The New Yorker and Serbian Aggression: Re-Writing History

September 12, 2013 § 5 Comments

I like reading The New Yorker.  It’s generally a pretty good general interest magazine and I appreciate its particular slant and humour.  But sometimes I read things that are profoundly stupid.  Like in the 2 September issue, in a profile of the Serbian tennis player (and world #1), Novak Djokovic.  Djokovic grew up during a difficult time in the former Yugoslavia, as it disintegrated.  And he grew up during a difficult time for Serbia, while it was committing genocide.  So, when the author of this piece, Lauren Collins, casually mentions that NATO began bombing Belgrade, without any context, I was left gobsmacked.  Belgrade was bombed by NATO during the Kosovo War, during which the Kosovars fought for their independence from the remaining rump of Yugoslavia, which was really just Bosnia.

Serbian troops, with their wonderful record of genocide in Bosnia/Herzogovina (in conjunction, of course, with Ratko Mladic’s Bosnian Serb army) were suspected of committing genocide, or at least engaging in genocidal massacres, against the Kosovars.  Hence, NATO, as it had done in 1995 during the Bosnian genocide, stepped in.  In the end, it turns out that Serbia wasn’t exactly committing genocide in Kosovo, merely “”a systematic campaign of terror, including murders, rapes, arsons and severe maltreatments” (to quote from the BBC), the Serbian army sought to remove, not eradicate the Kosovars.

Whether NATO was right or wrong to drop bombs on Belgrade, Serbia has a history of committing genocide and other crimes against humanity.  There’s a reason former Serbia President Slobodan Milosevic died in prison in The Hague whilst on trial for war crimes and former Serbian general Ratko Mladic is presently on trial in The Hague.

Clearly Collins is trying to engender a sympathetic audience for Djokovic, who, as an 11-year old boy had nothing to do with Serbian genocides, and it is largely an entertaining article.  Nonetheless, she is guilty of a gross misappropriation of history in describing the bombing of Belgrade in an entirely passive voice: “When he was eleven, NATO began bombing Belgrade…”, she then goes on to explain the young Djokovic’s means of survival.  She goes onto write “In the aftermath of the war, as sanctions crippled Serbia’s economy, Djokovic’s family struggled to support Djokovic’s ambition [to be the world No. 1 tennis player].”  Again, this is a tragedy for the Djokovics, but there are very real reasons why Serbia was hit with economic sanctions by NATO and its allies, and that’s genocide.

The New Yorker and its editors, as well as Lauren Collins, should know better.  It’s that simple.


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§ 5 Responses to The New Yorker and Serbian Aggression: Re-Writing History

  • Great anti-Serb propaganda here. The truth is that before the bombing of Serbia, Washington initiated a wild propaganda campaign claiming that Serbia was carrying out a campaign of massive genocide against the Albanian majority in Kosovo. The Western media was full of stories of mass graves and brutal rapes. U.S. officials claimed that from 100,000 up to 500,000 Albanians had been massacred, so Nato decided to bomb Serbia during 78 days dropping 35,000 cluster bombs, destroying more than 480 schools, 33 hospitals and killing 700 Serbian kids.

    Finally on June 3, 1999, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) was forced to agree to a ceasefire and the occupation of Kosovo. Expecting to find bodies everywhere, forensic teams from 17 NATO countries organized by the Hague Tribunal on War Crimes searched occupied Kosovo all summer of 1999 but found a total of only 2,108 bodies, of all nationalities. Some had been killed by NATO bombing and some in the war between the UCK and the Serbian police and military. They found not one mass grave and could produce no evidence of massacres or of “genocide.”

    Karl Haudbourg
    Serbia’s Ambassador to the World

    • John Matthew Barlow says:

      If you had actually READ what I wrote, you would note that there was no genocide in Kosovo. So try again, Mr. Ambassador.

  • jj says:

    The wars killed mostly military and paramilitary NOT mostly civilians as the media hyped. The deaths were much, much lower in all the wars than the media was claiming and they did turn out to be mostly military on all sides.
    There were also staged attacks – witnessed by UN personnel who LIVED in Bosnia during the war. Many have stated, written in books and even testified at the ICTY that Bosnian Muslim army – which was the largest within Bosnia by far: 200,000 troops – constantly provoked and staged attacks – it was their M.O. The western media parked itself there to bring propaganda to the western/world masses at their dinner tables.
    Many things were purposely done for the cameras.

    At the end you will find that the peoples Serbs were allegedly “genociding” have a LARGER PERCENTAGE of population AFTER the war ended than before it began!!!

    The Bosnian Muslims now are 48% of the population, according to CIA factbook. They increased their numbers – their army ethnically cleansed, killed and displaced Serbs and Croats more than their people were.

    Plus, many Bosnian Muslims only emigrated after the war was over. Many left Bosnia in 1998, for example – and yet in news stories they are counted as “refugees” in U.S. and other countries even though it was more the economic situation after the war.

    Also, the western media, CNN, for example, did show a funeral for Bosnian Serb children and said they were Muslim children.

    Sarajevo is now virtually pure Muslim when before the war it was 40% Serbian.

    Also, recently they’ve found human remains at a Sarajevo landfill, 27 meters down. They are believed to be Sarajevo Serb civilians were were killed by Bosnian Muslim paramilitary and police during the war.

    Serbs claim thousands of Sarajevo Serb civilians were killed – and not by mortars or bombs, but by up close personal kills – beaten, stabbed, shot, tortured to death. That is what the autopsies shows – the bodies which have been recovered.

    Just this past summer they’ve arrested a Bosnian Muslim in the U.S. since 2001 who is accused of raping a Bosnian Serb woman, putting her in the torture/rape camp Dretelj, then murdering her two elderly relatives and setting fire to their home. His name is Edin Sakoc

    There were actually many, many Bosnian Muslims doing this to Bosnian Serbs at the very beginning of the war, but when Serbs sent documentation to the UN Security Council, it was ignored in the western/world media.

    They also arrested a Muslim, Azra Basic, woman in the U.S. for torturing CIVILIAN Serbs in 3 camps at the very beginning of the Bosnian war. She has a Muslim name but was actually part of the invading Croatian army – Croatia had 40,000 troops in Bosnia throughout the entire war – it was an open secret but Croatia was not sanctioned nor bombed.

  • […] yesterday, when I posted this piece commenting on a New Yorker profile of the Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, I expected more of […]

  • Danilo says:

    The bottomless pit of Serbian weepy self-pitying narcissism is in equal measure ridiculous, laughable and contemptible.

    Djokovic is asked to comment on Nikolic apologizing for 8000+ victims of Srebrenica and his response is, “War is bad; Serbs were victims of terrible media”.

    Jesus Christ. Serbs are even victims of Serbs killing 8000+


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