In an interview at the height of his power, the Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić once spitefully said to a foreign reporter: “I do not need the press, because I shall be vindicated by history”. Since his arrest in the small, sleepy village of Lazarevo in northern Serbia, the eyes of the world, and indeed of the press, have been turned to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). His wish to be judged by history will come true, as his trial in front of the first UN war crimes tribunal is due to start in the following months.
Since the beginning of the revolt in Libya, the Italian government has been under pressure for its role in the management of the crisis. Its behaviour has been assiduously scrutinised by international observers. The shared history of Italy and Libya has bound the two countries in a special relationship, sometimes positive, other times negative. Libya’s grudge towards its colonial past has tarnished Italy’s image in the country. For this reason, Italian governments have progressively increased the level of bilateral cooperation with Tripoli in recent decades. Moreover, both left and right-wing Italian governments have supported Colonel Gaddafi’s re-entering the international political stage, gaining him some credibility and legitimisation as a “not-as-bad-as-the-others” African dictator. The apogee of that policy has been the signature of Italy-Libya treaty in Benghazi on 30 August 2008.
Simply put, terrorists are people who have made the decision to use violence for political purposes. Like the majority of other members of contemporary societies, they use a whole range of available electronic devices in their daily lives. For those tracking and hunting them, such as law enforcement and intelligence agencies, this providesa fertile area of investigation and enquiry as they attempt to gather sufficient intelligence and evidence to prevent violence and protect the public.
Turkey’s rapid recent progress appears to refute the notion that political change, hampered by immovable bureaucracy, tends to take a long time. Ankara was perceived to be a basket case but a decade ago, suffering from severe structural weaknesses. It was constantly on the brink of economic collapse and the unyielding bras de fer between Kemalist and Islamist political parties led to political instability and social unrest. Yet modern-day Turkey has managed to overcome these adversities and is turning towards a promising, dynamic future.
"Thousands of men executed and buried in mass graves, hundreds of men buried alive, men and women mutilated and slaughtered, children killed before their mothers' eyes, a grandfather forced to eat the liver of his own grandson”. Judge Fouad Riad described these heinous acts at General Ratko Mladić’s indictment in absentia just a couple of months following the Srebrenica genocide, the greatest act of violence in Europe since the end of the Second World War. Richard Goldstone, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the time, predicted the dawning of a very different world, in which “impunity had really been withdrawn from war criminals”.
Middle Eastern television audiences and the residents of Abbottabad can attest that there has been no shortage of the theatrical in Barack Obama’s foreign policy. His first television interview, given to Al-Arabiya in the first month of his tenure, was an attempt to use his own background and charisma to make an appeal to Muslim publics, while the raid to kill Osama bin Laden combined dramatic theatre on a global stage with an effective use of American power to achieve concrete goals. These events have captured the imagination.
When Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip marked his country’s adoption of the Euro on 1 January 2011, by withdrawing cash from a specially installed ATM in Tallinn, not all of his compatriots shared his enthusiasm. Many people, both within Estonia and further afield, question why the Baltic state would wish to join the troubled single European currency and, indeed, whether the Euro can even survive.