Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Radovan Karadzic

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.


Ten Years?

A couple of months ago Senator Obama said he would campaign in all 57 states and now it appears that he expects to be president for the next "eight to ten years" (see video). I'm sure that the Senator knows that he's limited by the constitution to two four year terms, he was educated as a constitutional lawyer, after all, and I don't want to make too much of his lapses. Such things happen to the best of people.

Nevertheless, Dan Quayle was positively crucified for misspelling "potato" by the same media that lets these howlers from Obama just float on off into the ether, and no one needs to be reminded how George Bush has been made the object of contemptuous ridicule because of his various solecisms. Yet the media which found ample time to chortle at Quayle and Bush is too preoccupied striving to touch the hem of Obama's garment to apply the same standards of rhetorical punctilio to him.

Perhaps the MSM should be required to file with the elections commission as a 527 group.


Innumerable Piles of Corpses

Richard Weikart, author of From Darwin to Hitler, writes a longish but important essay which traces the main lineaments of Western thought about human nature through the 19th and 20th century. The essay is titled The Dehumanizing Impact of Modern Thought: Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche, and Their Followers, and it shows clearly how the ideas of these thinkers prepared the ground for the horrors of the 20th century.

Weikart begins by recalling the words of Viktor Frankl:

Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor who endured the horrors of Auschwitz, astutely commented on the way that modern European thought had helped prepare the way for Nazi atrocities (and his own misery). He stated, "If we present a man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present man as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instinct, heredity and environment, we feed the nihilism to which modern man is, in any case, prone. I became acquainted," Frankl continued, "with the last stage of that corruption in my second concentration camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment--or, as the Nazi liked to say, of 'Blood and Soil.' I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers."

Read the whole essay at the link. It will help you to understand why a lot of people are convinced that atheistic materialism leads ineluctably, in the enthusiastic words of 19th century Darwinian Ludwig Büchner, to "innumerable piles of corpses".