THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
November 15, 2003
The Times (UK)

Hunters See Red as War Criminal Stays Free

by Anthony Loyd

Eight years after a conflict that killed 200,000 people, the world's attention has switched to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. But Europe's most wanted war criminal remains at large in a narrow strip of eastern Bosnia. . . .

Curiously, as Karadzic is not deemed an active threat to the West, there is not even a specific task force designated to capture the man considered an architect of "ethnic cleansing".

. . . significant war crimes occurred in as many as 52 Bosnian Serb municipalities, and that the list of about 500 culpable Serbs included many present-day local officials. "The (tribunal) should have prosecuted these people but they can't," the source added. "They were told it would be too expensive, and that their trials go on too long." . . .

The tribunal must terminate all war crimes investigations by next year, and all "first instance" trials by 2008. Nato looks set to reduce its 11,900 troops in Bosnia, and at some point within the next five years to hand over to the EU, a body even less likely to pursue Karadzic with real determination.

Given these factors, and the West's dismal record to date, it appears very possible that Karadzic's policy, nicknamed "wait out" by Bosnia's international community, will be an unqualified success.

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Enver Masud, "Aggression Pays: Message Of Clinton Plan For Bosnia," The Wisdom Fund, December 1, 1995

Ian Black and Ewen MacAskill, "U.S. Threatens to Boycott Belgium Over War Crimes Law, The Guardian, June 13, 2003

[The United Nations tribunal for the war crimes in the Balkans in the 1990's is suddenly rushing through its backlog of cases, adopting a disputed strategy to promote plea bargains with much reduced sentences in exchange for cooperation and guilty pleas.

The abrupt shift after seven years of methodical if plodding trials came in response to intense pressure from the United Nations Security Council and particularly the Bush administration, which pays almost a quarter of the tribunal's current $120 million annual budget and has little sympathy for such international courts. The Council has demanded that the court end all investigations next year and complete its trials by 2008.--Marlise Simmons, "Plea Deals Being Used to Clear Balkan War Tribunal's Docket," New York Times, November 18, 2003]

[That's "justice" for you, Bush style. In fact, the Bush Sr administration, many of whom now work for Bush Jr., fully supported the Serbian campaign of genocide against the Bosnians. So it comes as no surprise that the Bush Jr people want to wind up the ICTY as soon as possible by means of "plea bargains" at the expense of justice for the victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.-- Francis A Boyle, Attorney for the Mothers of Srebrenica and Podrinja]

Ian Black, "Karadzic 'gave order' for mass killing of Muslims from Srebrenica," The Guardian, November 22, 2003

[THE former Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, knew in advance of plans to murder more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica--Adam LeBor, "Milosevic 'knew in advance of massacre'," The Times, December 19, 2003]

Nicholas Wood, "Milosevic's Name on the Ballot Signals Serbian Nationalism," New York Times, December 27, 2003

[The most widely accepted estimates - e.g., those cited in testimony by demographic experts in cases before the ICTY - seem to be:

ca. 200,000 killed during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia
ca. 25,000 killed during the 1991-1995 war in Croatia
ca. 10,000 killed during the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo

The other Balkan conflicts (Slovenia 1991, bombing of Serbia 1999, Macedonia 2001) resulted in relatively smaller numbers of people killed or missing, ranging from some dozens in Slovenia and in Macedonia to several hundred in Serbia.

To put that in context, the 200,000 dead in Bosnia were out of a total pre-war population of 4 million. Thanks to the UN High Commission on Refugees and other such agencies, we have firmer figures on the number of people who were "ethnically cleansed" - more than 2 million, over half of Bosnia's population, were turned into refugees. Fewer than 1 million have since returned to their pre-war homes.--Andras Riedlmayer, International Justice Watch, June 22, 2004]

[Pursuant to Rice's "ukase" (demands), McElhaney is putting enormous pressure upon all Bosnian political leaders to capitulate to the Hays Reforms, which will further consolidate the powers of Republika Srpska and inevitably culminate in RS joining Serbia and Montenegro. To the contrary, the Bosnian People must emphatically reject the Hays Reforms and demand instead that the Bosnian Government seek the elimination of Republica Srpska at the International Court of Justice when the trial of Bosnia's genocide lawsuit against Serbia and Montenegro opens in The Hague on February 27. Genocide must be combated, not rewarded again like Hays does. Never again! --Professor Francis A. Boyle, February 3, 2006]

[The American administration offered its help to change the constitution, and Bosnians gladly accepted. However, it turned out that the Americans were interested only in legitimizing the General Framework Agreement. They offered some cosmetic and unimportant changes to be adopted in the institutions created by the new (so called Dayton) Constitution.

Cosmetic changes, except in one very important detail -- since they would be passed in Bosnia's legislative bodies, they would discontinue the old Constitution of the Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina, and they would therefore laundry the dirty constitution.

Then Bosnians would go even deeper in the hole. The nonfunctioning constitution would become legitimate, and hence irreversible. Nobody could force the Serbs to negotiate again to give up their veto power, which cripples the country.

Therefore the Bosnian patriots in the parliament refused to adopt the cosmetic amendments.

That drove the Bush administration mad. They want to laundry the Dayton constitution, in order to show off a foreign policy success, no matter what happens to Bosnia. They publicly threaten that Bosnia will endure sanctions for not agreeing to the change of the constitution. They also use corrupt Bosnian politicians and the corrupt Bosnian media to personally attack those who voted against the constitution.

Even worse, they want to repeat the vote, even before the October elections, pressuring the parliamentarians who voted against only three weeks ago to reverse their vote. --"Can you imagine a democracy where you must repeat a vote, until the super power is happy with the outcome?," National Congress of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, No. 401 International, May 16, 2006]

"UN's top court says Srebrenica massacre was genocide," AFP, February 26, 2007

"Court clears Serbia of genocide," BBC News, February 26, 2007

[Bosnia seems to be in the midst of its most serious political crisis since the Dayton agreement brought the civil war to an end in November 1995. Senior officials of EUFOR, the European Union peacekeeping force, have for the first time openly discussed the possibility of renewed conflict (1).

On Thursday 1 November, Bosnia’s Serbian prime minister Nikola Spiric resigned in protest at the international High Representative’s meddling with the country’s constitutional framework.--David Chandler, "What about democracy for Bosnia?," BBC News, November 6, 2007]

[Bosnia's Serb wartime president, Radovan Karadzic, one of the world's most wanted war criminals for his part in the massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995, has been arrested--Dan Bilefsky and Marlise Simons, "Bosnian Serb Leader, Top War Crimes Suspect, Arrested," BBC News, February 26, 2007]

[Joy at Karadzic arrest gives way to the realisation that he succeeded in ethnic carve-up of Bosnia--Peter Popham, "The Sarajevo legacy," Independent, July 26, 2008]

"Karadzic protected by US until he broke 'deal': Belgrade report," AFP, August 2, 2008

[Police in Serbia have arrested former Serbian military commander Ratko Mladic, the highest-ranking war crimes suspect still at large from the Balkan wars of the 1990s--"Bosnia genocide suspect Ratko Mladic arrested in Serbia," cnn.com, May 26, 2011]

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