Ratko Mladic Arrested

Former Serbian commander Ratko Mladic has been arrested for alleged war crimes committed in the 1990s.

Former Serbian commander Ratko Mladic has been arrested for alleged war crimes committed in the 1990s.

CNN (“Former Serbian commander Ratko Mladic is arrested“):

Police in Serbia have arrested former Serbian military commander Ratko Mladic, the highest-ranking war crimes suspect still at large from the Balkan wars of the 1990s, Serbia’s president announced Thursday.

“Today we arrested Ratko Mladic,” Serbian President Boris Tadic said. Tadic said Mladic was detained in Serbia. The president said the arrest will help the process of reconciliation throughout the Balkans. “All war criminals must face justice,” Tadic said.

Police are doing DNA tests on the man to determine if he is Mladic, the radio station reported, citing a leading Croatian newspaper. The radio station said it “contacted the police, but was told only that an identity check and DNA analysis were ‘ongoing.'”

Mladic, 69, is wanted on charges of genocide, extermination and murder, among others, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The tribunal accuses him of “direct involvement in the genocide committed after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995,” and the killing of “close to 8,000 men and boys following the fall of this enclave.” The massacre of the Muslim men and boys is thought to be the largest individual slaughter in Europe since the end of World War II.

The 1992-1995 Bosnian war was the longest of the wars spawned by the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. Backed by the government of then-Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, Bosnian Serb forces seized control of more than half the country and launched a campaign against the Muslim and Croat populations.

Mladic has been on the run since the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina ended in 1995.

The Srebrenica massacre was indeed a horrible crime for which the leaders should pay; even in war, there’s a duty to protect noncombatants. But the notion that the central government’s using force against rebels amounts to “seiz[ing] control of more than half the country” or “launch[ing] a campaign against the Muslim and Croat populations” is a bizarre revisionism at its worst. As I said only half jokingly at the time, Slobodan Milošević was Yugoslavia’s Abraham Lincoln, determined to preserve the union even if he had to kill tens of thousands of his countrymen to do it.

FILED UNDER: Europe, Quick Takes, World Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Andyman says:

    There’s a difference between trying to hold a country together, for which there’s quite a bit of tolerance in the international community, and using the chaos of a dissolution as an opportunity for an ethnicity-based land grab. Carving a “Greater Serbia” out of Croatia and Bosnia is not exactly Lincolnesque.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    Now he’ll be sentenced to life while his case is being tried by the International Criminal Tribunal.

  3. TG Chicago says:

    I wonder how many of the rightwing commenters here will view the slaughter of Muslims as a crime.

  4. James Joyner says:

    @Andyman: Yugoslavia was an internationally recognized sovereign state, of which Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo were constituent parts. Yugoslavia was long dominated by the Serbs.

    @Dave: Yep.

  5. DC Loser says:

    @James – Srebrennica happened around 1995, long after Yugoslavia ceased to exist. Croatia, Bosnia-Herzogovina, Slovenia were all internationally recognized sovereign states alongside what remained of the so-called Former Republic of Yugoslavie (FRY as we called it in the US Gov), aka Serbia and Montenegro. What Mladic and Karadic did was to forcibly expel non-Serbs from those areas of Croatia and Bosnia and carve out a Serb entity inside those countries. The Bosnian war was notionally a civil war between its Muslim and Serb populations. The Republika Srpska that Karadic and Mladic fought for was an entity inside Bosnia that was aligned with the FRY to form a Greater Serbia.

  6. orangemtl says:

    TG Chicago: I think ALL of us will consider it a crime.
    Unlike liberal relativists, who cry the blues over terrorists in Gitmo but couldn’t care less about anyone in any red state of the Union, we regard human life as valuable, regardless of who happens to retain it. Even those who aren’t quite born yet (“Planned Parenthood, to the white courtesy phone; Planned Parenthood…”).

    If it was the murder of 8000 Tea Party activists, or 8000 nonHispanic Texans, you’d hear crickets from CNN and the New York Times, but little else. And if it was 8000 Republicans in DuPage County (there’s one less, since I left for AZ), you’d see paeans of joy in the Sun Times and Chicago Tribune.
    Enjoy your corrupt, bankrupt state of Illinois, BTW. 50 years was sufficient for me, thanks.

  7. michael reynolds says:

    Yes, Orangemetl has it exactly right: if 8000 Tea Party activists were murdered CNN and the NYT wouldn’t even report it.

    Yep.

    We have another crazy.

  8. Herb says:

    Slobodan Milošević was Yugoslavia’s Abraham Lincoln, determined to preserve the union even if he had to kill tens of thousands of his countrymen to do it.

    Nah, Milosevic didn’t give a crack about the union. His main concern was protecting the Serbs who woke up in a foreign country when Croatia and Bosnia declared independence.

    Don’t forget, Milosevic let Slovenia secede without a fight. The reason: “There are no Serbs in Slovenia.” (Paraphrasing a direct quote.)

    As for the “bizarre revisionism” of Mladic’s targeting of the Croat/Bosnian populations…..that’s exactly what he did. He targeted the populations. Ciscenje terena, they called it.

    May he rot in hell.

  9. TG Chicago says:

    Unlike liberal relativists, who cry the blues over terrorists in Gitmo but couldn’t care less about anyone in any red state of the Union, we regard human life as valuable, regardless of who happens to retain it.

    Awesome. You demonstrate that you regard all human life as valuable by showing disdain for anyone (guilty or innocent) who has been in Gitmo.

    And given that most of the Gitmo detainees are Muslim, I think you answered my question. Thanks!

  10. Neil Hudelson says:

    orangemtl : NAILED IT! Good job man. You pegged us liberals exactly right.

    Please, come around here some more. I was getting tired of the lunacy of jwest, Grand Dragon Southern Hooser, and Wiley/Zels. We could use some fresh craziness and you…you show potential.

    Just try to stick to the quick takes and Palin posts, eh? Please don’t try to mess up the threads on policy and good governance. We reserve those threads for adults only.

  11. An Interested Party says:

    I had no idea that ethnic cleansing is considered Lincolnesque…

  12. orangemtl says:

    Will do, Neil.
    And you can reserve your snarky and yet, at the same time inexperienced and uninformed commentary to Salon.com and Letters to Mother Jones.
    Yes, there’s nothing crazier than holding genocidal creeps like Mladic in contempt, along with jihadist loons who find no moral problem with killing Christians and/or Americans simply for being….Christians or Americans. Yes, that is most assuredly a wild-eyed, extremist position.
    In Berkeley.
    And/or in whatever liberal, parasitic environment you happen to inhabit.

    You’ll excuse me, but I have to go back to my job in order to pay 40% in taxes that you and the rest of the collectivists will p–s away. You’re welcome. Hope Starbuck’s lets you off early for the Memorial Day weekend.

  13. Neil Hudelson says:

    I’m actually a reporter for Mother Jones stationed in Berkley. Funny enough, my headquarters is a Starbucks. Man, your prescience is astounding.

  14. orangemtl says:

    You wear a size 9.5 shoe (narrow); your favorite color is cornflower, and your first girlfriend’s name was Patricia (though her parents always called her Patty, which she hated—remember?)

  15. anjin-san says:

    I was thinking about heading to Berkeley for dinner tomorrow. Possibly for some subversive, communistic Indian food. Might hit some book stores too. Probably an un-American activity in the eyes of tea party types. Will probably stop by the student store to pick up a new Cal hat too. I will be wearing my Donald J. Pliner walking boots, size 12.

    I really love Berkeley. Might move there if prices come down a bit more. And it’s worth noting that without Berkeley parasites, the internets would probably not exist.

  16. orangemtl says:

    Ah, yes, I forgot: the Internet was invented (under the direction of Al Gore) by the Women’s Studies and Social Equality Departments at Berkeley (CalTech, and the University of Illinois and MIT had NOTHING to do with it).
    Bookstores? I recall that a majority of college students at Georgetown thought that conservative websites should be ‘controlled’, as they can ‘lead to an awful lot of debate’ (look it up: happened this week). Nice, open intellectual atmosphere you have, there, comrades.

    I believe it’s generally conservatives that support the Bill of Rights without reservation: unlike ‘under the radar’ efforts (your President’s quote, not mine) to limit the Second Amendment, while quashing the First, every chance they get. Fourth Amendment? Janet Napolitano regards it as an inconvenience, and Holder will be the last guy to challenge her (too busy shielding “his people” from inconvenient voter interference suits—again, his words and not mine).

    Indian ‘communistic’ food? Strange; India has become one of the most aggressively capitalist nations in their region, second only to China. Food tastes like s–t, but that’s just me: I prefer Japanese, and especially tasty, tasty dead vertebrates.

    Next time you decide to make cutting comments about conservatives, make sure your comments make sense. And when you have twenty years of school, two board certifications, seven medical patents and a personal library of 2000 volumes, THEN you may look down upon me as your intellectual inferior. Amateur.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    Next time you decide to make cutting comments about conservatives, make sure your comments make sense.

    You should follow your own advice the next time you try to make cutting comments about anything…

    And when you have twenty years of school, two board certifications, seven medical patents and a personal library of 2000 volumes, THEN you may look down upon me as your intellectual inferior. Amateur.

    There’s nothing more tiresome than anonymous strangers bragging about what they supposedly possess…I’m thinking of a semi-regular around here who does the same thing…tell me, along with all of that, do you also have a partridge in a pear tree?

  18. anjin-san says:

    do you also have a partridge in a pear tree?

    Yes, and he can bend steel in his bare hands.

    And apparently he does not realize that no one takes him seriously enough to waste grade A sarcasm on him. Someone exhuming the beyond tired a decade ago “al gore invented the internet” line calling others amateurs? The irony meter just exploded.

    And I was so hoping for a comment on my snappy Donald J. Pliner Uptons…

  19. orangemtl says:

    Size 12? Good Lord, do you work stomping grapes in your free time?
    Feel free to disbelieve anything I’ve said. Sitting next to the infinity edge pool currently, watching the bats catch bugs over my patio; house paid off, thanks to the 20 years of schooling and patents that I either have, or don’t have (take your pick). Enjoying life in a state with perhaps the lowest percentage of liberal parasites in the country; deciding whether to fly my plane to Las Vegas, or a jaunt to Salt Lake City tomorrow. Because I can. And because you can’t.
    Capitalism is good.
    It gets worse: I’m healthy, and my wife and kids are beautiful. Enjoy your s–t life in California.

  20. anjin-san says:

    Size 12?

    You sound like a guy with a small man complex – the bragging complete strangers who do not care about you would tend to support that as well. Of course it’s possible that you are as successful as you would like us to think. In that case, your behavior is simply a little embarassing to anyone with any polish or sophistication. First day in town and you have to let everyone know what a winner you are? Well, that’s your problem.

    If you have nothing better to do than weave a fantasy about how my life sucks, have at it. Commenting about a subject you have no knowledge of simply confirms the impression that you are a fool. There are one or two regulars here who know a little bit about what my life is actually like, and they are probably having a good laugh now.

    BTW, when we moved last year I probably had 2000 books in boxes in the garage. Those are the ones I did not have room for in the house. Sold most of them and gave a lot to the thrift store too, I was feeling a bit to encumbered by possessions at the time. Do more reading now on my iPad now anyway.

    Don’t bother responding – you have had all the attention you merit already.

  21. orangemtl says:

    No, I just enjoy baiting people like you. Fun!
    Like poking a dog with a stick, only without the moral outrage.