Mr Ratko Mladic; There is a difference.

They couldn’t believe their luck. Finally, after all those years on the run, the Serbs got their man. Mr Ratko Mladic was indicted in 1995 by the International Criminal Tribunal and was arrested a short while ago after a tip off.

He stands accused of the murder of at least 7500 Muslim men and boys from the town of Srebrenica, considered the single biggest atrocity since World War II. Having watched footage on the news this morning there seemed joy by many that he had been arrested, but unlike the killing of Osama Bin Laden, no hysterical dancing on the streets as shown in America when the killing of OBL was announced. The total number killed as a result of all the attacks on America on 9/11 were close to 3000.

There are no winners in acts of terror on innocent civilians and the world is a better place now that both have finally been caught up with. However, the killing by Ratko Mladic and his henchmen of 7500 Muslims never received the same media attention as Osama Bin Laden’s, even though the numbers killed by Ratko Mladic was far greater and surely on equal level of cruelty suffered of those killed by Osama. The siege of Sarajevo resulted to at least another 10 000 people being killed. The relentless shelling of this beautiful historical city of Sarajevo was encouraged by Ratko who was reported as saying, “Shell them till they go mad”. One has to go back to World War II to find the equivalent.

There is however a stark difference by which both came to their final moment of justice. One was killed outright followed by jubilation and cheers by thousands of enthusiastic people, they were mainly Americans. It was seen as fair justice and not many lifted an eyelid that the shooting dead of Osama in the head were done in front of his twelve year old daughter. Amnesty International was less enthusiastic and was critical of this peculiar US’s method of justice since he was unarmed and in bed at 1am. They raised concerns that there was no attempt to capture him alive, stressed the importance to adhere and comply with international Law.

Ratko Mladic on the other hand was arrested by a pre-dawn raid on an isolated farm, without any violence and immediately brought before a judge. A few elderly women were interviewed just after the arrest of Ratko and were shown to still grieve for their sons or husbands.

The difference could not be more startling. While America has always been associated with guns, violence and seeking retribution whenever possible, no more so then the display of the cold blooded killing of OBL, at least the Serbs have displayed remarkable resistance to act in the same way. Mr Ratko Mladic is reported to have had two loaded guns but like Osama offered no resistance.

There were supposedly still many Serbs that considered Ratko as a hero. The Serbian Government was repeatedly requested to implement the arrest of him, but fearing a backlash was somewhat less than enthusiastic to act. The big stick by the European Union in refusing Serbia’s entry to the EU was affectively used in finally getting the Serbian Government to act.

Well, no doubt the world can give a well–earned sigh of relief that another monster has been caught, even a bigger sigh now that Ratko Mladic will face his day in The Hague whereby the whole world can experience justice being seen done.


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