutal war.

I think I have a degree of competence on the subject.

There were many Serbs who behaved honourably but there were some who were just appalling. The skill is in picking between the two. Not lumping people all in one group.

Black Death said...

@SP -

I think what Bismarck meant was that Germany had no vital interest in the Balkans and shouldn't be involved there. He was right, of course. Too bad that he wasn't around in 1914. He never would have approved giving the Austrian emperor the famous "blank check," which probably would have prevented WW I.

I am astounded that you speak Croatian. How did you ever learn it and why did you decide to do so? I speak fluent German and passable Russian, but when I was in Zagreb a few weeks ago, no one wanted to speak anything but English to me. I could understand some of the Croatian words because of their similarity to Russian, but not many. I have heard that the Serbian and Croatian languages are pretty much the same, except that Croatian is written in the Latin alphabet and Serbian, in the Cyrillic. True?

Brendan said...

Ah, I see. I hadn't realized you were of Croatian ancestry. Now I understand the approach a bit better. I don't think it's really possible for Croats or Serbs (or Bosnians for that matter), including those of such descent, to be objective about this, particularly since it's still so close to the burning wars of the 1990s. That's on all sides, really.

CMC said...

Thanks. I always appreciate book recommendations.

Canuck said...

I agree that Trifkovic is a Serb chauvinist but you've really just given us the Croatian chauvinist version of the Balkans tragedy - though Croats claim they are not in the Balkans and even that they are not Slavs. (Slovenes will tell you the Balkans ends at their border and that Croats and Serbs are cut from the same cloth. I agree with the Slovenes, though Istrians are more Western - open-minded - than other Croats.) What's striking to me, an outsider, is how similarly over the top Croat and Serb propaganda is. They are both pretty awful at it always assuming whoever they are speaking to is an ignoramus. I guess that's why the Croats hired Western public relations firms to provide their spin to the gullible left wing Western media.

When you ignore the moderates you get the radicals.

So would agree then that Albanian violence and oppression against Serbs in Kosovo from 1974 until the late 80s was a major reason for the Serb nationalism that followed?

Would you also agree that the HDZ's extreme Croatian nationalism, including mass firing of Serb government employees in Zagreb and the rehabilitation of many Ustashe activists and symbols - long before the war - also contributed to Serb nationalism? If so why would you not consider that worth mentioning.

Or do you just believe (like virtually Croat I've ever met) Serbs are uniquely evil? Because that is the impression you give.

To understand the war in Yugoslavia all needs is to understand the ideology of Grossdeutshland Greater Serbia.

Would you agree that Croatian demands to rule over Serbian Krajina was a part of Greater Croatia ideology or were Tito's artificial borders sacred?

Brendan I don't think it's really possible for Croats or Serbs (or Bosnians for that matter), including those of such descent, to be objective about this, particularly since it's still so close to the burning wars of the 1990s. That's on all sides, really.

I agree. Serbs and Croats are mirror images of each other yet neither of them can see it.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Black Death

He never would have approved giving the Austrian emperor the famous "blank check,"

The thing about the Austrians, though, is that they would have told Bismark to go to Hell. Although Austria is in the Germanic sphere, it's always played its own game.

I am astounded that you speak Croatian

My parents were Croatian. I learned it as a child and then had to become more proficient in it as a result of my work. The alphabet is different but the languages are similar. More like different dialects than different languages. The real difference between the two is in their mindsets.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Brendan

I don't think it's really possible for Croats or Serbs

Respectfully, I have to disagree because that's basically a way of saying we can never know about the truth of ourselves. It's a crypto form of ontological relativism. I think it is incumbent on any person to grasp a knowledge of the facts and look at them squarely.

As someone with a Croatian background, I'm fully aware of the atrocities that the Croatians performed, and I repudiate them totally. What more do you want me to say? Am I being nonobjective in saying this?

But my position on issues in the former Yugoslavia isn't based upon any genetic or cultural loyalty but as result of my studies and personal observation. When you start asking yourself questions like, "Why did people, who lived together peaceably for hundreds of years, start committing the most bestial atrocities to each other?", you've got to ask, What happened? Where did it go wrong? How can it be fixed?

History did not begin in 1940. Yugoslavia was not some South Slav paradise that suddenly was destroyed by the appearance of Fascism ex nihilo. The Serb-Croat relationship became irrevocably damaged by the events between 1918-1940. Your bright enough to read up about it and the historical record is quite clear about what was going on.

The thing which started the ball rolling and thing which sustains the hate is Serbian Nationalism of which Trifkovic is a supporter.

Even Chesterton, who was a great supporter of their cause, eventually lamented what Serbia had become.

And I don't want you to think this is a Catholic-Orthodox thing. The Serb Nationalists were quite brutal against the Macedonians and Bulagarians as well in the East. Look it up if you don't believe me.

Brendan said...

I am aware of the history, I just read it in a much more messy and less clearly pro-Croat, anti-Serb manner than you do, which doesn't surprise me. I don't doubt that you mean to be sincere, but I honestly have not met a single Croat or Serb personally who was not biased on this issue.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Canuck

though Croats claim they are not in the Balkans and even that they are not Slavs

News to me.


Or do you just believe (like virtually Croat I've ever met) Serbs are uniquely evil? Because that is the impression you give.


Can you quote me where I've said it?

They are both pretty awful at it always assuming whoever they are speaking to is an ignoramus.

It's because they usually are. You're doing a good job yourself.

Would you agree that Croatian demands to rule over Serbian Krajina

Here is a brief history of the area.

Serbians who had fled from Ottoman rule in Serbia settled in this area of the Austro-Hungarian empire. They lived there, for centuries in peaceable neighborliness with Croats,who had lived there previously. These are not my opinions they are objective facts.

They only became "Serbian" once Serbian nationalists decided to appropriate them in the name of Gross-Serbia.

You reveal yourself and your politics.

Now I expect a basic degree of competency on the subject before I'm going to debate you. Now, if you're going to make this comments thread a forum for uninformed Serb or Croat bashing your going to get banned. I've got no problems with informed Croatian criticism, but bullshit I will not tolerate.

First warning.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Brendan

but I honestly have not met a single Croat or Serb personally who was not biased on this issue.

Agreed. Most of Serbs and Croats who have migrated to the West usually came from the areas most affected by the violence. The Serb hatred of Croations and Croat hatred of the Serbs has a basis in reality. Be that as it may, there is an importance to understand the reality of what is going on there, if only to stop bloodshed.

I want Serbia to be a happy place. Most of my Serbian patients are good people who just want the stuff that everyone else wants. A unstable country is a fertile breeding ground for all sorts of idiots.

Hating Nazism is not the same as hating Germany which weaker minds have conflated. There is a difference between Serbian patriotism and Serbian Nationalism.

CMC said...

Has Srdja Trifkovic ever affirmed, endorsed or adopted the statement "that Mr Alic, the xylophone-ribbed man, was a TB sufferer who looked like that normally"?

The Social Pathologist said...

@CMC

No idea.

But here is the master at work

I did a bit more fishing online today, and frankly I'm astounded.

This is from the ICTY war crimes testimony.

Tomislav Premovic, an American Serb, testified at the trial of Radovan Karadzic today. In mid-July 1995, when the VRS Srebrenica operation was in full swing, Premovic was in the office of the Republika Srpska president in Pale. Premovic heard the telephone conversation between Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic. Karadzic had put Mladic on the speakerphone in front of his American guests.

The witness’s written statement was admitted into evidence. In his statement, Premovic said that Karadzic talked to Mladic about ‘the military events and the promotion of a VRS general’. Premovic also confirmed that two other guests from America, Slavica Ristic and Srdja Trifkovic, heard the conversation. In her testimony last month, Ristic said that Mladic reported to Karadzic that Srebrenica was ‘finished’ and that Zepa was ‘next’.

Tom Premovic, Slavica Ristic and Srdja Trifkovic were members of the Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies. Alfred Sherman, Margaret Thatcher’s former advisor, was also a member. The foundation was trying to improve the Bosnian Serbs’ image in the Western media. Premovic was convinced that the Western media reported on the breakup of the former Yugoslavia ‘falsely’.


The testimony would indicate that He was at the "brains center" when Srebrenica happened. The bastard was there.

And from this testimony

Karadzic used the opportunity to highlight the fact that Slavica Ristic, Tom Prevovic and Srdja Trifkovic, ‘irritated by the way in which the Western media followed the disintegration of Yugoslavia’, co-founded the Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies with Alfred Sherman. Former advisor to Margaret Thatcher, Sherman was also for some time advisor to him, Karadzic pointed.

As the witness said, Srdja Trifkovic, who served as Karadzic’s spokesman for a time, was frustrated by the inability of the Bosnian Serb leadership to clearly articulate its opinions, ‘naively’ expecting that its interests could be safeguarded through peace talks.


The Lord Byron foundation is a front orginsation for Serbian propaganda.

But check out his wiki link. The important think to look at is the editing history. Someone has been scrubbing his profile clean for a while. He has had 618 "revisions" of his bio.

And to think this bastard occupies a voice in American Conservative opinion.

No wonder Conservatism is on the fucking back foot, when the Serbian version of Goebbels is one of its "thinkers". Oh great, you can see the line, "Man with first hand knowledge of mass murder in Srebrenica, American mainstream conservative "thinker"". Won't that do the Right a world of good.

Facepalm.

CMC said...

So you were just guessing the quote and the man were connected? And now you figure it was a good guess?

Canuck said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Black Death said...

"The thing about the Austrians, though, is that they would have told Bismark to go to Hell. Although Austria is in the Germanic sphere, it's always played its own game."

....

Don't think so. The Austrians wanted to attack Serbia because of the assassination of the crown prince in Sarajevo. But they knew that such an attack would bring Russia into the war on Serbia's side. No way the ramshackle Austro-Hungarian empire was going to take on Russia without Germany's help.

Brendan said...

And the same parallelism happened in the 90s. When Croatia declared independence, who rushed to recognize it? Why, the Germans and Austrians, their former allies. And who moved behind the Serbs? Why, the Russians did, their old allies. It was plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose, really.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Brendon.

You might want to reconsider your opinion.

The Social Pathologist said...

@CMC


So you were just guessing the quote and the man were connected? And now you figure it was a good guess?

The aim of the quote was to introduce the concept of historical revisionism with regard to the events in Bosnia. Not particularly with regard to Trifkiovic.

But my loathing of the man grows the more I look into him. I thought him just another cheap Serbian Nazi apologist, now I see him as much much worse. He was the PR man for the Bosnian Serbs.

I'm no big fan of the Muslim crowd, but the Siege of Sarajevo and Srebrenica were profound evils well outside the conservative tradition.

I'm quite happy for you to be anti Ustashe on this blog. I'll join you in that criticism, but if you're happy with what went on (or at least partially approve of it) then I suggest you find another blog to comment on. Otherwise you've got to lay the boot into Trifkovic.

CMC said...

You'll have to excuse me if I don't join you in 'laying the boot to' or 'facepalming' anyone just yet.

Look, I've read your blog here for some time, with interest and approval, as you well may know from previous comments. I've also read numerous Trivkovic's pieces, inlcuding at the Chronicles blog, where I've also commented.

Therefore you'll understand why I took an interest in this piece and was trying to examine your argument.

And of course it's useful to read opposing viewpoints. Debates can be informative.

That said, and since you've invited me off the combox, I'll drop the cross-examination and just tell you that your post and comments so far leave me disappointed.

But my loathing of the man grows the more I look into him. I thought him just another cheap Serbian Nazi apologist, now I see him as much much worse. He was the PR man for the Bosnian Serbs.

As an educated man --and as a professed Christian, surely you must recognize that it's your intellectual and charitable duty to make a good faith effort to research someone before issuing a critique?

Nevertheless, now you say you got lucky; he's worse than what you thought.

I'll have to beg to differ. My take, in sum, is that both in the opening post and throughout you've issued a flawed indictment based on overstatement.

Even in your one link to one of your target's pieces, he clearly does not do what you accuse him of: denial of war crimes.

"That a war crime did take place is undeniable, but the number of its victims remains forensically and demographically unproven."

I disagree that noting legal, moral, and evidentiary errors, as well as possible international bias against certain Serbs or Serbia as a whole, is morally relativistic or excusing or obfuscating.

I disagree that merely being present in some unstated capacity after an event conclusively proves accessory after the fact. (BTW, was Premovic cross-examined?)

I disagree that 600+ revisions of a bio on Wiki proves, or even implies that someone has been 'scrubbing' his bio in ones favor or in favor of some sort of idea. In fact, in this case I'd guess quite the opposite, but the inherent liberalism of Wikipedia is probably a topic for another debate.

I disagree that raising these defenses means that I am 'happy with what went on' or approve in the least.

In fact, that last bit of innuendo you threw is basically of a piece with your level in your post and comments; it's not true, it doesn't follow, and it's uncharitable.

You're obviously an educated, well-read, fluent man, with substantial experience of the area, the people, its history. I'll look forward to just reading more of your essays on this and other topics. Who knows, maybe you'll even rise to challenge Trifkovic to a debate?

Valkea said...

The Social Pathologist,

you should come out of the closet and say you are liberal.

Maister said...

Marko Attila Hoare is an (allegedly former) Trotskyist, neocon, and Croatian nationalist (of a lefty sort), not sure why you'd cite him as a serious source.

I have no particular sympathy for Dr Trifkovic (though it would be nice if you spelled his name properly), and I'm certainly no Serb, but I find your post to be a hatchet job. What, exactly, is the point?

This seems to be informed by not much beyond a gauzy Croatian bias.

The Social Pathologist said...

@Maister

(though it would be nice if you spelled his name properly)

My bad. I've acknowledged it and fixed it.

not much beyond a gauzy Croatian bias.

In what way?

Is it wrong to be against the murdering of unarmed combatants?

Is it wrong to be against the setting up of concentrations camps?

Is it wrong to be against the forced expulsion of people from their homes on the basis of their race?

Srdja Trifkovic is an apologist for a regime that did all of these things, and is now trying to deny the crimes, and recast the whole war of expansion as a battle against Islam. Which is just blatant bullshit to any remotely familiar with the facts.

Have these things all suddenly become things of the Right? Because if they have then I am a liberal.

One of the shitty things about some of the comments that have been put up is that is an implicit assumption that a man can't be Croat, or even Serb for that matter, and be objective about facts in the former Yugoslavia. Using that logic, a British or American could not never be objective about the Nazi regime because they fought them and are too emotionally invested. Of course any normal British or American would regard that as bullshit, and rightly so.

Unlike most of my conservative colleagues, I listen to the Left, and sometimes they get it right. Hoare lets off the communists in Yugoslavia far too easily, but unlike most of the commentators on Yugoslavia, he backs up his claims with facts.

Clearly you have a weak assosciative mind. Because, unlike you, I can differentiate between Serb Nationalsists and Normal Serbs. I have no problem with normal Serbs, it's the Sebian Nazi's that I don't like. And by the way, because I do get the impression that you're having some intellectual problems with this; in being against the Serbian Nationalists does not make me for the Croatian ones. Croatian Nazis are Just as bad as the Serbs ones.

Maister said...

You asked:

Is it wrong to be against the murdering of unarmed combatants?

Is it wrong to be against the setting up of concentrations camps?

Is it wrong to be against the forced expulsion of people from their homes on the basis of their race?

All those things are morally wrong; they all happen frequently in war.

All three crimes were also committed by Croatian forces (HV or HVO) during the recent Balkan unpleasantness.

Do you object to that also, and to those - pretty much Croatia's political establishment - who have enabled and defended such war crimes?