I have been thinking a lot about your continuing efforts in defending Serbia. Of course I agree completely with you, but perhaps I have a different perspective on the problem. Ultimately the problem is not arguing with fools over particular incidents, who, what, when. The real problem now, in 2013, was horribly illustrated by something I heard on TV that I wrote to you about I think, a few weeks ago.
A group of talking heads, panelists, were comparing presidencies, Bush, Obama, Clinton. One mentioned Clinton’s personal scandals, and then another said in his defense, “well, at least Clinton didn’t get us into any war…”
I was shocked and screamed at the TV. No one else disagreed, much less contradicted. So now, in 2013, the real problem is that the whole Yugoslav affair will go down the memory hole of history and be forgotten. Ask the people you run into to state 5 important things they remember about the Clinton presidency, and see what you get. This is what I have been thinking about.
So at this point what do you want? Correcting “reporters” and “journalists” who have a vested interest in their world views and are not known to recant? The New York Times still hasn’t apologized for that Pulitzer Prize-winning guy [Duranty] in the 30’s who said that collectivization was not killing anybody in Russia. What would be a reasonable goal to achieve?
News reporting is called the first draft of history.
Maybe you should think about the second draft and the final version.
To analogize: immediately after ’45 there wasn’t much talk about the Holocaust—the word wasn’t used.
Survivors who made it to America in ’49 or ’50 were not queried about their experiences, nor did anyone want to hear what they had to say. The start of the second draft was in my opinion, books. Diary of Anne Frank was very important in creating a public mind set. The modern establishment perspective and history did not fully emerge until the 60’s.
So what can be done now on behalf of Serbia and the Serbs at this point? It would be too facile to say someone should write a Serb Diary…
A publicist works with each client’s particulars. Why don’t we know more about Serb heroism and suffering in WW 2? People know vague factoids about the war. If you asked the average person which underground was more heroic, the French or the Serbs?, what would be the answer. The French were disgusting collaborators, but have good propaganda. Think Casablanca.
I have persuaded friends to rethink the 90’s by reminding them who were the good guys and who the bad in WW II. Then I challenge them, by asking how they can turn against the Serbs in favor of Croats and Moslems, considering what happened.
I don’t get into the particulars that engage you because the facts are not at my fingertips and people’s eyes would glaze over hearing a list of Balkan place names and surnames.
But this is the work of a generation of propagandizing [meant in a good sense], not the work of one person.
Idea: on the anniversary each year of the date that Belgradians lined up on their bridge to keep it from being bombed by NATO, RESTAGE the event! Have it well photographed and post it on UTube. Make it clear who they were saving the city from…
Do it every year even if the world ignores it, in fact, make it more out there each year; the dynamic of “going viral” is a mystery but ultimately your goal [???] is to make public opinion see what happened as an attack on the Serbs, not the Serbs as aggressors. Just an idea…
Maybe this is all foolish, but as you see I have been thinking about it, and what can be done..