Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The EU and Radavan Karadzic

ITV's News at Ten last night covered the arrest of Karadzic, making the point that his identity and whereabouts have been known to the Serbs for years.

(The archive footage included an infamously misleading shot of Bosnian Muslims behind barbed wire, hauntingly reminiscent of the Nazi concentration camps; both at the time and again now, it was not explained that it was the camera crew that was penned in. Still, dramatic truth and all that.)

Whatever the terrible crimes of this man, the decision by Serbia's new, pro-EU government to "lighten the troika" looks primarily motivated by the desire to re-establish trade and diplomatic links with "Europe." So to me, the real story is the continuing expansion of the new European Empire.

The Balkans are being knocked into shape, or so the empire-builders think. Kosova declared independence in February 2008 (in the teeth of an attempted legal challenge by Serbia) and has been recognised by the USA and many other countries. The 100,000 Serbs in Kosova make up only 5% of the new nation's population, and compared to the 10 million in Serbia itself they are, presumably, of little account politically there, also. Besides, of course, Kosovans are not wolves.
But the question remains, how much more of Europe's former battlegrounds does the EU have the wealth and power to suborn, absorb and control? What will happen when its money runs low? Can its Babel-army sustain the territorial integrity of a hastily-constructed, ramshackle and heterogeneous empire? Will its gourmet diplomats and bibbed lawyers maintain law and reason under its young, yet complex and fuzzy legal and constitutional codes?


James Higham said...

Most interesting to me were the non-EU countries left in the area.

Sackerson said...

Like Switzerland, peeping out of "Europe" like the eye of the Man in the Iron Mask.