Friday, September 01, 2006

Peter Maass

Reporter Peter Maass was one of many Western journalists who reported on the Bosnian conflict.
Most notably, he has written the book "Love Thy Neighbor." What I particularly enjoy about the book, besides his writing style, is that he isn't afraid to bring up difficult questions, such as our fasination with war and with news of atrocities.

Maass has a website where he has a blog, excerpts and reviews from Love Thy Neighbor, and a collection of articles he has written on a variety subjects, most notably Bosnia and Korea.

A few posts ago in my looooooooong post about reconciliation in Bosnia, I mentioned how important it was to also honor those who did good during the war; and I mentioned various instances that I had read about Bosnians of all ethnicities, including a doctor stationed in Srebrenica.

Here is an excerpt from Maass' interview with Doctor Nedret Mujkanovic

Mujkanovic said he treated men, women and children with all kinds of wounds and illnesses. He also cared for 20 Serb combatants who had been wounded in battle and captured. He says they got the same medical treatment as everyone else and the same food. "My greatest satisfaction as a humanist and a doctor is that they were carried into the hospital on stretchers, and they left on their legs," Mujkanovic said. "When they entered the hospital, they lay side by side with Muslims. They stayed in the same rooms, and they shared the food that Muslim families brought to the hospital. I guaranteed that nothing happened to them."

He remembers a Serb who was brought to the hospital with a severe knee injury and a gangrenous foot. "I fought for 10 days to save his foot and avoid amputation," Mujkanovic said. "I succeeded. When he started to walk, he said to me, 'Doctor, if we ever see each other again, you will learn how thankful I am.' He knew I had a son, and he said, 'I wish you could see your son.' That was the most sincere way of thanking me."

Complete Article
Peter Maass Website


Owen said...

I wonder if Noam Chomsky has ever read Peter Maass's account of his visit to Trnopolje and Omarska.

Shaina said...

Well if he did, I'm guessing he is positive it is just another example of Western propaganda.

That reminds me, in the book (which I don't have in front of me) Maass makes mention of all the people who kept on asking him "is it really that bad?"
To which he replied, that yes, it was.

He hits so many different topics in the book: ethnic cleansing, western indifference, bystanders, "war porn." etc.

Bg anon said...

Funny its the same question I asked some Kosovo Albanians at a Summer school around 1997 about the situation in Kosovo.

The answer was that obviously that they (Kosovo Albanians) had a political goal but that yes it was as bad as they were saying.

It was clear to me then that the attitude of sweeping Kosovo under the carpet meant that sooner or later it would all blow up.

Its amazing how things are allowed to stagnate because of political cowardice and cynicism - IMO one of the primary reasons for everything that happened in the region in the last 15 years or so.