A bit of background from the analysis:
Mr. Karadzic will be the third high-profile figure to be brought before a United Nations-backed tribunal on war crimes charges in the last six years, following in the footsteps of President Charles Taylor of Liberia and the Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic. For years, supporters of the tribunals have argued that if leaders were brought to trial the courts could serve as a deterrent.
But Mr. Karadzic, who remained free for nearly 13 years, made a mockery of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which in 1983 became the first such body established by the United Nations.
Something inside of me always feels a sense of relief when those indicted for war crimes are arrested. However, I become a little disappointed to know that our government, specifically the current Bush administration, have done nothing to support the capture of those who’ve been charged.
Privately, officials from the war crimes tribunals have argued that the United States and its allies have lacked the political will to make arrests and at the same time failed to use a complex array of diplomatic and economic measures to bring fugitives to justice. The international community has more options than either using military force to arrest a fugitive or doing nothing, they say. Economic sanctions, indictments and travel restrictions all place small but steady pressure on individuals accused of war crimes and on their patrons.
Undermining a leader’s or regime’s legitimacy can also serve as leverage.
Current and past administrations have done nothing but act ambivalent towards the International Criminal Court at The Hague. I’ve been told that our government thumbs its nose and chose not to become sitting members for the fear that some countries could charge the U.S. with war crimes (especially now since the travesty of Iraq continues to drag on).
Even with the current Bush administration, turning its back on the people who are suffering in Darfur and former President Clinton’s administration apprehension of help stop the slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Rwanda, it’s hard for anyone to argue that our government just don’t care about people–unless their safety directly impacts our economic and political well being.
But to give the administration credit, they did issue a statement on the arrest of Karadzic, saying it was “an important demonstration of the Serbian government’s determination to honor its commitment to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.”
“There is no better tribute to the victims of the war’s atrocities than bringing their perpetrators to justice.”
I guess the point of this post was to express some bittersweet attitude I have over the events. Disappointment in the U.S. government’s lack of interest in playing a bigger role in the international hunt for war criminals. Relief for the apprehension of Karadzic.