Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

January 23, 2011

David Gibbs replies to Marko Attila Hoare

Filed under: cruise missile left,Yugoslavia — louisproyect @ 6:40 pm

David N. Gibbs Replies to Marko Atilla Hoare

This posting is a follow-up on an extended debate that I have been having with Marko Atilla Hoare, on the breakup of Yugoslavia during the 1990s. For those interested in the full set of comments, you can find them here https://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/david-gibbs-answers-marko-atilla-hoare/. This debate actually began on Modernityblog, but I have decided that Louis Proyect’s website is a much better venue for my comments. I thank Louis for allowing me to post on his website.

Let me begin by noting that Hoare seems to have an obsessive interest in my 2009 book, First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia (Vanderbilt University Press, 2009). Over the past two months, Hoare has written three lengthy attack reviews of my book on his own website, which (when printed out) run to some eighteen single-spaced pages; in addition to several dozen postings to Modernityblog, in debates that directly address my book. And he promises that there will be yet more attack reviews, to add to all this. One wonders if the man actually has a job, or if attacking me has become a full time endeavor. Either way, I am impressed by the sheer volume of his output.

In what follows, I will make no pretense that I answer all of Hoare’s allegations, which I find impossible, given the huge quantity of his charges. What I will show however is that Hoare’s writings contain major and systematic errors of fact that would, in any normal situation, discredit him.

One of Hoare’s most persistent charges is that my book whitewashes Serb atrocities, notably the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. In reality, this is nothing but a smear, based on an extended series of factual errors. Several examples follow. In Modernityblog (29/12/10), Hoare writes:

“in your sections on Srebrenica (pp. 153-154, 161-162), you falsely portray the Srebrenica Muslims as the ones principally guilty of the violence in the Srebrenica region, and of ‘creating the hatred’ there – despite the fact that most of the killing in the region was the work of the Serb forces.”

Wrong. This is what my book actually states (p. 161):

“the capture of Srebrenica led to atrocities that were far larger in scale than anything that had occurred during three years of fighting… the Serb armies began by expelling the town’s women and children, producing yet another act of ethnic cleansing. And then the Serbs proceeded to murder some eight thousand military age Muslim males. According to the Dutch investigation of the massacre: ‘Muslims were slaughtered like beasts.’”

Later in the debate (5/1/11), Hoare changes tack and makes the following statement — which contains new factual errors:

“Your account of the background to the Srebrenica massacre presents the Muslims/Bosnian army as the ones principally guilty of the atrocities in the region, and of having ‘created the hatred’ there (pp. 153-154).

You then claim ‘The origin of the Srebrenica massacre lay in a series of Muslim attacks that began in the spring of 1995.’ (p. 160)

So while you do not deny that the massacre occurred, you a) deny that it was genocide, and b) blame the victims for it.” [emphasis added]

The key point here is the claim that I supposedly “blame the victims” for the Srebrenica massacre. This is a straightforward factual error. In reality, my position is the following:

“Without question, the Bosnian Serb army and their political and military leaders must bear the overwhelming burden of guilt for having orchestrated this calamity. However, the Muslim leader Alija Izetbegović must bear some of the blame as well. Contrary to popular belief, Bosnia’s Muslim-led government was in fact quite ruthless and some of its actions helped lay the groundwork for the massacre. Specifically, the Izetbegović government followed a clear policy that aimed to maximize casualties of its own civilians, a strategy adopted to elicit the outrage of international public opinion, and thus leading to Western military intervention against the Serbs and in favor of the Muslim.” [emphasis added]

This quote was taken from the following article, which was posted twice to Modernityblog:  D. Gibbs, “The Srebrenica Massacre After Fifteen Years,” Foreign Policy in Focus, July 30, 2010, (www.fpif.org/articles/the_srebrenica_massacre_after_fifteen_years).

In short, I never state that the 8,000 Muslim victims were responsible for the Srebrenica massacre. On the contrary, I put primary blame on the Serb forces, and secondary blame on the Muslim government (which is not the same as the Muslim massacre victims). Hoare’s inflammatory claim that I blame the victims is a factual error.

Hoare’s above statement contains yet another error, attributing to me the quote “created the hatred” – which implies that I believe the Muslims not the Serbs had created the hatred in the Srebrenica area. In reality, the phrase “created the hatred” appears nowhere in my book or in any of my writings.

A central claim by Hoare is that I engage in “genocide denial.” Indeed, his first review of my book was given the unsubtle title, “The Bizarre World of Genocide Denial” (Greater Surbiton, 6/12/10).  The origin of Hoare’s charge is an endnote in my book (p. 281), in which I presented an extended quote from an article by Katherine Southwick, in the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal. The quote criticizes the Krstić decision by the international tribunal at The Hague, which had originally defined the Srebrenica massacre as a case of genocide. The cited article strongly implies that the court had erred in defining that massacre as genocide. Based on the evidence in the Southwick article, my endnote concluded that Srebrenica was closer to a war crime than to a genocide. This endnote became the initial basis of Hoare’s entire claim that I am a supposed genocide denier.

If I cannot cite and agree with an article in a Yale law review without being attacked like this, then there obviously is something wrong with the way this discussion is taking place.

When the above was pointed out on Modernityblog, Hoare responded (29/12/10):

“The Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal article by Katherine G. Southwick that you cite, unlike you, does not blame the genocide on the victims.” [emphasis added]

This is another factual error since, as noted above, I never blame the victims for the Srebrenica massacre.

Another point of contention concerns the lead-up to the Srebrenica massacre. Hoare claims my book “suppresses the history of Serb mass killings of Bosniaks in east Bosnia in 1992” (7/12/10). Wrong. Here is what my book actually says (122):

“As war began [in1992], Serb forces launched a major offensive in northeast Bosnia, talking over a series of villages of mixed ethnicity, and then expelling most of the non-Serb inhabitants by force. By the end of 1992, Serb forces had overrun large portions of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they controlled approximately 70 percent of the whole area of the country. The process of ethnic cleansing, for which the war became famous, had begun… The Bosnia conflict quickly became notorious for the scale of atrocities, especially those perpetrated by Serb forces against Muslim civilians. The widespread practice of ethnic cleansing was often associated with the killing of noncombatants, and also the raping of women and girls.”

In short: With regard to the issue of Serb atrocities, Hoare’s claims are an extended misrepresentation of my position, based on a long string of factual errors.

And there are still more errors. With regard to my sources, Hoare claims that Gibbs “hasn’t bothered to engage with the existing literature, but simply ignored all the existing works that undermine his thesis” (Greater Surbiton, 6/12/10). He then lists five specific authors that I supposedly failed to cite (Michael Libal, Richard Caplan, Daniele Corversi, Brendan Simms, and Hoare himself). Wrong again. In fact I cited four of these authors, each several times, and also included them in the bibliography. Hoare’s own writings were cited (and criticized) in four separate endnotes. His claim that I have ignored these authors is in error.

And in a later posting to Greater Surbiton (24/12/10), Hoare discusses at great length my book’s criticisms of his own work – thus contradicting his previous claim that my book had ignored his work. And he also discusses a quote from my book that discusses Serb atrocities in northeast Bosnia in 1992 (see my block quote above). This contradicts his previous statement that my book “suppresses the history of Serb mass killings of Bosniaks in east Bosnia in 1992.” Finally, I will note that Hoare’s third long review of my book contains a factual error in its very title of the review: “First Check their Sources 2: The Myth that Most of Bosnia was Owned by the Serbs before the War.’” In reality, the quoted phrase (“Most of Bosnia…”) appears nowhere in my book or in any of my writings.

The above should give the reader a sense of Hoare’s “style” of argumentation. No doubt this posting will be followed by yet another blistering attack on my work, penned by the ever-eager Mr. Hoare — presenting yet more factual errors. I wonder if his cumulative attacks will eventually exceed several hundred pages.  Perhaps Hoare should consider publishing all of his attacks of my work as a separate book; or even an encyclopedia.

23 Comments »

  1. I don’t feel it necessary to comment on Hoare’s assertions since you’ve demolished his arguments definitively however I am interested in your reaction to the following.

    Diana Johnstone in “Fool’s Crusade” from 2002 on pp.114-117 states:

    “…the Red Cross announced that it was trying to obtain information from Bosnian Serb authorities about 3000 persons who witnesses said had been detained, and from Sarajevo authorities about some 5000 individuals ‘who fled Srebrenica, some of whom reached central Bosnia’. The total of these two figures was the original source of the oft-repeated estimate that 8000 Muslims had been massacred. However,from the start,it was understood that the missing 5000 had not all been killed. On July 18, the NYT had reported that ‘some 3000 to 4000 Bosnian Muslims who were considered missing after the fall of Srebrenica have made their way through enemy lines to Bosnian govt. territory… The London Times reported on Aug.2 that thousands of ‘missing’ Bosnian Muslim soldiers from Srebrenica at the center of reports of mass executions had been regrouped in Muslim territory.”

    “…There is still no clear way to account for the fate of all the Muslim men reported missing…There is no record of how many prisoners…were released in exchanges. An undertermined number of prisoners were even dispersed abroad.”

    “…the Serb forces filtered the men of military age from women and children, who were offered safe passage…one thing should be obvious: one does not commit ‘genocide’ by sparring women and children.”

    “The men were singled out partly because the Serbs could exchange Muslim POWS for Serb POWS. More relevant to the accusations, Serbs were looking for Muslim fighters who took part in Naser Oric’s raids. The unexpectedly easy and rapid capture of Srebrenica…presented the Bosnian Serbs with an opportunity to exact revenge… War crimes? The Serbs themselves don’t deny that crimes were committed. Part of a plan of genocide? For this there is no evidence whatsoever. ”

    You state: “And then the Serbs proceeded to murder some eight thousand military age Muslim males.”

    Is there new evidence to support the deliberate massacre of 8000 Bosnian Muslims by Serb forces, since Johnstone’s exhaustive review of the case in 2002?

    Comment by meltr — January 23, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  2. Yes, quite, re the previous comment. It’s sad to see this ‘massacre of 8000’ being touted here again, and by someone who apparently thinks he’s being daring and challenging conventional wisdom. And he seems to take the ICTY seriously! I’ve seen Gibbs book recommended by a few people whose judgment is normally sound, but on the strength of the above I can’t see why. Here’s something better: a review by Ed Herman of a new book – Srebrenica: the Star Witness
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22727

    No doubt Gibb will discount this because it isn’t by a NATO apparatchik or an Ivy League hack.

    Comment by lafayette sennacherib — January 23, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

  3. I simply don’t understand why if “only” a thousand Muslims had been executed that this makes any kind of difference. The real issue is whether these kinds of numbers amount to “genocide” especially in light of the transportation of women and children from Srebrenica. Without a doubt an atrocity took place. In such wars, which involve close-quarter fighting over territory, there is a great deal of brutality on all sides. Wars in Africa have that character. Basil Davidson, who fought with the Serb resistance during WWII, compared the war in Bosnia to the tribal warfare that takes place in Africa in his book “Black Man’s Burden”. The real focus should be on the role of imperialism rather than to try to make the Serbs look better than they were. That being said, Milosevic was much more humane than the leaders of the Serb militias.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 23, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

  4. Because Louis the casual use of wildly inflated numbers and loaded words like “genocide” are precisely used to demonize the Serbs and thereby retrospectively justify imperialist “humanitarian” intervention. The Srebrenica affair was one of the main propaganda tools used by the west in pursuit of it’s designs and I would like to see critics of that intervention use more rigorous evidence.

    And no-one I see is trying to “make the Serbs look better than they were”, a rather cheap rhetorical ploy on your part IMHO.

    Comment by meltr — January 23, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

  5. Well, I do not emphasize the issue of atrocities in my book. Hoare simply thought, I would guess, that the atrocity issue would be the easiest way to distract everyone from the substance of my book, which focused much more on the role of foreign intervention by Germany and the US; they played a key role in the breakup of Yugoslavia and then in intensifying the various wars that followed.

    To the best of my knowledge, the fact that the Serbs killed approximately 8,000 mostly military aged males in Srebrenica has been well documented, by what I would consider reliable sources. One of these sources is the 2002 Dutch study, authorized by the Dutch parliament, which was based on very meticulous research, and ran to several thousand pages. In my view, the contents were mostly balanced and reliable.

    And as a general point, there is no doubt that Serb forces committed a majority of the atrocities in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. I should add that I do not believe the Serbs were inherently any more blood thirsty than their adversaries; but they were much better armed, and therefore more capable of committing atrocities.

    I like the analogy to African conflicts. In fact, I began my career as an Africanist, with a focus on the Congo. Yugoslavia does indeed remind me of African ethnic conflicts.

    Comment by David Gibbs — January 24, 2011 @ 1:09 am

  6. Your faith in the conclusions reached by the organs of imperialist states is touching but for anyone seeking other viewpoints there’s this:

    http://www.srebrenica-report.com/

    This is their conclusion in 2005 based they say on 3 yrs of research:

    “Both the scale of the casualties at Srebrenica and the context of events have been misrepresented in official reports from governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as news organizations. Senior UN military and civilian officials, NATO intelligence officers and independent intelligence analysts dispute the official portrayal of the capture of Srebrenica by the International Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia, (ICTY) as a unique atrocity in the Bosnian conflict. The contention that as many as 8,000 Muslims were killed has no basis in available evidence and is essentially a political construct.”

    Comment by meltr — January 24, 2011 @ 1:53 am

  7. I fear that in raising this topic in the way he did David Gibbs was bound to bring upon himself the wrath of those who see the Serbs as the sole problem in the collapse of Yugoslavia and everyone else as innocent victims.

    It does not matter if you readily accept that a large-scale massacre of as many as 8000 Bosnian Muslim men by the Serb military took place at Srebrenica, or that Serb troops and irregulars were responsible for many atrocities in Bosnia-Hercegovina and elsewhere. If you demur from the view that the Srebrenica massacre was a genocide, you will be put on the same level as Holocaust deniers. If you do not accept the standpoint that the Serbs were uniquely violent on an historical level and solely responsible for the Yugoslav disaster, then you will be considered as an apologist for Serb national chauvinism.

    I took quite an interest in the Yugoslav disaster, and after quite a bit of study concluded that Serb nationalism was just one of the factors that tore the place apart, and I therefore refused to give credence to any of the rival nationalist movements or breakaway governments. For that reason I too have been slandered as an apologist for Serb national chauvinism, although I have never doubted or denied that Serb troops and militias were responsible for various atrocities, and that Serb nationalist politicians whipped up chauvinist sentiments.

    In over three decades of political activity I have never come across another episode that provoked such intemperate commentary. Quite why this episode provoked and continues to provoke such verbal violence is a bit of a mystery to me. Nevertheless, I sometimes wonder if the frenzied responses we see to such books as David Gibbs’ one is a reflection of a sense of unease on the part of their critics, that they are perhaps, if unconsciously, recognising the untenability and unreasonableness of their standpoint.

    Comment by Dr Paul — January 24, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  8. Marko Attila Hoare is really quite a nut. His latest diatribe against David Gibbs aims to refute the idea that Germany promoted Croatian secession. But if you do a search on “Germany, Croatia and secession” in Nexis, you will see links to over THREE THOUSAND articles. Here’s one from the top of the pile, coming from somebody who could hardly be labeled a friend of Milosevic:

    The New York Times
    October 11, 1995, Wednesday, Late Edition – Final
    Foreign Affairs;
    Proceed With Caution

    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    With the cease-fire coming in Bosnia, attention is now shifting to the question of which countries should contribute peacekeeping troops to consolidate an end to the war. I’ve got the perfect choice: the Germans.

    There is really no country more deserving of the thankless task of monitoring a Bosnian peace accord than Germany. After all, it was Germany’s desire to dismember Yugoslavia, by recognizing Croatia’s secession before Zagreb had worked out any arrangements for dealing with its minorities or neighbors, that helped to start the war in the first place. If there were any justice, the people who helped break up Yugoslavia (a charter U.N. member and multi-ethnic state) would be made to put it back together.

    Historical note: Beginning in the summer of 1991 the European Community was running all the diplomacy on Yugoslavia and had organized a peace conference in search of a comprehensive settlement (read amicable divorce) among the republics. The E.C.’s guiding principle was that it would not give diplomatic recognition to any of the breakaway republics of Yugoslavia — which began with Croatia and Slovenia pulling out in June 1991 — unless and until they struck peace accords between them and guaranteed the rights of their minorities.

    But then the German Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, acting on the long love affair between Germany and Croatia (and traditional German Serbophobia), told the E.C. that Germany would recognize Croatia by Christmas 1991 — no matter what. Germany’s E.C. partners begged Bonn not to do this, warning that it would blow up the peace conference and lead to war in Bosnia, because it would drive the Muslims to pull out of a disintegrating, Serb-dominated Yugoslavia. Nevertheless the Germans, hinting that they would not agree to elements of the Maastricht Treaty if they didn’t get their way on Croatia, bullied the E.C. into recognizing Croatia and Slovenia. The rest, as they say, is history.

    (clip)

    Comment by louisproyect — January 24, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

  9. True to form, I see that Hoare has indeed penned yet another attack review of my book, which runs to seven single-spaced pages when printed out. It just appeared this morning. So in total, there are now four separate attack reviews on Hoare’s website, which focus on my book; altogether these reviews run to 25 single-spaced pages. This is in addition to countless postings that attack my book on Modernityblog.

    I guess that Hoare is well on the way to writing the encyclopedia that I suggested, above. I hope he includes a good index.

    And this new attack review contains a factual error in the very title: “First Check their Sources 3: The myth that ‘Germany encouraged Croatia to secede from Yugoslavia.'” In reality, the embedded quote appears nowhere in my book. So much for factual accuracy.

    And Hoare — in all seriousness — begins his new review with the followed claims:

    “Those who are sufficiently ideologically driven will readily and tenaciously believe a myth that upholds their own ideology, no matter how completely the myth has been exposed and discredited. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion have been used by anti-Semites from the Nazis to today’s Islamists, despite the fact that they were exposed as a forgery a century ago. German anti-Semites sought to explain away Germany’s defeat in World War I in 1918 by a supposed ‘stab in the back’ by the Jews, shifting the ignominy for the murderous Imperial German regime’s military collapse onto an innocent third party. In much the same way, apologists for the former regime of Slobodan Milosevic have for twenty years tried to blame the ignominious break-up of Yugoslavia – which the Milosevic regime deliberately engineered – on democratic Germany’s supposed ‘encouragement of Croatian secessionism’. They have done this despite a complete failure to uncover any evidence to support their thesis.
    David N. Gibbs in First do no Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia (Vanderbilt University Press, Nashville, 2009) is the latest author to attempt to breathe life into the corpse of this myth…”

    So, my book is now compared to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion! Hoare has a gift for understatement, I would say.

    No, I am not going to respond to this garbage in any detail.

    Comment by David Gibbs — January 24, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

  10. Yes, I meant to tag onto the end of my previous post that it goes without saying that Hoare is just a nut, but you can’t call him a ‘Croatian apologist’ because that’s what got the SWP bookshop in London, ‘Bookmarks,’a hefty fine – they sold a book ( I was one of 11 people who bought it), which included this assertion, and were prosecuted by Hoare under our draconian libel laws. It might have been his mother – Branka Magas, or Manka Bragas, or something like that… same shit anyway.

    Comment by lafayette sennacherib — January 24, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

  11. Quite so re: German involvement. Hoare believes himself to be quite adept at smothering the big picture under an avalanche of minor/distracting footnotes.

    Dr Paul’s point is well put: there is indeed something very “frenzied” in the responses of Hoare and his fellow travellers. Why? Could it be due to any of the following:

    – The refusal of the ICMP to publish the names of those identified by DNA. Odd given than many victims’ names have already been carved in stone.

    – Of the 7,661 persons listed as missing after Srebrenica was taken by the Bosnian Serbs in July 1995, some 5,371 are recorded as being members of the Bosnian Army. (This leak from the Sarajevo Demographic group was quickly dismissed by Hoare’s clique who claimed that military records were “unreliable” – though nothing more than hearsay was used to justify this claim.)

    – Unbelievably inconsistent performance of the ICTY in the summoning, handling and sentencing of the indicted. Here’s where I do agree with Hoare and co: call it massacre or genocide, the sentences given the gravity of the crimes should in many cases have been much longer.

    I have no doubt that a massacre was carried out by Bosnian Serbs, and whatever the provocations, that massacre was undeniably a war crime. Genocide or massacre, I cannot understand why the ICMP will not publish the names of those identified by DNA, nor why the ICTY ignores suspects identified by its key witness. I also believe that we need something rather more compelling than hearsay ‘evidence’ that the military records are unreliable.

    I’m not surprised that Hoare should invoke The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his blustering attacks. The ‘Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada’ (aka Hoare’s chum DT and sundry others) has this to say about the rapes that occurred during the wars:

    “The patriarchal culture of Orthodox Christian Serbia gave the rapes an extra dimension”

    A repulsive insinuation that requires no further comment.

    Comment by frunobulax — January 24, 2011 @ 11:02 pm

  12. American readers of Diana Johnstone and Michael Parenti are understandably aroused by any point of view which seems to coincide with or support the US and EC’s demonization of Serbia and Milosevic. Along with the similar demonization of Saddam and Iraq, these are two of the notable exemplars of imperialism in our time.

    Comment by senecal — January 25, 2011 @ 5:19 am

  13. Prof Gibbs, I haven’t read your work so cannot comment on the content of the criticism as I cannot review the full context of both Hoare’s and your own use of the materials, however I can understand some of the response if the passages that you have selected are indicative of your understanding of the nature of the events that occurred in BiH. To simply state that there was a Serb offensive in NE Bosnia 1992 resulting in the expulsion of non Serbs is a gross understatement of what took place there.

    Similarly you recognise the enormity of the Serb’s crime in Srebrenica for which they ‘must bear the overwhelming burden of guilt’ but in your next sentence state the Bos. government must bear ‘some of the blame’ as it ‘helped lay the groundwork for the massacre’. What message does this send to the reader? What does one take from this contextual connection? The Bos Moslems allowed this to happen and had they done things differently then the Serbs would not have to bear this guilt that they were supposedly forced to bear! But you pointed out, albeit in a diluted fashion, the Serb strategy from the 1992 offensive onwards was quite clear, overwhelming and bloody.

    Bearing guilt does not mean taking responsibility for one’s actions. How much is ‘some’ compared to ‘overwhelming’? You diminish the analysis to a car insurance claim without the benefit of a concluding proportional analysis. How can you compare the tactics of Gen. Mladic with the purported ‘strategy’ of Izetbegovic? I am sure you are aware of the practices of any wartime government when under direct threat, particularly when faced with limited assets to defend oneself. To suggest Izetbegovic had any real impact or that the consequences would be different had there been different strategies ( as they certainly didn’t have any real tactical ability) on what took place in Srebrenica is a mischief to put it politely.

    The victims were not just the 8,000 you refer to, in the fields and surrounds of Srebrenica, but the others spread across BiH both living and dead from all backgrounds who have to bear the consequences of what the Serbs did in their drive to unite the Serb communities from three different countries. To suggest that only the dead are victims does not begin to show an understanding of what took place in Bosnia 1992-1995.

    Comment by iko — January 25, 2011 @ 9:50 am

  14. A PS
    Having just finished reading Dr Hoare’s third review questioning the use of source documents or rather the misrepresentation of those materials, I am surprised Prof Gibbs has not addressed one of those rather challenging points, instead has repeated comments he has already made in full elsewhere.
    On a closing note to suggest that Dr Hoare has gone overboard with his response and that it is more personal than intellectual is another misrepresentation. Debates may become emotive particularly when it deals with an ongoing tragedy of this scale, but in the end are won on their substance.

    Comment by iko — January 25, 2011 @ 10:51 am

  15. On a closing note to suggest that Dr Hoare has gone overboard with his response and that it is more personal than intellectual is another misrepresentation.

    Really? Hoare’s attack began with shrill cries of “genocide denier!”.

    Debates may become emotive particularly when it deals with an ongoing tragedy of this scale, but in the end are won on their substance.

    Hoare’s “substance” is quite simply to make a one to one equivalence between Nazi Germany and Serbia. And not just Milosevic-era Serbia – have a read of his (quite bonkers) rant “Fascism and hatred of women”, he hates Serbia through the ages. That’s his “substance”.

    Comment by frunobulax — January 25, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

  16. Have you read Hoare’s latest review? Shrill? Rant? Wipe your glasses from the rebounding spittle. From the limited reading of Gibbs’ work, mainly supplied by him and quotes used by Hoare, it appears he is of the ilk that sits on the fence and describes the view from on high ensuring he doesn’t endanger his position too much by calling ‘a spade a spade’ instead calling it an instrument that can be used for digging both a garden and a grave etc etc ad nauseum- much like the statesmen circa 1993-6 who gave us plans and quick fix schemes but not one solution that involved recognition of the underpinning principles of their home country.

    Comment by iko — January 26, 2011 @ 12:32 am

  17. […] Professor Gibbs is now using Louis Proyect’s blog. […]

    Pingback by A Better Venue. « ModernityBlog — January 26, 2011 @ 10:50 am

  18. Lets be honest this whole extravaganza started last September when Frunobulax challenged Marko to respond to his claim that Prof. Gibbs book was “era ridden propaganda” I defended Gibbs book against Marko’s scorn and to be fair he was more reasonable with me in the comments than he has been on his blog, but I find it bit strange that in his latest post for the “lets trash Gibbs book” series he berates Gibbs for referencing James Bisset and for not letting Gibbs readers know that Bisset is a ‘genocide denier’, yet in the first discussion I had with Marko he does not let his readers know that Justin McCarthy is an Armenian Genocide denier when quoting him in a post about the Armenian Genocide, even though Marko excepts that he is.

    Anyway Prof Gibbs, they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, welcome to the world of British Balkancentrics.

    Comment by Asteri — January 26, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

  19. Asteri, you talk of this debate as an ‘extravaganza’- believe me it is not an intellectual joust or a point scoring past-time, it is a living wound and everyday dilemma – to know what happened but to see others interpret it into something that was not the case; some willingly some deceptively others unwittingly. Hoare to his credit – no matter the tangential distractions or personal attacks- has kept his primary focus on the evidence and the real issue of the forced segregation of a society and its overt manipulation into dysfunctionality. From my reading of the various comments here and elsewhere the same cannot be said for his detractors- Gibbs included. (ironically your typo is also apt ‘era ridden’)

    Comment by iko — January 28, 2011 @ 10:41 am

  20. Since you admit that you haven’t read Gibbs book you could reserve those judgements for after, or watch his talks on youtube. I kind of like Marko and sometimes do agree with him, however its not as if he doesn’t have a track record of doing this kind of thing, he like a lot of ‘Decent’ academics have this unpleasant trait of always denouncing everyone else as moral degenerates while always assuming the worst and not giving them any benefit of the doubt. In an early post Marko even denounced Michael Moore as a racist for making a throw away quip about Yugoslavia in a book that was meant to be funny, is this really serious behaviour or does someone just have an axe to grind?

    “(ironically your typo is also apt ‘era ridden’)”

    Touché, being dyslexic spelling is not my strong point.

    Comment by Asteri — January 28, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

  21. I have been reading Mr. Hoare for a while now, both at Henry Jackson and Bosnia Report, and to me it seems he is manic and obsessed. I think all that Mr. Gibbs is trying to say is that in the former Yugoslavia, none of the ethnic groups were the good guys or bad guys, and all behaved similarly, or at least tried to behave similarly. The difference was means and opportunity, not motive. And the US exploited that point to project its own power. What’s so controversial about that? Mr. Hoare seems to think Serbs, of whom I am one, are singularly evil and vindictive. Of course, Mr. Hoare likes to point out he married a Serbian women, is baptized Orthodox, and lived in Belgrade during the Kosovo war, all of which seem to be disingenuous attempts projecting impartiality.

    Comment by vladimir gagic — February 14, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

  22. […] sufficiently exposed its worthlessness as a supposed piece of scholarship. In January 2011, Gibbs admitted his inability to counter my refutations: ‘In what follows, I will make no pretense that I answer […]

    Pingback by David N. Gibbs’s bogus complaint | BiHbloggen — May 7, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

  23. […] denier such as Marko Atilla Hoare, whose underhanded campaign was the subject of a 2011 post on this blog. As it turns out, the commentary was civil and thoughtful even when it took a position at odds with […]

    Pingback by David Gibbs on Srebrenica | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — January 13, 2016 @ 11:24 pm


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