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December 27, 2004

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Mike Ralls

For what it's worth I'd like to hear about "what went wrong" if you ever have the time to write it. I'm one of those rare people who care about the aftermath of the war rather than just the fighting.

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Mike Ralls

Traveller

Dear Doug:

Like Mr. Ralls, I would also be interested in your analysis on the Hague and what maybe went wrong.

Justice may fall from the heavens like pure rain, but I do confess, that I often find it in short supply across this troubled world.

I am also surprised that in some fundamental sense Jurisdiction apparently ends on Dec 31.

Tell us some tales, tell us some stories of good men gone bad and bad men escaping the caress of justice.

Best Wishes,

Traveller

Raoul Djukanovic

isn't this a tale of what went according to plan, more or less? the u.s. has made it clear that indictments were to be released as it suited foreign policy objectives. thus tudjman died unindicted for the joint criminal enterprise of which milosevic stands accused. meanwhile the politics of indictments has dictated serbian domestic politics, stripping the ICTY of badly needed credibility before culminating in the death of djindjic.

justice should be served where possible, but the ICTY has set back the truth and reconciliation process where it was supposed to be opening people's eyes. this has started to enrage even its supporters and was recently cited as the bush administration's justification in waiting for pulling the plug.

meanwhile there's still the question of sealed indictments, which gives policymakers some wiggle-room. i may be wrong, but isn't there a suggestion that haradinaj is already on the list and that this is the stick being wielded against him to urge caution on his premiership of kosovo?

given that the u.s. priority is to secure the independence of kosovo and transfer regional housekeeping to the EU, it is unlikely that the boat would be rocked with the albanians. the irreconcilable promotion and suppression of rival nationalisms continues to undermine western pretences to impartiality too.

the ICTY wasn't doomed to fail, but western policymakers have conspired to undermine their rhetoric as to its objectives. perhaps these were never particularly important to those footing the bill?

Raoul Djukanovic

were haradinaj to be indicted, it would largely be to appease serbian public opinion, which is of interest to policymakers now that kosovo status talks are looming. the recent request to macedonian voters to boycott a referendum on concessions to the albanian community there was also apparently conceived with the coming year's negotiations in mind - suddenly there's an attempt at balance, but it's all rather nuanced and contradictory. the same british minister who asked macedonian voters to stay at home lectured kosovo serbs the same day for doing the same thing in the election that elevated haradinaj. doublespeak? par for the course.

in any case, the peacekeepers and war crimes investigators haven't wanted to inflame albanian public opinion by chasing up KLA crimes. the lack of willing witnesses only compounds the problem.

Dragan Antulov

Here in Croatia few people are going to miss Hague Tribunal, and that includes even those who used to be its most ardent supporters.

There was too much inefficiency, too much politics, too many double standards, too many broken promises and the the less is said about Hague effects on Croatian internal politics the better.

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