On March 3 Ambassador James Bissett had a letter published in Alberta’s premier daily, the Edmonton Journal, taking issue with an “assistant adjunct” professor [sic!] at the University of Alberta who had voiced support for the cancellation of my lectures at UBC and UofA because of my “denial of genocide” at Srebrenica:
First, the topic of the speech was The Balkans: Uncertain Prospects for an Unstable Region. It had nothing to do with Srebrenica. Second, Trifkovic's credentials on the subject of genocide are beyond reproach. In June 2006, he was the keynote speaker at a symposium held in Israel on the topic of the Holocaust in Yugoslavia.
It is becoming all too common in Canada for individuals or groups to prevent the expression of views and opinions with which they do not agree. I find it particularly troublesome when a professor at one of Canada's foremost universities publicly supports the suppression of that fundamental freedom and then argues he has always been in "favour of dialogue."
(The formal grounds for my difficulties was my alleged position as a “senior official” of an unidentified government, but “Srebrenica” is, of course, the ever-present elephant in the room.) Bissett’s letter was followed by a much longer diatribe in the March 10 issue of the Edmonton Journal supporting the view that “Canada was within its rights and acted correctly in refusing admission to Srdja Trifkovic, a journalist and political activist”:
Trifkovic writes political commentary, principally for the magazine Chronicles, a polemical publication from an organization of the extreme right, in which he is also an editor. Among scholars Trifkovic is regarded, not as a colleague, but as a curiosity from the side… His arguments are summarized in an article, "The Hague Tribunal: Bad Justice, Worse Politics." [NB: published in Chronicles in August 1996] He also published two books, The Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad, arguing terrorism and violence are intrinsic to the Islamic religion.
As for the claims Trifkovic makes regarding crimes committed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, they have been disproven before international judicial bodies such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which has found individuals responsible for genocide in Srebrenica, and the International Court of Justice, which found that genocide was committed… Despite extreme views that would discredit most public speakers, Trifkovic has become a bit of a cause célèbre in some parts of the émigré community, partly because he is amusing and well-spoken and partly because he holds a doctorate… Freedom of movement is a fundamental democratic value and should be restricted only for compelling reason. The Canadian government was right to exclude a participant in violations of human rights from entry to the country and to prevent this misuse of the authority of the university from taking place…
The letter was signed by a multiethnic crew of academics and “independent scholars,” most of whom are regarded—among experts—as neither “colleagues” nor “curiosities from the side,” but as anonymi. A short response came on March 10 from George Thompson of Washington DC:
While mouthing support for academic autonomy and freedom to travel, the posse of professors who favour Srdja Trifkovic's exclusion from Canada in fact seeks to suppress such virtues of civil society. These Guardians of Official Thought can brook no disagreement with their version of what happened during the Bosnian war, specifically at Srebrenica. If their version is unimpeachably correct, however, why is it so important to them to censor those who disagree?
It's sad but not surprising that a small group of academics with an ugly agenda cheers the use of state power to silence dissenters. It's quite worrisome that the state used its power in this manner. Canada has done its university students, and itself, a disservice by excluding Trifkovic from the country.
In the meantime I’ve taken the matter to the Canadian courts; but its background was minutely dissected by Julia Gorin in a long essay published on March 14 on JihadWatch. Following an examination of the background of an unfortunate attack on me by Jihad Watch’s editor, Ms. Gorin points out that the incident at the Vancouver airport on February 24 took place after a Bosnian-Muslim organization called The Institute for Research of Genocide in Canada (ICRG) alerted authorities that a “genocide denier” was within their borders:
In addition to claiming to represent “more than 50,000 Canadians of Bosnian origin”—despite 28,000 of those being Serbs and Croats—IRGC director Emir Ramic sits on the editorial board of a Sarajevo-based Muslim magazine titled Korak (“Step”). Korak, published by the veterans’ association of the Bosnian-Muslim Army, runs articles titled “Israel is a Terrorist Regime” and “Basic Principles of the Law of War in Islam.” The latter asserts that “Jihad is a just and legitimate fight against aggression and a struggle in protection of human rights and freedoms.”
The chief editor of this Islamist magazine, Asaf Dzanic, is also on the “Canadian” Genocide Institute’s board. Perversely, and where the Institute derives some of its “legitimacy,” Elie Wiesel has lent his name to its Board. There are more ironies that Ms. Gorin underlines:
As Canadian former ambassador to Bulgaria, Albania and Yugoslavia James Bissett pointed out, the “Institute” actively engages in WWII Holocaust minimization and denial, of the already minimized and suppressed story of the Muslim-assisted genocide of Jews, Serbs and Gypsies in Croatia—the precursor to the wider European genocide. Ambassador Bissett contrasted the IRGC’s article “Examination of Serbian Deaths in Jasenovac Camp” with the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s numbers. … Elie Wiesel has admitted to being less than careful in what he lends his name to. In October 1993 at a talk he gave at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Wiesel became almost “rhapsodic”… when he spoke of walking through Sarajevo with Bosnian-Muslim wartime president Alija Izetbegovic.
Ms. Gorin points out that my detractors insist on the sanctity of the judgments by international courts to which the United States specifically declines to subject their leaders and soldiers. Given their confidence in UN courts, she adds, they might take a moment to notice that Milosevic was never found guilty—he was found dead, which that leaves him as an indicted war criminal… no more indicted than Tudjman or Izetbegovic, both of whom passed away waiting for their indictments to come:
Consider the efficiency with which the ‘genocide’ designation has been achieved. Note how much speedier, with less trouble and controversy, the Srebrenica “genocide” came to be than the much older and bigger Armenian Genocide. (Meanwhile, as Ambassador Bissett pointed out, “I am not aware of the ‘Institute’ seeking to ban or castigate as ‘genocide deniers’ those Turkish government officials...who are adamant that what happened to the Armenians is NOT a genocide.”) And what about the Greeks and Assyrians? (See “Three Genocides, One Perpetrator.”) Never mind about the WWII liquidation of one-third of Croatia’s Serbs—virtually unknown, much less officially designated as anything. What is the common denominator here? The elite guardianship, and the fevered—and very successful—rush to collect proclamations, resolutions, rulings, compulsory days of remembrance (internationally and locally) is for exactly ONE “genocide,” and of the smallest scale. Just as oddly, it is the alleged perpetrators of this particular “genocide” who can’t kick the label, which is used as a sledgehammer against them in pursuance of, and as a cover for, Islamo-Western geopolitical ends. In what amounts to the biggest false confession in history, the effort has even achieved an admission of guilt from the alleged perpetrators, if only to stop the whipping.
There is something political, and something desperate, going on here. Why is it so crucial for Muslims to have their desperately sought genocide? Enter the final irony of this convoluted, sleight-of-hand situation—from Trifkovic’s deportation, to his being ‘found out’ as an anti-Semite, to “tarring” Spencer with said “anti-Semite,” to criticism of Spencer for not disavowing the latter’s Balkan “pseudo-history”: In addition to the geopolitical purpose that “the massacre” was needed for at the time (an international intervention), there is a far bigger goal. Muslims see the Jews as deriving much of their influence, moral authority, and sympathy from the Holocaust. To compete, they must secure their own. That they are achieving it in between committing genocides themselves (Sudan, Turkey, Kosovo, WWII Croatia-Bosnia, 1990s Bosnia) is a testament to their prowess, and to the West’s stupidity and servility.
Being a genocide denier is not as bad as being a genocide fabricator, Julia Gorin concludes, “a relentless effort that takes on many forms and disguises to make it harder to recognize, camouflaging itself against seemingly unrelated or tangential incidents.”
Dr. Srdja Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor of Chronicles, is the author of The Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad.