Today’s extradition of Radovan Karadžić, the former leader of Bosnian Serbs, to the Hague War Crimes Tribunal bore more resemblance to a political circus than to a proper judicial proceeding. It is difficult to say what the organisers of the action were afraid of, but, it reinforces the immutable truth that political manoeuvres and double standards have long been the hallmarks of the policy of the Hague Tribunal. The disappearance of Yugoslavia in the 1990s was an unmitigated disaster for millions of people in that country. For many years, Yugoslavia was home to Serbs, Croats, Slovaks, Montenegrins, Bosnians, and Kosovars; Catholic, Orthodox, and Muslim lived together in peace and harmony, as they went through the trials and ordeal of World War II together.
One can speak a multitude of words about the mistakes of the erstwhile leadership of this Balkan state, but, external forces played the major role in the collapse of Federal Yugoslavia. It prevented the creation of a more malleable Europe in which NATO and Brussels movers-and-shakers could dominate a prostrate continent. Traditionally, the Serbs were the force behind the drive for Yugoslav unity, and they tried vainly to maintain the country’s unity. According to the tribunal, they, more than any other nationality, are guilty for the calamities that befell Yugoslavia. At any rate, such is the reasoning behind the Hague Tribunal’s activity, a court set up allegedly to objectively look into the causes of this bloody Balkan tragedy. Alas, objectivity can’t be found in the Tribunal’s Dictionary. One need only look at the outrageous sentences passed down by this “court”. The few Bosnian and Croat defendants brought before the Tribunal have all but been allowed to go scot-free; either they receive derisory prison terms or they are acquitted. 75 percent of those who received real prison terms were Serbs, which reduces the Tribunal to an instrument of pressure of the West on Belgrade.
Russia repeatedly drew the attention of the world community to the palpable bias and bigoted subjectivity of the judges sitting in judgement at the UN Tribunal in The Hague. One must say that Serbia bent over backward to show its readiness to honour international obligations, and delivered Mr Karadžić into the tribunal’s hands. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated Russia’s misgivings about the tribunal. “The Serbian government fulfilled their obligations to the Hague Tribunal. They are trying to ensure an objective proceeding [for Mr Karadžić], as well as to consign to the dustbin of history the political manoeuvring that characterised the previous work of the Tribunal. In any event, I hope that the Tribunal will complete its work before the stipulated date and day set by UN Security Council [for its termination]. It’s time to move away from relying on ad hoc judicial bodies. Instead, we should work out a permanent consensus on the basis of judicial procedures embodied in international conventions”.
Moscow minced no words in vowing that it will never again vote for extension of the mandate of the International Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, since its work is characterised more by farce than substance…
30 July 2008
Voice of Russia World Service
It should be noted that so-called “war-crimes trials” are rarely objective proceedings, being nothing more than “victor’s justice”. If you wish vengeance, I say, “Do not dress up revenge in judicial robes”. If one must, hang ‘em high from the nearest mesquite tree or shoot ‘em in hot blood. Give ‘em to their victims… rough, but, sure justice would be handed out on the spot.
Whether one likes it or not, there is no objective law covering the problem… nor is there ever going to be, this side of the veil. Judicial vengeance veils the sinfulness of revenge, it gives the illusion of having clean hands after one has done a dirty deed. Best to have revenge straight-up, if one insists upon it, for one does feel guilty afterwards (for one must, for it is a foul emotion and act), so, one would seek confession and absolution. To seek vengeance through the courts is devilish, for it masks the place of our sinful pride in all of this. In short, kill ‘em in hot blood or leave ‘em be. However, one needn’t be silent about their deeds…
Be careful of the moral high horse, it goes where it wills, not where you will it. It is better to say that war is an abomination best not engaged in. In any case, most countries and people lose their taste for it after getting a good dose of it. As for “war criminals”, God does see and judge. No one shall escape that tribunal…
As for this Tribunal, the sooner the curtain falls on this comedy, the better it shall be for all concerned.