Criticism &c. has belatedly discovered this rebuff to the crypto-Stalinist and Slobodan Milosevic apologist Michael Parenti, author of To Kill A Nation, on the Balkan Witness web site. It says a lot about the state of the U.S. left and peace movements that Parenti is in good odor among them.
Visit the Balkan Witness site to read the numerous letters of protest sent to the San Jose Peace and Justice Center (as well as several writings by David Watson, one of the most trenchant critics of the default left attitude towards the Balkan conflicts) which had extended an invitation to Parenti to speak . An excerpt from the letter of May 1, 2012 from the Congress of North America Bosniaks is below, followed by the announcement by Balkan Witness. The links in the latter piece appear in the original announcement.
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Excerpt from a letter from the Congress of North America Bosniaks objecting to the Parenti invitation
“All genocide deniers directly undermine peace and justice because the only way to peace and reconciliation is to acknowledge the truth and punish those responsible. Dr. Parenti’s work and constant expression of denial is damaging to the healing process of the survivors of the genocide in Bosnia and Herzogovina and we urge you to stand up for justice and truth and reject all affiliation with Dr. Parenti and his work.”
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Speech by prominent war-crimes denier Michael Parenti cancelled by U.S. peace group
The San Jose Peace and Justice Center (California) scheduled a May 31 fund-raising event featuring a speech by Michael Parenti, who was the US chair of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic.
Parenti is a well-known Leftist denier of Serbian war crimes in Bosnia and Kosovo.
He minimizes the extent of the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 men and boys by Serbian forces.
He questions the fact that Serbian concentration camps in Bosnia were death camps.
He plays down the camps in Bosnia where rape was used as an instrument of Serbian policy to demoralize the entire non-Serb population in the service of ethnic cleansing.
Dissidents in the peace group protested, forcing the group’s officers and board to reconsider, but twice the board voted to go ahead with the event.
In the meantime, however, local Muslim and Bosniak groups mobilized to pressure the group to cancel Parenti. Supporters of the Bosniaks in at least 24 countries wrote over 500 letters to the peace group, expressing their feeling that Parenti’s denial undermines peace and justice because the way to reconciliation is to acknowledge the truth and punish those responsible. Survivors of the Bosnia war met twice with representatives of the peace group, who were moved by their experiences.
The opposition from within and outside of the peace group, along with the group’s meetings with the Bosniaks, led the group to cancel the Parenti event on May 14.