Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Have fun at the Hague, Radovan!
It's easy to consider Osama bin Laden "the world's most wanted man" -- I dream of his capture with almost as much fervor as I dream about a World Series victory for the Giants -- but bin Laden's only got a few thousand dead to his "credit." Radovan Karadzic, on the other hand, has the blood of around 200,000 people on his hands, including 8,000 systematically murdered in the town of Srebrenica in 1995, killed on Karadzic's explicit orders. Concentration camps, "rape camps," and the artillery shelling of entire neighborhoods are all parts of his legacy.
After a life in disguise and a bizarre career as an alternative-medicine doctor, Karadzic has finally been arrested. It's downright surreal to see a former head of state -- Karadzic was the Bosnian Serb president -- reduced to a Santa Claus disguise and a job evangelizing the healing properties of plants. But no matter; his jig is up. He'll now be carted off to the Hague to face the most ghastly genocide charges since the Nuremberg trial.
With ethnic cleansing underway in the Sudan, sectarian killings commonplace in Iraq, and the architects of tribal massacres still in power in places like Rwanda and the Congo, it's heartening to see a genuine, Hitler-style practitioner of mass slaughter taken into custody. Because the only way to prevent future massacres is to introduce the very real specter of international tribunal -- we'll only discourage these psychos when it becomes apparent that there's at least a 50-50 chance that they'll have to stand trial in front of a wrathful world.
Here's a video of Karadzic bragging about reducing Sarajevo to ruins, while helping a Russian poet stitch an apartment building with high-powered rifle slugs. What a charmer.
Have a good time in the dock, Radovan. There's a lot of evil in this world, but evil took a kick in the nuts with your capture.