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Friday, June 19, 2009


Some years ago I reprinted a discussion I had engaged in on Brad de Long's blog. This had been as a result of him supporting an American Professor called Michael Berube who had attacked Noam Chomsky, in a particularly pompous & dishonest manner, over his contention that reporting of the Yugoslav wars had been biased against the Serbs. Naturally I supported Chomsky & the Serbs. Naturally I was able to quote chapter & verse proving the point. Naturally Brad (an economist & loyal supporter of the Democrat party through thick & genocide) & Berube were ultimately unable to dispute what I said & as far as I know Brad has avoided the subject since, though he still enthusiastically calls Bush & co war criminals. The debate is here.

Mr Berube is apparently a "professor" of "cultural studies" at some sort of hairdressing & television watching studies school called Pennsylvania State University.
At the time I attempted to ask Berube, on his own blog, what evidence he had to support his own position but he censored me.

So a few days ago I posted on his blog with results which can hardly be unexpected. All listed under. On checking him up on Google I found, to my considerable surprise, that he was about 50th in the listing of the "101 Most Dangerous Academics in America". Apparently he has achieved this by his cutting intellect & deep philosophical understanding in debate & lecture. I will admit that, when I took him on I had no idea what an eminent pillock he was.

He is also deeply opposed to any form of censorship having said in his attack on Chomsky that "the job of the intellectual is to tell the truth and expose lies” to quote yourself" & having criticised somebody allegedly partially reprinting remarks of his about the honour of his 101 accolade "Berube wrote a response to questions provided by Horowitz's assistant. Horowitz published only an excerpted version of his response, prompting accusations of dishonesty from Berube". Clearly only if he were not only thoroughly lost for any factual response but also a complete hypocrite would he censor my response. Obviously since I am publishing this that is what he did.

I will say that Berube alone does not represent the American intellectual "left". Chomsky is certainly a genuine intellectual & has shown courage in his defence of the Serbs (even though he accepts the "Srebrenica Massacre" as being largely genuine & I believe the evidence shows it is at, least largely, a deliberate lie & that the ICTY could prove it either way if any time they want the truth).

69 A certain amount of hypocrisy on this subject considering that Mr Berube himself justifies the murder of thousands of innocent people by American bombers, while being himself a holocaust denier.

I would also say that censoring the fact that his friends have been cutting up thousands of people while alive because this is a political friendship is a certain amount of politicisation.

Posted by Neil Craig on 06/13 at 12:34 PM

Ah, the long-awaited return of Neil “the Serbs were the victims all along of America’s fascist Muslim allies” Craig! Yes, well, I’ll be sure to tell my friends to stop cutting up thousands of people. Tomorrow, though. I’ve got some holocausts to deny today.

Posted by Michael on 06/13 at 12:52 PM

Friends don’t let friends cut up thousands of people.

Posted by JP Stormcrow on 06/13 at 01:08 PM
Despite Mr Berube’s wit that is precisely what our government has spent the last decade doing.

He knows that the entire media have been censoring such actions numercially less than, but in terms of obscenity exceeding Auschwitz.

It takes a particular sort of human being to deny that people cut open while alive so that Mr Berube’s friends could profit are victims.

Last time he decided to censor - lets see if this is his only possible answer again.

Posted by Neil Craig on 06/13 at 02:30 PM

Hmm. In this competition of supporters of wars in Yugoslavia I can finally say “a pox on both your houses”. Although I’d say that just as I insist that my opposition to the US aggression isn’t the result of me personally gaining from it (the opposition) in any way, or predicated on me admiring Milosevic, I think it absurdly over the top to accuse Michael of supporting said aggression simply so his “friends” could make a killing (no pun intended) in the process.

Posted by christian h. on 06/13 at 03:02 PM

In other words, I happen to think Michael is wrong on this, and other issues. (As is Neil, for that matter.) Too bad. We all are wrong sometimes, that doesn’t make us evil or naive or whatever else.

Posted by christian h. on 06/13 at 03:03 PM

Michael, I know you had to make a lot of tough decisions during those years you were the de facto ruler of Kosovo. You should not have paid those organ trafficers to cut people up, though. Shame on you.

And you should just step up and admit that because you ruled Kosovo in the nineties, we have nothing to complain about when crazy Americans start shooting down doctors, policemen, and security guards. Don’t you see???

Posted by rm on 06/13 at 05:56 PM

Certainly you are nothing, Michael, if not a cutup.

Posted by Dave Maier on 06/13 at 07:17 PM

While the Bosnian Croat refugee elders (Čelo i Dragan) i tutor see the Serbs (and their attempts at ethnic cleansing and rape of Croats and Muslims) very differently than that sprezzatura NC, they have nothing but praise for Michael’s outstanding leadership in the Balkans.

Posted by spyder on 06/13 at 10:04 PM

I thank all my Internet friends for their praise of my leadership in the Balkans, and I thank them also for the profits they realized from cutting open live bodies, the kickbacks from which helped keep this blog running even in the darkest days of 1999.

But I strongly resent the suggestion that I “censored” Mr. Craig last time around. On the contrary, I allowed him to post a number of batshit insane comments, and when he called me “a corrupt racist Nazi liar” while accusing me of “rudeness,” I disemvoweled his final comment. Because no one has the right to show up on my blog and call me “rude.” That’s just wrong.

Still, I acknowledge that Mr. Craig is the real victim here, as were the helpless Serbs massacred by the US proxies known as the KLA.

Posted by Michael on 06/14 at 12:22 AM

The fact is that Mr Berube supported what he knew was a NATO war to assist in genocide. It was certainly not a “pox on both your houses” operation but a “depleted uranium & cluster bombs on Serb houses to help NATO armed Nazi gangsters* commit racial genocide” sort of operation. By the standards we used at Nuremburg those who supported it were certainly engaged in war crimes & crimes against humanity. The remarks by America’s current vice President that he wished to put the entire Serbian people in “Nazi-style concentration camps” proves that.

And that was before we knew that our governments were involved in cutting up living human beings.

As regards “rudeness” may I point out that my initial dispute with him was over remarks he made about Noam Chomsky, because he was opposed to the racial genocide Berube so enthusiastically supported. His remarks certainly involved “rudeness” to Chomsky.

As to whether it was improper of me to accuse him of “rudeness” to me - his remarks, while at no time attempting to introduce any hint of fact accused me of being a “genocide denier”, “bad foul dust” (really) & “truly insane”. This may be common by-play in his academic circles but I think my response:

57 - “Answer the question.

The rest is just rudeness & obfuscation.

58 Posted by Neil Craig on 07/01 at 12:46 PM
“the job of the intellectual is to tell the truth and expose lies” to quote yourself.

Assuming you claim to be an intellectual:

Answer the question. Tell the truth.”

...Was by comparison reasoned & restrained & resulted in him engaging in what he describes as “not censorship” but merely censoring me.

That Berunbe could preface his initial fact free attack on Choamsky with the “job of the intellectual” remark shows that he knows that he has prostituted any claims to intellectual status he may have in the interests of assisting people he knows to have committed crimes individually exceeding in evil, though not in numbers, those of Adolf Hitler.

The previous discussion is here & it will be obvious who was relying on rudeness.

*That is the literal case. he KLA were recruited by NATO from gangsters, pimps & organleggers in Albania, Germany & New York’s jails rather than ever being a legitimate Kosovo organisation. That the media have lied about this as they have censored the news of the dissections of living people must be a matter of grave concern to ANYBODY who wishes to live in a free society.

Posted by Neil Craig on 06/14 at 08:01 AM

Yes, as for my initial fact-free attack on Chomsky. Chomsky said this:

The worst crime was Srebrenica but, unfortunately for the International Tribunal, there was an intensive investigation by the Dutch government, which was primarily responsible– their troops were there– and what they concluded was that not only did Milosevic not order it, but he had no knowledge of it. And he was horrified when he heard about it. So it was going to be pretty hard to make that charge stick.

However, the NIOD report on Srebrenica to which Chomsky refers actually says this:

It is also not known whether Milosevic had any knowledge of the continuing Bosnian-Serb offensive that resulted in the occupation of the enclave. After the fall of the enclave, Milosevic made no mention to that effect to the UN envoy Thorvald Stoltenberg– he was too much of a poker player to reveal anything. On the other hand, Milosevic did express himself clearly later, in 1996, when he dropped the question to a group of Bosnian-Serb entrepreneurs as to “what idiot” had made the decision to attack Srebrenica while it hosted international troops when it was obvious that, in any event, the enclave would eventually have been bled dry or become depopulated. It is not clear to what extent that statement had been intended to clear his responsibility for those events.

And one of my points in that 2006 post was that it is possible to oppose the Kosovo war without indulging in apologetics for Milosevic. Why does Chomsky entertain such apologetics? I don’t know. You should ask him.

Posted by Michael on 06/14 at 08:17 AM

In normal circumstances if someone is “not known to have any knowledge” of a crime that is considered to be innocence. Being alleged to use the term “what idiot did it” would, to an impartial mind, not seem to be an announcement of personal responsibility.

I should admit that during the Milosevic trial evidence was introduced of Milosevic’s complicity in the alleged Srebrencia massacre. NATO general Wesley Clark testified, on oath, that for no apparent reason Milosevic had approached him at an international conference & solely in the presence of somebody who had since conveniently died, told him of his complicity. Milosevic said he was lying & a few minutes later Wesley Clark perjured himself by saying that there was no link between NATO & the KLA. This is the sole “evidence” of any sort brought, throughout the 4 1/2 years of “trial” that Milosevic had been personally involved in anything criminal.

Of course the only massacre agreed to have happened at Srebrenica was of 3.700 Serbss in surrounding villages carried out by our Moslem Nazi allies. Since this is more than the number of bodies found since & since the ICTY refuse to check their DNA for ethnic grouping it seems likely it was the only massacre.

This is supported by evidence from a Dutch soldier you mention:

“Everybody is parroting everybody, but nobody shows hard evidence. I notice that in the Netherlands people want to prove at all costs that genocide has been committed. (...) If executions have taken place, the Serbs have been hiding it damn well. Thus, I don’t believe any of it. The day after the collapse of Srebrenica, July 13, I arrived in Bratunac and stayed there for eight days. I was able to go wherever I wanted to. I was granted all possible assistance; nowhere was I stopped.”
-- Captain Schouten quoted below. Captain Schouten was the only UN military officer in Bratunac at the time a massacre is alleged.)

A number of other Dutch soldiers have agreed to testify to the same effect at the Karadzic “trial”. This is, of course, extensively reported by every newspaper & broadcaster in the NATO countries that is in the remotest degree honest.

Posted by Neil Craig on 06/14 at 09:18 AM

The “pox on both your houses” remark was a bit of a joke, by the way, based on the fact that I rarely agree with that kind of argument, as regular readers know.

But it any event it wasn’t aimed at NATO and Milosevic (although I am no fan of the latter in the least, any more than of the former) but rather at two factions in the argument who desperately try to either make Milosevic out to be some heroic socialist standing up to the West while unfairly smeared by Western media, or on the other hand yell “genocide” about various Serb atrocities in order to link them up with Ruanda and ultimately the holocaust in people’s minds and thus justify the atrocity of NATO intervention.

For what it’s worth, I do not believe there is proof Milosevic ordered the Srebrenica massacre (which provably did happen and denial of which puts, imo, a person into dangerous intellectual territory). Using it to charge him with genocide was extremely flimsy even if we accept said massacre did, in fact, constitute an act of genocide (which it well might given the very expansive definition of that crime in international law). The reason for this charge was entirely political: if Milosevic had merely been charged with ‘ordinary’ war crimes (ample of evidence for his responsibility for those) someone might have justifiably asked why, say, Wesley Clark wasn’t in the dock for numerous blatant and deliberate violations of the Geneva conventions by forces under his command.

Posted by christian h. on 06/14 at 11:09 AM

Milosevic was only charged by the ICTY some days into NATO’s war & sg=hortly after Albright had publicly demanded it which certainly makes it look political. I think they had to charge him with genocide in Bosnia, particularly since when the indictment against him was “unsealed” it turned out that only the alleged Racak massacre had actually allegedly happened at the time NATO started bombing.

Milosevic could not be found not guilty since it was certain a war had taken place & if he was not guilty then, by definition Clark, Clinton et al were. In the end they compromised by poisonng him with rifampicine.

While denying the official Srebrenica massacre may be “dangerous” I strongly suspect Christian that you had not previously heard of the Dutch soldier’s denial of it. At the very least that should suggest that the media sources, which are almost everybody’s only sources are wholly corrupt. hat is indeed dangerous territory but I am informed that it is the job of the intellectual to tell the truth & I actually believe it.

Forensic tests of the Racak massacre show it was also a fabrication, that the innocent peasants shot were actually KLA soldiers with gunshot residue on their hands & that while William Walker, the US observer said that he had seen bodies shot in the face “execution style” this was a lie. Confronted with the evidence he admitted to the Milosevic “trial” that he had, for undisclosed reasons, lied.

Obviously were the US media not wholly & completely corrupt racist filth willing to tell any lie & censor any fact to promote genocide they would have reported this extensively. Such scum are hardly trustworthy reporters of Srebrenica either.

Posted by Neil Craig on 06/14 at 11:46 AM

Impartial minds understand the difference between “it is not known whether X had any knowledge” and “X had no knowledge.” Likewise, impartial minds understand the difference between “‘what idiot’ had made the decision to attack Srebrenica while it hosted international troops when it was obvious that, in any event, the enclave would eventually have been bled dry or become depopulated” and “Milosevic was horrified when he heard about it.”

But I take your major point here, Mr. Craig. Because I accurately noted, three years ago, that Noam Chomsky misconstrued the NIOD report so as it make it sound more favorable to Milosevic than it really is, I am a hypocrite to call the murder in the Holocaust Museum “politically motivated.” You have an airtight argument there, sir, and you leave my metal arms hanging uselessly by my side.

Posted by Michael on 06/14 at 03:08 PM

You know, back when the Cathars were being wiped out, I remember thinking, “Strange as it seems now, one day an embarrasingly simple-minded version of Manichaean dualism will return, and ironically it will be an exclusively conservative worldview.” Boy, is my face red now.

if Milosevic had merely been charged with ‘ordinary’ war crimes (ample of evidence for his responsibility for those) someone might have justifiably asked why, say, Wesley Clark wasn’t in the dock for numerous blatant and deliberate violations of the Geneva conventions by forces under his command.

Uh, not to get all cynical or anything, Professor h., but I’m fairly sure that everyone would have known the answer to that question. So there was probably a little bit more to it than that.

Posted by mds on 06/14 at 05:54 PM

Yes mds, obviously that wasn’t the only reason. It was also useful in order to justify war - our gracious host isn’t the only one in the “responsibility to protect” crowd who draws a line at genocide. How convenient if the enemy of the day is guilty of one, then, isn’t it?

Posted by christian h. on 06/14 at 08:54 PM

Mr Berube in any remotely judicial the discovery that there is no evidence against somebody is equated with innocence. here is, for example, no evidence either way that you were the 2nd gunman on the grassy knoll which means any reasonable person would assume you weren’t rather that that there was merely doubt as to your guilt. here are philosophical & indeed scientific reason as well as judicial ones for taking this as innocence.

I didn’t mention the museum murder either way & you are clearly throwing sand to pretend otherwise. The fact is that you are supporting war criminals, people engaged in racial genocide & worse.

Christian I’m not sure what “ample evidence” there is of Milosevic’s responsibility for ordinary war crimes was. Since the NATO funded “court” couldn’t find any I am not the only one seeking enlightenment. Certainly he did not invade foreign countries, he did not bomb civilians or indeed hospitals, he did not hire drug lords & gangsters to commit genocide, he did not cluster bomb NATO civilians, he did not blow up any American TV stations & to take it to true equivalence he did not bomb Washington to help ethnicly cleanse southern California & Texas of Anglos & liberate it from the US. here is not even evidence of him calling for the entire Anglo population of the US to be put in concentration camps, a remark so unexceptional that it has not prevented a corrupt, fascist & racist US President choosing the speaker as his Vice.

I look forward to you producing this evidence - you may find it less ample than you thought.

Posted by Neil Craig on 06/15 at 05:35 AM

I didn’t mention the museum murder either way & you are clearly throwing sand to pretend otherwise.

You might want to reread your first comment here, @ 69, which begins, “A certain amount of hypocrisy on this subject,” and then you might want to reflect on what the subject of this post was. Not that I have any confidence in your ability to read, or your capacity for reflection. But I wish you good luck with your future apologetics for Milosevic’s innocence and with your brave explorations of the dangerous intellectual territory of Srebenica denial. It has been most illuminating to hear from you again on these subjects, and to allow you to use up a bit of my bandwidth. And now that you have posted your final comment here, I bid you adieu.

Posted by Michael on 06/15 at 06:46 AM

At his point I response "The "subject" of your thread was a generalised objection to the politics of justification of killing by pointing to killings on the other side - something which has been, wholly dishonestly since so many of the alleged Serbian atrocities have been proven fabrications & since the atrocities you support by the US government are so many orders of magnitude worse than the stuff you feel warrents such discussion. I said absolutely noting about specific cases & you are simply throwing sand again.

I note you have not made even a perfunctory attempt to produce any evidence of any "ordinary war crimes" by Milosevic. Clearly you know there are none for which any real evidence exists." - & found that I had been barred.

I sent this to some other people who had commented:

"It appears that Mr Berube, who gives his word that he does not censor, has decided not to accept comments from me. e has the right to censor on his own blog but I think integrity would require him to admit that that is what he has done, rather than that I been convinced by the wisdom of his words.

Nor is censorship entirely consistent with with his loudly proclaimed desire for "truth" used in his disgraceful; attack on Chomsky." one of whom posted:

I for one am grateful for Mr. Craig’s follow-up via e-mail. Shame on you, Professor, for disrespecting the First Amendment by banning a commenter who has been given no opportunity to make his arguments in this forum, especially given your putative dedication to engagement and debate. The same old cut-and-paste assertions about the innocent Serbian blood staining your own hands, now coupled with accusations of hypocrisy because you thought the Holocaust Museum shooting was bad, should be addressed on the merits. Again and again and again.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to come up with some way to synthesize the radical notion that bad actions by one party don’t automatically excuse bad actions by another party. “Morality doesn’t work by double negative,” perhaps.

More generally, I’ve come up with:

Good/Morally Ambiguous/Bad people and institutions frequently perform Good/Morally Ambiguous/Bad actions for Good/Morally Ambiguous/Bad reasons, leading to Good/Morally Ambiguous/Bad outcomes. Pick each selection independently.

But I’m not entirely happy with the middle category being “morally ambiguous.” Suggestions?

Posted by mds on 06/15 at 12:03 PM
after which discussion petered out

Should Berube or anybody else wish to continue I will not censor. In particular i would be interested to see if Christian has checked if there is indeed "ample evidence" of "ordinary" war crimes by Milosevic. If so I suspect he will have found there isn't.

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