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Bosnian Serb General Mladic To Stand Trial For Crimes Against Humanity



Ratko Mladic, the former commanding general of the Bosnian Serb Army during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1992-1995, having been a fugitive for 16 years, stood in the dock at the International Court in The Hague last Friday, was arraigned, and will stand trial for genocide and crimes against humanity that were committed under his command.

His once pugilistic and braggadocious pose was gone–he had aged considerably and a stroke had left his arm frail.

Mladic’s ideologically driven military operations were  responsible  for the siege of Sarajevo, the longest war exacted on any city in history to macabre results:  the murders of 10,000 people, including 1,600 children. Sarajevans ran out of space to bury their dead and were forced to use a football field as a cemetery. The land encircling a 1984 Olympics facility, that was once the pride and joy of  all Bosnians–but especially so for Sarajevans–had sadly become a burial ground for eternity.

Mladic’s lustful and lethal handiwork was not satisfied with the destruction of Sarajevo. His forces took over Srebrenica on July 11, 1995, a small village near the Serbian border and before the day was done it is estimated that 8,000 Muslim men and boys–all civilians, were murdered by Mladic’s army and buried in unmarked mass graves dotting the beautiful landscape of Eastern Bosnia that belies these monstrous crimes.

Mladic, arrested in Northern Serbia on May 26th, was wanted for some of the most heinous war crimes committed on the continent of Europe since World War II. There are not adequate words to describe the horror this man wrought upon the Muslim and to some extent, the Croat population of Bosnia. He was a monster, whose daughter also suffered for his conduct, when she committed suicide in 1994 while studying at the Medical Faculty in Belgrade during the war.

In the aftermath of the Bosnian War, I was privileged to work on the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords, brokered by the Clinton Administration in November 1995. As a human rights officer and later as political advisor and spokesperson for the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I was deeply involved in assisting the peoples and the governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina confront the consequences of the war, while transitioning to a post-conflict, democratic form of government.


The lesson is that difference, when demonized by reckless leaders in societies that eventually spiral out-of-control, end up as broken shards of communities, with such deep enmity that it will surely take at least one generation to recover for Bosnia, if not more, as one such example. In America, there are those who still argue the purpose and cause of the Civil War, an occurrance of nearly 150 years ago.


This experience changed my life forever and brought me to new understanding about the long-term viability of states, when an effort is engaged to push for reconciliation between former warring parties, it can not be accomplished without providing mechanisms that truly afford those aggrieved parties with some tangible form of justice.

The arrest by Serbian police of Mladic is a huge step forward for Bosnia and provides an opportunity for Serbia to begin a legitimate European Union accession process.

No one should ever forget what Mladic and his cohort of dangerous and grandiose leaders heaped upon the peoples of the Former Yugoslavia. Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic and the subordinates who carried out their orders, directly participated in the destruction of this country out of ideology and hatred of “other.”

An accounting of Mladic’s crimes  has now begun, and so long overdue.

To actually see Mladic standing in the dock at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia brings some sense of justice — that finally, the law caught up with Mladic and he has been justly called to task before an international  court and the world for an accounting of his unspeakable crimes.

Bosnia and countries like it, including in our own (the current hatred exhibited in the U.S. toward immigrants, Muslims, people of Arab descent and LGBT persons), present a cautionary tale about the repudiation of diversity. The lesson is that difference, when demonized by reckless leaders in societies that eventually spiral out-of-control, end up as broken shards of communities, with such deep enmity that it will surely take at least one generation to recover for Bosnia, if not more, as one such example.  In America, there are those who still argue the purpose and cause of the Civil War, an occurrance of nearly 150 years ago.

Thus, it is not surprising in the 16 years since the war ended, that a nascent LGBT movement in Sarajevo can barely get itself off the ground without facing violence in 2008. It was driven underground a year later when it chose to celebrate a virtual Pride celebration via billboards and on-line public service announcements and skipped staging a 2010 Pride event altogether as it regroups.

For countries to be sustainable in post-conflict, a safe process must unfold that embraces difference as a strength within Bosnia and the region as a whole. While Mladic’s arrest is important for Serbia, its democracy remains quite fragile and without wholesale acknowledgement by its government leaders, could simply be a “one off” availing a calculating Serbia access to the process to enter the EU, without admitting responsibility for terrible crimes.   Croatia and Kosovo’s leaders must demonstrate that delivering war criminals to the Hague and through their national courts, establishes a resolute respect for the rule of law, thus an accounting that can set new terms for a peaceful future that is sustainable.

So next month at Potocari, when newly identified remains are buried in an annual ritual of sorrow, it will mark the first time that Ratko Mladic, the executioner of Srebrenica, is behind bars. May peace be a gift and a salve to all those sorrowful souls who have suffered such heartbreaking loss. May peace be your gift.

(Image: Srebrenica Coffins Prepared for Burial at Potochari, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2004, by Tanya Domi.)

Tanya L. Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, who teaches about human rights in Eurasia and is a Harriman Institute affiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi worked internationally for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues, sex trafficking, and media freedom.

Read Tanya Domi’s most-​recent previous article at The New Civil Rights Movement, “Weinergate: Las Vegas Bettors Playing The Odds.“

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‘Repercussions’: Biden White House Warns Uganda ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill Could Force US to Cancel $950 Million in Annual Aid



The Biden administration may cancel the $950 million in annual assistance the U.S. provides to Uganda if President Yoweri Museveni signs into law its latest “Kill the Gays” bill, which calls for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and between ten and 20 years in prison for other LGBTQ “acts.”

National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby on Wednesday made clear if Uganda further criminalizes homosexuality and the LGBTQ community there could be “repercussions that we would have to take.”

“That would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide Uganda is health assistance,” Admiral Kirby said at a White House press briefing.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also told reporters Wednesday the Biden administration has “grave concerns” over the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), and “increasing violence targeting LGBTQIA+ persons.”

READ MORE: Florida GOP Lawmaker Who Wrote ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Facing Up to 35 Years After Pleading Guilty in COVID Fraud Case

“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, deter tourism and invest in Uganda and damage Uganda’s international reputation,” Jean-Pierre warned. “The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.”

Kirby and Jean-Pierre’s remarks came on the same day as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” legislation, saying it “would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

“The United States provides more than $950 million in aid to Uganda each year, according to the State Department. The money supports development and health care measures, such as combating HIV/AIDS,” Courthouse News reported Wednesday. “Uganda is already among 30 African countries that ban same-sex relations. The new proposal would broaden penalties and appears to be the first to outlaw identifying as LGBTQ+, according to Human Rights Watch.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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‘Unlawful Incursion’: Manhattan DA Schools Jim Jordan for Demanding He Testify in Ongoing Trump Investigation



Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg served up an extensive lesson in American jurisprudence Thursday in his response to House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan’s letter demanding he provide communications and testify before Congress on his ongoing investigation into Donald Trump’s hush money payoff to Stormy Daniels.

Jordan’s demand was seen by legal experts as a “purely political attack.” They note Jordan has no constitutional oversight authority over a duly-elected county district attorney.

Bragg is respectfully refusing Jordan’s demands.

Thorough his office’s General Counsel, Bragg sent Jordan a five-page letter (below) filled with numerous citations of federal and state law and legal decisions up to and including from the U.S. Supreme Court, that offer the Judiciary Chairman instruction in the law and that support the District Attorney’s refusal.

READ MORE: ‘Going Full Fascist’: Morning Joe Blasts Trump’s Latest ‘Dehumanizing’ Attack on Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg

In Bragg’s response, he calls Jordan’s letter “an unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution,” and notes it “only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day, and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene.” He tells Jordan, “if charges are brought … it will be because the rule of law and faithful execution of the District Attorney’s duty require it.”

Jordan, who refused to comply with a lawful subpoena issued by the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, had claimed his demand for documents and testimony was in furtherance of a legislative purpose, an effort to examine federal law. Bragg refuted that claim: “Congress cannot have any legitimate legislative task relating to the oversight of local prosecutors enforcing state law.”

“In New York, the District Attorney is a constitutional officer charged with ‘the responsibility to conduct all prosecutions for crimes and offenses cognizable by the courts of the county in which he serves,'” Bragg’s letter continues, offering an education into the concept of federalism and the U.S. Constitution. “These are quintessential police powers belonging to the State, and your letter treads into territory very clearly reserved to the states.”

In a section titled, “Compliance with the Letter Would Interfere with Law Enforcement,” the Manhattan DA’s response says Jordan’s letter “seeks non-public information about a pending criminal investigation, which is confidential under state law.” It adds that “prosecutor’s disclosure of grand jury evidence is a felony.”

Continuing to explain the law to the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Bragg’s letter adds:

“These confidentiality provisions exist to protect the interests of the various participants in the criminal process–the defendant, the witnesses, and members of the grand jury- as well as the integrity of the grand jury proceeding itself. Like the Department of Justice, as a prosecutor exercising sovereign executive powers, the District Attorney has a constitutional obligation to ‘protect the government’s ability to prosecute fully and fairly,’ to ‘independently and impartially uphold the rule of law,’ to ‘protect witnesses and law enforcement,’ to ‘avoid flight by those implicated in our investigations,’ and to ‘prevent additional crimes.'”

READ MORE: Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor

It continues, warning Jordan’s “requests are an unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty. Congress’s investigative jurisdiction is derived from and limited by its power to legislate concerning federal matters.”

Bragg twice offers to meet with staffers from Jordan’s Judiciary Committee to see if the Chairman’s requests “could be accommodated without impeding those sovereign interests.”

Read the letter posted by Axios’ Andrew Solender below or at this link.



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‘Going Full Fascist’: Morning Joe Blasts Trump’s Latest ‘Dehumanizing’ Attack on Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg



Days after he wrongly claimed he would be arrested and urged his supporters to “protest,” Donald Trump unleashed a vicious and antisemitic attack against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and philanthropist and donor George Soros, leading “Morning Joe” Scarborough on MSNBC to declare the ex-president has gone “full fascist” and even “full Nazi.”

“I mean he’s just going full Nazi here, full fascist,” Scarborough said Thursday morning, just minutes after Trump’s remarks posted on social media.

“You’re doing the whole Jewish international banker thing and and dehumanizing him as an ‘animal,’ calling him an ‘animal,'” Scarborough said.

“That’s ugly,” Mika Brzezinski added.

“And that’s like like straight out of the playbook. Yeah, that’s really that’s really ugly. Yeah, it’s really interesting to see exactly what’s happened with Bragg. He hasn’t taken the bait.”

READ MORE: Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor

Thursday morning, in an all-caps rant, Trump called District Attorney Bragg a “Soros backed animal who just doesn’t care about right or wrong no matter how many people are hurt.”

Scarborough was not being hyperbolic when he said Trump had gone “full Nazi.”

“This is no legal system, this is the Gestapo, this is Russia and China, but worse. Disgraceful!”

The Gestapo were Adolf Hitler’s Nazi secret police.

In a separate post Thursday morning, after his attack on Bragg, Trump again appeared to telegraph a call for violence, writing: “Everybody knows I’m 100% innocent, including Bragg, but he doesn’t care. He is just carrying out the plans of the radical left lunatics. Our country is being destroyed, as they tell us to be peaceful!”

It is possible the grand jury, which is meeting Thursday, could vote on an indictment of Trump. Some say any potential vote would not come before next week.

READ MORE: ‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs

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