It took thirteen years, but former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic, accused architect of massacres and the politician considered most responsible for the deadly siege of Sarajevo, was arrested Monday evening in a Serbian-U.N. raid ending his reign as the world's most-wanted war crimes fugitive:
His alleged partner in the persecution and "cleansing" of tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic, remained at large.
A psychiatrist turned diehard Serbian nationalist politician, Karadzic is the suspected mastermind of mass killings that the U.N. war crimes tribunal described as "scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history." They include the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica, Europe's worst slaughter since World War II.
Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador who negotiated an end to the Bosnian War, ....calculated that Karadzic is responsible, directly or indirectly, for the deaths of 300,000 people, because without him there would have been no war or genocide.
The charges against him, last amended in May 2000, include genocide, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane acts, and other crimes committed against Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb civilians in Bosnia during the 1992-1995 war.
"These offenses include a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing directed at non-Serbs, organized attacks on places of worship, the operation of concentration camps, and the mass murder of thousands of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat civilians," the White House statement added.
It's hard to believe that Europe stood by and watched this genocide take place only fifty years after Hitler, but they pretty much did. It was only when the United States decided that we could no longer allow Muslims to be slaughtered by the tens of thousands and began bombing Bosnian targets that the killing stopped.
Quick quiz: Were we right to intervene militarily in Bosnia to stop the killing? If so, was there a significant difference between Bosnia under Karadzic and Milosevic and Iraq under Saddam? If not, were we justified in deposing Saddam? Explain your reasoning.RLC