March 5, 2002
3:34 PM   Subscribe

How do you put a good face on war crimes? You think ahead and hire a PR agency.
posted by feckless (6 comments total)
Without piling calumny on Marshall, who has certainly just expressed a conventional Western view of the conflict, his claims have been forcefully rebutted by a woman who actually lived through Krajina -- though as an ethnic Croat she might be expected to have a different view. More posted later as the blogoverse responded.

Incidentally, Marshall hasn't to date responded to these criticisms, though he does say he's on the road.
posted by dhartung at 3:46 PM on March 5, 2002


Good links. I had some vague idea there was disagreement here, but not where to find it. I don't have anything other than the conventional Western view of the conflict--barely even that--because I'm not nearly well enough read in it to have any other view, but I thought the intersection of PR and war interesting in itself.
posted by feckless at 3:53 PM on March 5, 2002

So, is the issue here that the Croats invaded Krajina, or is it that they hired a PR firm to show 'em how to spin it? So what? Everybody ought to have the Assistance of Counsel, right?
posted by hob at 7:19 PM on March 5, 2002

What happened in Krajna was a series of war crimes plain and simple. Notice that the Croatian poster talks about: "... taking Krajina back" making the assumption that Krajna was rightfully Croatian land (not unlike the Serb attitudes towards Bosnia). If one assumes (as I do) that Croatia had the right to secede from the Yugoslav Federation, one can find very few arguments against the Krajna seceding from Croatia (given especially that state borders in Yugoslavia did not always reflect ethnic composition of regions).
Anyway for a Serbian perspective of all this see this article. It contains a precious quote from (Croatia's then president) Franjo Tudjman celebrating the expulsion of the Serb population: "There can be no return to the past, to the times when [Serbs] were spreading cancer in the heart of Croatia, a cancer that was destroying the Croatian national it is as if they [the Serbs] have never lived here... They didn't even have time to take with them their filthy money or their filthy underwear!"
As for the PR firm, it helped consolidate the image (in Western media) of the Serb as the sole villain, in a conflict with no "good guys" on either side.
posted by talos at 1:31 AM on March 6, 2002

Josh Marshall responds calmly and at length to that "forceful rebuttal".
posted by maudlin at 1:06 PM on March 6, 2002

Sorry, bad URL: try this instead.
posted by maudlin at 3:32 PM on March 6, 2002

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