From universalisation to relativism
David Bruce MacDonald

enemy of many other people, and they too can potentially claim some sense of victimhood, since he did not simply destroy the Jews – he also destroyed Western civilisation in the process, according to Steiner. In this sense, the lessons of the Holocaust are specifically applicable to the Jews, but universally applicable to everyone else. Because Hitler destroyed Christian morality, Jews have no choice but to share their Devil with the rest of the world, as Harold Kaplan explains: ‘all men have become “jews” (with the small “j” in Jean-François Lyotard’s usage) and must

in Balkan holocausts?
Communism, post-Communism, and the war in Croatia
David Bruce MacDonald

many long-term Serbian plans for the invasion of Croatia – plans that were purportedly hatched well before Hitler and the Third Reich. In Ćović’s view, the war in Croatia was ‘the bloody finale of the long-prepared Greater Serbian plan of conquest’, supposedly the culmination of two hundred years of planning.100 Hitler’s speech to the Reichstag in 1939 was often invoked – one that famously justified the invasion of Poland as a defensive measure to protect Poland’s German minority.101 The Serbian conspiracy, according to Ćović, consisted of claiming victimhood as

in Balkan holocausts?
The Moslem question in Bosnia-Hercegovina
David Bruce MacDonald

, Croatian attitudes were strikingly similar to those of the Serbs. Persecution imagery performed an important role, as did the 238 2441Chapter8 16/10/02 8:06 am Page 239 The Moslem question in Bosnia-Hercegovina argument that Moslems were fallen nationals who had to be brought back to the fold. Again like the Serbs, Croatian politicians and academics saw the merits of casting themselves as the victims of a Moslem onslaught as part of their mission to liberate former Croatian territory. An emphasis on victimhood prevented domestic criticism of Croatian actions, in

in Balkan holocausts?
Open Access (free)
Simon Mabon

lived Mahabad Republic. Of course, the implications of such structures are strongly felt in the construction of identity that replicates the community rather than the territorial. The creation of divisions –​in spite of constitutional nods to inclusion –​strengthen loyalty to particular identities, while conversely increasing the power of narratives of victimhood.44 Recounting the dominance of religious identities, one senior Kurdish policy advisor suggested that ‘we don’t have Iraqis in Iraq’.45 Tribes, culture and tradition At the heart of mass mobilisation is the

in Houses built on sand
Open Access (free)
Simon Mabon

of nature is perhaps bleaker than Hobbes’, suggesting that there is a ‘natural’ transformation into this state of nature as a consequence of the increasingly repressive and sect-​based politics of survival that challenge the very existence of the Syrian people. This approach stems from regimes following their instincts, their neuroses and ‘their madness’. In such conditions, groups develop narratives of superiority and victimhood as a means of ensuring their survival. As a consequence, politics is reduced to a ‘sectarian war, in which murder leads to murder

in Houses built on sand