The Truth Behind the Historical Lies That Made History

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From the Dept. of Wishful But Noble Thinking comes word that the Scholar's Initiative, a group of more than 250 professor types dedicated to sort out the murderously competing historical narratives of Yugoslavia's breakup, will be presenting some of their findings April 19 in Washington.

The scholars—representing more than 25 countries from five continents—will report on 11 controversies from 1986-2000, including the wars involving Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Kosovo. […]

"Ever since the 1991-92 dissolution of Yugoslavia we have witnessed the birth of a half dozen self-serving accounts of what happened that carefully exclude inconvenient facts, while emphasizing or simply creating new ones that reinforce the divisions between peoples," said Ingrao, who studies ethnic conflict in Eastern Europe.

As someone who at various times had refugees from four different former Yugoslav republics crash on my couch, all I can say … is good luck with that.

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  1. Gawd, the Balkans wars. Remember when Republicans used to look at a benighted part of the world and say, “It’s their inferior culture, whaddya gonna do?”

    Now, they say, “It’s because we’re not in charge. We’ll fix everything in a few months, and make a profit, too!”

  2. “It’s their inferior culture, whaddya gonna do?”

    The actual, real objection (as opposed to the imaginary one quoted above) was that it isn’t the job of the United States to solve the problems of the world.

    What changed between then and now is that Republicans (and many other Americans) realized that the problems of the world can become our problems if we leave them alone long enough.

  3. Next: Hungarian and Romanian historians reach agreement on who settled Transylvania first…

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