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Karadzic's Arrest: Triumph of European Soft Power?

Finally, Serbia is back in Europe. Stephen Castle and Steven Erlanger write in the NY Times:

Europe on Tuesday welcomed the arrest of Radovan Karadzic not just as a victory for international justice, but as a vindication of the Continent's favored political doctrine: soft power. (...)
In the last few months the European Union has helped bring a pro-Western political party to victory in Serbia's elections while ensuring that it has powerful incentives to hand over war crimes suspects. The arrest of Mr. Karadzic demonstrates how effective the union's leverage can be, particularly with neighboring countries that have ambitions to join it.

Yeah, it only took a bit more than a decade...

But then again, how successful (and how costly) is hard power? Milosevic and Karadzic were not arrested during the many Balkan wars... (Well, obviously, without the wars, they might still be in power.) And capturing Saddam was much more expensive and demands from the US to a strong commitment to Iraq of at least a decade...

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Joe Noory on :

If anything the DELAY of Jerry Garcia arrest was a victory for 'soft power'. His MO makes sense, though... from authoritarian collectivist to holistic snake-oil salesman. It does for the New Agey world view what Manson did with the innocent view people had of hippies.

Kevin Sampson on :

Now all you have to do is catch Ratko Mladic.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

That's easy. We just have to apply proper soft power: We should tell Serbia that they can host the next European soccer champion ship if they arrest Mladic. I should get the Nobel prize for this kind of advice. And certainly a footnote in Joe Nye's next book.

quo vadis on :

"Well, obviously, without the wars, they might still be in power." What actually made a tangible difference in the lives of Karadzic's victims, the hard power that drive him into hiding or the soft power that has "brought him to justice"? To compare this symbolic victory to the consequences of the Balkans wars seems inappropriate.

Editor, Common Ground News Blog on :

I don't think that celebrating a victory earned through persistent use of soft power is necessarily "inappropriate." Furthermore, this post - and the articles that inspired it - were reveling neither in Karadzic's capture nor in the success of soft power in this one "symbolic" instance. Instead, the reason for hope and inspiration is the ability of non-violent, non-intrusive means to achieve commendable foreign policy ends. It has been demonstrated that EU membership is a strong enough incentive to curb hostile or "undesirable" policies. May Turkey work more diligently to see an end to the conflict on Cyprus now that Serbia has been so quickly welcomed back into Europe? Maybe, maybe not. But the thought of it is suddenly more plausible than before. This is why this victory is more than "symbolic." It lends augmented credence to the arguments against invasion and occupation and to those for diplomacy and negotiation.

franchie on :

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/pearl123199.htm This is a vast conspiration, that we don’t know the afters yet.

Pat Patterson on :

Turkey is being kept out because of some ongoing problems in Cyprus? That must be news to the Turks considering the EU made it clear, mainly France, that they were simply not European enough yet. But soft power seems to mean that the mass murderers will be turned over only after being recognized from photos taken of them in a wheel chair wearing diapers on some sunny afternoon. while hard power means ending their rule before they can go an kill more before retirement or senility. Europe can essentially pat themselves on the back for capturing an aromatherapist but mention bringing Gorbachev to justice for his reponsibilities in invading Afghanistan and the tens of thousands the Soviets killed spreading scientific socialisms elicits no more than eye rolling and shoulder shrugging. Tiny ideas produce tiny victories!

franchie on :

France, that they were simply not European enough yet. I agree for Istambul, Izmir, Kusadasi, Antallia... being part of the mediterranean empire :lol: that the mass murderers will be turned over only after being recognized from photos taken of them in a wheel chair wearing diapers on some sunny afternoon uh are you talking of a soccer fan there ? Europe can essentially pat themselves on the back for capturing an aromatherapist uh I like inoffensive aromatotherapists... well if the whole thing only handled on me, I would have left him in peace

Nanne on :

Most credit in this has to go to Serbia itself, I would say. That goes for kicking Milosevic out of power and handing him over to The Hague, too. It was the people of Serbia, who had enough of his dictatorship, who did that.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Give it another 10 years and "the process" might, maybe, be ready to render a verdict. Meanwhile, how many witnesses have been silenced or intimidated? How many lousy deals have been struck, crimes ignored or forgiven, etc. to permit gathering evidence, access to witnesses, and to secure testimony from other criminals? The arrest is a modest accomplishment, after 10 long years, but it has only a little to do with justice and a lot to do with carrots and sticks. Carrots and sticks are a legitimate means to get another party to do what you want, but they have very little to do with justice. The people who finally turned over this 'alleged' criminal did not do so out of a belief in justice, they did it because they were threatened and bribed. True justice means that even the accused acknowledges the legitimacy of the process and submits to it out of duty, rather than expediency. They submit to it without hope or promise of reward, other than the reward of vindication. The bulk of international law concerns commericial relations and functions reasonably well. Other parts of international law, governing relations between sovereign nation-states, are a mixed bag, but they do resolve many disputes short of war, and occasionally deliver something approaching true justice. Compared to these, the parts of international law dealing with human rights and war crimes are nearly useless, and in some cases, actually worse than no law at all.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Update: It turns out it is too soon to even begin counting the number of years until a verdict. "[url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121676858114175283.html?mod=djemBestOfTheWeb]A judge at the U.N. tribunal yesterday said a Karadzic trial wouldn't start for 'years.'[/url]" This leisurely gentleman's approach to justice is a fresh outrage to the victims. The Hague has learned nothing since its embarrassing failure to render a verdict on Milosevic. The WSJ editors continue: "We have a better idea. Try these men in Bosnia, where the crimes took place. It's now a sovereign country with legitimate courts and EU aspirations in its own right. It would be the just thing to do." I am interested, can anyone think of a reason Karadzic shouldn't be tried by his own countrymen?

Joe Noory on :

There is virtually no legal basis for his trial to be OUTSIDE of Bosnia, much less in the ICC which isn't established under the law of any territory. It's foolishness. A subculture promoting a dilution the basis of legal ligitimacy based on the idea of a population permitting themselves to be governed under laws they consent to is using the Bosnians for their utopian stunt.

Badboy Recovered on :

"The arrest of Mr. Karadzic demonstrates how effective the union's leverage can be, particularly with neighboring countries that have ambitions to join it." Ya and thats about it too.

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