February 25, 2002

The Ethics of Oppo-Slobo Research:

The Ethics of Oppo-Slobo Research: The act of group-posting online research about people who sign a petition you abhor carries with it several quite interesting (to me) ethical consideratis hoping to delve into before my vacation. Well, so much for that. However, there's been a lot of back-and-forth on the subject far more intelligent than what I would have come up with, especially at Ben Sheriff's site. The bottom line for me? If the petition itself is repugnant and filled with clumsy lies, and people want to make a big show out of signing it, their past writings and sympathies are more than fair game, as are mine. I take the issue a bit personally, most likely because my little newspaper in Prague, from 1991-95, probably ran more quality stories about the Balkan wars than all but maybe five newspapers in the States, written by good friends who risked their lives to tell vital stories and watched colleagues & acquaintances die at the hands of brutal, nationalist thugs. I employed and/or housed refugees from every province except Slovenia, as did most anyone else who lived in Central Europe long enough. And for five agonizing years, the international community's response to this slaughter amounted to little more than nervous shrugs, emergency diplomatic conferences, and "peacekeepers" who drove right on past bleeding Sarajevans. Yugoslavia tested the mettle of the post-Cold War West, and found it lacking. It might have seemed like an abstraction here, but even as far away from war as I was (being a coward), it was close enough to be a daily horror-show, the likes of which I hope never to experience again.

I think there's an intelligent case to be made against the Milosevic trial, against the KLA, against NATO exaggerations, and perhaps against the military intervention itself (though it wouldn't sway me). It's up to the free-Slobo crowd to make it, and so far they've mostly proven themselves to be little more than anti-U.S. nut-sandwiches, as has been indicated by much of the googling. Justin Raimondo, today, gives it as good a shot as you'll probably see. I am now retired from the Slobo-googling business (at least temporarily); if you have anything new to add, send e-mail & links here and here.

Posted by at February 25, 2002 10:54 PM
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