David Storobin Is The Moral Equivalent Of A Holocaust Denier (and a Michael Moore/Noam Chomsky Republican)

"Our strength consists in our speed and in our brutality. Genghis Khan led millions of women and children to slaughter—with premeditation and a happy heart. History sees in him solely the founder of a state. It’s a matter of indifference to me what a weak western European civilization will say about me. I have issued the command—and I’ll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by a firing squad—that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formation in readiness—for the present only in the East—with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks to-day of the annihilation of the Armenians?" ---Adolf Hitler

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me." --Martin Niemoller 

If I had to find an article, among the dozens David Storobin has attempted to hide, which sums up his world view, and why he is unfit for public office (if not for membership in the civilized world), I probably could not do better than  Storobin’s, “ Russia’s Nuclear Declaration: A Defense, Not An Attack, first published on Storobin’s “Global Politician” on January 22, 2008.

 

It is nothing less than an attempt to whitewash and justify genocide. As the husband of an Eastern European Jewish refugee whose mother survived the Holocaust by living in an attic like Anne Frank, this article makes Storobin appear as nothing less than despicable.   

I do not say this because I already oppose Storobin. I’ve been public about my obsession with genocide for years.

I’ve been demonized so much lately by GOP bloggers that it’s sometimes hard to remember how vilified I once was (and still am in some sectors) by left “progressives.” While I dissent from left orthodoxies of all sorts, this is primarily because of my views on international affairs. In the aftermath of 9/11, I strongly supported our Afghan incursion (and supported it for far longer than I probably should have) and the fight against Islamo-Fascism (I even call it by that name). I cheered the death of Bin Laden and then cheered some more. I also supported our entry into Libya and cheered the fall of Khadafy (anyway you wanna spell it).

In sum, I am a liberal internationalist (with a strong dose of realist), often allied with the neo-cons against the so-called “progressives.” As such, I found myself, in 2006, strongly opposing “progressive” favorites like congressional candidate Chris Owens:

Unfortunately, Owens’ vision is often unrealistic, and occasionally troubling. I see nothing that contradicts my suspicion that, as a Quaker, Owens may have a sincere aversion to ever using military force, under any circumstances, even to stop genocide. Chris, if this is not true, please correct me! Because, in the end, I’m inclined to regard genocide as the ultimate character issue. And please, don’t quote me Gandhi or A.J Muste; Slobodon Milosevic didn’t find non-violent civil disobedience a compelling persuader, and neither do the folks responsible for the deaths in Darfur. In the end, I want a member of Congress who’s wrestled with, and lost sleep over, the question of under which circumstances the deployment of American forces in battle is justified. “Just say no” is not an adequate answer, but it appears to be the only answer Chris Owens is capable of giving.

As I’ve recounted, it was precisely the fact that Barack Obama was supported by  the "just say no" (to any use of American force, ever, for any reason, even to stop genocide) crowd that caused me to vote for Senator Clinton in the 2008 primary, and it was precisely when I learned  of Obama advisor Samantha Power’s work in the area of genocide prevention, and that Obama had sought Power out precisely for that reason, that I felt I could finally support Obama.

In fact, it was precisely Joe Lieberman’s role in getting the US to intervene to stop the genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo (especially impressive, as the lives he is responsible for saving were Islamic lives), that motivated my endorsement of his re-nomination in 2006, infuriating much of the local “progressive” blogocracy (as well as getting me my first national link—thank you Mickey Kaus).

I've also excoriated Ed Towns for failing to take this issue seriously.

My point of all this being, if “genocide is the ultimate character issue,” then David Storobin must be pronounced the biggest scumbag in New York politics.

In  Russia's Nuclear Declaration: A Defense, Not An Attack,” Storobin states.

“In the early 1990s, Yugoslavia fell apart along ethnic lines. The most contentious place was Bosnia where the Muslims clashed with Christian Serbs. Both sides committed atrocities…”

“It was thus hardly surprising that Bill Clinton chose to help Bosnian Muslims over the Serbs. What was unusual was the vilification of the Serbs as the only side that committed atrocities. While it is true that the Serbs committed crimes, it was always doubtless that Bosnians did as well.”

 “Bill Clinton's grotesque unofficial and indirect alliance with Osama bin Ladin and Iranian Ayatollahs against Orthodox Christians (Russians and Serbs) was presented as a fight for human rights.”

Whoa there!

It is amusing to point out that Storobin’s statements bear a striking resemblance to those of Michael Moore on the same topic:

“We know Clinton is lying to us. We know there is no "Holocaust" taking place”

"Now is the time for all of us to stop Clinton and his disgusting, hypocritical fellow democrats who support him in the war. It is amazing to watch all these "liberal" congress members line up behind the President.”

They are also reminiscent of the denials of genocide made by the despicable Noam Chomsky.

Is Storobin a closet “progressive?”

The Bosnian War was an international armed conflict that took place between 1992 and 1995. The main belligerents were the forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and those of the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat entities within Bosnia and Herzegovina — ‘Republika Srpska’ and ‘Herzeg-Bosnia’. Both para-states enjoyed substantial political and military backing (overall control) from Serbia and Croatia respectively. NATO was involved in air-strikes against the Serbs.

Serbs committed at least 90 per cent of all atrocities in the Bosnian war (most of the rest were also committed against the Bosnians, but by Croats) according to an extensively documented 1995 report from the Central Intelligence Agency, which came to light  four months before the war’s worst atrocity, the Srebrenica genocide.

The International Criminal Tribunal at the Hague found that the Bosnian war was NOT a ‘civil war’ but an international armed conflict involving Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, and NATO.

When I speak of genocide, I am talking of the brutal Serbian campaign of ethnic cleansing. in which one million Bosnians were displaced from their ancestral land.

While it is true that casualties took place on both sides, it is a despicable lie to say that war crimes took place on both sides. Bosnians defended themselves. Most Bosnians casualties were innocent civilians killed by those who sought racial purity in the name of “Greater Serbia.”

In any war, some soldiers on all sides did unpeakable things. The difference was that unspeakable things done by the Serbs were the result of policy and strategy.  

The Bosnian Genocide was characterized by the policy of systematic rapes of Bosnian women and girls, horrific and prolonged siege and shelling of Bosnian cities, starvation and terrorization of the Bosnian population in the besieged enclaves and targeted destruction of Bosnian culture and history.

During the war, not even one Serb city was under the siege by Bosnian forces; in fact, the majority of Serb civilian casualties were killed by the Serbian army in the process of sniping and shelling multiethnic Bosnian cities like Sarajevo and Tuzla.

To say, as Storobin does, that there were atrocities committed on both sides, would be like saying atrocities were committed by both sides during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Storobin takes a similar line on Kosovo.

“In March 1999, after months of exaggeration of Serbian atrocities by the Western media… Washington-led NATO began the air campaign against Serbia

 According to the US State Department, the evidence is also now clear that Serbian forces conducted a systematic campaign to burn or destroy bodies, or to bury the bodies, then rebury them to conceal evidence of Serbian crimes in Kosovo. At least 6,000 Kosovar Albanians were victims of mass murder, with an unknown number of victims of individual killings, and an unknown number of bodies burned or destroyed by Serbian forces throughout the conflict.

ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte told the U.N. Security Council that her office had received reports of more than 11,000 killed in 529 reported mass grave and killing sites in Kosovo. The Prosecutor said her office had exhumed 2,108 bodies from 195 of the 529 known mass graves.

To this total must be added three other categories of victims: those buried in mass graves whose locations are unknown; what the ICTY reports is a significant number of sites where the precise number of bodies cannot be counted; and victims whose bodies were burned or destroyed by Serbian forces. Press accounts and eyewitness accounts provide credible details of a program of destruction of evidence by Serbian forces throughout Kosovo and even in Serbia proper. The number of victims whose bodies have been burned or destroyed may never be known, but the State Department stated that there is enough evidence has emerged to conclude that probably around 10,000 Kosovar Albanians were killed by Serbian forces.

But death was only one aspect of the Serbian atrocities in Kosovo. Over 1.5 million Kosovar Albanians--at least 90 percent of the estimated 1998 Kosovar Albanian population of Kosovo--were forcibly expelled from their homes. Tens of thousands of homes in at least 1,200 cities, towns, and villages were been damaged or destroyed. During the conflict, Serbian forces and paramilitaries implemented a systematic campaign to ethnically cleanse Kosovo--aspects of this campaign included forcible displacement of Kosovar Albanian civilians, looting of homes and businesses, widespread burning of homes, the use of human shields, detentions, summary executions, exhumation of mass graves, systematically organized rape, violations of medical neutrality and identity cleansing.

Christopher Hitchens puts the US actions in the Kosovo in perspective:

“We lose something important if we forget Kosovo and the harrowing events that finally led to the self-determination of its nearly 2-million inhabitants. Long deprived of even vestigial national and human rights, then forced at gunpoint onto deportation trains and threatened with the believable threat of mass murder, these people were belatedly rescued by an intervention that said, fairly simply, there is a limit beyond which law cannot be further broken and conscience further outraged.

There is no oil in Kosovo. The state interests of Israel were not involved. There were no votes to be gained; rather to the contrary, in fact. A large proportion of the victim population was and is Muslim. The least embarrassing way of phrasing this is to say that American and European honor was rather hastily saved, and a horrible threat to the peace of the region removed. Many brave and principled Serbs have good reason to recognize that a menace and an insult to their country, too, was abolished in the process

In fact, Storobin was so opposed to American action to stop the genocide committed that he practically roots against his adopted county:

Here Storobin describes the Serbian withdrawal from Kosovo in 1999, and the attempted arrival of the Russians, thwarted by the USA. What’s stunning is which side Storobin roots for:

“The Serbs left the province and NATO moved in. But when Russian soldiers arrived, Americans blocked them, and the media portrayed this as the new Prague Spring of 1968 (when the Soviets ruthlessly crushed the Czechoslovakian liberation movement). But this time it was not Kremlin abusing its power – it was the White House.

To the Russians, it was the ultimate slap in the face. Already reeling from helplessness, Russians correctly saw this incident as an insult.”

There seem to be several reasons for Storobin’s objections to US intervention. One is that Bosnian and Kosovar Muslims sided with the Nazis, while most Serbs sided with the Allies.

Of course, by that standard, perhaps we should let Stalin off the hook as well, and we should not have put American lives at risk with the Berlin Airlift.

I note Storobin’s anathema against collaboration with the Nazis is far less stringent when applied to Orthodox Christians. For instance, Storobin was notably sympathetic to Russian collaborators with the Nazis in his article “Pro-Axis Russians: Terrorists ... and Democratic Capitalists (unreachable on its Global Politician link, which Storobin has wiped from the web--luckily, like many Storobin articles, one can still find it on a white supremacist hate site; in this case, the Vanguard News Network Forum).   

And, just to keep thing in perspective, there is at least some evidence that Serbs are not so crazy about Jews themselves.

Another objection seems to be that we might hurt Vladimir Putin’s feelings. Storobin loves Vladimir Putin (more on that in a future column).

And, after all, as Storobin told us, “both sides committed atrocities.”.

I think to put in perspective how out of touch David Storobin is with the Jewish position on genocide, we should examine the statements of the most indisputably right of center group on the list, the Orthodox Union (OU).

Here’s the earliest OU statement I found on the subject:

Orthodox Union Outraged by Murders in Kosovo

Posted on Friday, January 15th, 1999

The Orthodox Union, the largest mainstream Orthodox Jewish organization in the United States, expressed its horror at the continued acts of violence and brutality occurring in Yugoslavia.

The report of the recent mass murders in Kosovo and “ethnic cleansing,” an expression that evokes a dark period in our own history of fifty years ago, affects us profoundly and we cannot be silent in the face of this horror.

We appeal to the United Nations and to NATO to intervene decisively and urgently to end the aggression and to ensure the safety of the people in Kosovo. Thousands of lives have been lost in the former Yugoslavia and the killing must stop. The mass murder of innocents and the intractability of the Milosvic regime are unacceptable.

We cannot sit idly by as the cruelty and killings persist.

We request that our rabbis and synagogue leaders contact their representatives and write to the President and Secretary of State and to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, imploring them to act immediately and decisively to help end human rights violations and save lives.

Letters and calls should go out to world leaders asking them to exercise a show of true leadership in helping to immediately end the devastation and to provide aid for the victims.

Our community and all the Jewish people, remembering the brutality suffered by our people during the Nazi era, will not be still in the face of these human rights violations.

We call for responsible leadership on the part of the world bodies to help cease these acts of terror and violence.

And here they are supporting military action by the US.

Orthodox Union Supports Military Action Against Yugoslavia

April 9, 1999 - The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the largest mainstream Orthodox Jewish organization in the United States, reiterates its horror at the continued acts of violence and brutality occurring in Yugoslavia. As reports continue of murder, expulsion, and genocide conducted by Milosevic and his allies, we can only emphasize our outrage at this horrific slaughter which evokes that dark period in our own history 50 years ago.

In the past, we have appealed to the United Nations and to NATO to intervene decisively and urgently to end the aggression. We strongly support the NATO airstrikes to increase the pressure on Milosevic and to call a halt to the murder and cruelty of the Milosevic regime. We stand in strong solidarity with and pray for the NATO forces and their allies whose lives are being risked in the defense of innocents and in the effort to end human rights violations and save lives.

We reiterate our call upon the prosecutor of the UN War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to warn Milosevic and his followers that they will be held responsible for genocide and any other crimes against humanity committed by their forces in Kosovo.

Our community remembers the brutality suffered by our people during the Nazi era and cannot sit idly by as this slaughter and genocide persist. We pray that US and allied forces engaged return safely and that all the people in the region will be able to live in peace and security.

Christopher Hitchens notes that support for US military action among politically conservative Jews was not restricted to the Orthodox Union:

That's when I began to first find myself on the same side as the neocons. I was signing petitions in favour of action in Bosnia, and I would look down the list of names and I kept finding, there's Richard Perle. There's Paul Wolfowitz. That seemed interesting to me. These people were saying that we had to act. Before, I had avoided them like the plague,…But nobody could say they were interested in oil in the Balkans, or in strategic needs, and the people who tried to say that – like Chomsky – looked ridiculous. So now I was interested.” [Also noteworthy was the support for American intervention from non-Jewish conservatives like John McCain].

I should note that, neither the history nor the religion of the victims kept Israel from its moral mission of lending a helping hand to the victims of genocide, as it took in dozens of Islamic refugees from Bosnia. Of course, since no good deed goes unpunished, they were immediately criticized by Palestinian leaders for trying to improve their image.

As we speak, Israel is cooperating with Kosovo on the deportation of a Serb (married to an Israeli), who is accused of war crimes in Kosovo.

After all that, almost anything else Storobin says about the Balkans can probably be ignored as the nonsensical, totally bereft of humanity, pro-Putin cheerleading that it is. Still, it is also BS on its own merits—like this whopper:

“But Kosovo was different than Bosnia. It was not autonomous in the same way that Bosnia was. For Belgrade to lose Bosnia was an equivalent of Moscow losing Ukraine, or for Britain to lose Scotland. For Belgrade to lose Kosovo was an equivalent of Moscow losing Chechnya, or for Britain to lose Manchester.”

I’ll let Hitchens, a voice so strong against Islamic militancy so strong that  his death was mourned by Pamela Geller, answer that:

To begin with, there is no actual or theoretical world in which Kosovo could possibly have continued to be ruled from Belgrade, let alone considered part of Serbia. In the first place, the international treaties that originally recognized Kosovo as a constituent of Yugoslavia did just that: It was a member of a wider post-1918 federation and not a segment of just one province of it… Even the old-style Yugoslav Communists granted Kosovo the status of an autonomous region in their 1974 constitution. It was the great crime — one of the many great crimes — of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to negate both these previous agreements. Almost as soon as he seized power in 1989, he repealed the autonomy of Kosovo. And he went on to destroy the entire Yugoslav federation in a mad and genocidal effort to put a conquering “Greater Serbia” in its place. The independence of Kosovo is the closing act in the defeat of that wicked and crazy scheme. The Albanian majority would no more agree to a restoration of Serbian sovereignty than Poland would seek to fuse itself with Russia or Germany.

And:

Someone with a good memory of the conversation once told me how Lord Carrington, then one of the "mediators" of the incipient post-Yugoslavia war, came to the conclusion that Slobodan Milosevic was a highly dangerous man. Well-disposed toward Serbia (as the British establishment has always been), Carrington told the late dictator that he understood Serb concerns about significant Serbian minorities in Bosnia and Croatia. But why did Milosevic also insist on exclusive control over Kosovo, where the Albanian population was approximately 90 percent? "That," replied Milosevic coldly, "is for historical reasons." It's a shame, in retrospect, that it took us so long to diagnose the pathology of Serbia's combination of arrogance and self-pity, in which what is theirs is theirs and what is anybody else's is negotiable.

We used to read this same atavistic proclamation by the hellish light of burning Sarajevo, and now we glimpse it again through the flames of the blazing U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, and by the glare of similar but less dramatic arsons set by Serbs in ski masks in northern Kosovo itself. But it needs to be understood that "Serbia" itself has lost nothing and has nothing to complain about. With the independence of Kosovo, the Yugoslav idea is finally and completely dead, but it was Serbian irredentism that killed the last vestige of that idea, and it is to that account that the whole cost ought to be charged.

Forget all the nonsense that you may have heard about Kosovo being "the Jerusalem" of Serbia. It may contain some beautiful and ancient Serbian and Serbian Orthodox cultural sites…Nobody who has spent any time in the territory, as I did during and after the eviction of the Serb militias, can believe for a single second that any Kosovar would ever again submit to rule from Belgrade. It's over.

Another comment from the Hitchens articles bears repeating:

There is no need to romanticize the Kosovo state. At least two aspects of it need real and critical attention: its policy toward the Serb-majority enclave around the city of Mitrovica, and its attitude toward the treasury of Serbian religious and national architecture that stays on its soil. But the international community is in a far better position to safeguard and negotiate these matters than any fantasy of restored Serbian “sovereignty.”

I think it is clear from all this that David Storobin is the moral equivalent of a holocaust denier, who seems to believe that, in these cases, the victims had it coming.

This man is perhaps the most repugnant candidate I’ve encountered in my 40 years in politics.

I hate to put it in religious terms, but no one who calls themselves a believing Jew, of whatever stream, can in good conscience cast a vote for such a person.

And neither can any person of conscience of any other faith (or no faith at all).