Payback time for Serbia?

And here are some minority views that can otherwise be lost in the crowd:


There were many people who died during this war, Serbs included. Strange that only Serbs are prosecuted as war criminals. But then again, Serbs were the only allies of Russia. Many accounts have been written about the Srebrenica massacre. We only read what the West wants us to read. Let’s not forget also that this is mainly a European affair. We don’t recognize the court in Hague because we don’t want it to investigate our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places.

Albany, NY

People are right to compare the killings at Srebenica to Hitler's work in WWII. The events in many ways shaped Mladic himself. If I recall correctly he was an orphan after 21 relatives were put to death in the Croatian-run concentration camps during the German occupation of the region. He was shaped since his youth with a desire for revenge and Serbian nationalism. Now he will get his just punishment for making use of the same grusome tactics in his own war campaign.

Unfortunately, justice continues to elude those that were better in the PR game (such as the Bosnian military that acccording to French investigators actually conducted several of the most famous filmed sniper attacks in Sarajevo) or the Croatian hit squads that according to a BBC investigation killed several of the Croatian police chiefs that were reaching peaceful truces with the Yugoslav military in the early days of the breakup. The Yugoslav conflict is a lot like the US civil war except the offended world powers (Britain and France at that time) do not get to give Sherman and Lincoln their just punishment for shooting thousands of protestors in the North or burning to death even more in Southern cities. I for one think we are in a better world where some get punished but I still hope for a world where states still try to apply white hats and black hats first and then kneed out the punishment.

southern europe

Why is it that these post often end up as posts in support of American policy rather than focusing on the topic? Even more frustrating is to see people write on how THEY visited the graves of the victims of various conflicts, how THEY feel so bad, how THEY saw suffering etc. as if THEY, sitting tight in New York or someplace have given themselves authority to speak on the subject. Mladic was finally arrested. That's it. Reading some of these posts it's obvious there's a lot of cultural and historical facts that are overlooked, or in the case of several flag waving Americans, never even fathomed in this part of the World. This is complicated place. The west giving lopsided views of history doesn't help support World peace but riles it with hypocrisy.


There was never such thing as a hunt. I was time for the Serbian gvt to "release" him in order to gain more credibility regarding the process of integration to the European union. The Russians said yes and there you have him. And both the Serbians and the Russians will use this "gesture" to put pressure on Kosovo.

Richard L. Wilson

This is insane! There is no proof that the Srebenica "massacre" took place. Theres ignoring and downplaying of the role Bosniak forces had in the Serb retaliation in Srebenica. Serbian human rights organizations sent evidence of ethnic cleansing and the UN and media did nothing. Srebenica was a hoax used to justify bombing the Serbs and to justify the Wests intervention against Serbia and Serbians. Crimes were committed on all sides. Understand this. All sides. Equally. Americas proxies in Bosnia and Croatia and Kosovo are free, theyve been elected, they enjoy diplomatic immunity. The media is complicit in this travesty of truth, of selective truths to push on the public. Thank you.

Taz Delaney
New York City

well, that's good, but... the clinton admin committed war crimes there galore which have largely been kept from the attention of the world. those included use of experimental weapons of mass destruction like the slab bombs. also said the US&NATO used shophor weapons and some unknown sort of CBW.

and when will the search be on for the many, many war criminals of the US&NATO as regards the rendition torture chambers (re-authorized by obama on february 2, 2009); gitmo, bagram prison, child genocide of the iraq embargo; mass-death of the illegal and totally lie-based iraq and afpak wars; now more in libya. hey, seeing as how there is no statute of limitations on murder or mass-murder, there should also be trials for the vicious bombing of civilian hiroshima and nagasaki... also the war crime of the bombings of hospitals and schools in north vietnam.

but the new reich 'just says no' to nuremberg. we note that the US has yet to permit ICC jurisdiction over the US for any degree of war crimes.

new york, NY

Last September, The New York Times ran a piece on Europe’s failure to arrest Ratko Mladic, “Europe’s most wanted war-crimes suspect.” For sheer vicious anti-Serb prejudice, the key words in the story said it all: “mass murder,” “massacre of 8,000 Muslims,” “wartime horrors,” “killing of 3,500 children, men and boys who were led to killing fields,” “war crimes,” “genocide,” “massacre.”
American governments have spread so many lies about Serbia that it’s little wonder the truth is not even a thought. Serbia never had its say and it was the truth that was raped, not Croatian or Muslim women.
Why is this? I once thought it was all about the failure to present the Serbian side during the carnage accompanying Yugoslavia’s breakup. Why was the Croat and Muslim side the only one presented, ultimately becoming the basis of U.S. government policy. If the Croat side was “right,” why was the Serb side “wrong?” But there never was a Serb side at all – no Serbian say – not even one to inveigh against. There still isn't. Just blind belief in the "wicked" Mladic.

olga brajnovic
Pamplona, Spain

It's strange that Mladic was caught just for the day of the crucial meeting for the EU negotiations. Everybody there knew that he was living in Serbia protected by military, even receiving a pay as a veteran for a while until the assassinated serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, ¿remeber him? that young decided man, the one who wanted to deliver all this people to the Hague and pay that with his life killed by a special forces at the door of the government building?.
This wasn't a hunt, this was a matter of will. Like it was in the case of Milosevic, (who figured in the records of the Hague tribunal as a "at large" or "not known whereabouts" when he was in office in Belgrade).
This wasn't the hunt of bin Laden. Above all if he was living in New Belgrade. This smells politics.
And yes, Mladic will face the Court, but that doesn't mean he will face justice, because what he has done is not resolved yet. Bosnia is not at peace. The country is in trouble, divided, the so-called "Srpska Republika" (Serbian Republic) is still a fortress for many people who supported or participated in actions like Srebrenica. (By de way, it's funny to see how many problems has another country from the former Yugoslavia, Macedonia, to call itself by its name because of the opposition of the greeks when The authentic and democratic now Serbian Republic permits this other Serbian Republic invented by Karadjic, Mladic an other war criminals use their name without any problem. It makes me laugh (to don't cry) when I see that words without translation Srpska Republika" as a way to distinguish it from the real Serbia).
Back to justice: It's not only Srebrenica it's the lives of thousands of women and girls systematically raped as a form of ethnic cleansing "to have a serb child" or sold as a sex slaves to the blue caskets and make them look to the other side meanwhile the radical serbian guerrilla slaughtered thousands of men and boys non serbs. There they are their broken lives, the traumatized lives of children, now youngsters, from a non desired and no deserved father, and a single mostly loving and traumatized mother. Is there justice for all that? My sister, also Journalist, made a chilling report after talking and filming many of them. I met some of the children who witnessed the killing or torturing of their parents being six or seven years old. there are no words for describing their glances.
And yes, remember, the radical serbians during the war in Bosnia didn't overrun the peacekeepers in Srebrenica, that people didn't react. they let them do whatever they wanted. They where supposed to keep peace. That means, it seems, not to engage in defending the weak. Not to engage anyway. Too dangerous for them.
You know? Over here (I mean western Europe) everybody talks about justice and against violent americans, but when there is a problem and it's dangerous, they expect you, the Americans to go to do the dirty job on the ground, and then after that is done and the way is cleared, they will graciously and willingly go to keep peace, with orders to don't engage in battle. No danger of war crimes, no casualties, no "collateral damages" to worry about. Only that this people in Bosnia seemed to don't count as anything. That was what happened there. And that is said by a pacifist who hate wars because my direct family has lived three: The WWI (my grandparents), the WWII (my parents and my older sister) and the Balkans war (me as a journalist and the rest of the family as a suffering people). We were divided by the borders in opposite sides, we had casualties and we were a family of intellectuals, writers, journalists, historians, musicians, nothing to do with politics. So complicated is that little piece of land.
So, a big hunt finally done? I don't think so
Is Justice done? I doubt it
It's better to have Mladic in Jail than to have him free?, Yes, that's sure
But, Why would he not be delivered first (with the proper protection) to a Bosnian Judge and Jury in Sarajevo or Srebrenica (yes, bring him there to face their victims), or the others villages and cities in Bosnia and Hercegovina and Croatia where he commanded ethnic cleansing bombings and killings and other actions of the kind?
Why give him now the opportunity to make his show to the world from the Hague as Milosevic did for months to no end and no result, because he bever will be sentenced?
And, will Serbia enter de EU after this "in extremis" deliver? Sure. England and France are waiting for that too much time.If that mean peace, wellcome. But I don't think it will be a durable peace until the situation in Bosnia and Kosovo is stabilized and by now it's not.

Richard L. Wilson

Naser Oric(Muslim), Hachim Thaci (Albanian), the dozens of other Muslim and Croat genocidaires all were let loose. But, the Serbs! We have to have Serbs!They have been demonized, made subhuman. The war was a three way horrorfest, not one started by evil , strange Serbs. One must remember that Oric slaughtered thousands of Serb civilians in Srebenica "before" the "massacre" in Srebenica of the same Muslim men who committed the crimes.Srebenica is a hoax. What isn't a hoax is Operation Storm, the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Krajina, with help of NATO planes and advisers, the largest forced migration since WW2 and what happened to the perps? Released and feted in D.C. and Brussels. This a is a travesty of truth, a debacle for Serbs everywhere. International law only cares for the victim if they are Muslim or Croatian or Albanian. Milosovics "crimes" were not allying with the US.

New York

Why the focus on Serbian war criminals? Time to round up the Croatian and Bosnian Muslim war criminals

Long Island NY

The fact that no one was held accountable for the Iraq war tells me the "World Court" at the Hague is a western lapdog. How about bringing Paul Wolfowitz, George Bush, and Richard Cheney to the "World Court"?
See what I mean?
Nonetheless, some justice is better than none.


It's great to reach out to the world and take down war criminals but at some point you would expect a backlash to our hypocrisy. Bush and his gang are responsible for more than 100K Iraqi civilian deaths. Not to mention torture. The biggest war criminals in the world are right here in own backyard.

Large magellanic cloud

You caught him just to punish his role in the resistance to Euro-Atlantic expansionism into what was Yugoslavia, to teach everybody a lesson just like a mafia don would. And that's plain and simple, notwithstanding your usual appeal to higher values and its gushing audience of liberal intellectuals (sold separately!).

New York, NY

Interesting that this man is now shipped to The Hague, political capital of The Netherlands, to await his prison sentence. It was because of these Dutch scared cowards, hiding behind the bomb and bullet proof walls of their NATO compound, that allowed Ratko Mladic to do his killings. Quite similar actually to the Dutch allowing Hitler's SSers to catch the Jews, and then ship them to Auschwitz. History repeats itself and The Dutch know it.

S. C.
Mclean, VA

If current Serbian leadership were born a generation ago, they would have sold Marshal Tito to the Germen for thirty pieces of silver.


This is in response to several posts here. Many speculate that Serbia knew Mladic's location or was able to arrest him long time ago or that it is playing a PR game. None of this could be further from the truth. Serbia has faced and publicly accepted its role in the fallout of Yugoslavia and has over time paid for it dearly. A part of the population still struggles with getting the grip of that and there is also a part that will never accept it, much the same as some of the Germans still don't accept the holocaust, an extreme minority.

Although the most obvious aspect and benefit of this arrest is the closure and punishment for the crimes, for Serbia it has another, even more important significance. Although Serbia has a democratically elected government, its power has never been fully consolidated and parts of the country's security apparatus were not under its full control. Continuation of wars for such a long period of time and being on the main trafficking route of heroin to Western Europe has inflicted enormous damage to the political system and security in the country. Considerable portion of the previous regime has survived the transition after Milosevic's arrest. These are mainly the groups of people from military/security structures, people that weren't ideological followers of that regime but the ones that were in a position to exploit all the profiteering opportunities during that regime. The extent of this corruption is staggering and has permeated all structures of political and security system. It is a major problem for all countries of the former Yugoslavia but especially for Serbia. This is most evident by the 2003 assassination of Zoran Djindjic, Serbian prime minister at the time, by the members of one of the Serbian elite special forces unit. This corruption has been by far the most serious challenge to the Serbian democracy in the past 10 years and the main stumbling block for its acceptance into the EU.

It is important to take this into consideration when discussing Mladic's arrest because it helps explain the limitations imposed on the government over the past ten years. The present government has been steadily fighting this problem and eroding the influence of the remnants of the old regime to the point when this arrest has been made possible. It should not be seen as a coincidence that in the past 12 months, Serbian police, in cooperation with the law enforcement agencies from other countries spanning continents, has managed to dismantle a series of major drug smuggling criminal groups. It has been a slow and steady process of the consolidation of the civilian control over the security system that has allowed both that and Mladic's arrest. So the most significant effect of this arrest for Serbia is that it signals that the last remains of the old regime are finally dying out and that Serbia is becoming ready to truly enter a new era, when the past can really become the past. This war is far from over but this arrest is one of its defining battles.

To those who see these issues (Kosovo and the Hague) as bargaining chips in Serbia's hands, consider that most Serbians think of them as bargaining chips in the hands of EU. An endless source of pressure and political extortion which is keeping the extremist sentiment and distrust towards EU in Serbia alive. It is something that is constantly presenting the current democratic government in bad light both at home and internationally and is certainly not something any government would willingly put itself through. Also to clarify, EU has delayed or suspended the accession of Serbia numerous times and this occasion was of no particular significance. If Serbian government has timed the arrest, it could have only been within days, certainly not within months or years as some suggest.

For the end, consider that if Europe has an interest in pacifying the western Balkan region it has to absorb all it's countries into EU, especially Serbia. Without Serbia as part of the EU there cannot be a long lasting peace in the region because all countries of the former Yugoslavia have considerable Serbian minorities and an extremely heavy baggage of historical differences and unsettled accounts. Therefore, the assumption that Serbia is somehow manipulating its way into EU is an illusion because Serbia truly has no choice in the matter at all. It will be politically and economically coerced until it joins. This applies to all the countries in the region and it is probably for the better as we have all demonstrated a serious lack of ability when it comes to responsible statesmanship.


Why do American papers still portray propoganda? Only 2,500 bodies have been recovered and of that there have been countless articles of body parts being placed in the graves of already people that where dead! There where also no children or women found in the graves only men of age. Men like Ratko will be remembered by serbs as a hero for protecting serbs when they were being slaughtered. Tadic is nothing but a Nato puppet, and the majority of Serbs do not want to be part of the EU. Do you think Serbs want to be the next Greece?

New England and Croatia

In the Balkans there have been bad guys on all sides hailed as heroes, but the International Community has always put the blame on Serbia for everything. I'm not at all saying Serbia was blameless, but the Hague must be prepared for a defense of Mladic that takes a hard look at the commonly accepted number of 8,000 dead in Srebrenica, a number that has fluctuated and was never confirmed. Alija Izetbegović will be implicated, too, for leaving Srebrenica undefended before the anticipated offensive, suggesting a tacit deal. Focusing on Srebrenica allowed Clinton and Albright to divert the attention of the International Community from Croatia's Operation Storm, yet another act of ethnic cleansing.

I'm not saying anyone is "good" here, those years were ugly and nationalism remains throughout the region. I'm only saying that prosecuting Mladić might not be as easy as people hope.

just wandering

You all saying about justice, but what about 5000 serbs died in that same town from 1992-95, killed by those innocent bosniaks? What about their families? And in 1995 only soldiers were killed there, buy in years before that bosniaks killed whoever they found there, no matter it was child, woman or man... Or we just dont deserve justice, maybe it s just political issue.....

new york, ny

This would have been better news if it wasn't a part of Serbia's PR campaign (and if it came 10 years ago). While Bosnia, the country it destroyed, is struggling to recover and going through the worst post-war crisis, Serbia will waltz into the EU as if nothing ever happened. Yes, they should get an equal chance to break out of the mistakes of their past rulers (many countries did, Germany comes to mind) but it still makes for bitter-sweet justice and it feels as if Serbia has been playing PR game with the world. "let's keep some bargaining chips (Karadzic, Mladic, Kosovo) and let's pull them out in opportune times, nicely spaced so that they can serve a purpose" -- well done Mr. Tadic and Co!! I admire your style. Too bad we, in Bosnia, don't have such good politicians. Instead we have the dead to remember, massive brain drain, youth with no future, corruption, no infrastructure, no direction... a bleak picture to which arrest of Mladic does not bring any relief.

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