Karadzic captured – world looks different

Great news broke this week: Radovan Karadzic finally is captured. It was an embarrassment that this man during the Bosnian war could commit atrocities and fool the world and then after the war did not have to face trial for his actions. The timing of his capture is coincidentally close to the new government beginning work in Belgrade. I am convinced that the reason he was not brought to justice until now is a political one and not one of failed police investigation.

Looking at Karadzic’s picture it is quite amazing to see his transformation. But there has been as well another transformation in the last 13 years since U.S. Army’s 1st Armored Division rolled across the Sava River into Bosnia. Back then in Europe the United States were seen as the only global player that is willing and able to interfere and risk their soldiers lives for a humanitarian cause and a value system that was widely acknowledged and accepted. Furthermore Europe perceived itself as unable to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe at its own borders and was welcoming and admiring the United States for its initiative. In the end significant European military contributions joined the United States, but it was the US leadership that made it happen.

13 years later, after Iraq and after Guantanamo, that perception has changed significantly. By now the value system of human rights and freedom is perceived as a mask that is hiding other ambitions for intervention: Power, influence and most of all economical gains of a small elite that currently is in the right offices to control this nation. Much has been destroyed in those years – primarily to the detriment of the US. Being perceived as a just world leader ultimately is tremendously valuable for an nation to attract talent, capital and real influence. I think this can be rebuild by the next president. I think that from the two candidates, only Barack Obama is able to do this job.


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