Edward Herman and David Peterson: We're Not Genocide Deniers. We Just Want to Uncover the Truth about Rwanda and Srebrenica

Roundup: Talking About History

Edward Herman and David Peterson are the co-authors of The Politics of Genocide.

In his column, George Monbiot attacked our work on Bosnia and Rwanda as "genocide denial" and "revisionism" (Left and libertarian right cohabit in the weird world of the genocide belittlers, 14 June). According to Monbiot, "DNA screening" has "identified the corpses of 6,595" Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica. But DNA does not establish mode or time of death, and the commission investigating these deaths performs its work behind a veil of confidentiality.

In his examination of Srebrenica-related bodies, the forensic pathologist Ljubisa Simic found that in 77% of cases it was either impossible to determine how they died, or death in combat was strongly indicated.

Monbiotquotesdisparagingly from the foreword to The Srebrenica Massacre: "It claims that the 8,000 deaths at Srebrenica are 'an unsupportable exaggeration'." He implies that the quote is attributable to Edward Herman, even though it is a 300-page collection with multiple contributors, and a different gentleman wrote the foreword.

Similarly, Monbiot writes that "the book [sic] claims that the market massacres in Sarajevo were carried out by Bosnian Muslim provocateurs". But multiple contributors cite many sources who make this claim, among whom are UN secretary general Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Lord David Owen, General Michael Rose, and the British joint intelligence committee.

Monbiotcomplainsthat we place the "Rwandan genocide in inverted commas throughout" our book The Politics of Genocide. But this is because our work reallocates the primary responsibility for the genocide of April-July 1994, away from the standard account's "conspiracy to commit genocide" by "Hutu Power", towards Tutsi leader Paul Kagame and his superior armed forces...


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