International law and genocidal military leaders

“A tall, athletic man with a bouffant hairstyle” is how The Today Programme reporter described the Radovan Karadžić of the 1990s, a Serbian military commander indicted for ordering the Srebrenica massacre and siege of Sarajevo, finally apprehended last week on a bus in Vracar.

Marko Attila Hoare refers to him as a secondary figure in the conflict but emphasises that it is the indictment which drove him and the higher command into hiding and permanently marginalised them from power. For the same reason he welcomes the indictment of Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of Sudan, by the International Criminal Court on suspicion of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Marko Attila Hoare slams The Guardian (of New Stalinism), whose line is to oppose this indictment, presumably as just another figleaf for Western imperialism.

“Veteran Sudan correspondent Julie Flint has aligned herself with the appeasers on this question; she really ought to know better. As for Guardian journalist Jonathan Steele, his polemic in opposition to the indictment of Bashir is an absolute disgrace; he actually uses phrases like ‘The conflict in Darfur is too complex and the attempts to resolve it are too delicate for so one-sided and blunt an approach’, and even ‘Atrocities have been committed on all sides’. Steele followed this up with a eulogy to the Russian regime of Dmitry Medvedev, even complaining that Medvedev has been ‘pilloried in Britain and the US for allegedly backing down on sanctions against Mugabe.’ Pilloried for defending Mugabe – how outrageous! Even as I write, no doubt many a bereaved mother in Zimbabwe and Chechnya is shedding tears of blood for the indignity suffered by the Russian President. According to Steele, ‘Russia has not always behaved well over the past decade and a half, but it is more provokee than provoker.’ If Steele can reduce Moscow’s slaughter of the Chechens, defence of Mugabe and attempts to sabotage Kosova’s independence and Balkan stability to it having simply ‘not always behaved well over the past decade and a half’, it is unsurprising he is less than enthusiastic about the prospect of Bashir being made to answer for his crimes. And it is a good reason why any sane person should support the opposite of what he advocates.”

Update: for a poem about the reluctance to call the genocide in Darfur a genocide, scroll to the bottom of David T’s post about poet Kevin Higgins whose anthology Time Gentlemen, Please marks

“a moving on for me from the far left causes which I used to support”.

“From the age of 15 to 27 I was an active Trotskyist,” he says. “I was the leader of the anti-poll tax campaign in the London Borough of Enfield when I lived there. From the age of 27 until, say, 38, a couple of years ago I thought it was a pity socialism was clearly now not going to happen. I was in a kind of mourning, I suppose. But now I think that, for all its faults, the society we have is far preferable to anything the ‘comrades’ would bring, were they, Lord protect us, ever to stumble into power.”

The question is, has the world changed or have I changed?


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