Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Romancing the Sociopath", Vanity Fair's Profile on Ramush Haradinaj

If you are in the mood for a good vomit, Vanity Fair's December issue includes a glorified ode to Kosovo Albanian warlord, Ramush Hardinaj.

Among other issues that author, William Langewiesche, choses to ignore in his portrait of Haradinaj, is the fact that nine witnesses at the Haridinah trial at the Hague wound up dead before they could testify. And the editor of a prominent Kosovo Albanian newspaper editor faced contempt charges for releasing the Haradinaj witnesses' names and locations to the public. Otherwise, Ramush Haradinaj would be where he belongs, in a prison cell for a very long time.

Haridinaj sports all the trappings of an Albanian Don Michael Corleone in Langewiesche's portrait:

"Nor are they payoffs to a protection racket—a proto-taxation system that some say accompanies Haradinaj’s dominance in western Kosovo. Rather, they seem to be genuine gifts—of materials and labor as well as cash—offered by people who recognize his deeds, and also are sensitive to his power."

Yet, the "M word" (mafia) never once gets mentioned.

What Langewiesche claims to "see" -- must have been with a crystal ball, because it's apparent that Langewiesche never talked to a single Serb -- is what "Serbs would like to do to Hardinaj". According to Langewiesche :

"They would kill him if they could. They would shoot him in the head and throw his body into a ditch. They would wrap him in barbed wire and drag him to death behind a car. This is what they say he did to their people."

Really? And
Langewiesche claims to know "the inner thoughts" of Christian Serbs, how?

And Langewiesche poo-poos the suggestion that illegal organ trafficking of Serbs, could have taken place, with the following:

"Carla Del Ponte added to the vitriol by suggesting in her book that the K.L.A. killed prisoners in order to harvest their organs. No doubt some Serbs believe it. So what if none of the allegations could be proved in court—it just shows that the proceedings were biased."

Proven in court? The investigation just began five months ago! This allegation hasn't yet reached the inside of a courtroom. (However illegal organ transplants in Kosovo WERE recently discovered.) But never mind, Langewiesche has already judged it as "not true". His Haradinaj hero could never do such a thing!

Langewiesche is
just another blind Westerner, admiring "the tough ruggedness of the primitives" from his safe self-righteous perch, and defending Ramush Haradinaj as the new "Rambo".

I suppose that this is the wonderful thing about being an amoral author -- you can turn victimizers into victims, terrorists into "freedom fighters"and murderers into "heroes", with just the stroke of a pen. And in today's climate, there will be a significant portion of the public who read your nonsense (between the ads for the latest fashion news) and actually believe you.


George said...

It's interesting that, if you read the entire article, Haradinaj is generally depicted as a modern hero and fighter for a just cause. Of course, this is nonsensical. I was particularly amused, in a sense, with a fairytale of his and his brother's successful clashes with the Serb forces ("the bastards")... Oh Lord, spare me from this ludicrous world! You know, legends mostly derive from fictional stories, that is why they are legends. One of them is, surely, the one about the mass-murderer and drug-dealer, Mr. Haradinaj. Serbs will never forget his misdeeds.

AriRusila said...

It is all about politics. Mr.Haradinaj was selected as an useful ally for western big players same way as Mr. Thaci too. First they were in US terrorist lists, then made transformation to freedom fighters now they are respected (in West) statesmen despite that whole time they have been leading figures of main criminal clans of Kosovo. Also international administration in Kosovo province has used them because their influence (some say terror) can keep the Albanian side in order. For political players romantic side, war crimes, morality, ethics etc are only words; what matters is force and pragmatism.