ELAASAR: Karadzic finally brought to justice, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 22, 2008

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Dr. Death, Karadzic, finally brought to justice.
While watching the trial of Karadzic, let’s not forget the victims of genocide
By Aladdin Elaasar –
(New York City, NY) Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has long been one of the most wanted men in the world. The notorious Karadzic, also dubbed as Dr. Death, was accused of leading the slaughter of thousands of Bosniaks and Croats, and twice been indicted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague. The UN estimates that his forces killed at least 7,500 Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica in July 1995, as part of a campaign to “terrorize and demoralize the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat population”.

During Bosnia’s bitter and bloody war, Srebrenica was declared a United Nations protected safe haven. But in July 1995, Serb troops entered the town and over the following days, thousands of Muslim men and boys were killed. Srebrenica witnessed the worst single atrocity in Europe since World War II.

“The mind of Srebrenica was destroyed. The intellectuals were killed: 200 teachers, engineers, doctors. It can’t recover without people,” says Fadila Efendic who lost her son, her husband, in the massacre 10 years ago. “I don’t have a future. I only have a past. But I still think the town has a future, maybe in 70 years…

There is only one mosque in Srebrenica now. Before the war, there were five. There were also around 27,000 Muslims living in the town and its many outlying areas. Now they number just 4,000, among them 73-year-old Sija Mustafic, who lost her husband and one of her sons. One by one, she points to the empty houses around hers, where other Muslims once lived. “They simply attacked the village and killed them all. The attackers were our neighbors, our contemporaries, from Srebrenica. My father and brother were killed and my uncle, all on the same day.”

After the death of former Yugoslavia’s strongman and the end of the cold war, Karadzic’s party, supported by another war criminal, Slobodan Milosevic organized Serbs to fight against the Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia. A vicious war ensued, in which Serbs besieged Sarajevo for 43 months, shelling and terrorizing the Bosnians civilian population with relentless bombardment and sniper fire. Thousands of civilians died, many of them deliberately targeted.

Bosnian Serb forces – assisted by paramilitaries from Serbia proper – also expelled hundreds of thousands of Bosniaks and Croats from their homes in a brutal campaign of “ethnic cleansing”. Numerous atrocities were documented, including the widespread rape of Bosniak women and girls. Reporters also discovered Bosnian Serb punishment camps, where prisoners-of-war were starved and tortured. The terrible ethnic cleansing machine involved thousands of paramilitary troops, party members and even some of the civilian Serbian population. Karadzic, who was a psychiatrist, ironically sworn to care for patients, personally oversaw and masterminded the massacres, and used his knowledge to wage a psychological warfare to terrorize the Bosnian population and establish Greater Serbia!

What Karadzic has in common with other war criminals is the total lack of respect to the sanctity oh human life. As a power hungry demagogue, he would say and do whatever it takes to boost his popularity and ego, in the usual hyper nationalistic hysterical climate. It’s all too familiar in the Middle East, Arab countries and Third World Countries. Similarities can be even found in some rightist Western movements and parties.

As humanity, we seem that we have not learned the lessons from the Holocaust. Neo- Nazis and Fascist groups are all over. Demagogues like Ahmedinajad of Iran, Gaddafi of Libya, Castro of Cuba, Assad of Syria, Saddam of Iraq, Nasser and Mubarak of Egypt, Basheer of Sudan, Suharto of Indonesia, Pinochet of Chile, Chaves of Venezuela, Ismail Hannyieh of Hamas and Hassan Nassrallah of Hezbollah have enjoyed popularity playing on national pride and emotions while leading their countries into the abyss. There should be no tolerance to human rights abuses. War criminals and ruthless dictators should be brought to justice regardless of political considerations or interests. It should be Never Again, Never Again; otherwise nobody is safe.

(Aladdin Elaasar is an award winning Arab American journalist and author of several books including “Silent Victims: The plight of Arabs and Muslims in Post 9/11 America.” Elaasar is also a member of the National Arab American Journalists Association.)

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com