21 July 2008

The Mirror of Karadzic

The then Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic speaks at
a press conference on October 20 1995 in Novi Grad.
Photograph © Scott Peterson/Getty Images.

According to The Guardian today, Radovan Karadzic, indicted war criminal and fugitive, has been arrested in Serbia and is awaiting extradition for trial. The picture above accompanied The Guardian story. This is big news and many of the reports I've read present the arrest as evidence of Serbia's desire to join "the west." I actually think the lesson lies elsewhere.

Karadzic, of course, is allegedly responsible for acts of terror and genocide during the Bosnain war of the early 1990s. He was indicted thirteen years ago and has been a fugitive for over a decade. That may seem like a long, long time. But justice should be patient. Remember Pinochet? I am pretty cynical about the truly nasty characters out there in the world. But when I read this report in the paper this evening, all I could think was "I hope the higher-ups at BushCo will sleep slightly less soundly tonight and every night henceforth." W himself, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, Ashcroft, Gonzales as well as their various ideologues, underlings and enablers will hopefully worry about even faint talk about war crimes tribunals. Hopefully they will look at Karadzic's picture and, ever so momentarily, think they are looking in the mirror.

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