Chomsky on Srebrenica

NB: See subsequent posts on Chomsky for more on this.

From yesterday’s Observer:

…a journalist called Diane Johnstone made similar allegations in a Swedish magazine, Ordfront, taking issue with the official number of victims of the Srebrenica massacre. (She said they were exaggerated.) In the ensuing outcry, Chomsky lent his name to a letter praising Johnstone’s “outstanding work”. Does he regret signing it?

“No,” he says indignantly. “It is outstanding. My only regret is that I didn’t do it strongly enough. It may be wrong; but it is very careful and outstanding work.”

How, I wonder, can journalism be wrong and still outstanding?

What a wanker. I should have mentioned it at the time, but Eric Gordy over at East Ethnia has a comprehensive take-down of Johnstone’s claims about Srebrenica; and there’s another good compliation of relevant links here, including the guilty pleas of two senior Bosnian Serb officers involved with the massacre and the official report of the Bosnian Serb government (which actually estimates the number of deaths as being slightly higher than the Red Cross did).

I can see why Chomsky and his admirers feel that it is necessary to challenge the view of the world peddled by this, or any, US administration; but once your desperate urge to prove that American policy is wrong overcomes your ability to tell truth from lies, especially about atrocities such as Srebrenica, you have stopped being a “top public intellectual” and become merely a wanker.

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