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 Post subject: Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-26 09:04am
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Associated Press

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War crimes fugitive Mladic arrested in Serbia
By DUSAN STOJANOVIC, Associated Press 51 mins ago

BELGRADE, Serbia – Gen. Ratko Mladic, Europe's most wanted war crimes suspect, has been arrested in Serbia after years in hiding, the country's president said Thursday.

Serbia has been under intense pressure from the international community to catch the fugitive. Mladic has been on the run since 1995 when he was indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal for genocide in the slaughter of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica and other crimes committed by his troops during Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

"On behalf of the Republic of Serbia we announce that Ratko Mladic has been arrested," Boris Tadic told reporters. He said the arrest was made by the Serbian Security Intelligence Agency.

Mladic will be extradited to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, he said. He did not specify when, but said "an extradition process is under way."

"We ended a difficult period of our history and removed the stain from the face of the members of our nation wherever they live," he said.

Mladic personally led his troops in the Serb onslaught against the U.N.-protected enclave of Srebrenica in an enclave supposedly protected by U.N. peacekeepers. Thousands of Muslim men and boys were killed there and the town's name has become nearly synonymous with the horrible bloodshed of the Balkan conflict.

"I want to congratulate Europe and Tadic," said Munira Subasic, head of the Association of Mothers of Srebrenica. "I'm sorry for all the victims who are dead and cannot see this day."

Serbia has been under intense scrutiny over Mladic, with the chief U.N. war crimes prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, complaining earlier this month that authorities were not doing enough to capture him and other war crimes fugitives.

Brammertz was scheduled to report next month to the U.N. Security Council about the Balkan country's efforts.

Brammertz's regular reports on Serbia's compliance are crucial for the Balkan country's efforts to become an European Union member candidate. The EU has conditioned Serbia's membership bid on the arrest.

With Mladic's arrest, "we have opened the door for the negotiations and membership in the European Union," Tadic said.

Prosecutors have said they believed he was hiding in Serbia under the protection of hardliners who consider him a hero. Mladic was last seen in Belgrade in 2006.

Croatian media, which first broke the story, said police there got confirmation from their Serbian colleagues that DNA analysis confirmed Mladic's identity. Belgrade's B92 radio said Mladic was arrested Thursday in a village close to the northern Serbian town of Zrenjanin.

In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen hailed the arrest, saying Thursday that almost 16 years since Mladic's indictment for genocide "his arrest finally offers a chance for justice to be done."

Tens of thousands of NATO troops were deployed to Bosnia in 1995 to safeguard a U.S.-sponsored peace agreement between that nations' warring factions. They have since been withdrawn abd replaced by a much smaller European Union force.

The United Nations had declared Serb-besieged Srebrenica, some 90 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of Sarajevo, a protected area for civilians. But the few hundred Dutch Blue Helmets on the ground were left short of credible weaponry or a clear mandate to protect the town.

Srebrenica fell to the Serbs after senior U.N. commanders dithered on Dutch requests for air strikes and its overwhelmingly Bosnian Muslim residents swarmed the U.N. military base, seeking refuge. But the peacekeepers allowed the Serbs to take away the townspeople when Mladic said they would not be harmed.

The shootings began shortly after, and the bodies of the victims were bulldozed into mass graves.

Since then, the bodies of thousands of the victims have been recovered, identified through DNA tests and laid to rest.

_____

Associated Press writers Slobodan Lekic in Brussels and Aida Cerkez in Sarajevo contributed to this story.



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 Post subject: Re: Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-26 10:34am
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Better late than never. This is excellent news.



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 Post subject: Re: Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-26 10:48am
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The world will be a little bit brighter without him in it. I hope they lock him up forever.



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 Post subject: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-26 05:28pm
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Ratko Mladic has appeared in a Serbian court hours after being arrested following 16 years on the run.

Authorities want to extradite the former Bosnian Serb army chief to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

He faces accusations including a genocide charge over the killing of about 7,500 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995. The hearing was halted pending a medical examination, his lawyers said. Court officials believe he will appeal. The whole process is expected to take a week.

Following the arrest of Radovan Karadzic in 2008, Gen Mladic became the most prominent Bosnian war crimes suspect at large. Serbia had been under intense international pressure to arrest him and send him to the UN International Criminal Tribunal to the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Serbian TV showed footage of Gen Mladic wearing a baseball cap and walking slowly as he appeared in court in Belgrade. His lawyer, Milos Saljic, told reporters the judge had attempted to question Gen Mladic but the suspect was in a "difficult psychological and physical condition", and was unable to communicate.

The hearing is expected to be resumed on Friday, reports say. Gen Mladic asserts that he does not recognise the authority of the UN war-crimes tribunal, Mr Saljic added.

The BBC's Mark Lowen in Belgrade says the Serbian government will be keen for Gen Mladic to be extradited quickly, hoping that his departure might prevent further protests by Serb nationalists who still see him as a defender of the Serbian people. President Boris Tadic said Gen Mladic's arrest on Thursday had brought Serbia and the region closer to reconciliation, and opened the doors to European Union membership. Mr Tadic rejected criticism that Serbia had been reluctant to seize Gen Mladic.

"We have been co-operating with the Hague tribunal fully from the beginning of the mandate of this government," he said. A spokeswoman for families of Srebrenica victims, Hajra Catic, told AFP news agency: "After 16 years of waiting, for us, the victims' families, this is a relief."

Gen Mladic, 69, was seized in the province of Vojvodina in the early hours of Thursday, Serbian Justice Minister Slobodan Homan told the BBC. Serbian security sources told AFP news agency that three special units had descended on a house in the village of Lazarevo, about 80km (50 miles) north of Belgrade. The house was owned by a relative of Gen Mladic and had been under surveillance for the past two weeks, one of the sources added. Gen Mladic was reportedly using the assumed name Milorad Komodic.

Serbian media say did not resist arrest, and was not in disguise - unlike Mr Karadzic, who had a long beard and a ponytail when he was captured in Belgrade three years ago. Gen Mladic was indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague in 1995 for genocide over the killings that July at Srebrenica - the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II - and other alleged crimes. Having lived freely in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, he disappeared after the arrest of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in 2001. In a message from his UN cell in the Hague, Mr Karadzic said he was sorry Gen Mladic has been arrested.

The wartime Bosnian Serb leader added that he wanted to work with him "to bring out the truth" about the Bosnian war, in a message relayed to the Associated Press news agency by his lawyer. The arrest was hailed internationally. UN war crimes chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz thanked the Serbian authorities for "meeting their obligations towards the tribunal and towards justice".


Good. Maybe he and Karadzic can share a cell together.



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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-26 05:34pm
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This was the guy that the evil General 'Radic' was modeled after in the movie Air Force One.



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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-26 05:35pm
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Topics merged.



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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-26 09:10pm
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I wonder how many years the trial will last before he drops dead.



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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-26 10:03pm
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I would be happy if he expires in the waiting time. Glad this ass is now behind bars.



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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-27 12:41am
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well now hopefully we can arrest that Darfur dictator....



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 Post subject: Re: Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-27 06:13am
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Siege wrote:
Better late than never. This is excellent news.


It's a good signal to every wannabe-genocidal bastard that you can't (or at least, shouldn't expect) to escape from international justice.

Very good news anyway. Yesterday, when they showed images from his brutal massacres made me sick.

And a big FUCK YOU :finger: to his fanbase, because the riots yesterday showed he still has a lot of "moralistic" support from the ultranationalistic scumbags.



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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-29 06:29am
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Might have been a staged event

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Ratko Mladic capture: Was it all an elaborate set-up?
As the 16 year man-hunt for Ratko Mladic ends, questions are being asked as to how the 'Butcher of Srebrenica' evaded capture for so long.
After years on the run with a $10 million tag on his forehead, the last thing anybody expected Ratko Mladic to do was to give himself away cheaply.

Not only were his bodyguards willing to fight to the death, he was even said to carry a grenade around with him at all times, ready to blow himself up rather than be taken alive.

Yet at dawn last Wednesday morning, as a group of black-clad Serbian special forces arrested Mladic in the village of Lazarevo, Europe’s most feared war criminal responded not with gunfire or bombs, but polite compliments.

“Good work,” he remarked quietly, meekly handing over a pair of pistols that could have been used for an Alamo-style last stand. “You found the one you were looking for.”

So ended a 16-year-long manhunt, bringing not just the so-called “Butcher of Srebrenica” to court for war crimes charges, but also ushering Serbia closer to European Union membership and away from its long-held pariah status.
Yet as one mystery comes to a close, another remains unsolved. Why did the man who professed to prefer the instant justice of a bullet to the humiliation of the Hague come so quietly? Why was he protected only by his elderly cousin, Branko, rather than a team of do-or-die bodyguards? And was it really the result of dogged detective work, as Serb officials claim, or did they know where he was all the time?

The remarkable answer, according to Western intelligence sources who have spoken to The Sunday Telegraph, is that far from being a bin Laden-style lightning raid, Mladic’s arrest was an entirely staged event - the result not of police work but of negotiations by diplomats, who spent a whole year hammering out a deal to get him to surrender.

The deal, which suggests Serb intelligence at least had lines of contact to Mladic’s protectors, was sealed by appealing to the Serb hardman’s one known soft spot - his family. Told that they would be looked after properly if he give himself up, the prospect of ensuring the safe future for his wife, Bosiljka, and son, Darko, proved key in changing his mind.

“The negotiations about his surrender lasted slightly more than a year, with mainly French, British and German officials involved,” said one Western diplomat, who asked not to be named. “The Serbs took responsibility to work things out with him, and guaranteed that his family would be taken care of, and that he would get a pension and eventually a decent burial.

“After all, it’s better for him to go as a martyr to the Hague than die in some shabby military barracks or some wolf-lair in Serbia. He acknowledged that eventually and was talked out of suicidal martyrdom. As a result, Serbia gets her chance for EU membership, and he was just picked up by prior agreement in Lazarevo. There was no hunt operation at all.”

The picture painted by the diplomat, who is well-briefed on intelligence matters, is rather different to the version given by Serbia’s government, which on Saturday vowed to continue hunting anybody who had helped give refuge to Mladic.

“By hiding Mladic they have caused serious damage to this country,” said Serbian war crimes prosecutor, Vladimir Vukcevic. “Hiding fugitives from the Hague tribunal is a serious crime.”

That was hardly the impression, though, given by the Serb police’s treament of Mladic’s cousin Branko.

Rather than being hauled in for questioning, he remained at his farmhouse in Lazarevo on Friday, where the nearest he got to an unwanted interrogation was dodging questions from reporters outside.

He had, by all accounts, been rather more accommodating to the special forces men, serving them ham, cheese and home-made plum brandy as they arrested his guest, according to Serbia's Blic newspaper on Saturday.

"Branko, give these people something to drink and eat," Mladic is reported to have ordered his cousin. "Have a drink, refresh yourself, then let's go."

The welcoming manner in which Mladic greeted his captors is hard to square with accounts of his early life on the run, when he actively taunted his pursuers, knowing he had the backing not just of the Serbian intelligence service but also political allies in Belgrade.

His flight from international law began in 1995, when he was indicted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity relating to the siege of Sarajevo and the Srebrenica massacre, in which 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered.

But as time went on, he became not only Europe’s most-wanted war crimes suspect, but also its most-seen.

In Belgrade, the Serb capital, he almost revelled in his status of fugitive-about-town, reportedly dining at posh restaurants and cafes, enjoying a VIP box at football matches, and even turning up for his son’s wedding.

These were no Elvis-style “rumoured” sightings either - a video of him released in 2009 showed him jigging with friends at a folk dance, hanging out with fellow officers in a barracks, and enjoying a ski holiday at an unidentified resort.

However, after President Milosevic was toppled from power in 2001 and sent to the Hague himself by a new, more pro-Western government, Mladic largely vanished from public view, spending much of his time as a guest of the army in barracks and bomb-proof bunkers.

With up to 50 bodyguards at his disposal, even the likes of the SAS would not contemplate a snatch mission lightly, given the risk of it turning into an intense firefight.

But as the West began dangling the prospect of EU membership as an incentive for Serbia to hand over its remaining war criminals, his circle of supporters shrank to a handful of backers within Serb intelligence and a more clandestine, informal network of minders and couriers.

According to details that emerged at a 2006 trial of some of the men accused of hiding him, the anti-surveillance techniques they used were similar to those deployed by bin Laden’s protectors.

Those in the inner circle would only meet in four nominated public places in Belgrade, discarding their mobile phones three miles away to prevent them being tracked. Even then, communication was mostly by hand-written messages, which were burned afterwards.

Pressure on the group intensified further from 2008, as Serbia elected the pro-European coalition of President Boris Tadic, who made it clear he wanted the country’s remaining war criminals handed over.

By then, life on the run was no longer very glamourous either: Mladic’s last known hideout, according to the 2006 trial, was a flat in a drab, graffiti-ridden housing estate in New Belgrade, also used as the backdrop to an obscure Dutch horror film.

Little is known about where he hid after that, although one thing seems likely: his cousin’s house, where he was found last week, seems to have been a place where he was sent to be picked up rather than to hide out.

The village, nestling among fields of plum trees, pepper plants and strawberry patches, is staunchly pro-Mladic: posters advertise forthcoming gigs by Fish Soup, a Serb nationalist folk band, and last week locals vowed to rename it “Mladicevo” in his memory.

But every one of the 3,000 residents knows each other well, and the presence of a stranger like Mladic would very quickly have sparked loose - if well-intentioned - talk.

“Branko Mladic is one of my best friends, and I see him every day,” said Dragan Arsic, 51, nursing a beer in the village bar, having spent a night in custody after police broke up a street demonstration protesting Mladic’s arrest. “There is no way he could hide anybody here without me finding out.”

“We all know each other,” added Zarco Lucic, 54, who has lived next to Branko Mladic’s farmhouse all his life. “If somebody comes here, we find out within a few days.”

Hence the widespread suspicion in the village that Mladic was dropped off there at most a day or two before his arrest, ready to be picked up by prior arrangement. Locals also pointed out that Branko Mladic’s house had been searched before by police hunting for his cousin, and was therefore hardly a sensible hiding place.

Deal or no deal, though, the terms of Mladic’s arrest may be his last chance to strike bargains for a while.

When he reaches the Hague later this week, the man who infamously urged his soldiers to “burn the brains” of Sarajevo residents will face what most believe to be a near-open-and-shut case of genocide: few imagine he will ever see his homeland again.

It is also unclear whether his deal to give himself up will include the granting of his last request - revealed by Serb prosecutors on Friday night - to pay a final visit to the grave of his daughter Ana.

It is said that she killed herself in 1994 after learning that her father might be indicted as a war criminal, although as with so many Balkans stories, the tragedy did not end there. The grief Mladic suffered over her death is widely blamed for turning from just another Serb military hard man into an all-out monster, driving him, some say, to commit the Srebrenica massacre a year later.

On Saturday, the small, wrought-iron bench by his daughter’s resting place remained empty, while the headstone itself had only two vases of plastic flowers, unlike the fresh bouquets that adorn many nearby graves. However, his request to lay a fresh one - made along with a demand for strawberries, Leo Tolstoy novels and a television in his cell - seems unlikely to be granted.

“He is a high-risk prisoner, and to supervise a visit would be difficult,” said one.

The Western officials who brokered his surrender are also likely to express reservations: even in the murky world of Balkans dealmaking, it seems, a man accused of putting so many in the grave himself can expect only limited rights to private grief.



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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-29 09:43pm
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Serbian nationalists are trying free him



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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-30 12:21am
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I didn't know it was possible to arrest a fugitive mass murderer. I thought shooting him in the face, dumping his corpse in the sea and making up one bullshit story after another about it was the only way this sort of thing could be handled.



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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-30 01:23am
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This one is going to get a demonstrative trial. Unlike some KLA thugs who got away with intimidating witnesses, getting "popular support" to their cause and other dirty tricks. I'm not sure why people are so excited - is his capture any more important than, say, that of Ante Gotovina? Or that of Ramush Haradinaj, under whose watch at least a thousand people has perished, either dead or missing? The Kosovo authorities and their NATO puppeteers are a complete joke when it comes to prosecuting terrorists or mass murderers on their own side. EULEX is a fucking joke. The ICTY is at least somewhat competent when prosecuting war criminals, but the NATO/EU missions to former Yugoslavia are the very definition of failure.



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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-30 01:25am
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Elfdart wrote:
I didn't know it was possible to arrest a fugitive mass murderer. I thought shooting him in the face, dumping his corpse in the sea and making up one bullshit story after another about it was the only way this sort of thing could be handled.
Like with a lot of other things in life, it all depends on how many angry men with AK-47s are trying to stop you.

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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-30 05:25am
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wautd wrote:
Might have been a staged event

Quote:
snip article



Well, at least it shows that the EU is at least good when it come to certain things - influencing nations who want to join us into doing what we want.




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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-30 02:56pm
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Stas Bush wrote:
I'm not sure why people are so excited - is his capture any more important than, say, that of Ante Gotovina?


You'll note that many people (even on this board, me included) also celebrated the capture of Gotovina. Likewise, by and large, the EU missions are a success. There is no civila war there, after all.



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A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood

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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-31 01:54am
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Thanas wrote:
Stas Bush wrote:
I'm not sure why people are so excited - is his capture any more important than, say, that of Ante Gotovina?

You'll note that many people (even on this board, me included) also celebrated the capture of Gotovina. Likewise, by and large, the EU missions are a success. There is no civila war there, after all.

I know. As far as preventing military conflict, the missions are more than enough. I merely commented on the mockery of the Podujevo bus bomb case. Bomb civilians in a bus - a staple terrorist attack? Get out of jail in one year after being sentenced to 40. Possible accomplices? Get out scot free at all.



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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-31 02:11am
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Stas Bush wrote:
Thanas wrote:
Stas Bush wrote:
I'm not sure why people are so excited - is his capture any more important than, say, that of Ante Gotovina?

You'll note that many people (even on this board, me included) also celebrated the capture of Gotovina. Likewise, by and large, the EU missions are a success. There is no civila war there, after all.

I know. As far as preventing military conflict, the missions are more than enough. I merely commented on the mockery of the Podujevo bus bomb case. Bomb civilians in a bus - a staple terrorist attack? Get out of jail in one year after being sentenced to 40. Possible accomplices? Get out scot free at all.



Well, last I checked the US let those guys escape, so I am not sure the EU could do much about it. And yes, I also think this was a mockery - however what was the EU supposed to do? Having europeans (especially German speaking ones) interfere in the Balkan is a bit of a tough proposition already given the history and we cannot just take over the justice system as if we are the new colonizers.



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A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood

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 Post subject: Re: Radko Mladic arrested PostPosted: 2011-05-31 02:52am
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Well, generally speaking it is better to prosecute one sick fuck and let one other go than not prosecute either one. But that said, such behavior (treating "our" sick fucks better than "their" sick fucks) isn't really new.

The world should get rid of that attitude, yeah, but it's nothing new.



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