Closing the Week 21 – Featuring Mladic and the Shadow of Srebrenica
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Featuring Mladic and the Shadow of Srebrenica
Duke University Press Log: Judith Armatta on the Arrest of Ratko Mladic
The arrest of Ratko Mladic demonstrates how far the world community has moved from providing warlords and tyrants with golden parachutes. The arrest of Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarek and the indictment of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi provide further evidence of the degree to which accountability for crimes by the powerful has taken root. Mubarek will stand trial in Egypt before an Egyptian court. Gaddafi has been indicted by the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, an indictment that must be confirmed by a trial chamber of the ICC before an arrest can be made, which at this point is not imminent as Gaddafi remains in power.
What I find fascinating about the international reaction to his arrest is the importance of this man being brought to trial. At no point I am aware of during his years of hiding was it argued that he should instead be taken out by a targeted killing – partly because it was recognized that justice for his victims required a trial. Recent empirical research demonstrates that these courts have not only been able to effectively carry out prosecutions, but have had a number of other important positive side-effects, with few of the negatives originally feared. I remain puzzled that the ad hoc tribunal model has not been seriously considered for KSM, OBL or other terrorist masterminds.
The false interpretation of “Srebrenica” as part of an ongoing Serb project of “genocide” was used to incite the NATO war against Yugoslavia, which devastated a country and left behind a cauldron of hatred and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. The United States is currently engaged in a far more murderous and destructive war in Iraq. In this context, the Western lamentations that inflate the Srebrenic massacre into “the greatest mass genocide since Nazi times” are a diversion from the real existing genocide, which is not the work of some racist maniac, but the ongoing imposition of a radically unjust socio-economic world order euphemistically called “globalization”.
The arrest of Ratko Mladi? has been warmly welcomed in the Netherlands. The former Bosnian Serb army chief is accused of a genocide that took place virtually under the noses of the Dutch UN forces. They were supposed to be protecting the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica in 1995. The fall of the enclave and the murder of almost 8,000 Bosnian Muslims is therefore remembered by the Dutch as a black page in their country’s history. It was the worst atrocity committed in Europe since the Second World War.
Mladic, 69, was one of the world’s most-wanted fugitives — the top commander of the Bosnian Serb army during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, which left more than 100,000 people dead and drove another 1.8 million from their homes. Thousands of Muslims and Croats were killed, tortured or driven out in a campaign to purge the region of non-Serbs.
Less than a month after the death of Osama bin Laden, Ratko Mladic, one of the most evil men of the 20th century, has been captured. The moment is sweet. For me, bittersweet. For 16 years, Mladic had been Richard Holbrooke’s nemesis, and my husband died without seeing him brought to justice. Mladic’s freedom all these years after the Dayton Accords put an end to the Bosnian war was a personal wound for Richard, the chief architect of that agreement. We cannot call Dayton a success while Mladic is free, my husband used to say.
Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military leader during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, was indicted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal in 1995 on charges of genocide and other crimes against humanity.
Serbia announced his arrest on May 26, 2011.
“On behalf of the Republic of Serbia we announce that Ratko Mladic has been arrested,” Boris Tadic, the country’s president, said.
“Today we closed one chapter of our recent history that will bring us one step closer to full reconciliation in the region.”
With video cameras capturing the moment, Gen. Ratko Mladic’s bodyguards handed out chocolates to Bosnian Muslim children, promising terrified women that the violence was over.
“No one will be harmed,” the Bosnian Serb commander said on July 12, 1995, gently patting a young boy on the head. “You have nothing to fear. You will all be evacuated.”
As Bosnian Serb troops brutally ‘cleansed’ their ethnic rivals from land they claimed, Mladic and Karadzic defended their actions.
Not only is Mladic’s arrest important, but so too is the reaction of average Serbs. So far it has been extremely balanced and accepting. On the morning of the Mladic’s detention, President Tadic said that his arrest was necessary to restore Serbian honor. This is indeed a time for Serbs, but also the rest of the Balkan population to recognize that terrible crimes were perpetuated in their name, but those who committed the crimes will face justice.
Mladic and his ilk should never be allowed to become local heroes; all people of the Balkans should clearly see them for who they are: ruthless cold blooded war criminals. This will provide the basis needed for reconciliation and forgiveness.
Serb authorities arrested today Ratko Mladic, former commander of the Bosnian Serb army and author of the Srebrenica massacre. Serbia is reportedly arranging Mladic’s transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague. Serbian president Boris Tadic has denied that the arrest was arranged to occur on the eve of a report from the ICTY and a visit by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. There’s long been speculation that the Serbian authorities knew where Mladic was but hesitated to seize him because of support for him in the armed forces.
On July 11, 1995, the Serbian army entered the town of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the days that followed killed 8,000 Bosniak men and boys. The Srebrenica genocide was the largest mass murder in Europe since the end of World War II, and the country is still recovering from the war that ended 15 years ago.
Almost eleven years since the gloriously announced democratic reforms and sixteen years since the Dayton agreement it is a high time for Serbia and the rest of the region to start walking towards the better future. Although Serbian Radical Party earlier today announced peaceful citizens’ protests and an opinion poll few days ago showed that 51 per cent of Serbia’s citizens is against Mladic’s arrest, I do not think that there is a political party or leader who would be able to make a political profit from organizing the protests similar to those when Radovan Karadzic was arrested.
The arrest of indicted Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic is a watershed moment in the region. But there are significant perils in it as well, and perhaps not where one might expect to find them.
I’ve been in Srebrenica and also in a morgue with several hundred unidentified bodies and also in Crni vrh – Zvornik the largest mass grave from a genocide in BiH. I wish Ratko Mladi? a fair trail, because fairness is what he deserves, although it can not be delivered in Haag or any other trial and also not in a/one lifetime, but he will get what he deserves! Above are images from Crni Vrh, Poto?ari, Sarajevo, Bijeli potok, Srebrenica. The sign on a billboard, written in Cyrillic is taken in Serbian part of BiH and my best translation would be “It is difficult to god, the way we are!”.
After rejecting ethnic division and asserting “brotherhood and unity”, how did Mladic become an accused war criminal?
This article examines scholarly discourse on the wars in the former Yugoslavia. It focuses on relativistic arguments put forward by anthropologists and shows how such mask and elide central historical realities of the con?ict. Relativistic accounts of serious modern con?icts often mirror and offer legitimation to the accounts put forth by perpetrators. In this case, several leading accounts of the wars in the former Yugoslavia display a strong af?nity to those asserted by Serbian nationalists. The article addresses the issue of ethics and intellectual responsibility in anthropological ?eldwork in situations of con?ict and the problem of the political uses of anthropological research.
Religion and the Public
Views: Matters of Ultimate Concern – Inside Higher Ed
The papers and exchanges at the Cooper Union in October 2009 were, for the most part, sober enough. Discussions of the concept of the public sphere tend to be more civil than the actually existing public sphere itself. But we shouldn’t take this for granted. Quite a bit has changed since Habermas introduced the term about 50 years ago — and the vectors of argument in The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere place his initial formulation under a lot of strain.
In The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere a group of preeminent philosophers confront one pervasive contemporary concern: what role does — or should — religion play in our public lives? Reflecting on her recent work concerning state violence in Israel-Palestine, Judith Butler explores the potential of religious perspectives for renewing cultural and political criticism, while Jürgen Habermas, best known for his seminal conception of the public sphere, thinks through the ambiguous legacy of the concept of “the political” in contemporary theory. Charles Taylor argues for a radical redefinition of secularism, and Cornel West defends civil disobedience and emancipatory theology. Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan VanAntwerpen detail the immense contribution of these philosophers to contemporary social and political theory, and an afterword by Craig Calhoun places these attempts to reconceive the significance of both religion and the secular in the context of contemporary national and international politics.
Dutch courts have not prosecuted a blasphemy case since putting a novelist on trial in 1966 for a story about wanting to have sex with God, who had taken the form of a donkey.
Traditionally, cognitive scientists have argued for a large cognitive divide between folk religion and theology. Folk religious beliefs are considered to be cognitively natural, whereas theology is chock-full of concepts that are difficult to represent. Pascal Boyer has termed the tendency of laypeople to distort official theological doctrines to reflect more intuitive modes of reasoning ”the tragedy of the theologian”.
Three Days in Yemeni History | Waq al-Waq | Big Think
As I write, shelling is still going on around Sadiq’s house, and there are rumors that the 1st Armored Division is preparing for war. Meanwhile, tribesmen loyal to Sadiq are rushing south from Amran towards the capital to defend their shaykh, while the US ambassador is reportedly preparing to depart the country.
It isn’t clear where this headed, or what can be done from the outside, probably not much. Salih has let slip the dogs of war. This is likely to get worse before it gets better.
The May 15 demonstrations reinvigorated the long-alienated Palestinian refugee community; although it is 70 percent of the Palestinian population, it has been largely shut out of the negotiations process with Israel. The emerging unity was on display at Qalandia, where youth trying to symbolically march from Ramallah to Jerusalem wore black T-shirts with the slogan “Direct Elections for the Palestine National Council, a Vote for Every Palestinian, Everywhere.” The PNC is the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation organization and is responsible for electing its executive committee. Traditionally, seat allocation in the PNC has been divided to represent the influence factions within the PLO, of which Hamas is not a member.
Last week reader sent an email asking a number of questions about the impact of the Arab uprisings on the Arab region in terms of the foreign policy of the countries in the region, from the perspective of some one who generally focuses on the Maghreb. Another reader emailed and asked for thoughts on Libya specifically. This is the response to both, not totally coherent (these are areas of generally peripheral interest/knowledge for this blogger) but here is a summary and then a very general thought dump on: Libya, Egypt, Turkey, Iran and regional Islamist movements (some of it is a bit dated, since it was written a week ago). Take it all with a grain of salt.
What started as a small group on Facebook earlier this year, has since grown into a nationwide movement made up of a loose coalition of leftists, liberals and members of the conservative Islamist right. Inspired by the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings and powered by new media, the movement convinced hundreds of thousands to take to the streets. The demonstrations held week in, week out, were remarkably peaceful. In response, King Mohammed VI promised a package of constitutional reforms to be submitted to a referendum in June. But as protesters, unconvinced by the King’s promise, vow to keep up pressure on the regime, authorities seem increasingly impatient and determined to break up protests violently, paving the way toward escalation and confrontation with the street. The middle class is joining the mass of demonstrators, moving the protests beyond the core of mobilized youth. Their target is the makhzen — which has become a code word for the monarchy’s abuses of power and monopoly over large sectors of the economy.
Berenice Post, an Arabic and English weekly, is one of more than 50 publications that have sprung up in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi since the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi. Young Libyans in this eastern city are taking advantage of newfound freedoms to churn out publications, sketch anti-Qaddafi caricatures and record revolutionary rap.
A specter is haunting the Arab world – the specter of democratic revolution. All the powers of the old Arab world have entered into a holy alliance with each other and the United States to exorcise this specter: king and sultan, emir and president, neoliberals and zionists.
While Marx and Engels used similar words in 1848 in reference to European regimes and the impending communist revolutions that were defeated in the Europe of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there is much hope in the Arab world that these words would apply more successfully to the ongoing democratic Arab uprisings.
The wave of protests shaking the Arab political regimes has quietly but forcefully made its way to Morocco. The February 20 youth movement—made up of a loose coalition of independent groups, backed by liberal, leftist, labor, and Islamist opposition movements—is leading the call for democratic change. Since February it has organized two mass demonstrations across fifty major cities and towns, drawing several hundred thousands of protesters. Social and political protests in Morocco are not new, nor do they yet threaten the survival of the regime. But the revolutionary spirit and mass appeal of the movement signal a major shift in popular attitudes regarding the monarchy’s monopoly and abuses of power.
Reuters ran a story last month alleging media bias in Al Jazeera’s coverage of the Arab Spring. This spawned a short flurry of online commentary, some posts more vitriolic than others. It also raised the awkward issue of how sectarianism impacts the regional spread and response to unrest, which is worth more considered attention than I have seen it given in mainstream reporting.
The thrust of the Reuters piece was that Al Jazeera, much applauded for their critical role in disseminating information on protests in Tunisia and Egypt (praise rightly deserved), had turned a blind eye to Bahraini protests out of deference to Qatari royal interests.
Racism, Sexism, Islamophobia
Dutch court rejects anti-Islam MP’s bias claim < | Expatica The Netherlands
An Amsterdam court rejected a claim by far right leader Geert Wilders that an earlier court decison was biased and that hate speech charges against him should be dropped.
“The request is denied,” said Judge Marcel van Oosten, during a hearing broadcast on the Internet by Dutch public television. “The trial must go on.”
Kanazawa’s argument is of course baseless and there is no scientific evidence to support his notion that black women have more testosterone than other races of women. The perception of Kanazawa and the Ad Health interviewers is a direct reflection of the historical social construction of black women (and whites) by elite white men, such as Thomas Jefferson and Georges Cuvier. This is a society historically constructed by elite white men, whereby their notion of beauty is treated as the irrevocable truth. A socially created “truth,” that has not only been accepted by whites, but also by some people of color. As far back as the 15th and 16th centuries, European travelers and scientists have defined black women as innately inferior to white women in beauty, sexuality, and femininity. These early European travelers often defined black women as masculine and thus fit for the hard life of slavery.
People from ethnic minorities are up to 42 times more likely than white people to be the target of a counter-terrorism power which allows the stopping and searching of the innocent yet grants them fewer rights than suspected criminals, official figures seen by the Guardian show.
As media coverage shifts to the rising backlash against the chauvinism of Strauss-Kahn’s defenders, journalists should remember that in France, as in the U.S., sexism is rarely separable from racial and religious prejudice. While journalists rightfully dismiss conspiracy theories from anonymous bloggers, they would do well to heed the insights of scholars and op-ed writers who highlight the relationship between male chauvinism and anti-Muslim prejudice in French culture.
This blog is for those who have experienced what other possible worlds are out there, who have dedicated time of their own to get to know another culture, another lifestyle… for those who realize that things could be different.
I seem to spend a lot of my social media research time tagging web contents rather than taking fieldnotes. By ‘tagging’ I mean attaching keywords such as ‘activism’, ‘protest’, and ‘sinde’ to online materials that seem useful and then saving them on the bookmarking site Delicious.com, or (less frequently) on this blog, or ‘sharing’ them via Twitter through hashtags (e.g. #activism, #socialmedia, #egypt).
Marcel Mauss was a prolific financial journalist, writing about the exchange rate crisis of 1922-24 at the same time as he was writing The Gift; but he kept them in separate compartments and economic anthropologists have been content to ignore his political writings. The recent emergence of the ethnographic study of finance promises to break down this division. But how might such an approach be integrated into the history of money at the global level? This paper outlines an approach to the anthropology of money drawing both on classical sources and on developments since the 1980s. With this in mind a number of ethnographies of finance are reviewed, paying attention to their methods and conclusions. How much has this exciting initiative contributed to a better understanding of the world economy today? What else is needed?
Not for the faint of heart, red lipstick is like vibrance and confidence in a tube. But where did its sultry reputation originate? And why doesn’t a pale lip or a smoky eye conjure the same mood as only a red mouth can? Here’s where apothecary meets anthropology.
I find all of this encouraging on a number of counts. I am encouraged that there are wealthy persons like Ferguson who have both a critical intelligence and a conscience, as well as the talent to make a powerful film. I am encouraged that the film had the power to expose and shame an influential person, his field, and his institution, and possibly bring about some small but real change. I am encouraged that the Times covered, and indeed constructed, the story. It will only be out of some complicated conjuncture of people and forces like this – between wealthy and powerful renegades like Ferguson, powerful media like the New York Times (and smart reporters like Sewell Chan), anthropologists and others writing and teaching about what is going on, and ordinary people themselves, in their infinite practical wisdom, in every part of the globe – that some kinds of solutions may emerge.
During my explanation my father joined us on Messenger, and Zahra started talking:
– Daddy, do you know? Ali said that the people in the Netherlands do not have any kind of problems, and that is the reason they create their problems, and then they demonstrate against their imagined problems!!
I honestly didn’t use this theoretical level of words! Now I wondered: who is the sociologist in my family??!!
Peirce, whose recently published book “Dispatches from the Dark Side” contains an essay entitled “The Framing of Al Megrahi” spoke to The Firm exclusively about the Pan Am 103 case and said that her involvement was prompted in part by her learning that the same discredited personnel whose flawed evidence was instrumental in convicting the Guildford and Birmingham convicts were also the providers of the key flawed evidence in the Megrahi case.
Aylin Selcuk may be the granddaughter of a Turkish immigrant, and a Muslim to boot, but she only really began to feel different from other Germans after a certain central banker spoke out.
In part, the presumed self-evidence of the footage is attributable to its form – this being a video steeped in the familiar YouTube aesthetics of amateur production which we have all learned to read; indeed, some media outlets referred to it as a “home movie.” Yet self-evidence also depends on the video’s co-star: the television (indeed, the first minutes of footage focus solely on the TV screen, featuring a menu of channels and Bin Laden’s incriminating choice, Al Jazeera). If we believe the mainstream media, the video’s ability to “demystify the Bin Laden legend” rests in no small measure with the television itself. Consider the media’s depiction of this damning scene: “The video shows bin Laden sitting alone in a drab, run-down room in front of an old TV connected by a bundle of bare cables to a satellite receiver.” Or, from Tom Fuentes, former assistant director of the FBI on CNN: “An aging man crouched before a TV — a junkie TV, I might add — in a darkened room. Not exactly how most people picture the man who called for global jihad.” And: “So it’s a sort of a different image that some of this followers were being used to….There was nothing ostentatious about this video of Bin Laden. It wasn’t like he was looking at a flat screen…” (this from CNN’s ‘counter-terrorism expert’).
Fakhraie’s piece, “Roots,” appears in “I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim.” The collection of writing by 40 American Muslim women under the age of 40 was published this month by Ashland’s White Cloud Press. Each entry breaks open the life of a young woman who is at once ordinary and exceptional, who lives her life of faith under a spotlight that is often harsh.
Niet iedere allochtoon is zoals de Telegraaf suggereert ‘geen Nederlander’, de meeste zijn genaturaliseerd en net zo Nederlands als Maxima. Veel hier zijn hier geboren en net zo Nederlands als Amaiia, onze toekomstige koningin. Maxima en Amalia zijn net als veel andere allochtonen ‘wit’ en geen moslim.
Van islamisering van Amsterdam is voorlopig geen sprake. Al jaren schommelt het aantal Amsterdammers dat zichzelf moslim noemt rond de 12%.
Amsterdam is net als veel andere hoofdsteden een stad met vele etnische groepen en nationaliteiten. Dat is op zich geen reden voor zorg of alarm. Wat wel reden tot zorg geeft, is dat er in Amsterdam steeds meer sprake lijkt te zijn van etnische tweedeling
De segregatie langs etnische lijnen in Amsterdam neemt nog altijd toe. Vooral buiten de ring is er sprake van een stijging van het aandeel niet-westerse allochtonen. Onder deze groepen is de werkloosheid fors hoger, ligt het opleidingsniveau lager, is er sprake van een slechtere gezondheid, heeft men minder vaak een eigen woning en voelt men zich vaker eenzaam en gediscrimineerd. Turken hebben de meeste problemen met hun gezondheid, de ontwikkeling van Surinaamse Amsterdammers stagneert en maar liefst 42% van de Marokkaanse kinderen leeft in armoede.
Wat ook niet vrolijk stemt is dat steeds meer Amsterdammers alleen vrienden uit de eigen etnische groep hebben. Dit geldt voor Surinamers, Turken en Marokkanen en ook voor autochtonen.
Dat zijn enkele conclusies uit de vorige week gepresenteerde participatiemonitor De Staat van de Stad VI en de Diversiteits- en Integratiemonitor 2010. Beide onderzoeken zijn uitgevoerd door het Amsterdamse onderzoeksbureau O+S.
“De deur is geopend voor conservatieve krachten in onze maatschappij, die een bedreiging vormen voor de positie van de vrouw”, zegt Tanahi al-Gabali. Zij was de eerste vrouwelijke rechter van Egypte, en is nu lid van het hooggerechtshof. Trouw spreekt met haar over de positie van vrouwen in Egypte na de revolutie.
Als het aan de radicale islamitische groepering Sharia4Holland ligt bieden restaurants, café’s en uitgaansgelegenheden zo spoedig mogelijk aparte toiletgelegenheden voor mannen en vrouwen. Tevens pleit de organisatie voor gescheiden sportteams en aparte gelegenheden tot douchen achteraf. Moslims in Nederland reageren verheugd, tegenstanders vrezen ‘een stap terug naar de middeleeuwen’.