Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Hague's Most Wanted

My host country is again in the news for something good, which is almost a newsworthy even in and of itself. Just kidding. I love you, Serbia.

It seems that notorious Bosnian Serb war criminal Karadzic has been arrested in Belgrade, where he had been hiding under an assumed identity. This is a really big deal since one of the main conditions for Serbia entering talks with the EU is they cooperate handing over war criminals to the Hague. It's kinda an open secret that Karadzic and Mladic were hiding somewhere in Bosnia or Serbia and that if they reeeeally wanted to, the Serb authorities could track them down and arrest them. The fact that Karadzic was arrested two weeks after a new, pro-Europe government came to power in Serbia sort of seems to confirm this. A lot of people think Serbia will never join the EU, but a lot of people also thought that Karadzic would never get arrested, so who knows. I guess anything can happen in this crazy world.

So what do the people on the street think? Unfortunately I am not any special help here, as I haven't heard anyone talking about it. My language school is stubbornly apolitical and the two people I've hung out with today didn't mention in. Instead of politics we talked about music and sex in the city. Maybe there is more in common between Americans and Serbs than previously suspected! But I do know that most Serbs are fed up with the Hague because a lot of Croatian and KLA war criminals "suspects" have been acquitted. I can't really blame them, and it would be hypocritical anyway since America has such issues with the ICJ. Extradite Bush!! I mean...

Anyway, I am an optimist and like to take any sign as a hail of the coming of good times. So, yay. Basically anything that will get Serbia closer to joining the EU is a good thing in my opinion, whatever the naysayers say. If I know anything about the current situation in Serbia, it's that Serbs are tired of having to get visas to move ten feet to the left. But I think this article from the NYT, basically crediting the EU with everything good that has happened is Serbia in pretty much ever, is a little over the top. Sooo typical. Never the twain shall meet?

despite appearances, I actually don't know what I'm talking about. So if you disagree, please don't get mad.

1 comment:

Camille Acey said...

Yeah I have absolute mixed feelings about all of this. While there are many many ways that EU membership would help Serbia, I also see the ways it would hinder the country (total crap unfair immigration policies, total crap unfair labor policies, total irrelevant policies forced upon us by the Great Belgian Godhand). Somewhere along the way the S&A process stopped being about social justice and accountability and started to be about America leading the charge (with the EU basically following along) and really trying to "stick it to" Serbia, and frankly (as you point out) it is TOTALLY hypocritical. I commend Serbian politicians and activists (and others like our Žižek) who point out that this whole thing is kind of a kangaroo court. There is a good breakdown of the whole S&A thing here - http://fistfulofeuros.net/afoe/the-european-union/meanwhile-in-montenegro/#more-2884
*I barely know what I'm talking about either but I know a lot more than when I first got here. So I will stick to my opinion but am open to being swayed