Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

July 21, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

KARADZIC CAPTURED....Radovan Karadzic, architect of the Srebrenica massacre in 1995, has finally been arrested after a 13-year manhunt. Here's what Russ Baker said about him in the Monthly four years ago:

One really shouldn't engage in atrocity one-upmanship, but it's arguable that compared with such more famous current and recent fugitives as Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, Karadzic wins the odiousness sweepstakes. A remarkably public front man for genocide in the former Yugoslavia, the disarmingly avuncular Bosnian Serb leader dispensed lies to packed press conferences while his soldiers laid siege to Sarajevo (where he previously worked at the main hospital) and went village to village, locking families inside houses and setting them afire, bringing women to detention camps where they could be mass-raped. Along with his general and fellow fugitive Ratko Mladic, Karadzic is accused of responsibility for all manner of atrocity, most notably the 1995 massacre of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the U.N. safe area of Srebrenica, the single worst crime committed in Europe since World War II.

For more background on Karadzic and why he's been so hard to catch, read the whole thing.

Kevin Drum 10:58 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (32)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Damn! When I saw the headline, I was hoping it was Bush...or Cheney....or Rumsfeld.....or Rice....or Wolfowitz.....or Perle....or Addington.....or Gonzales.....or Ashcroft....or Rove....or Cambone....we can hope, though.

Posted by: marty on July 21, 2008 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Great news indeed. Not near as often as it should but sometimes, sometimes justice is served.

Posted by: snicker-snack on July 21, 2008 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Good day for justice indeed. War criminals should never be let off the hook.

Posted by: rational on July 22, 2008 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

One can only hope that arrest warrants will shortly go out for Dick Cheney, George Bush, and their top henchmen. That would be a war crimes trial that would make great prime time television- certainly far more entertaining than reality shows, game shows, and the like.

Posted by: Goose99 on July 22, 2008 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

One can only hope that arrest warrants will shortly go out for Dick Cheney, George Bush, and their top henchmen.

We have a large number of bilateral agreements not to turn over US citizens to the Hague. Probably corresponds to good places to golf and shoot ducks.

Posted by: B on July 22, 2008 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

I can only think that Goose99 has hit the bulls-eye. If public trial and humiliation again became popular -- the web equivalent of the stocks -- we just might give the inertial politicians enough energy to bring their own criminals to some form of justice. Real reality TV. A few modifications to jazz up court rules. Make it appear more like TV court than the real thing. Hey, justice gets perverted all the time for less and nobody ever knows!

It's a long shot but worth it. Maybe we could get a few miscreants to court. I think marty missed Jeb (Bush) and (was her name) Harrison (FL AG) and the whole Florida rip-off, let alone all the other treasonous liars associated with 2004 and this whole "waa-en-terra".


Posted by: notthere on July 22, 2008 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Before we get too far off topic -- I think this is a good time to thank Bill Clinton, his foreign policy team, and the European Union. Things could have gone better, but Mladic and Karadzic hiding in dirty apartments for a decade certainly isn't the worst result possible.

Here's to diplomacy, concerted but limited US/European military action, effective peace keeping forces, economic pressure, and widespread empathy for a battered muslim population.

Posted by: B on July 22, 2008 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

Hear! Hear! B. It shows that patience and pressure beyond the lifetime of any individual government has value. Not something the US much considers, but how the world works. And, yes, the international criminal court only works for the USA at arms length. More's the pity.

Funny that the self-proclaimed strongest nation can't particpate with the world.

Posted by: notthere on July 22, 2008 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

I was a boy when the war started, and I remember the sense of helplesness in the States while Karadzic's army terrorized Sarajevo. I was already a teenager when Srebrenica happened, and it changed the way I viewed the world. In my 20s I visited Dubrovnik, another town bombarded by the Serbs, and where the citizens seemed to love all things American.

I feel like I have an odd relationship with this man, like I've been watching him my whole adult life, and learning from him everything I want to contrast myself against politically.

Posted by: Jonathan Dworkin on July 22, 2008 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

If Bosnia had oil I guess we would have "intervened" sooner. (But on what side?)

Posted by: Kenji on July 22, 2008 at 5:29 AM | PERMALINK

I would sarcastically note that Karadzic was brought to justice the old fashioned way - by good old police work - not by invading and occupying a country with your army.

I would also observe that the picture of him on CNN.com makes him look like Jay Leno on Quaaludes.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 22, 2008 at 5:39 AM | PERMALINK

brought to justice the old fashioned way - by good old police work

I don't think it's quite that simple. Without our initial intervention the police might be paid in "Jay Leno" bank notes and without continuing political and economic pressure the Serbian police might still be providing the guy a protection detail.

Posted by: asdf on July 22, 2008 at 6:17 AM | PERMALINK

According to a European TV I was watching last night, the arrest happened the day that the Serbian head of intelligence was changed. The arrest was entirely done by intelligence. According to the news report, NO police was involved.

Furthermore, European newspaper this morning say that Karadzic lived in Belgrade under an assumed name (Dragan Dabic)

How much manhunting really went on? The European press implies that the reason that the police was not used to arrest Karadzic is because the police is deemed to be nationalist and therefore against turning him over. The intelleigence services had known about him also, but only could arrest him with the latest change in management

It seems like Karadzic arrest was a political decision at the highest levesl in Belgrade.

I wonder if it could be this simple for OBL?

Posted by: Darwin on July 22, 2008 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK


It's sad that it took 13 years to find him..anyhow great all the same as it reminds us of how bloodthirsty the Serbs were.
There nation has been heavily tainted.

Klatislav

Posted by: on July 22, 2008 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

Without our initial intervention the police might be paid in "Jay Leno" bank notes and without continuing political and economic pressure the Serbian police might still be providing the guy a protection detail.

It's also worth noting that the new Serb government turned on Karadzic expressly to pave the way toward their re-integration with Europe.

The United States turning Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Rove over to the ICC would go a long way to redeeming the national honor these war criminals soiled.

Posted by: Gregory on July 22, 2008 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Once Castro told the Gringos: give us Guantanamo back.
Gringos told him: we give Guantanamo back, you give us Miami back.
Fill up the blanks?

Posted by: Milan prika on July 22, 2008 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Karadzic is the equivalent of Pol Pot, Stalin or Mao. He is the architect of genocide, just on a small scale. He should be tried and shot, and it should be very fast.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 22, 2008 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Bush and Bremer would have got him in 14.2 months just as they got Saddam.

Between thirteen years and 14.2 months is the difference between limpdicked liberals and macho conservatives.

Posted by: gregor on July 22, 2008 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Limp-dicked?? Bill Clinton has gotten more pussy than Bush ever dreamed of. And your boy Cheney, the Heart Attack Kid, ain't got it stiff since Ike was president!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 22, 2008 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

More proof that the Surge is working.

Posted by: AJB on July 22, 2008 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

1. The Bush administration is vile almost beyond the telling of it.

2. But it's downright crazy to seriously compare them to Karadzic. Serously, folks. Get a grip.

3. But Gregor's out to lunch, as are most of his ilk.

3'. It's true that justice delayed asymptotically approaches justice denied, and, other things being equal, 14.2 months is better than 13 years. But, of course, the other things aren't nearly equal. Among the buttload of morally relevant differences, one might note that: Clinton's actions in the former Yugoslavia had a genuinely moral goal, whereas the good consequences of invading Iraq were accidental; the bad consequences of our actions in TFY were fairly minimal, whereas the bad consequences of invading Iraq were catastrophic; the cost to the U.S. of action in TFY was minimal, whereas that of action in Iraq is crippling; action in TFY made humanitarian intervention in the future more likely, whereas (though it wasn't a humanitarian action) that in Iraq has made it less likely.

Gregorian conservatives aren't macho, just stupid and trembling girly-men when the issue of their masculinity arises. Pathetic, really.

Oh, and they like to put a humanitarian spin on their actions, which are almost invariably purely self-interested, thus increasing cynicism about humanitarianism, thus making the world a worse place.

So, Gregor, you're basically wrong about everything.

But thanks for playing.

Posted by: Winston Smith on July 22, 2008 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

¿Qué es más peor?

¿Srebrenica o Fallujah?

What makes Fallujah worse than Srebrenica, for Americans, is Americans are responsible for the massacre and destruction, not Serbs. Now the Serb leader considered the most responsible for the mass murder that took place at Srebrenica will face trial, something that most likely no American leader will face for the crimes that took place at Fallujah. Serbs have confronted their demons. Americans deny their demons exist.

Posted by: Brojo on July 22, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Well, but in that sense of 'worse,' Brojo, my current toothache is worse than WWII, as it is still occurring.

What's at issue here is: independent of the fact that Fallujah is still occurring, which is worse? But Baker is right: "which atrocity is worse?" is a game that gets absurd fairly quickly.

And the question wasn't "which is worse for this or that group?) (e.g. "for" Americans), but which is worse, objectively speaking.

It's true that there's a clear sense in which what we did in Iraq is worse for Americans, as we are responsible for it. No argument there. Though that's mitigated by the fact that the intentions of America, taken somehow collectively, were far less malicious than those of the Serbs.

When reminding America that it did something wrong, best not to overstate the case. If we overstate the case, not only do they cover their ears, but they become less open to the consideration of future criticism as well.

Posted by: Winston Smith on July 22, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

"What makes Fallujah worse than Srebrenica, for Americans, is Americans are responsible for the massacre and destruction, not Serbs."
_________________

The difference being that the enemy we killed in Fallujah were shooting at us and we did everything we could to get non-combatants out of the way first.

The Serbs, on the other hand, deliberately sought out unarmed civilians, wrested them from their NATO guardians, separated out thousands of men and boys, and then killed them.

Brojo can cynically pretend there is a parallel, but no reasonable person would find one.

Posted by: trashhauler on July 22, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK
One can only hope that arrest warrants will shortly go out for Dick Cheney, George Bush, and their top henchmen.

We have a large number of bilateral agreements not to turn over US citizens to the Hague.

We also have a federal criminal statute dealing with war crimes.

The Hague is a fall-back for when states will not or cannot clean up their own messes.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 22, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

the enemy we killed in Fallujah were shooting at us

No one from Fallujah was shooting at Americans in America. Americans were in Fallujah killing Iraqis, with many of the Iraqi victims being unarmed civilians.

America claims to be a beacon of liberty and freedom for the rest of the world, while the Serbs claimed Slavic racial superiority. Objectively, the Serbs would be expected to act out racially motivated mass murder, while America would not be expected to use white phosphorus bombs on civilians and target grandmothers and amublance drivers for assassination by military snipers in a far away land that posed no national security threat.

Serbs have acknowledged their national crimes. Americans pretend they are incapable of committing them.

Posted by: Brojo on July 22, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Objectively, the Serbs would be expected to act out racially motivated mass murder, while America would not be expected to use white phosphorus bombs on civilians and target grandmothers and amublance drivers for assassination by military snipers in a far away land that posed no national security threat."
_________________

There it is in a nutshell - excusing mass murder on the one hand as only to be expected by our foes and repeating malicious lies about America on the other. Goebbels would be proud - no, check that - Goebbels wouldn't be quite so obvious in showing his hand.

Of course, Brojo is just a minor league agent provocateur and not quite so polished in his chosen work. You may now expect a series of links from Brojo purporting to show isolated incidents of American perfidy which he will claim characterized the entire battle of Fallujah.

Posted by: trashhauler on July 22, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Trashy wrote: Brojo is just a minor league agent provocateur and not quite so polished in his chosen work.

How jealous you must be.

Posted by: Gregory on July 22, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Expecting a racial ideology to develop into genocide is a lesson some have learned from the Twentieth Century. It is not an excuse for the genocide that took place, as some who deny America's recent war crimes would prefer to believe.

Posted by: Brojo on July 22, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

I look forward to the headlines, "Former President Bush Captured!", "Former Vice President Dick Cheney captured from dirty hideout in his underwear", "Rumsfeld finally captured in his secret hideout in Buenos Aires".

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on July 22, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Praedor,

Amen!

Posted by: Lee on July 22, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK
Post a comment









Remember personal info?










 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly