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The Bosnian War rages still in Christchurch

Niall Ferguson
 

By Niall Ferguson (Original source Boston Globe)

“It is more than a quarter of a century since Bosnia descended into a bloody conflict that claimed tens of thousands of lives. Since the massacre of 50 Muslim men, women and children in Christchurch, New Zealand, nine days ago, I have found myself wondering: is the world turning into a giant Bosnia?

The break-up of Yugoslavia — as the life imprisonment of Radovan Karadzic reminded us last week — was not the result of “ancient hatreds” mysteriously resurfacing, as was often claimed at the time (not least by the Foreign Office). It was the result of the spread of pseudo-history.

Pseudo-history plays an important part in justifying massacres by giving perpetrators the idea that their enemies are not quite human and that exemplary violence will accelerate their expulsion. The communist president of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, lit the fuse in 1989 with a rabble-rousing speech to mark the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo. The watchword of Milosevic’s campaign was that the Serbs who lived in Bosnia and Kosovo were “endangered”.”

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