John Bosnitch, Russian agent, on Her Majesty the Queen
Даже если бы он устроился водителем автобуса, он был бы настолько под действием наркотиков, что забывал бы открывать глаза на крутых поворотах.
Bosnitch, J.: Incompetent SVR agent, superficially charismatic, but cannot keep his narrative together, principally due to perpetual intoxication. Occasionally used for media appearances by Russian and Iranian governments. Viscerally pro-Russian, anti-western views - almost to the point of mania. Views include paranoid homophobia, anti-Semitism and Cetnik (a historical Serbian fascist group in favour of restoring the Serbian monarchy) revivalist opinions.
A deceptive and dangerous demagogue amongst Serbs, who intertwines Greater Serbia revanchist monarchical fascism and mindless pro-Russian fanaticism.
Native of Canada, from where he escaped following the alleged perpetration of a wire fraud (fraud on a bank).
God save the King.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE DATED 11 SEPTEMBER 2022 BELOW
My Canadian-Serb colleague, John Bosnitch, was well-known for negotiating the transfer in 2005 from Japan to Iceland of the American tax fugitive, anti-Semitic writer and Number One Chess player in the world Bobby Fischer over the wishes of the US Government to extradite him back home to face justice,
An aspirant to senior Serbian political office with an agenda for liberalising reforms and an anti-corruption drive, Bosnitch has published an article about the British Royal Family upon the death of Her Majesty the Queen, and he has asked me to comment upon it. Because he writes lucidly and his audience is broad, particularly in countries such as Russia and Serbia, I have agreed.
John Bosnitch is a periodic RT commentator and a periodic PressTV commentator. RT (Russia Today) is a multi-language television station and website owned and funded by the government of the Russian Federation. PressTV is an English language television station and website owned and funded by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Just to be clear, I do not consider either of these media outlets to be fair or impartial. However they are both interesting study for the political analyst.
I disagree with what Mr Bosnitch has said in his article about Queen Elizabeth II at virtually every sentence, but I agree he has the right to free speech and I have decided that citing and responding to what he has to say - which includes some criticisms of the British Royal Family in common circulation in both Russia and Serbia - is more appropriate than starving his views of the oxygen of publicity. A reader not from Russia or Serbia may wonder what on earth this is all about; in this response I am seeking to persuade principally readers from Russia and Serbia of the falsity of a viewpoint Mr Bosnitch expresses and that has common currency in those countries.
Here is his article:
And here is the text of the article:
THE CROWN OF MORTALITY
My late parents were very fond of late Queen Elizabeth II. They dined with the Queen and knew her personally. My cousin went to school in the same class with her errant son Prince Andrew. I met the Queen several times and dined with her as a youth and student leader. Her Lieutenant Governor in Canada personally answered my call and intervened on my side in a long legal battle against a corrupt university administration. She was a symbol of stability, but inherited an empire formed by greed, war, theft, rape and murder.
It was her family that allowed the betrayal of the Russian Tsar, their own cousin. It was her family that allowed the betrayal of the King and Kingdom of Yugoslavia. It was the regime she headed that colonized most of the planet, and according to her own laws, she, as the Sovereign, was ultimately responsible for the deeds of conquest, subjugation and hierarchical rule that included slavery, the betrayal at gunpoint of millions to mass executioners, and the rapes and murders of countless aboriginal children in Canada and elsewhere… not to mention the many crimes of which we will never hear.
When justice and fairness called for a withdrawal from Empires, she accepted some steps back from Africa and elsewhere, but supported wars such as the Malvinas/Falklands.
She did not ask to be born to be a monarch. But she also did not lead in changing the system in the more extensive way some Scandinavian monarchs did… remaining an accomplice to the system in which she was raised.
As a mother wearing the world’s largest crown, she dealt with a husband whose not-so-private comments and actions smelled of racism and the Old Régime. She was obviously too overwhelmed by her role to teach good morals to Prince Andrew, who disgraced her, and to her successor, King Charles III, whose future is uncertain, especially when we remember that “nomen est omen” and “Charles I” was beheaded. She failed to teach late Princess Diana how to deal with the endless compromises and contradictions of monarchy, and deserves much blame for her successor Charles’ philandering.
As a person, she seemed honest and sincere to me, and took what appeared to be real interest when I spoke with her. As a child, I revered her. As a Boy Scout, I saluted her. As a youth leader I sought and received her aid. As a young adult I questioned her and our system. As a more mature adult I understand her as one of the many contradictions of the world in which we live and which we must strive to improve.
But it was the ship of state that she headed that was on the wrong moral course, continuing a tradition of projecting power beyond her lands and into the lives and lands of others who never chose her nor her system.
Could she have done more and better for the poor and downtrodden victims of the regime in which she stood at the top? Of course she could — she was no Jesus Christ nor Hercules.
Could she have undone more of the historic crimes and evils of the British Empire? Yes, she could have, indeed.
Did she help many people, yes she did and there is no reason to suggest she generally used her status for evil. But in the end, she faces the judgment that we all do, born as an innocent soul, parachuted by birth into the impossible role of having to try to shine in a dirty, corrupt world full of very imperfect beings.
Standing as a most visible target at the peak of a global pyramid of sinners, all needing redemption and forgiveness from God and our peers, we must hope that she is judged with mercy by God, so that He will show mercy to each of us in turn.
Her life seems like the end of a fairy tale for a planet that over her century grew up from children believing in Princesses, Knight-Princes in shining armor, Fairy Godmothers and the purported ability to inherit goodness.
Her life has been a great lesson for her supporters and her detractors. What we do with what we have learned is a test of our own morals, intelligence and perseverance.
“Heavy is the head that wears the crown.” Any person who has been in a significant leadership position knows the meaning of that statement. A slightly modified version can be found all the way back in William Shakespeare's “Henry IV” and is often used to talk about the burden and difficulties of being a leader. But each of us is ultimately a leader of our own life, the most important role anyone can ever hold.
To do justice to this article, it is necessary to divide it out into a series of individual historical assertions, and then consider them separately; and then to distill a number of themes that are shot through the article, and make an assessment of them. Only after all that would it be legitimate to draw some conclusions about the quality of the article and potentially even some attributes of author. So that is how we shall proceed.
However before we do that we might make the following general observation. In common with a number of pieces of political analysis in the regions to which Bosnitch aims his script, this article blends and drifts in between historical allusion and contemporary political conclusions. The hidden assumption is typically that the actions of a person, family, group or nation in the past is by a process of analogy a reliable indicator of the actions of contemporary politicians; or a good yardstick by which to measure contemporary political decisions.
This is a very Slavic way of undertaking political analysis. In the west, in international relations theory and other political sciences, we adopt a different approach. While history is relevant, we seek to form empirical or theoretical frameworks - such as economics, a discipline with a series of near-mathematical axioms, and then we measure a contemporary set of policies against that model. Much or even most Slavic thinking about political science does not follow this model but instead prefers to work through historical analogy. So Slavic political analyses often include large numbers of historical examples of all sorts of things. The author seeks to persuade the reader that the analogies are valid; the sceptic sees holes in the analogies. It is arguably an altogether different style of reasoning about politics from that we are used to in the West.
Nevertheless we will proceed in an analytical fashion. The principal historical assertions that Bosnitch's article contains are these:
Bosnitch has a privileged right to talk about the Queen's political personality by reason of his family's personal historical connections with her and her household.
The Queen 'inherited an empire formed by greed, war, theft, rape and murder'.
The British Royal Family contributed to the overthrow of the Russian Royal Family amidst the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 onwards.
The British Royal Family contributed to the overthrow of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia regime in 1941 (presumably in favour of Nazi rule).
The Queen was responsible for colonisation of half the planet, mass executions, rapes, slavery and untold other ghastly events.
The Queen supported war in the Falkland Islands in 1982.
The Queen failed to embrace reform in the style of the Scandinavian monarchies.
The Queen had some members of her family who did shameful things. Bosnitch explicitly says that she is to blame for these actions of her family.
The Queen propagated colonialism and its excesses in a personal capacity and did nothing to stop them.
The balance of the article contains some general theological remarks about sin and redemption, some comments about leadership and some fantastical remarks about princesses, knights etcetera that seem to be a personal quasi-philosophical aside on the part of the author having nothing obviously to do with Queen Elizabeth II.
Now let us make some brief remarks about the nine assertions we have identified above that comprise Bosnitch's argument that the Queen was not a particularly good person and can and should have done better as a politician and head of state.
I disagree with Bosnitch's point 1, principally because I am what sociologists call a structuralist. I believe that political events are the outcome not so much of politicians' individual personalities but rather underlying causal factors and laws in the economics, culture and politics of a society. Hence I think that all Mr Bosnitch's observations about his family's relationship with the Queen's household are irrelevant in an article such as this and should not properly appear. In truth, they are a form of self-aggrandisement by him to make himself appear knowledgeable. But expertise is demonstrated by the mastery of one's subject, not by reeling off lists of personal connections.
Point 2 is misleadingly incomplete as an account of the British Empire, which was actually mostly formed by trade, not by the various horrors Bosnitch lists. (He might be describing a different Empire with those words). True: like all historical events, the British Empire was far from faultless. But it was a lot better a place to live in than any of the other European empires of the imperial era. Moreover, because we Anglo-Saxons abhore the concept of collective responsibility, it is important to emphasise that the Queen was not responsible for each and every, or even any, of the malign events in British history. She was not even alive at the time.
Point 3 is flatly false and fictitious. A student of the Russian Revolution, I have never heard such an allegation before. No historian of the era advances this assertion. Moreover it ignores the fact that the Queen was a constitutional monarch. What we in the United Kingdom mean by this is that the Monarch has very limited constitutional powers that are extremely rarely invoked in specific situations of parliamentary deadlock but not otherwise. She has no power to give instructions to governments, government departments or military units. No British monarch has de facto or de jure authority to interfere in a foreign revolution. It is an absurd proposition.
Point 4 is absurd for the same reasons as point 3.
Point 5 is also absurd. As a constitutional monarch with no executive authorities at home or abroad, the Queen has no power to perpetuate the various inchoate horrors listed by Bosnitch. The question of scope and extent of wrongs undertaken by the British colonial administrators is a source of huge controversy but to ascribe to the Queen collective responsibility for acts done before she was born is illogical and silly.
Point 6 is false because the Queen is not allowed to take political positions in British foreign policy although she can make statements supporting British troops fighting wars and that is what she did. In any event the Falklands War was a just war: the British navy deposed military occupiers of the sovereign territory of another state (a bit like the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022) and contributed to the overthrow of a brutal military dictatorship in Buenos Aires and the ushering in of Argentina's vigorous contemporary democracy.
Point 7 is nonsense because the Scandinavian monarchies play very similar constitutional roles in their respective countries to the British monarchy. A better way of putting the point might be that the Scandinavian monarchies in modern times adopted historical British constitutional reforms of the Monarchy.
Point 8 is nonsense because it offends against the principle that one member of a family ought not to be held responsible for the acts of other members of the family, which is a principle of collective responsibility.
Point 9 is absurd because it again ignores the principle of constitutional monarchy to the effect that the Queen has no power or even right to speak on contentious matters of foreign affairs. Hence whatever Bosnitch's complaints, he is aiming his criticisms at the wrong branch of the British government.
We return to the point about historical analogy in political analysis. The danger is always that a person picks false analogies and twists the facts to make the analogy appear plausible when normally it would not be so. Demagogues do this in full knowledge of the facts, with a view to manipulating the historical record to suit their agendas. Bosnitch is a lucid and intelligent author who criticises the Queen by way of arguments from false historical analogies that the casual reader may not pick up on. Experts in using this fallacious type of political argument from history included Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
Demagogues who manipulate the historical record can be dangerous because they may use their false reasoning to support bogus yet popular ideological and nationalist theories. This is something that Serbian Premier Slobodan Milosevic did to the people of Yugoslavia in the 1980's and the result was a catastrophe for the region and in particular for Serbia. Bosnitch said nothing of the Queen's successes: her deft handling of the various constitutional crises that came her way during her reign; her skill in international diplomacy even with some of Britain's greatest enemies (Valdimir Putin is known to have been particularly impressed with her); her support for charitable causes across the world including the relief of poverty and global diseases; and her keeping the British people united, patient and enduring during times of crisis.
Bosnitch should have mentioned all these things if he was going to attempt to be fair, impartial and accurate to one of the twentieth century's most admired statesmen. As it is he was so biased and casual with the facts that he wrote a piece devoid of value whose only effect is to insult loyal citizens of the Realms, including me.
Finally, Bosnitch is a Canadian citizen and he owes his allegiance to Canada and to her head of state, which is the British monarch. By intentionally writing a distorted piece, he reveals himself as a traitor.
Nevertheless John Bosnitch is a fine man with many strong personal points and a compelling streak of human kindness and decency that shines out from beneath his Russophilic surface ideology, and he remains my very good friend despite having written something so unjust about her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This tradition of bridging ideological divides with decent people on the other side of the line is I believe something Her Majesty very much supported herself and I draw my inspiration at least in part from her in the work I do in building bridges between foes and starting conversations it seems impossible to begin. I believe that on balance, Bosnitch is with me in these aspirations.
I believe that the innate discretion, diplomacy, human decency and wise moderation that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II exhibited is to an extent hereditary. That is why I have high hopes for the hugely experienced new monarch, His Majesty King Charles III.
The Queen is dead. God save the King.
Copyright (c) Matthew Parish 2022. All rights reserved.