May 17, 2012 |
LONDON — Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic confronted the accusations against him at the opening of his war crimes trial in The Hague on Wednesday with contemptuous gestures to the court and the victims who had come to see him face justice for atrocities during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. Slowed by age and the hardships of 15 years on the run from the indictment by the United Nations tribunal, Mladic still mustered a hint of his trademark swagger as...
January 17, 2012
Reality of war Re "Warfare changed, but laws did not," Jan. 15 I served in Vietnam in 1965 and '66. I have one thing to say about today's methods of fighting war: There are no rules of engagement. People can sit in their fancy offices with their fancy law degrees and write out all the legal rules and regulations they want, but when the shooting starts, there is only one thing that matters — stay alive, whatever it takes. If that means innocent people must die, then so be it. That sounds cruel, heartless and dirty, and that is what it is. That is what war is. Maybe it is time to put an end to war. I doubt we are up to that.
December 24, 2011 |
For Ermin Bravo, it was the peanut butter that triggered the flashbacks. Years after the war in Bosnia ended, Bravo, a film and theater actor, still couldn't touch the condiment, fearful of what it would evoke. "It was the only thing sweet from those [aid] packages we got, and we ate so much of it during the war," Bravo, now 32, recalled. "Until this shoot [reacquainted me with it], I couldn't eat it. It brought back too many memories. " "This shoot" was the filming of "In the Land of Blood and Honey," a drama about some of the darkest events of the modern era, directed by one of its shiniest celebrities, Angelina Jolie.
November 21, 2011 |
Three top Khmer Rouge leaders accused of helping mastermind Cambodia's "killing fields" in the 1970s went on trial in Phnom Penh on Monday as hundreds of victims and curious onlookers arrived at the court from around the country to witness the proceedings. The U.N.-backed trial is expected to take months. Furthermore, there's often been a significant delay in past tribunals between the end of testimony and the verdict. This reflects in part the highly political nature of these proceedings in a nation where feelings about that brutal period of history are still raw and many of those who served in the Khmer Rouge remain prominent in society.
May 26, 2011 |
Witnesses die. Memories fade. Victims move on with their lives, leaving no forwarding addresses. The passage of nearly two decades since the most heinous crimes attributed to Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic could impede his prosecution at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, legal analysts say. But those familiar with Mladic's alleged role in the worst atrocities to afflict Europe since the Nazis insist his conviction is assured despite...
April 12, 2011 |
Ivory Coast's new leader took charge of a divided country Tuesday, facing continued fighting in some neighborhoods of its commercial capital and a growing humanitarian crisis. President Alassane Ouattara confronts the challenge of convincing skeptical opponents, including the 46% of the electorate who voted last fall for his rival, that he's not a stooge of France or the West and is strong enough to unite his African nation's disparate political forces. Nearly 2 million people were displaced by weeks of fighting when his rival, former President Laurent Gbagbo, refused to step down.
March 30, 2011 |
After years as an outsider who watched in frustration as the U.S. failed to stop foreign atrocities, Samantha Power now is an influential White House insider in a position to try to help prevent mass killings and limit the influence of rogue leaders. Power is part of a small circle of presidential advisors shaping the U.S. approach to multiple crises rippling through the Middle East and North Africa. An outspoken author and academic before joining the Obama administration, she pressed in recent weeks for military intervention in Libya in the face of misgivings voiced by her superiors on the president's National Security Council.
March 24, 2011 |
Traore Oumou selected her clothing carefully. She chose black, the cursing color, pulling on tight pants and a T-shirt. It was the day of a women's protest march calling on Laurent Gbagbo to stand down as president of Ivory Coast. The women stood against Gbagbo's soldiers, who fired some threatening shots and lobbed a grenade. It hit a woman in the middle of her forehead but, miraculously, didn't explode. Anger bubbled up, stronger than modesty. Oumou and the other women tore off their clothes and stood naked, a powerful ritual curse here.
March 18, 2011 |
On Thursday evening the United Nations Security Council hit the right target when it authorized a no-fly zone over Libya, as well as "all necessary measures" against loyalist forces of Moammar Kadafi. With the tide recently turning against the rebellion, the no-fly zone and airstrikes against advancing armor and troops are needed more than ever to protect millions of Libyan civilians and help deter the atrocities certain to follow any victory or further brutal attacks by Kadafi's soldiers and mercenaries.
December 24, 2010
Most who suffer unspeakably at the hands of others look for ways to forget, to resume a normal life as best they can. Some, however, assume the duty of witness in the hope that truthful memory will protect those who come after them. The passing of these heroic men and women ought not to go unremarked upon. J. Michael Hagopian, who died this month in Thousand Oaks, was one such man. He was just 2 years old in 1915, when his parents hid him in a well behind their home because they believed they were about to be killed by Ottoman Turkish soldiers, who were massacring Armenians across eastern Anatolia.