“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

A Scholar Replies To David N. Gibbs.

with 10 comments

Dr. Marko Attila Hoare previously posted an initial reply to David N Gibbs on his blog, Greater Surbiton, as First Check Their Sources: On David N. Gibbs and ‘shoddy scholarship’.

One of the key parts was:

“…let us first make this clear: it is wholly untrue that Gibbs’s book has ‘presented an extended critique’ of my own publications. Anyone reading Gibbs’s book without examining carefully the endnotes would not even notice that I had been criticised at all: my name does not appear in the text itself, nor in the index. Gibbs has four trivial quibbles with me, buried in his endnotes. Gibbs does not, as he now claims, accuse me in his book of ‘shoddy scholarship’, and has made this accusation only in his subsequent reply to me.”

In a second reply, First Check Their Sources 2: The myth that ‘most of Bosnia was owned by the Serbs before the war’ Dr. Hoare deals with Gibbs’ questionable use of sources.

This explains it:

“Gibbs’s claim that ‘Serbs had always occupied most of Bosnia’s land area, owing to their demographic dominance in rural regions’ and that ‘the Serbs had always controlled most of the land in Bosnia – since they were disproportionately rural’ is therefore false. His deduction, based on this falsehood, that Western peace-plans that awarded over 40% of Bosnia to the Serb rebels were actually unfavourable to them, can therefore be exposed as an attempt to fabricate Serb victimhood at Western hands.”

I suspect that over time Professor Gibbs’ book will be liberally torn apart, for its doubtful use of sources, misrepresentation of data and speculative interpretations.

10 Responses

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  1. Well I’d question the term ‘peace settlement’ for a start.The status of the territory was not clear at all,the Bosnian Serbs would not have sovereignty over their territory and could therefore not build their own institutions on it,the plan effectively asked Serbs to relinquish territory without having any guarantee as to what they could do with the 49% that was actually theirs.The Serbs wanted identical rights that had been given to the Muslims,Croats and Slovenes,identical rights to self determination,identical principles throughout,that the Serbs controlled around 70% of the territory(which incidently isnt the point.) The question of quality of the 49% was also in question.That they should have access to the sea,in other words territorial integrity,in the same way as the other 2 sides.


    19/01/2011 at 16:33

  2. smtx01,

    I’m sure you would question everything on this topic, but if you were a bit more, dare I say rational, then you might see the point that Dr. Hoare is getting at.

    Gibbs makes a specific point, when examined it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

    That’s it.


    19/01/2011 at 16:39

  3. The five contact group countries that drew up the plan did not take into account the aspirations of the people who actually lived there.’ Two of those countries were extraordinarily biased parties in the conflict,because they had directly participated in it,Germany effectively destroyed and dismembered Yugoslavia,the Yugoslav federation,a sovereign state that had existed for 70 years,and the United States had a clearly enunciated plan of bombing one of the sides,the Serbs,and arming the other,the Muslims,if thats neutrality one wonders what partiality is.


    19/01/2011 at 17:37

  4. Please can I make a suggestion?

    Could you make an effort to address the point which is being discussed.

    And not go off at a tangent?

    Dr. Hoare is dealing with a specific, please concentrate on that specific.


    19/01/2011 at 18:06

  5. Reply to the Anonymous and Unaccountable Moderator

    A consistent problem in addressing the substantive issues on Yugoslavia has been the conduct of the moderator, who has slanted the entire discussion in Hoare’s favor, and has violated his own rules of conduct in doing so.

    One example will suffice: On January 11, 2011, the moderator demanded that I “clarify” my views of the Srebrenica massacre, and answer a series of questions regarding the massacre. In reality, I had already addressed all of these points, not once but several times, throughout the course of the debate. In badgering me to repeat myself again and again on this issue, the moderator was in essence posing the classic courtroom question: “When did you stop beating your wife?” I am not interested in playing these games.

    Given the moderator’s conduct, I can well understand why he wishes to remain anonymous.

    Another problem has been the venomous often fanatical tone adopted by many of the posters to Modernityblog. This tone reminds me of the rhetoric I see emanating from right-wing extremist groups in the United States. I have had ample opportunity to view the latter at close range, from where I live in Tucson, Arizona.

    It is for the above reasons that I have dropped out of the debate on Modernityblog some time ago. However, I shortly will be writing a detailed response to the always error-prone Mr. Hoare, which will be posted to Louis Proyect’s website,

    On my book, the anonymous moderator makes the following comment:

    “I suspect that over time Professor Gibbs’ book will be liberally torn apart, for its doubtful use of sources, misrepresentation of data, and speculative interpretations.”

    This certainly sounds like a courageous criticism – until you realize that the “critic” is not even willing to reveal his name.

    David Gibbs

    22/01/2011 at 14:47

  6. “has violated his own rules of conduct in doing so.”

    Professor Gibbs,

    I expect a little more intellectual dexterity from you.

    I have explained many things at length and yet you don’t seem to understand them.

    So I’ll tried to explain my role here, perhaps in this instance you might be able to comprehend.

    I wear essentially three hats.

    One as the individual who allowed you the right of reply. Two, as a moderator to ensure that genocide deniers and others don’t plaster this blog with their nonsense.

    Finally, as the bloke who takes an interest in politics and has done so long before you did your first degree.

    You seem to confuse which is which.

    Again, three roles, or shall I explain it once more?


    22/01/2011 at 16:00

  7. Modernity, it’s funny how David Gibbs didn’t mind about your choice to remain anonimous when he decided to write a reply to Marko Hoare and requested you to post it here!

    Anyway, I’m sure that with louis proyect he will fell much more at home.

    Sarah Correia

    23/01/2011 at 21:11

  8. For anyone interested, here is the third part of my critique of Gibbs’s book, concerning the myth that Germany encouraged Croatia to secede from Yugoslavia:

    Marko Attila Hoare

    24/01/2011 at 13:12

  9. The Croatians certainly seemed gratefull to the Fatherland for its support.

    Selca - Park of Gratitude


    24/01/2011 at 21:16

  10. […] A Scholar Replies To David N. Gibbs. […]

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