Fugitive No More

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Bosnian Serb wartime fugitive Radovan Karadzic was arrested by Serbian forces on Monday after more than a decade on the run. An estimated 100,000 people died in the Bosnian war, and another 1.8 million were driven from their homes. Karadzic has been indicted with charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. His war crimes trial is likely to begin at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague within days.

Karadzic wore thick glasses and grew a bushy white beard to conceal his well-known face, and worked as a doctor of alternative medicine under an alias. His arrest brings Serbia one step closer to admission into the European Union.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post titled "The Face of Evil," Ambassador Richard Holbrooke describes his meeting with Radovan Karadzic during the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords:

I had told each member of our negotiating team to decide for himself or herself whether to shake hands with the mass murderers. I hated these men for what they had done. [...] I did not shake hands, although both Karadzic and Mladic tried to. Some of our team did; others did not.

Holbrooke joins us today to discuss what Karadzic's capture means... for Bosnia, Serbia, and for war crimes tribunals. If you have questions about how the war crimes trial will proceed, or what Karadzic's capture means, leave them here.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

I visited Bosnia in 2005 - a beautiful place, but still recovering from a brutal war. I had never seen such destruction first hand and I met some people still hurting (they probably will be for a long time). Hopefully, justice will be done and this will allow more healing to take place.

Sent by Hughey Hancock | 2:18 PM | 7-23-2008

Why are the Air Force pilots who dropped bombs on Serbia are not "war criminals". Some of those bombs hit hospitals. One bomb hit a maternity ward in a hospital in Belgrade.
P.S.: I am an immigrant from Serbia, and now i am an American citizen.

Sent by Nikola K. | 2:53 PM | 7-23-2008

It's so unfortunate that the caller at the end of your segment was actually a victim of the horrendous crimes Karadzic committed and yet he was not given the time to discuss with your guest. I find this absolutely horrible.

Sent by Jessica Navarro | 3:04 PM | 7-23-2008

I currently resides in the USA and I was a soldier in Bosnian war for three years. I was looking in the sky when American F-15 bombarded the Republic Srpska teritory and was pleased with that feeling knowing that they getting what they deservs. However, I think that Clinton Administarion including Richard Hollbrook as negotiator failed in Karadzic/Mladic negotiation. Not shaking hands w/Karadzic wasn't helped dead Bosnian womens, childrens and others. Richard new what was happening in Bosnia at this time and new for masacres, that Mladic & Karadzcic commited, but still negotiated with "EVIL" what an apsurd. It just confirmed that Bosnian War was a huge research site for military analysist from EU and other military forces. Everybody are happy that they captured Karadzic, but the irony in all this scenario is that Tadic is getting credits for all this which I beleive is the trade for Kosovo and acceptance in the EU. I am qestioning myself,"What will be trade for Mladic?"

Sent by Edin Kulosman | 3:25 PM | 7-23-2008

Talk of the Nation is a unique forum for intelligent discussion about complex topics and I love the show.
That said, I have often been disappointed by the strict enforcement of station breaks. A very troublesome example took place today (7/23/08) during the Richard Holbrooke section. Holbrooke was answering a key political and moral question about his knowledge of and response to the atrocity at Srebreitza and he was cut off mid-sentence. I imagine there must be some sort of FCC mandate that you can't go longer than the allotted segment time, but isn't there some way that you can use Pod Casting or some other technology to allow the discussion to go on after the bell rings. This was not a trivial issue and the caller (a survivor of the atrocity) deserved an answer. Cutting off a discussion to accommodate station breaks is annoying when the discussion is about the details of politics in the US in 08. It seems wrong when the discussion is about confronting the reality of the most horrific events in Europe since the end of WWII.

Sent by Phil | 6:27 PM | 7-23-2008

You cut off a caller (and Holbrooke's response) who was an actual survivor of the Srebenica (sp?) massacre so you could talk about the prevalence of photoshopping in journalism??? Who's decision was that? I'm glad I'm not the only one who was disappointed by this, as Jessica N. also weighed in. I know you have a schedule, but I'd think one of your producers would see the value in hearing from this caller and Holbrooke's response given that Karadzic's arrest is much more important. And much more of a "Talk of the Nation."

Sent by Patrick C. | 6:56 PM | 7-23-2008

Thank you for your comments and feedback on this segment. Unfortunately, we have no control over the time limits of the show. If we carried it past the hour, we would bleed into the next show.

That said, we completely agree that it was an inopportune time to cut off Amb. Holbrooke. Therefore, we've booked him for our Letters segment next Tuesday to give him a chance to elaborate on his last response.

Thanks again,

Sent by Ashley | 3:58 PM | 7-24-2008