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For Europe, a Light of Truth in the Balkans

Posted March 30th, 2016 at 8:23 am (UTC-4)
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Europe is feeling low these days over its inability to deal with violence by both Muslim terrorists and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. It should take heart. Last week an international court sent a strong message of justice – and truth – about the last eruption of violence on the Continent, the Balkan Wars     […]

Justice in the Balkans: Too Little, Too Late?

Posted March 24th, 2016 at 4:03 pm (UTC-4)
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Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, infamously known as “the butcher of the Balkans,” was served up justice Thursday at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. He will serve 40 years in prison for his crimes, most notoriously for overseeing the 1995 execution of an estimated 8,000 Muslim men in Srebrenica, a Bosnian enclave that, at the time, was being “protected” by Dutch peacekeepers.About a month later came the brutal bombing of civilians shopping at a market in Sarajevo— an atrocity that brought the severity of the Balkan wars into clear focus and jump-started a harder line with its perpetrators. More than 20 years after the fact, Karadzic has been held accountable. But like the trials for the Nazis, the genocidaires of Rwanda, Liberia’s war president Charles Taylor and Cambodia’s killing machine known as the Khmer Rouge, this moment took a long to happen. A very long time. Does it make up for the pain? Does it heal the traumas, the losses, the daily lives that have been forever shattered? Grief is such a personal experience that it is nearly impossible to know. What history tells us is that justice does come, evil acts are acknowledged—even if at a hopelessly slow pace and, oft times, in the most shallow way.