Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's latest lair wasn't a cave or a safe house; no hidden compartments or special security details shielded him. Instead, it turns out that one of the world's most wanted men was hiding in plain view in the drab, anonymous housing blocks of Novo Belgrade, a suburb of the Serbian capital. He was nabbed not by NATO, whose forces had spent 13 years in a vain and sometimes desultory search for him, but by the security forces of Serbia, the country whose fantastic designs for grandeur he had once so ardently tried to further. Now Karadzic, 63, faces a trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
And we now wait with bated breath for the USA to get a similar boost by arresting and handing over Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright for war crimes in Yugoslavia; and George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld for war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. And for Britain to get a similar boost by arresting and handing over Tony Blair for war crimes in all three -- he's probably the biggest war criminal in recent times.
Compared with these, Karadzic is a relatively small fish. But of course the big fish usually get away. If Tony Blair were occupying a cell next to Karadzic I might believe that the Hague Tribunal is not a kangaroo court. As it is, it's nothing more than a Nato propaganda organ.
And when I read the propaganda (including the Time article above, still churning it out after all these years), I begin to wonder if Radovan Karadzic isn't Bosnia's Bram Fischer. I don't know enough about him, of course, to make such a judgement, but I wonder. Perhaps the truth will emerge at the Hague, or perhaps, like Slobodan Milosevic, he will conveniently die before it does. And then we'll be left wondering just whose convenience was served.