Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chomsky takes Slobbo's Bait.

Response to Chomsky

this my response to Chomsky's unphilosophical screed in response to mine on R2P

Ian Williams | August 21, 2009

Editor: John Feffer

Foreign Policy In Focus

I am afraid that simply because Noam Chomsky makes an ex cathedra observation does not make it "uncontroversial" — not even when he hyperbolically accuses me of having "blood on my hands." He still defends his statement that "NATO air raids on Serbia [beginning March 24, 1999] actually precipitated the worst atrocities in Kosovo," and is surprised that I find this untrue — let alone morally unpalatable.

One hesitates to teach logic, let alone linguistics, to the distinguished professor, but his use of the world "precipitate" shifts the blame for the massacres and mass deportations that he admits took place from the actual perpetrators to those who were trying to stop them. (Incidentally, at the time Bogdan Denitch and I called for intervention but also condemned the form of intervention that President Clinton chose — high-level bombing.)

One can certainly accuse the West of neglecting the plight of the Kosovars, but it was Milosevic and his regime that deprived the Kosovars of their rights and then began to kill and deport them. It was that regime that had recently killed up to 8,000 Bosnians at Srebrenica, whose dismembered and reburied bodies are still being found. There was no NATO bombing to blame for that rather shameful inaction.

In fact, faced with that cold-blooded massacre, NATO leaders had every reason to fear the worst in Kosovo.

I would recommend that Chomsky read the judgment of the UN war crimes tribunal, after it had considered the evidence of 113 witnesses for the prosecution and 118 for the defense, not to mention tens of thousands of pages of documents submitted by both sides. It found five Serb officials guilty of the "criminal enterprise" that he attributes to NATO. It concludes that "the direct testimony from many witnesses demonstrates that the Kosovo Albanian population was fleeing from the actions of the forces of the FRY [Federal Republic of Yugoslavia] and Serbia, rather than the NATO bombing and the KLA."

For a flourish that should excite some indignation, the report added that "there is no doubt that a clandestine operation consisting of exhuming over 700 bodies originally buried in Kosovo and transferring them to Serbia proper took place during the NATO bombing" and adds that the "great majority of the corpses moved were victims of crime and civilians, including women and children."

In finding the Serbian officials guilty, the tribunal noted that "the NATO bombing provided an opportunity to the members of the joint criminal enterprise — an opportunity for which they had been waiting and for which they had prepared by moving additional forces to Kosovo and by the arming and disarming process described above — to deal a heavy blow to the KLA and to displace, both within and without Kosovo, enough Kosovo Albanians to change the ethnic balance. And now this could all be done with plausible deniability because it could be blamed not only upon the KLA, but upon NATO as well [italics mine]." The blame-shifting certainly seems to have worked with Chomsky, but the judges looked at the mass of evidence and decided to the contrary.

Chomsky betrays a persistent Manichaean worldview in which the United States is always the source of evil in the world. Even with that in mind he would surely like to reconsider his implied comparison of the United States with Nazis. ("It would be like raising the question of why Nazis didn't intervene to stop the slaughter of Jews by local forces in the regions they occupied.")

The United States is often, but not always wrong, and its enemies are sometimes, but not always right. The United States was certainly wrong in East Timor, and indeed in the near contemporary situation in Western Sahara, and I have been reporting on those injustices for many decades. Along with the other members of the Security Council the United States had a clear duty to intervene to assert international law. In the absence of effective international (i.e., U.S.) intervention, the Indonesian military would have been every bit as brutal and aggressive.

We could deplore this intervention as much as we like, but I fail to see what was going to stop Indonesia's brutality otherwise. Indeed, Chomsky points out that it was Clinton's intervention that persuaded the Indonesian general's that the game was up in East Timor. Yes it was long overdue, but it was an American intervention, which deserves some grudging credit. Also, by delegating U.S. forces to the UN on the Macedonian border, the United States successfully prevented yet another former Yugoslav republic being sucked into Milosevic's bloodstained mire. There are hundreds of thousands of dead Rwandans who would have welcomed a U.S. intervention there.

However, Chomsky takes an absolutist position on intervention in principle, which would have had him picketing the Normandy beaches to stop the war against German workers.

The United States is culpable in many ways over East Timor, but that should not detract from the primary role of the Indonesian government and military. Nor should any person of ethics try to shield the Milosevic regime from its unique culpability for events in Srebrenica and Kosovo. Chomsky's quasi-theological conception of the United States as the supreme evil power tends to exonerate the less evil powers, turning Ariel Sharon, the Indonesian generals, Milosevic, and the others into mere secondary agents. Meanwhile, condemning in principle any effective action to stop these malign actors actually lends them aid and comfort — while doing nothing for their victims.

Senior Foreign Policy In Focus analyst Ian Williams is a journalist and author. Much of his work can be found on his blog, Deadline Pundit.


Daniel (Srebrenica Genocide Blog) said...

Dear Ian,

From 1992-95, Serbs constantly attacked Bosnian Muslim villages and towns around Srebrenica and burned alive scores of Bosniak women and children (view photos ).

Serbs never demilitarized around Srebrenica contrary to the 1993 demilitarization agreement.

In several days of July 1995, Srebrenica genocide resulted in the ethnic cleansing of 30,000 and summary executions of more than 8,000 Bosniaks (DNA confirmed by the ICMP

"By seeking to eliminate a part of the Bosnian Muslims, the Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide. They targeted for extinction the forty thousand Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica... " - Judge Theodor Meron [Polish-American Jew]

Anonymous said...

If Ian Williams was writing for the London Times in 1915, he'd be all about how the filthy Huns were drinking from the hollowed out skulls of British soldiers.

Deadline Pundit said...

Anonymous is anonymous, which in itself detracts from any authority he she or it may have. The Times never accused the Germans of drinking from the skulls of British soldiers. However there is indeed irrefutable evidence of Serbian forces under Milosevic's command murdering civilians. So Anon, name your self, or refute the DNA tests on all those bodies from mass graves across the Balkans

Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor said...

As a response to Chomsky's weak arguments, and in support of honorable people like Ian Williams, I have compiled and published a partial list of judgements which confirm the validity of the Bosnian Genocide. DID YOU KNOW?

1. NOVISLAV DJAJIC was FOUND GUILTY for participating in the FOCA GENOCIDE. On 23 May 1997, German court found that acts of genocide were committed in Foca in June 1992. This case was cited in the judgement handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) against Radislav Krstic when considering whether the Srebrenica massacre met the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide requirement.

2. NIKOLA JORGIC was FOUND GUILTY for participating in the BOSNIAN GENOCIDE. In September 1997, German court sentenced him to four terms of life imprisonment. In 2007, European Court of Human Rights upheld the genocide judgement against Jorgic. This case was also cited in the judgement handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) against Radislav Krstic when considering whether the Srebrenica massacre met the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide requirement.

3. MAKSIM SOKOLOVIC was FOUND GUILTY for aiding and abetting the BOSNIAN GENOCIDE. On 29 November 1999, German court sentenced him to 9 years in prison.

4. DJURADJ KUSLJIC was FOUND GUILTY for his involvement in the BOSNIAN GENOCIDE. On December 15 1999, German court sentenced Kusljic to life in prison for genocide in conjunction with six counts of murder and illegal possession of a firearm.

The list is getting bigger and bigger. Continue reading it at this link:

Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor said...


Ian Williams is, without any doubt, a man of honor and a man of credibility. He is a man who speaks the truth.

The question is: who are you? Do you support deliberate liars and misrepresenters of the truth and memory - people like Noam Chomsky, Jared Israel, Edward S. Herman, Diana Johnstone, Nebojsa Malic, Darko Trifunovic, et al?

People like Chomsky et al do not have any credibility to question Ian Williams. They are not authoritative figures to debate Ian Williams. As I said above and I will say it again: Ian Williams is a man who speaks the truth.

One more time: Who are you anonymous?

Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor said...

Ian, Dr Marko Hoare has joined the debate, see article titled "Noam Chomsky and genocidal causality" on his blog (and other sources).

lpcyusa said...

Irrefutable Proof ICTY Is Corrupt Court/Irrefutable Proof the Hague Court Cannot
Legitimately Prosecute Karadzic Case
(The Documentary Secret United Nations ICC Meeting Papers Scanned Images)

This legal technicality indicates the Hague must dismiss charges against Dr karadzic and
others awaiting trials in the Hague jail; like it or not.

Unfortunately for the Signatures Of the Rome Statute United Nations member states
instituting the ICC & ICTY housed at the Hague, insofar as the, Radovan Karadzic, as
with the other Hague cases awaiting trial there, I personally witnessed these United
Nations member states openly speaking about trading judicial appointments and verdicts
for financial funding when I attended the 2001 ICC Preparatory Meetings at the UN in
Manhattan making the iCTY and ICC morally incapable trying Radovan Karazdic and

I witnessed with my own eyes and ears when attending the 2001 Preparatory Meetings to
establish an newly emergent International Criminal Court, the exact caliber of criminal
corruption running so very deeply at the Hague, that it was a perfectly viable topic of
legitimate conversation in those meetings I attended to debate trading verdicts AND
judicial appointments, for monetary funding.

Jilly wrote:*The rep from Spain became distraught and when her country’s proposal was
not taken to well by the chair of the meeting , then Spain argued in a particularly loud
and noticably strongly vocal manner, “Spain (my country) strongly believes if we
contribute most financial support to the Hague’s highest court, that ought to give us and
other countries feeding it financially MORE direct power over its

((((((((((((((((((((((((( ((((((((((((((((((((((((( Instead of censoring the country representative
from Spain for even bringing up this unjust, illegal and unfair judicial idea of bribery for
international judicial verdicts and judicial appointments, all country representatives
present in the meeting that day all treated the Spain proposition as a ”totally legitimate
topic” discussed and debated it between each other for some time. I was quite shocked!
The idea was "let's discuss it." "It's a great topic to discuss."

Some countries agreed with Spain’s propositions while others did not. The point here is,
bribery for judicial verdicts and judicial appointments was treated as a totally legitimate
topic instead of an illegitimate toic which it is in the meeting that I
attended in 2001 that day to establish the ground work for a newly emergent
international criminal court.))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

In particular., since "Spain" was so overtly unafraid in bringing up this topic of trading
financial funding the ICC for influence over its future judicial appointments and verdicts
in front of every other UN member state present that day at the UN, "Spain" must have
already known by previous experience the topic of bribery was "socially acceptable" for
conversation that day. They must have previously spoke about bribing the ICTY and ICC
before in meetings; this is my take an international sociological honor student.

SPAIN's diplomatic gesture of international justice insofar as, Serbia, in all of this is,
disgusting morally!

I represented the state interests' of the Former Yugoslavia, in Darko Trifunovic’s
absence in those meetings and I am proud to undertake this effort on Serbia’s behalf.

ChomskysPointMadeSimple said...

Chomsky's point was simply that if you are fully aware of what the reasonably foreseeable consequences of your actions will be, then you must take ownership for your part in in bringing about those consequences.

That is, if NATO knew atrocities would ensue, and chose to pullout and bomb anyway, then they must take ownership of their knowing role in the atrocities.

to hasten the occurrence of; bring about prematurely, hastily, or suddenly: to precipitate an international crisis.