Monday, July 28, 2008

Karadžić: Rally and Reality

There's been a lot of ink spilled on Radovan Karadžić in the week since his arrest, and it won't stop ahead of a rally organized by the Serbian Radical Party on Tuesday to protest his incarceration.

The Radicals -- who are the hardest of Serbia's hardline nationalists -- are clearly hoping to accomplish something on the streets that they were not able to accomplish in the voting booth.
Obviously, the primary mission is a show of force not unlike the violent rallies that accompanied Kosovo's declaration of independence in February -- which sparked this famous bit of looting video.

The Radicals may even hope that a sufficient display of thuggery might even call off the poet-psychologist's date with international justice. There's already rampant speculation that Karadžić may be flown to the Hague to the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia before the rally even takes place -- along with contradicting reports that his appeal has yet to reach judges. It will not be a pleasant night in Belgrade tomorrow.

An article in the New York Times sums up a bit of the anxiety in Belgrade before the rally, which is taking place against the backdrop of attacks on journalists.

I'd also point readers to a couple other interesting articles, including Alex Todorovic's report on the hunt for Karadžić in The Telegraph. (An agent managed to get a strand of hair for DNA analysis.) And in The Observer on Sunday, Ed Vuillamy tracked down some of the former Serb leader's most famous victims: the men in the Omarska and Trnopolje concentration camps. And it's no surprise that James Lyon of the International Crisis Group has a superlative take on the overall politics of it all.

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