May 4, 2012
I hear the Peace Center's
board is currently debating whether to invite Michael Parenti to speak at a
I won't waste time listing
Parenti's misrepresentations of Balkan wars, in which he blames victims for
their suffering. You can
that here in exhaustive detail.
Instead, I'd like to make a
simple point. This isn't about branding Parenti as a heretic, or denying him
the right to express his views. He should be free to speak wherever he so
chooses. But if you're going to offer him a forum, it's incumbent on you to
be wise to the implications.
As Noam Chomsky once said
of the work of Diana Johnstone, "it may be wrong" (which meant it was). That
didn't stop him praising it, then feigning horror at the suggestion that he
denied the basic facts about the Srebrenica massacre.
Whatever arguments one
makes about Western powers, whose interventions are primarily self-serving,
the facts about events are simply that. Either we accept they occurred, and
hold aggressors to account (including Western perpetrators of war crimes),
or we make up illusions to suit our preconceptions. Those who do so should
expect to be exposed.
I doubt that members of
your board would wish their children to be taught "alternatives" to
evolution in the classroom. So why should politics be practiced any