We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Rule 1 of blog criticism…

…make sure you have actually read what the person you are criticizing did, and did not say.

Matthew Yglesias called the Croatian reoccupation of Krajina ‘genocide’ and apparently I enjoy it. And where exactly are the mass graves of thousands of this ‘genocide’? Even the much more vicious Serbian cetnic activities in Croatia, Bosnia i Herzegovina and Kosovo were not ‘genocide’ and I speak as someone who was personally on the receiving end of them. They were ‘ethnic cleansing’ to use the modern term. Mass murder for sure. Mass rapes for sure. But genocide? What happened to the Jews in Europe 1939-1945 was genocide, what happened in Rwanda was genocide. What happened in Armenia was genocide. So to call the Croatian activities in Krajina ‘genocide’ is both absurd and idiotarian. Mr. Yglesias’ use of the term makes him Fisk-able, not me.

I never claimed that the Croatian military did not do some bad things (or more usually HOS or someHVO militia groups), merely that the re-occupation of Krajina per se was not one of those ‘bad things’. I know exactly what did and did not happen to many Serbs when we retook our country. But the big difference here was that what some Croatian elements did under people like Tuta in BiH was not a systematic program of centrally directed murder and rape based ethnic displacement in the manner conducted by Arkan, Seselj etc. and backed by the Yugoslav and Bosnian Srpska authorities under Milosevic and Karadzic. The Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam was conducted by US forces and it was ghastly but it was not ordered by the US government.

Were some Croats also involved in ‘bad things’? Yes, for sure. What the Croats who engaged in war crimes did (and I have no problem calling it that) was a series of isolated, not systematic, atrocities and on a tiny scale compared to what was done to us and the Bosnians. There are two Serbian families living directly across the street from my parent’s house in Glina right now! They did not flee on the theory that unlike many others who had looted the homes of absent Croats, they had no reason to flee. That said I (and they) never had an unrealistic view of the Croatian Army and MUPs circa 1995-1996, particularly as many of its members were people who has suffered the loss of family and loved ones in 1991 and had scores to settle. Thus our Serbian neighbours were very glad when my parents moved back and were able to vouch for their definite non-cetnic credentials to the new ‘powers that be’. I do not have a simplistic view of this. However wars in the real world are not just fought from 5000 metres up, they involve people on the ground and so bad things always happen.

Next time someone criticizes my remarks, I hope they read them in order to see what I did and did not actually say and not just attribute views to me based on their ignorant prejudices.

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