Thursday, March 15, 2007

Editorial on the ICJ ruling

I know the ICJ ruling is now considered "old news"; but I thought this recent editorial by Peter Lippman hit many good points; not only on the judgement but on the ramifications for all of Bosnia.

4 comments:

Yakima_Gulag said...

Shaina, this is a really good article, thanks for sharing it! He's pointed out in very good detail what I know is wrong about the ICJ decision, it's not old news, it's a huge betrayal of everyone.
Peter Lipmann is right on about what happens to cultures after genocide. I can add another culture to the list of cultures where kitsch replaced culture as a result of genocide,
the Irish and the Scottish cultures were ruined in the same way.
Probably the ruin is more visible in the case of Ireland, especially on a day like St. Patrick's Day, when the true Gaelic culture is not in evidence but there are rivers of green beer.

Editor said...

Very important point:

"The main criterion found missing from the proof needed to convict Serbia
of genocide, based on the wording of the 1948 Convention, was "intent."
The relevant wording of the Convention includes the "intent to destroy,
in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group."
The government of Bosnia was apparently not able to supply concrete proof
of Serbia's intent, which would have had to take the shape of something
like a letter from Milosevic to Mladic to kill Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims)
as a group, not just in order to remove them from a particular territory.
There may well be proof that satisfies these standards, but the government
of Serbia has not shared all its archives, and not even all the material
evidence at the disposal of the ICTY was made available to the ICJ."

Can lack of evidence equal "no guilt" ?

Yakima_Gulag said...

I think intent was there, it takes intent to organize something like the massacres that occured in BiH and before that Croatia and later in Kosovo. It requires state or corporate level organization, random groups of bad citizens can kill people, but not in such numbers. Someone has to dig the graves, someone has to order up the trucks and gas them up, and someone has to order the silences too. It doesnt just happen out of nowhere.

Kirk Johnson said...

Good points, yakima gulag. I would also add that the intent is also broader--the strategic goal of "cleansing" certain areas of non-Serbs in order to create a geographically cohesive, ethnically uniform state.

As Lippman points out in this article, genocide isn't limited to the killing of people, although that was obviously a tactic in Bosnia. The intent was to clear certain areas of unwanted population groups. That fits the bill, as far as "intent" goes.