A War Criminal’s Arrest

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Former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic was one of the world’s most sought after war criminals who had eluded the United Nations (UN) War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague since his indictment 16 years ago. But the hunt for Mladic came to an end on Wednesday with his capture in a small town not far from Belgrade, Serbia’s capital. When arrested, the 69-year-old fugitive was living in a relative’s house under a false name.

“It’s an important day for justice,” said Serge Brammertz, the UN’s chief prosecutor. After his extradition to Holland, Brammertz will try Mladic for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Serbian President Boris Tadic announced Mladic’s arrest on Thursday, after which accolades poured in from around the world. The British Foreign Minister William Hague spoke of “a historic moment.” President Obama also praised the arrest at the G8 summit meeting he was attending in France with other world leaders.

“May the families of Mladic’s victims find some solace in today’s arrest, and may this deepen the ties among the people of the region,” Obama said in reaction to the news.

But while the world community is right to celebrate a war criminal ending up in court to answer for his heinous crimes and that relatives of the deceased will find some comfort, like with Osama bin Laden, however, uncomfortable questions remain to be answered. How was the former Serb general, for example, able to escape the Serbian authorities’ attention for so long when he was living so close to Belgrade at a relative’s house? And why were his whereabouts suddenly “discovered” only now 16 years after the 1995 indictment was handed down?

The name Mladic is forever connected with the worst atrocity of the 1992 to 1995 civil war in Bosnia that saw 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys slaughtered by Mladic’s Bosnian Serb forces after they had captured the town of Srebrenica in an UN-protected zone in 1995. After chasing away a weak and lightly-armed Dutch NATO contingent, Mladic’s soldiers shot the boys and men, many of them disarmed prisoners of war, and buried them in mass graves. It was the worst massacre in Europe since World War Two and led NATO to intervene in the Balkan conflict.

Last year, several heads of state and relatives of the deceased marked the fifteenth anniversary of the massacre. But all traces of Mladic, who was present for some of the barbaric killings, earning for himself the nickname “The Butcher of Srebrenica,” had supposedly been lost. Until this week.

With Mladic’s arrest, Serbia gains a lot more than just international praise. The country had been accused of non-cooperation in finding and bringing Mladic to justice, which was a major obstacle blocking Serbia from acquiring a coveted European Union (EU) membership.

Serge Brammertz, for example, was to deliver a damaging report next month “critical of Serbia’s lack of cooperation” in locating Mladic and other Serbian criminals, which would have hurt Serbia’s admission chances even more. But with Mladic’s capture, the Brammertz report disappears and the UN’s chief prosecutor joins the chorus in singing Serbia’s praise, while its EU admission chances take a giant step towards realization. The EU’s enlargement commissioner confirmed this on Wednesday when he said “…Serbia is closer to the European Union than it was yesterday.

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  • antileft

    Finally, another Balcanic monster falls down, unceremoniously, beaten down by his excessive life as a sort of a Serbian playboy – dancing a moronic sort of a quasi limb-movement called kolo, making home-made moonshine, and razing cities and torturing innocent civilians in-between so that the guy and his entourage could drive away the boredom, otherwise known down there as work, a proud product of Titoist-Stalinist partisan school of heroic resistance to the endless enemies of the now, thankfully, dead and buried Yugoslavia, like an ordinary dog, frail, and, I bet, a little less happy now. Oh, thou heroic son of ´proud´ Balcanic ¨warriors´-they still celebrate some sort of a military catastrophy that happened to them in, lo and behold, the 11th century – who´s gonna help you now, ha ? This has been a really catastrophic year for the human genetic waste, read- butchers, tyrants, rapists, and , in general, nutcases ! Who´s next on the slab, tavarish Asad and his cohorts, some African Idi-Aminesque caricature of a human? I know it is far from over, time to keep on placing bets ! Divine justice, that´s what it is !

  • StephenD

    What I find extraordinary is the lack of any substantive effort to find what may have led to these barbaric atrocities. Meaning, there is no acceptable excuse whatsoever. However, we must also realize there are some things that may make it more likely for his soldiers to have followed his orders. Could the fact that many of them came form the eleven villages that were completely wiped out where not so much as a cat was left alive by the Muslims they were fighting? Again, no excuse for a massacre but how would you react? That is what it was and has been…a reaction to the Muslim aggression. It continues to this day. I would hope at least FPM would look into this and get the facts to us.

  • cpmondello

    ‘Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire’

    When the US government is held accountable for it’s terrorism, I will rejoice. But for now, I just shake my head in disgust and disappointment at the country I was born in, have lived in my whole life. When I was growing up, I was taught in school, on television, books and conversation, that the “evil” people of the world all came from other countries, that America was the country that helped anyone in need. In hindsight, I see times I questioned this throughout my life. Once 9/11 happened, I took a close look at what my government did and still does in my name, I went through the stages of losing a loved one. I mourned, got angry at the very people who were responsible for 9/11 and they were from America and Americans. I do not think the USA will ever be able to held up to the beacon of light it once was in my heart. The shame is, because Americans are the last ones to know just how hypocritical and uncaring the US government acts in their names, its too late…the rest of the civilized world has already seen and felt the wrath of the USA’s imperialist neo-liberalism, tainted by conservative Christianity (religion), greed, terrorism, lies and deceit, just how most other countries were presented to Americans by the very people who were the terrorists. In closing, I am strongly say I am glad I am closer to the end of my life than the beginning, I do not want to be here when the “blowback”(1) like 9/11 happens again. Who can blame the rest of the world for what they do…..no one.


    1a. ‘Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire’ by Chalmers Johnson

    Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (January 4, 2004), Second addition

    Amazon.com: “If the 20th century was the American century, the 21st century may be a time of reckoning for the United States. Chalmers Johnson, an authority on Japan and its economy, offers a troubling prognosis of what’s to come. Blowback–the title refers to a CIA neologism describing the unintended consequences of American activity–is a call for the United States to rethink its position in the world. “The evidence is building up that in the decade following the end of the Cold War, the United States largely abandoned a reliance on diplomacy, economic aid, international law, and multilateral institutions in carrying out its foreign policies and resorted much of the time to bluster, military force, and financial manipulation,” writes Johnson. “The world is not a safer place as a result.” Individual chapters focus on Okinawa (where American servicemen were accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in “Asia’s last colony”), the two Koreas, China, and Japan. The result is a liberal-leaning (and Asia-centric) call for the United States to disengage from many of its global commitments. Critics will call Johnson an isolationist, but friends (perhaps admirers of Patrick Buchanan’s A Republic, Not an Empire) will say he simply speaks good sense. All will agree he is an earnest voice: “I believe our very hubris ensures our undoing.” –John J. Miller

    1b. Blowback – May 1996, by Mary Anne Weaver “The CIA poured billions into a jihad against Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, creating a militant Islamist Abraham Lincoln Brigade believed to have been involved in bombings from Islamabad to New York. Is Bosnia next?”

    1c. Blowback by Chalmers Johnson “The suicidal assassins of September 11, 2001, did not “attack America,” as our political leaders and the news media like to maintain; they attacked American foreign policy. Employing the strategy of the weak, they killed innocent bystanders who then became enemies only because they had already become victims.” ,…, “Blowback” is a CIA term first used in March 1954 in a recently declassified report on the 1953 operation to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran. It is a metaphor for the unintended consequences of the US government’s international activities that have been kept secret from the American people. ” This article appeared in the October 15, 2001 edition of The Nation.

  • john in cheshire

    I'm not sure what it is that Mr Mladic has done that is so bad. Killing the enemy? What about all the Serbs who have been killed by muslims and Croats? who is being brought to account for those atrocities? And why couldn't the West just leave these neighbours sort things out amongst themselves? The result of Western intervention has, in my opinion, just allowed more muslims to infiltrate into the West, leading to more death and destruction for non-muslims now and in the future.

  • Mark

    Stephen Brown is drawing the correct conclusion with the limited knowledge of the facts of Srebrenica that he has. Having not done any rigorous primary research on the subject matter himself apparently, it comes at no surprise that he just lazily restates the common 'CNN/BBC narrative' of Srebrenica. The narrative of gap-tooth, half-drunk Serbian thugs murdering unarmed, innocent Bosnian Muslims makes for a good story for a Hollywood movie. Unfortunately, though, reality is a bit more complex. Few things to consider:
    1) Hundreds to thousands of Serbian civilians were massacred from heavily armed muslim forces in Srebrenica.
    2) Clinton and Izetbegovic needed an excuse to start bombing; plenty of evidence suggests that a fake or real massacre was needed to justify NATO intervention
    3) Muslim forces just give up Srebrenica and elite soldiers flee, leaving rank and file soldiers and Muslim civilians to fend for themselves. Nearest
    4) Serbian army enters Srebrenica without having to fire a shot (because Muslim soldiers had already left)

  • Mark

    2nd part:
    5) Serbian army puts Muslim civilians on buses and they arrive safely at Muslim-controlled territory (wow, that sounds like real genocide)
    6) Muslim army fights its way to Muslim-controlled Tuzla through heavily fortified Serb positions (about 30 miles)
    7) Many Muslims died. Most probably in direct gunfights. Some were probably executed. The 8000 # does not match up with remains of about 2000 bodies found at site (victims of all nationalities, only a minority of these were found to be bound, i.e. executed). There is more at http://de-construct.net/
    Srebrenica has become a rallying cry for Muslims all over the world to play the victim card, more so than Fallujah. It motivates and gives false justification to them to attack christians, and the West. Ironically, as the West and authors like Stephen Brown are responsible for propagating this myth.

  • LindaRivera

    In 1999 US/NATO took the side of the KLA Muslim terrorist organization and waged ruthless war on Christian Serb innocents.

    Alija Izetbegovic stated in the ISLAMIC DECLARATION that:
    – “there can be neither peace nor coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic social and political institutions”; http://www.balkanpeace.org/cib/bos/bosi/bosi01.ht

    For National Post, May 31, 1999.

    For 69 days the democratic countries of the West have been systematically smashing to pieces a modern European state… The air strikes have degenerated into a war of annihilation against the Serbian people.

    Even before the bombing, its economy had collapsed as a result of economic sanctions. …

    It was a country that presented no threat either to its neighbors or to European security. Prior to the NATO air attack it was balancing on the edge of survival.

    Despite this, our NATO leaders — without consulting their parliaments or their people — have chosen to bomb Yugoslavia into submission.

    NATO has judged Serbian people to be collectively guilty of daring to defy an ultimatum, which no sovereign nation could have accepted.

    The civilized world is now standing by witnessing the destruction of a country and annihilation of its people.

    NATO is using the most dreadful weapons of modern warfare: cluster bombs and cruise missiles. Many of the weapons being used contain depleted uranium, which will spread deadly radioactive dust throughout the region, contaminating for generations water, soil and crops.

    NATO’s unprovoked attack is a blatant violation of every precept of international law.

    To their everlasting shame, our NATO leaders have chosen war over peace in Kosovo. They have abandoned diplomacy in favor of bloodshed. .. They have smashed the framework of world security. They have guaranteed that we will start the new century as we did this one, with killing and carnage. They have left us with a terrible legacy. With six months to go before the millennium, they have taken us back to barbarism. http://www.deltax.net/bissett/a-bombing.htm

    Cruel global jihad is waged against the world’s non-Muslim innocents – Western ruling elites help and empower Muslim jihadist supremacists in their goal of world conquest.

  • LindaRivera

    On the side of KLA Muslim terrorist organization, US/NATO waged merciless war on Serb Christians based on a PHONY massacre US/NATO knew never took place. That American and other Western leaders are rabidly anti-Christian and anti-Jew and highly favor and vigorously support the most radical elements of Islam is painfully obvious.

    NATO War Crimes and links to Al Qaeda confirmed former UN Commander in the Balkans

    We bombed the wrong side?
    by Lewis MacKenzie

    National Post, 6 April 2004

    Five years ago our television screens were dominated by pictures of Kosovo-Albanian refugees escaping across Kosovo’s borders to the sanctuaries of Macedonia and Albania. Shrill reports indicated that Slobodan Milosevic’s security forces were conducting a campaign of genocide and that at least 100,000 Kosovo-Albanians had been exterminated and buried in mass graves throughout the Serbian province.

    NATO sprung into action and, in spite of the fact no member nation of the alliance was threatened, commenced bombing not only Kosovo, but the infrastructure and population of Serbia itself…

    Those of us who warned that the West was being sucked in on the side of an extremist, militant, Kosovo-Albanian independence movement were dismissed as appeasers.

    The fact that the lead organization spearheading the fight for independence, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), was universally designated a terrorist organization and known to be receiving support from Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda was conveniently ignored.

    …Those Serbs forced to leave joined the 200,000 who had been cleansed from the province since NATO’s “humanitarian” bombing in 1999…

    Since the NATO/UN intervention in 1999, Kosovo has become the crime capital of Europe. The sex slave trade is flourishing. The province has become an invaluable transit point for drugs…

    The objective of the Albanians is to purge all non-Albanians…from Kosovo The campaign started with their attacks on Serbian security forces in the early 1990s…

    There was no genocide as claimed by the West — the 100,000 allegedly buried in mass graves turned out to be around 2,000, of all ethnic origins, including those killed in combat during the war itself.

    The Kosovo-Albanians have played us like a Stradivarius. We have subsidized and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo…

    When they achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars combined with those of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world. http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MAC404A.html

    Maj-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, now retired, commanded UN troops during the Bosnian civil war of 1992.

    US/NATO showed the world that you have reason to fear if you are not Muslim-but it is not always the Muslims who are to be feared.

  • LindaRivera

    Please excuse me, the link I gave is no longer good. Here is another link:

    The Centre for Peace in the Balkans
    The "ideals" of Izetbegovic are clearly stated in his book The Islamic Declaration in which he wrote: "There can be neither peace nor coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic social and political institutions," and

    "The Islamic movement must and can take over political power as soon as it is morally and numerically so strong that it can not only destroy the existing non-Islamic power, but build up a new Islamic one."

    …However, the duplicity and chicanery does not end there. Why is Izetbegovic, the supreme Muslim commander, not accountable for war crimes committed by the notorious 7th Muslim Brigade? It is extremely disturbing that Izetbegovic has avoided the scrutiny and judgement of The Hague Tribunal as supreme commander of the Bosnian Muslim army which committed many war crimes in Sarajevo, Kozani, Konjic, Grabovica, Uzdol, Miletici, Dusina, and other places. http://www.balkanpeace.org/index.php?index=/conte

  • LindaRivera

    America’s Veterans The Serbian People Are Heroes! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0vUQNqB6jw&fe
    The reason for our tribute to General Mihailovich is first and foremost our gratitude to him for saving the lives of over 500 American airmen whom he rescued. Despite communist disinformation both during World War II and after, preserved historical documents and facts conclusively demonstrate the General Mihailovich was an heroic anti-Nazi, but also an anti-Communist. It was the latter that led to his murder.

    State Department Bureaucrats Suppress the Truth About Serbs
    Why are the lifestyles of the red and famous untouchable? Why is there so little challenge to the reliability of Communist-produced evidence? http://de-construct.net/?p=8114

    I am forever grateful to the brave Christian Serbs who rescued American military and other allies. An entire village of Christian Serbs were barbarically put to death because they refused to tell where the Americans and allies were hid. The light that was their lives, lives on.

  • Marianne

    I agree totally with Linda Revera and Mark. I am ashamed as a Jew that the ethnic Serbs were betrayed in this way. Serbian Christians were the ones who fought on the side of the partisans against the Nazis in WWII, and who saved many Jews from the Nazis, who were happy to enlist the help of Muslims so cruel the Nazis themselves were sickened by their cruelty. I am appalled, Stephen Brown, that you should write this article for a Jewish magazine. Well done those who mentioned how the United States was complicit with NATO and other countries in bolstering the Muslims of Kosovo, where Jihadis from all over Europe and the Middle East are free to train for and plan atrocities on Christians and Jews, while these vile hypocrites denied the ethnic Serbs the chance to defend themselves.

    I too would like to know how many Kosovo Albanian war criminals have been brought to trial.

  • Marianne

    Shame on the West for enabling the massacres and horrifying torture of tens of thousands of decent Serbian Christians, which is documented for all to see, and compounding this by colluding with the untruths of the Srebrenica so called massacre. Of the 8000 supposedly murdered, only 2000 bodies were found,and this number included dead Serbs, which one would expect to find in a civil war conflict, and it is also documented that that of the remaining 6000 supposedly genocided Bosnian Muslims, whose bodies were never found, miracle of miracles,a number of these "dead" Muslims turned up on the electoral register and voted in the later Bosnian elections.

  • Marianne


    The Srebrenica events had a number of features that made it possible to claim 8,000 "men and boys" executed. One was the confusion and uncertainty about the fate of the fleeing Bosnian Muslim forces, some reaching Tuzla safely, some killed in the fighting, and some captured. The 8,000 figure was first provided by the Red Cross, based on their crude estimate that the BSA had captured 3,000 men and that 5,000 were reported "missing." [35] It is well established that thousands of those "missing" had reached Tuzla or were killed in the fighting, [36] but in an amazing transformation displaying the eagerness to find the Bosnian Serbs evil and the Muslims victims, the "reaching safety/killed-in-action" basis of being missing was ignored and the missing were taken as executed! This misleading conclusion was helped along by the Red Cross's reference to the 5,000 as having "simply disappeared," and its failure to correct this politically biased usage and claim despite its own recognition that "several thousand" refugees had reached Central Bosnia. [37]

  • Marianne

    It was also helped along by the Bosnian Muslim leadership's refusal to disclose the names and numbers of those reaching safety, [38] but there was a remarkable readiness in the Western establishment not only to ignore those reaching safety, but also to disregard deaths in fighting and to take dead bodies as proving executions. The will to believe here was limitless: reporter David Rohde saw a bone sticking up in a grave site near Srebrenica, which he just knew by instinct was a remnant of an execution and serious evidence of a "massacre." [39] It was standard media practice to move from an asserted and unproven claim of thousands missing, or a report of the uncovering of bodies in a grave site, to the conclusion that the claim of 8,000 executed was thereby demonstrated. [40]

  • Marianne

    I have always donated to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, but from now on they will never receive a penny from me. They persist in colluding with the Albanian Kosovans, in underwriting their myths both in terms of assisting Jews during the war, and completely revising what the Albanians did both in terms of war crimes against the Serbs, and criminal activities during the Balkan war and since.
    Jews Still Falling for the Same Tired 90s Balkan Tricks: This Time, Simon Wiesenthal Center.
    Posted by Julia Gorin http://www.juliagorin.com/wordpress/?p=2636

    Posted by Julia Gorin http://www.juliagorin.com/wordpress/?p=2622

  • debarrio

    War leads to gruesome results. Ask the women and children of Dresden and Hiroshima. Mladic is a Politically Incorrect War Criminal who was just speaking the language the Muslim Hoards understand.

  • LindaRivera

    At Pajamas Media, Ben Cohen, has an article about this arrest also. There are some good comments on the article. Ben Cohen censored my three comments! I was sad to see that some of the commenters slandered the Serbs by claiming that most Serbs are anti-semetic.

  • Vaughn

    8000 Muslims?????…..where's the downside to this? Sooner than later, we'll be needing many Mladics around the world.

  • Janez

    A few facts: it was the Serbs who began with attrocities in the proces of breaking up Yugoslavia, even though other nations were to blame. The first massacre occured already around Easter day 1991 in Plitvice, Croatia – Serbian paramilitary forces butchered a busload of Croatian cadets.

  • Janez

    The Serbs were the ones who started founding different 'republics' within Croatia first and then Bosnia already in 1989, most notably in Knin. True, this was probably due to the still living memory of what happened to them during WW2 from the Croat regime. They also tried to organize in Slovenia in 1991 under a guy called Marojevic, but thankfully only a few thousand joined them and Slovenia treated them as a group of citizens with a right to protest and they got not serious following.

  • Janez

    It was the Serbs who started their siege of Sarajevo before the Muslims had time to perpetrate any attrocities. Perhaps it is good that you know these things before any of you start giving lectures about the wrong people being bombed. Had the Serbs not been afraid of western intervention they would have bombed independent Slovenia to smithereens regardless of victims and the process of Yugoslavia's desintegration would have stopped. Or they would have razed Croatia to the Ground or even Bosnia. Remember, they had the entire ex-Yu military arsenal at their disposal, and Yugoslavia was one big military depot, while the west denied the newly independent countries the right to arm legally. So I am very happy they did bomb the Serbs and am only sad they hadn't done it much sooner.__And another thing: Srebrenica is by no account the largest massacre in post-WW2 Europe. This happens to be Slovenia, where about (conservative estimates) 100.000 people, mostly anti-communist armies, were killed and thrown in carstic pits, anti-tank shelters and big bomb craters in 1945 and 1946.

  • LindaRivera

    No one is giving lectures! Maj-Gen MacKenzie does NOT lecture. He gives FACTS.

    Maj-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, now retired, commanded UN troops during the Bosnian civil war of 1992. This man KNOWS what took place.