From Srebrenica to Baghdad

Christopher Hitchens in Slate:

Ten years since the hecatomb of Srebrenica … surely a decade cannot have passed so quickly? It really feels to me like yesterday. I can hear Susan Sontag’s exact tone of voice as she described being in a ministerial office in Sarajevo when the mayor of Srebrenica got through on a bad line to say, “This is goodbye.” He did not mean au revoir. Ronald Steel is one of the most gentle and humane liberals I have ever met, but I can still see his next-day’s op-ed in the New York Times, announcing that the fall of the “safe havens” was “a blessing in disguise,” since it might force the Bosnians to sue for peace. I can remember the red rage in which I wrote a letter to the Times, saying that a mass murder was a pretty effective disguise. And the sickening news, day by day, of the routine and organized torture and slaughter, and then the crude interment of the butchered cadavers, ploughed under like black plastic bags of refuse. I have had my differences with Mark Danner since that time, but if you wish to relive the episode (and you should want to do so) you really must look up his brilliant forensic inquiry in successive issues of the New York Review of Books.

Above all, what I remember is the sense of shame…

More here.

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