Who was it that committed mass atrocities in the Balkans?
Well, the basic fact of the matter is that in the Balkans conflict, a large number of factions were involved in a vicious and violent civil war.
No-one is pristine. Massacres and cruel violence were perpetrated by a number of factions, and clearly, neither ‘moral equivalence’ nor ‘moral non-equivalence’ are relevant here.
Neither ‘they’re all as bad as each other,’ nor ‘a is worse than b.’
Rather, the jargon term would be: incommensurable.
(An unspeakable word in a highly polarized world).
In calling the various atrocities ‘incommensurable,’ I mean that there is no common scale of moral measurement with which to weigh them up. And so, neither ‘moral equivalence/non-equivalence’ are at stake here…
Unless you want politicians or other elite figures to play the inappropriate role of a frustrated parent or schoolteacher-pedagogue who says he wishes to “bang the heads together” of his wayward and uneducated children.
To speak of ‘Serbian Genocide’ or ‘Serbian Crimes Against Humanity’ (sic), while downplaying the crimes of other factions as ‘mere straight-vanilla mass atrocities’ is radically tendentious.
It is both profoundly flippant and breathtakingly ridiculous.
And it is also cynical, and purely politically motivated.
Of course, it does not take anything away from criticism of the crimes of some Serbians to also condemn the crimes of some individuals from other factions….
Even if those addicted to emotional blackmail will opportunistically respond to the remotest step towards evenhandedness by screaming:
‘YOU’RE LETTING THESE GUYS GET AWAY WITH IT!!!’
I’m letting them get away with it? Really? Perhaps, then, despite my best efforts to remain unaware of my own true cosmic potential, I am flatteringly credited with some gargantuan, godlike powers beyond my deserts?
Be that is it may. But rather more consequentially, I will say that to question the sneaky special pleading here, to criticize how Serbian crimes are disingenuously framed in terms of an ‘extra-special name,’ while the crimes of others are to be brushed under the carpet, as mere non-descript-straight-vanilla-war-crimes-of-one-sort-or-another (sic)…
Is deemed to be the very epitome of bad faith.
However, to act in a hooliganistic manner by disingenuously setting up a radically speculative and utterly untenable moral hierarchy, is the real act of bad faith.
So, this being the case, IntCom and their cheerleaders are all “mass atrocity denialists” par excellence, adopting Kosovar Albanians as their (perhaps unwilling) team mascots, and objectifying them, and indeed manipulating and abusing everyone who was attacked and abused and tortured and killed by any faction.
Q: Who gets to decide what is a ‘Genocide’ or a ‘Crime Against Humanity,’ and what is merely a series of purportedly less serious war crimes or atrocities?
A: Whoever has the power to do so.
It’s as simple as that. No need to conveniently overthink it.
More next time.