Fact versus Delusional Fantasy: The Bosnian Muslim Government Reformed the Nazi SS Division Handzar

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Marko Attila Hoare rejects and suppresses this factual image of Bosnian history in favor of a fantasy or delusional image from a television comedy. The real Heinrich Himmler (Heimlich Bimmler) reviewing the real or “historical” Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division Handzar, 1943.

Did the Bosnian Muslim Army and Government reform or recreate the infamous Nazi SS Division Handzar or not? Based on Martko Attila Hoare’s response to my article, Hoare now concedes that, indeed, there was a formation in the Bosnian Muslim Army termed the “Handzar Division”.

Let me reiterate that. Hoare admitted that the Bosnian Muslim Government did indeed reform the Handzar Nazi SS Division of World War II. When you cut through and deconstruct all the ideologically-driven claptrap, innuendo, ad hominen, personal attacks, this is the conclusion that he reaches.

Hoare is so caught up in his own arrogance and conceit that he does not even notice that he admitted this fact.

The issue or question is and always was: Did the Bosnian Muslim Government have a unit in its ranks known as the Handzar Division? Hoare’s reply is: Yes.

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Marko Attila Hoare used this fantasy image to illustrate his article on the reformed Bosnian Muslim Handzar Nazi SS Division. Michael Palin is shown as Heimlich Bimmler (Heinrich Himmler), John Cleese as Mr. Hilter (Adolf Hitler), and Graham Chapman as Ron Vibbentrop (Joachim von Ribbentrop), from a 1970 episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Reality is rejected over delusional fantasy constructs.

Hoare, nevertheless, convinces himself that he was “vindicated” in denying the existence of the reformed Handzar Division. How does he do this? His rebuttal consists of challenging the strength of the reformed Handzar Division. Now that he admits that it existed, he now challenges the size of the formation. His argument is:  The reformed Handzar Division did exist, as you claimed, but it was very small. It was a little bitty Nazi SS Division, not a big bad full-sized Nazi SS Division!

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The Holocaust as joke? Michael Palin as Heimlich Bimmler (Heinrich Himmler) in a 1970 comedy sketch. Isn’t Hoare a Holocaust denier? Fact: Bosnian Muslims, Albanian Muslims, and Croats played a role in the real Holocaust.

But is this a valid argument? Is someone pregnant or not? Can you be pregnant by degree? Is someone dead or not? Can you be only dead to a small degree? Did the Bosnian Muslim Army recreate the Handzar Division or not? This requires a simple yes or no answer. What Hoare initially challenged and questioned was the existence of the division. To be sure, he hedged his bets and cheated by conceding that the division might exist “conceivably” but that its number was small in size.

Hoare hedged his bets this way: “[I]t is conceivable that there really was a handful of Muslim zealots who, during the recent war, fought on the Bosnian side and grandiloquently named themselves the ‘Handžar Division’ after this historic unit.”

Hoare, in essence, denied that the division existed at all. This was the gist of his article. Now he admits and concedes that it, in fact, existed. Now he argues that the unit or formation was a small one. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what he claimed because he constantly changes his arguments and contentions.

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Fact versus delusional fantasy? This is a factual image of the real Henrich Himmler (Heimlich Bimmler) with the real Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division Handzar which Hoare has suppressed and repressed. Delusional fantasy is more reassuring than factual reality.

A fair characterization of his initial argument was that there was no evidence for the reformation of the Handzar Division. The eyewitness account of military analyst and journalist Robert Fox was deemed not credible. Hoare disingenuously hedged his argument by claiming that “conceivably” it could have existed. The way to translate this argument is:  No, the Handzar Division was not reformed. But, nevertheless, it is possible it may have been reformed. Of course, this is nonsensical and absurd.

Hoare then concluded: “Monty Python is a much better source for accurate historical information than Neil Clark and his comrades.”

So was the Handzar Division reformed or not? In his rebuttal to my article, Hoare now admits that the Handzar Division was reformed. He again hedges his bets by claiming this time that it was a small unit formed by “zealots”. But, again, the size of the unit or formation was never the question or issue. If there was a small unit or formation in the U.S. Army or British Army termed the “Adolf Hitler Regiment” or “Das Reich Division”, would it be relevant or material that the unit in question was only made up of “a handful” of “zealots”? Now that the existence of the unit is accepted and acknowledged, the issue shifts to the size of the unit, which is unknown.

Hoare concluded:  “It would seem that the ‘Handžar Division’,  confidently described as numbering ‘about 6,000 troops’ by our friend, does indeed turn out to be a bit smaller when the available evidence is examined closely.”

Hoare here mischaracterized Fox’s original statement by quoting my  estimate of the strength of the unit. Fox stated that UN peacekeeping “officers” had told him that the reformed “Handzar Division” was “up to 6,000-strong.” Fox emphazied that the strength of the unit was an approximation or estimate made by UN observers. Fox refers to the formation as a “unit” and as an element of the Bosnian army. Hoare ignores this explicit language and now argues that Fox claimed that the reformed unit consisted of “about 6,000 troops”.  But nowhere does Fox state that the unit was made up of 6,000 troops. The phrase “up to 6,000-strong” could encompass any number from one member to 6,000 members. Moreover, Hoare ignored that fact that Fox referred to the formation as a “unit” in his report leaving the actual size open to debate. Fox referred to the members of the unit as “Handzars” and as “[h]ardline elements of the Bosnian army, like Handzar.” Fox wrote that the formation was a “unit” of the Bosnian army similar to other units: “The Handzars are working closely with other units around Fojnica. ” But even at 6,000 men, it would only have ranked as a regiment or brigade, which usually consist of up to 5,000 men, not a division, which is generally accepted as a formation of 10,000 men or more.  In short, the focus or emphasis of the Fox report was the existence of the unit, not the size, on which issue Fox only proffered a potential maximum figure that was based on a UN estimate.

Finally, Hoare rejected Fox’s 1993 news report from the London Daily Telegraph out of hand, but this was not done by the Republican Policy Committee of the United States Senate, which cited Fox’s report as credible and accurate. In a January 16, 1997 report, the Committee, chaired at the time by U.S. Senator Larry E. Craig, Republican from Idaho, noted that  “there exists another group known as the Handzar (‘dagger’ or ‘scimitar’) Division” and quoted from Fox’s report. Thus, members of the U.S. Senate, tasked with safeguarding the lives of U.S. troops, found Fox’s report to be factual, credible, and accurate. Only Marko Attila Hoare questioned the veracity and accuracy of the Fox report. Absurdly, the Bosnian Muslim Government or Army never denied the existence of the reformed “Handzar Division”. Only Hoare has done this. At the war crimes trials of Bosnian Muslim military commanders at the ICTY, the existence of the “Handzar Division” as part of the Bosnian Muslim Army is openly acknowledged and detailed.

The translation is: The Bosnian Muslim Government of Alija Izetbegovic reformed the Nazi SS Division Handzar during the 1992-1995 civil war. This is the only logical conclusion when one cuts through all of Hoare’s labels and propagandistic nomenclature.

Hoare uses a bevy of labels to do the thinking for him: “Serb-nationalists” (yes, with a hyphen!), “Milosevic supporters” (at least Hoare gets the correct pronunciation of his name with the correct Serbo-Croat form of his name), “Islamofascist” (no hyphen, a neologism popular after 9-11), “members of a US-based circle of Milosevic supporters and Srebrenica deniers” (an analogy with Holocaust deniers), “Great Serbia” (a propaganda term coined by Austria-Hungary before World War I), “ex-Maoist” (is that a good or a bad thing?), “Milosevic-supporting, Srebrenica-denying website” (hyphenated now, denoting an activity), “all good Chomskyites” (are there such people as “Chomskyites” out there?), “Serb nationalists and their supporters” (no hyphen;  do “Serb nationalists” have supporters?), “Serb nationalists and their fellow travellers (didn’t this term go out with the Joseph McCarthy Communist Witch Hunts during the 1950s Red Scare?), and “the Great Serbia supporters”.

How can one explain this plethora of labels? Why does Hoare use such preposterous and risible labels? We use labels to preclude thought or thinking. Labels are a shortcut to thinking and intellectual debate or discusiion. In fact, labels are meant to preclude or prevent any thought at all. This is why Hoare uses labels. They are mindless and senseless. Why use them then? In essence, Hoare does not want to debate or discuss these issues rationally or logically. He thus engages in the use of labels, what is termed “name calling” in propaganda analysis.  In propaganda, we use “pulpit words” or “glittering words” to describe ourselves and our own actions and the opposite words to describe our opponents. In short, Hoare wants to preclude any thought or debate. This is why he resorts to such propagandistic words. There is no thought or thinking going on, no discussion or debate or dialectic. There is only a stream of pre-selected labels or prejudiced or loaded words. It is like when Polonius asked Hamlet what he was reading:  “Polonius: What do you read, my lord? Hamlet: Words, words, words.”

The case is closed. As Detective Steve McGarrett would say to Detective Danny Williams, “Book ’em, Danno!”