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Methodius Hayes [userpic]

Will the real "Butcher of the Balkans" please stand up?

The news reports of the death and burial of Slobodan Milosevic, erstwhile leader of Serbia and the rump Yugoslavia, have been quite astounding for their malice, vitriol, and sheer mendaciousness.

According the the Western media, he was the "Butcher of the Balkans", "a mass murderer", and he "orchestrated" the wars of the Yugoslav succession and was responsible for the deaths of some 250 000 people.

That is not just spin, it is dangerous overrevving. And of course, it begs the question.

The opening of the trial of Milosevic at the Hague was attended by great publicity, but as soon as he began cross-examining witnesses, and demonstrating the flimsiness of a lot of the evidence against him, a news blackout descended, to be lifted only on his death, with a verdict by vigorous assertion.

So I wonder, what is the point?

Why are the media trying to make Milosevic the sole scapegoat for the wars of the Yugoslav succession, and telling such whopping lies? Why has it become so politically correct to do so? And according to whose criteria of political correctness?

I did a quick Google on the phrase "Butcher of the Balkans", and four candidates for the epithet emerged: Ante Pavelic, Radko Mladic, Bill Clinton and Slobodan Milosevic. And the first three are far more deserving of the title than Milosevic, if one counts the people killed as a result of their orders. They are probably as much, if not more, deserving of the title "mass murderer" as well.

The number of 250 000 people that Milosevic is supposed to have killed is quite amazing. Where do they get the figure from?

And that he "orchestrated" all this is the most astounding allegation of all.

And who stands to benefit? Who are they covering up for? People don't usually tell such enormous lies for no reason.

I don't think Slobodan Milosevic was a very nice man. He was an unreconstructed communist warlord who sought to secure his own position in power at the break-up of Yugoslavia. He was not a lover of freedom and democracy, and his policies often tended to exacerbate hostility and add fuel to the flames. But he didn't start the fire, nor did he "orchestrate" it. He was one of several communist warlords, like Franjo Tudjman and Izetbegovic, whose policies contributed to the break-up of Yugoslavia, but even they didn't "orchestrate" it. The "orchestration" was done elsewhere.

So perhaps one should hear another side of the story: not all the Western media played the orchestrated tune. Here's one of the exceptions:

Scapegoat RIP.


Posted by: Tony Grist (poliphilo)
Posted at: March 20th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)

Thanks for this.

It's good to get some balance.

Posted by: canonjohn (canonjohn)
Posted at: March 21st, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)

This is a good reminder not to accept everything that is given out by the media or the government at face value. While I realize that U.S. news reporting, in particular, is rather biased and definitely narrow, it's easy enough to for get that.

Posted by: Methodius Hayes (methodius)
Posted at: March 21st, 2006 04:05 am (UTC)
Who's orchestrating the media?
dennilton gates

I had a quick glance through some blogs that dealt with this, and it's interesting that some denounced the "liberal" media for war mongering and some denounced the "neocon" media for the same thing.

It reminds me of the end of George Orwell's Animal farm, where the other animals looked from men to pigs, and pigs to men, and could not tell which were which.

So who orchestrated the campaign to claim that Milosevic "orchestrated" all the deaths in the Balkans, to such an extent that the "liberal" and "neocon" media were playing exactly the same tune?

Or are "liberal" and "neocon" just weasel words that mean nothing at all?

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