Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Well, it appears that Serbia's government has decided to confess to the obvious--officials in the Serbian military have been actively protecting Ratko Mladic for years.

Washington Post Story "Serbs Admit That Officials Aided War Crimes Fugitive"

It is notable that Stankovic, the Serbian Defense Minister, has only been on the job for a couple of months--it would seem that he is an honest man trying to do the right thing. It cannot be a coincidence that rapid progress has been made after he took over the job.

It also needs to be said that there are probably many other people of integrity in the Serbian government today. Many of the institutions in Serbia--the military, in this case--have deeply embedded cultures which are not easy for outsiders to penatrate; even when those 'outsiders' are Serbian government officials. While there is no doubt that the Kostunica government has not been as transparent and cooperative as one would hope, we cannot dismiss the current difficulties in apprehending Mladic out of hand. We should remember that 'the state' is not necessarily a self-contained, monolithic entity. It is probably that some of the difficulty the Serbian government is having is genuine and not facetious.

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