Friday, 25 January 2008

not about shopping...

25 January 2008

Now I didn’t lead you astray on Stardust or Amazing Grace did I? Here is another for you – The Hunting Party. Yes, yes, we all are aware that I adore Richard Gere, more for his real-life work than his films, but all said he still looks pretty good in a towel ladies. Terrence Howard (of Crash) is the co-star, and is amazing. This is a film that brings to light the evil (no other word applies here) deals that OUR political leaders make with war criminals worldwide, in this specific case, Serbia.

I mean really, think about it, Radovan Karadzic was indicted in 1995 (that’s THIRTEEN YEARS). In that time he has published two books, a play, and recently a book of poetry!!!

In an orgy of savage violence Radovan Karadzic's forces slaughtered tens of thousands of Muslims in the Bosnian war. He called it ethnic cleansing. After being indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague he went into hiding and, "despite a massive international manhunt, has evaded capture for the past 12 years". Oh yes?

He has been a fugitive from a supposedly rigorous search effort by the intelligence services and soldiers of the West. Karadzic - with his military counterpart, General Ratko Mladic - were indicted and are wanted for genocide and a bloody litany of war crimes against innocent civilians during the tempest of mass murder, massacre, mass rape, concentration camps and 'ethnic cleansing' (a term Karadzic himself devised) they unleashed against the Bosnian Muslims and Croats in 1992. A tempest that continued for three years until the Srebrenica* massacre of 8,000 men and boys over five days in 1995.

*Human Rights Watch recorded the testimony of one eyewitness to the gendercidal massacres at Nova Kasaba. The Serbs, he said,

picked out Muslims whom they either knew about or knew, interrogated them and made them dig pits. ...During our first day, the Cetniks [Serbs] killed approximately 500 people [men]. They would just line them up and shoot them into the pits. The approximately one hundred guys whom they interrogated and who had dug the mass graves then had to fill them in. At the end of the day, they were ordered to dig a pit for themselves and line up in front of it. ... [T]hey were shot into the mass grave. ... At dawn, ... [a] bulldozer arrived and dug up a pit ..., and buried about 400 men alive. The men were encircled by Cetniks: whoever tried to escape was shot." (Quoted in Mark Danner, "The Killing Fields of Bosnia", New York Review of Books, September 24 1998.)

A great many of the men who had sought to flee through the hills to Tuzla were doomed as well. The Bosnian Serb commander, Gen. Radivoj Krstic, in a radio transmission intercepted by western eavesdroppers, told his forces: "You must kill everyone. We don't need anyone alive."

In 2006: "The chief U.N. war crimes prosecutor told the Security Council on Wednesday that no one is actively searching for its most wanted suspect, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic."

What?! How hard can we be looking? Supposedly the U.N. forces, the Americans (with limitless resources if one goes by how much they have thrown away on the war in Iraq), and “all Western clandestine forces” are looking for him. Really? I did some research and now, even I know where he is! He pays visits to his publisher for crickey sake!

The word on “the street” is that a deal was done – he would step down from power and the “powers that be” would let him be. Let’s review those statistics of raped, mutilated, displaced and murdered victims of his shall we? Do you think he is not still spreading his poisonous rhetoric to disciples and the next generation? Mercy me!

I will tell you this, what a film or words cannot convey about the killing fields of any conflict is the upclose horror, the smell of violent death, and the waste. See the movie do.

Now, in an opinion that I am sure is to be at odds with those that count for such – I didn’t care for Atonement by Ian McEwan or the film with Keira Knightley (albeit, yes! I loved the green dress). This comes no doubt from my own prejudice – I hate waste – not in that oh that’s unfortunate manner but in a visceral, passionate way. I’ve seen too much of it. Waste of precious time when people don’t say what they mean, or what they need to because of fear or pride, and then waste years that could have been spent with love. You really have to decide how much you want to be right you know? Waste of food, when there is so much hunger in the world. Waste of space when we really don’t need that much do we? I try not to use more of the world’s resources than I need, though of course I do because my standards of survival are western and way above necessary. I’m not saying that’s wrong or bad, don’t get me wrong; I’m saying it’s a personal decision, but it bothers me when I have seen the waste of life and the potential of those lives from real die-the-next-day-from-hunger-poverty, illness, and murder.

The reason it bothers me, is because it is a lie! There is no shortage of food, or water, or space on this planet! The fact that we have hunger, and people dying for lack of simple vaccine or shelter is worse than atrocious to me. There is no excuse for Dafur and the child soldiers in Africa. We are all responsible. I believe that. It is our world, we are here, we have education, access, and power. We are responsible.

So back to the book and movie. Not to say I thought the book awful, not by any means – lovely use of language, but what for meaning? For me, I saw no hope in this story. I’m very big on hope. And it didn’t work for me (trying not to give away anything here) that she changed the story to make it nice, it was a lie.

Oh my, I really have to post a lighter subject matter soon. Everyone adjourn over to Dulwichmum for fun fare, my favourite fluff and affectation site. I mean that in the best way possible.



Kaycie said...

I love the new pic on your header. Quite gorgeous.

leslie said...

Interesting post today. I received the book "Atonement" for Christmas and have wanted to see the movie, too. But you've certainly put a different spin on it - it'll really make me THINK as I'm reading or watching. I've been over here before but I think I'll come back more often. I love visiting blogs around the world.

lady macleod said...


Oh thank you love. I took that when I went to Fez to pick up Q's wedding veil. sigh I cannot believe that in a few months my child will be a married woman! I'm tearing up already.
thank you for coming by.

I will tell you that the vast majority love the book! It was recommended to me by my best friend who loved it. Oh do come back!
Thank you for coming by.

Ellee Seymour said...

I love the pic too, I wish I was sitting by the side with my feet dipping in the water.
Leslie, I never find it easy to read a book after I have sen the film.

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Yes, there were atrocities on both sides, weren't there? Good to see one side of it here.

Anonymous said...

I worked in Bosnia and Croatia during the war and then later for the ICTY in The Hague on a witnesses project...

rilly super said...

my neighbour went to hear caroline dale play marianelli's concert arrangement of the Atonement score on saturday ladym, and he confirms rtaher enthusiatically that at least the music atones for the acting in that film

Omega Mum said...

I like the idea of collective responsibility but am never quite sure it works for the simple reason that the majority of people are never going to care two hoots about anyone else. So really I think what we will always have to get by with small but successful acts of individual responsibility. After all, all women (and all men) had the collective responsibility for getting women the vote but it took a few Suffragettes to stir things up. And that always will be the case. So do what you can as an individual.

Ellee Seymour said...

So lovely to come to your site and see Sally and Geoff on their trip to visit you.

Ian Lidster said...

I sent a well deserved award your way. Please check out my blog.

aminah said...

I am glad you qrote this post, cause when we forget the past, we fail to learn. It makes my stomach turn to think of Bosnia and all the innocent lives that were lost.
I watched attonement a couple of nights ago and fell asleep midway, which says it all.
Don't apologise for writing posts like just gave me food for thought and for that I am grateful! x

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

You are correct, it is the system of production and distribution that is failing, because it is an anachronism.

That system is...

jmb said...

Hi Lady Mac, it's very quiet over here lately. Are you travelling or laid low? Hope things are OK.

debio said...

Lady M - you have an award over in my neck of the woods!

lady macleod said...

I love that photograph because it depicts the revival of Fez.
Thank you for coming by.

History must be revisited you will agree?
Thank you for coming by.

I can not imagine - well, actually I can having done my time in Beruit and Afghanistan...
Well done for you. Thank you for coming by.

rilly super
Yes! I loved the music...
Thank you for coming by.

omega mum
I agree that individual responsibility is the ticket. I have always said that even though I tend toward the "middle path" no true change in society has ever come about without those brave and admirable radicals to lead the charge.
Thank you for coming by.

I'm out of the stream and come back to gather awards? How fabulous is that? thank you!

Thank you for your kind comments.
Thank you for coming by.

Yes but that is a hard call I think because Capitalism works. It is infrastructure and property rights that are missing. I am a fan of De Soto, "The Mystery of Capital".
Thank you for coming by.

A bit of both I fear, but better now. Check your inbox. :-)
Thank you for coming by.

What timing! I'm on my way over. Thank you for coming by.

Wisewebwoman said...

Oh lady M:
so great to find a kindred spirit re Atonement.
I read the book. Ho-hum.
Resolved to avoid the movie but friends insisted I would love it.
Worse than ho-hum. Blech. Talk of total non-engagement with the characters yet again. And I agree, there was no atonement whatsoever.