Statute Of Limitations On Genocide?

A few years ago I stumbled across the fact that two indicted war criminals from the former Yugoslavia were still at large, that being Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. The reason I say, "stumbled across" is because the mainstream media has apparently decided to wait until they are actually arrested before they devote any ink/air time to this story, aside from the occasional blip.

In case you haven't been following this, these two darlings are primarily responsible for a series of "ethnic cleansing" operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina that claimed the lives of thousands of (mostly) Muslims, most notably in Srebrenica, even while it was a declared "Safe Zone" of the United Nations.

*cross-posted from dailykos*, where I fear it has already been forgotten.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/7/14/03748/8298

It didn't take long for me to figure out why these two had escaped capture for so long. There is apparently a very strong ultra-nationalist movement in Serbia, and these guys are considered heroes. Not only are they being harbored, but Karadzic has also enjoyed quite the success as a published author of children's books (!), and his novel The Miraculous Chronicle Of The Night was short-listed for Serbia's top literary "Golden Sunflower" award.

As disgusting as that is, it's not what motivated this diary. Tonight, as I was doing my quarterly (I'm just guessing) Google hunt for info on these guys, I came across this letter that Tribunal Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte addressed to the U.N. Security Council a few weeks ago:

http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2007/pr1166e-annex.htm

Mr. President, Excellencies,

Eight years ago, when I was appointed Prosecutor of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia , we were living in a different world, in which international justice and the Tribunal had a long way to go. Who would have thought, at that time, that we would see the arrest of a former head of State? Since then, international justice and the International Tribunal have made considerable progress. Indeed, in the course of my two mandates as Prosecutor, we have secured the arrest of 91 individuals.

In mid-September my mandate as Prosecutor of the International Tribunal will end. It is therefore the last time I address the Security Council in this capacity. I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude and my thanks for the support that you have provided to the Tribunal, to international justice, and to myself.

As I'm reading this I'm wondering who will get the job after Carla goes back to...Italy, I'm presuming. But I keep seeing this phrase that starts the hair on the back of my neck to stand up:

You will have received my written assessment on the Completion Strategy. I will now highlight a few points set out in the report and address recent developments which have occurred since the issuance of the written report.

Completion Strategy?

While trials and appeals are progressing and nearing completion, there is a sense that an important degree of justice will have been brought to the victims of the conflicts that raged throughout the region. However, many victims will feel that this was not enough. They will be right. There are numerous mid- and lower-level perpetrators that could not be tried in The Hague because of the International Tribunal's Completion Strategy. I have been working intensely with authorities in Belgrade , Sarajevo , Zagreb and Skopje to transfer knowledge and evidence we possess pertaining to hundreds of other suspects. Although we have seen some progress in domestic prosecutions, I advise the international community to remain vigilant.

If this is what I think it is...holy f**king shit. If Serbia hasn't lifted a finger to bring these guys to the Hague for all these years, the U.N. expects them to finish the job?

This can't be happening.

If any of our U.S. Representatives are reading this, whatever your party affiliation, please bring this to the floor.

Comments

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great diary, SC. I'm headed over to kos right now. to recommend there as well. (The links in your story need to be fixed.)

Ditto.

Of course, no one will bring it to the floor or push it in any way. The Iraq Quagmire is so horrendous that it has destroyed any capacity our country has for enlightened foreign policy. We have no moral standing to criticize anyone about anything, even when the matters are so clear and settled as those you've outlined.

Good old-fashioned genocide? No big deal. We're too busy trying to cover-up the insanity of our own actions to call anyone else to account.

Wish I could be more optimistic . . . but I ain't.

Thanks!

I tried to fix the @#$%^ links and got nowhere. :(

And I've been tossed off BlueNC five times already this morning.

psst.

firefox. seriously.

We've been getting spammer attacks

by the gazillions lately . . . that might have something to do with it. Or maybe it's the interTube gods saying that you should be outside in your garden or fishing or whatever.

Be still my heart...

Seriously. I've been drinking way too much coffee lately. :)

Thanks for the help. Yer a doll. ;)

A few more observations

dealing with what this move towards individual countries being responsible for pursuing war criminals actually stems from:

In line with this administration's domestic policies of stifling transparency through the liberal use of "national security" classifications, FOIA obstructionism and outright lies, coupled with their contempt for the rule of law, it only follows they would pursue the same basic approach on the international scene.

It should be no surprise to any of us that they would pressure the U.N. Security Council to impose time restrictions on the Tribunal, as they have demonstrated time and again that they have no confidence in the idea of international justice. The outright refusal to sign the ICC (International Criminal Court) Treaty is a prime example, but only one of many.

I have a feeling the root of this prejudicial view of international organizations is a combination of a 19th Century Social Darwinistic belief in the inability of some races to achieve enlightenment, along with the ideal that promoting U.S. interests is the only way to secure a bright future for the entire world. Or it could just be an effort to remove international oversight to clear the way for corporations to pursue resources. Whatever the case may be, it is a step backwards and must be arrested.

Seems that our misadministration

would support this, since they wouldn't want their war crimes to be brought to trial.

This -

Or it could just be an effort to remove international oversight to clear the way for corporations to pursue resources.

- would get my vote because of the rest of the malfeasance.

I may have been mistaken...

One down, two to go:

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Bosnian Serb wartime president Radovan Karadzic, indicted for genocide in the Bosnia war, was captured in disguise near Belgrade after 11 years on the run and had been working as a doctor, Serbian officials said on Tuesday.

The arrest on Monday of Karadzic, who is held responsible for the siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of 8,000 Muslims in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995, was a condition for Serbian progress towards European Union membership.

His arrest leaves Mladic and Croatian Serb suspect Goran Hadzic still on the run. Serb officials have refused to give exact details on the operation to arrest Karadzic, saying they did not want to blow the chances of arresting Mladic and Hadzic.

Cheers! Nostrovia! Zivjeli! Gëzuar! Fisehatak!

I heard a BBC reporter late last night tell the story of how in

1996 he went to Serbia and had no trouble finding
Karadzic. In fact, he went to his house. He played his audio tape from the trip. Serb officials knew where he was or could have found out without breaking a sweat.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Oh, yeah.

These guys had support going all the way to the top. Even those who would have liked to see them behind bars were (and probably still are) afraid of the ultra-nationalsts.

But being held back from EU inclusion is a heck of a motivator, and hopefully it will bring about the arrest of the other guys.