Peace and Punishment–An Insider’s Account of the ICTY

Marko Attila Hoare, whose blog (Greater Surbiton) is a great place to read about South East European politics, has a post on the recently published book by former spokeswoman of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Florence Hartmann.  The book is written in French and the title is Paix et chatiment: Les guerres secretes de la politique et de la justice internationales [Peace and Punishment: Secret Politial Wars and International Justice].

Hoare has a long post about the book. Here are some snippets:

[Hartmann] has used her eyewitness’s insight into the inner workings of the ICTY to support her blistering critique of the failure of the Western alliance to support the cause of justice for the former Yugoslavia. Her book paints a portrait of Western powers, above all the US, Britain and France, stifling the ICTY and preventing the arrest of war-criminals through a combination of obstruction, manipulation, mutual rivalry and sheer inertia.

One of the best parts of the book concerns what Hartmann terms the ‘fictitious pursuit’ of the two most prominent Bosnian Serb war-criminals, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, involving repeated failures to arrest them. Hartmann gives various reasons why the Western powers might have behaved in this manner, among them the alleged agreement in 1995 between Milosevic, Mladic and French President Jacques Chirac, that in return for the release of two French pilots shot down by the Serbs over Bosnia, Mladic would never be prosecuted by the ICTY; the similar alleged agreement between Karadzic, Mladic and the US’s Richard Holbrooke in 1996, for Karadzic to withdraw from political life in return for a guarantee that he would never be prosecuted; and the readiness in 2002 of Bosnia’s High Representative, Britain’s Paddy Ashdown, to sabotage the attempts of Bosnian intelligence chief Munir Alibabic to track down Karadzic, out of rivalry with the French intelligence services with which Alibabic was working…

Peace and Punishment, nevertheless, remains essential reading for several reasons. It reminds us that, however critical one may be of del Ponte’s performance as Chief Prosecutor, she was very far from being the only senior individual responsible for the ICTY’s failures. It gives an insight into the sort of debates and conflicts over strategy that preoccupied war-crimes investigators at the OTP. And it highlights the fact that, far from being an agent of Western imperialism, the Chief Prosecutor was acting in a frequently hostile international arena, in which she had to struggle for international cooperation, and in which the ICTY was frequently squeezed rather than supported by the Great Powers. Although, as I have indicated, I am highly critical of several aspects of this book, I would nevertheless recommend it to anyone interested in the subject of why international justice has failed the peoples of the former Yugoslavia.

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NGOs and Their Changing Roles–How Have They Changed

Here is a two-part interview, available on YouTube with Norman Cook, and long-time practitioner and student of NGOs and the role they play in international politics.  We’ll be looking at NGOs next week, so you may want to take a look at this interview to learn a little bit more about how the role of NGOs has changed over time.

Here is a description of the interview:

Interview with Norman Cook, Canadian development expert (and jazz lover). How have the roles of NGOs changed? Are they becoming near-governmental – “embedded” with power politics? How our development models and criteria often don’t fit the reality in developing countries.
Interview by Jan Oberg, November 27, 2007

While watching consider the arguments of Krasner and Slaughter that we discussed last week.  How would they respond to Cook’s assertions?

Mapping the Future from CSIS

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has a fascinating new subway-style map, which interactively maps the global future on the basis of various themes–construction, sporting and culture, science, politics, etc. Each node of information on the interactive map is a hyperlink that takes the reader to a web page with detailed information about the topic.

Below is a much reduced version of the map.  If you click on the word map above, you’ll be taken to the large interactive version of the map. Click on the link (which I’ve indicated using the red circle) and you’ll be taken to a page where you’ll be told the following:

As a result of the internal reorganization of the U.S. military command structure, a new headquarters dedicated exclusively to Africa is expected to become fully operational in 2008. The United States Africa Command, or AFRICOM, will report to the Secretary of Defense on U.S. military relations with 53 African countries, with a focus on war prevention and capacity-building programs. The ultimate stated goal of the program is to enable “a more stable environment in which political and economic growth can take place.” For the fiscal year 2008, AFRICOM is expected to have a $75 billion budget. 

mapping_future2.jpg

h/t to V. Wang.

Kenyan Leaders Sign Peace Agreement

Kenya’s political leaders have finally reached an agreement that Kenyans hope will signal the end of the recent instability and inter-ethnic bloodshed, which resulted from disputed elections in late December of last year. The New York Times reports that the structure of the political system in Kenya has been altered as a result of an agreement between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga:

29kenya-span-600.jpgNAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya’s rival leaders broke their tense standoff on Thursday, agreeing to share power in a deal that may end the violence that has engulfed this nation but could be the beginning of a long and difficult political relationship.

The country seemed to let out a collective cheer as Mwai Kibaki, the president, and Raila Odinga, the top opposition leader, sat down at a desk in front of the president’s office, with a bank of television cameras rolling, and signed an agreement that creates a powerful prime minister position for Mr. Odinga and splits cabinet posts between the government and the opposition.

The two sides, which have been bitterly at odds for the past two months, will now be fused together in a government of national unity.

But there are still many thorny issues to resolve, starting with how the new government will function with essentially two bosses who have tried unsuccessfully to work together before. The government must also deal with the delicate business of reassigning the choice positions already given to Mr. Kibaki’s allies.

When we get back from the spring break, in intro to comparative we will analyze the political systems of several democracies around the world and you’ll realize that very few democracies have institutionalized a system that contains a strong Prime Minister and strong President. The most successful example is probably France, with its semi-presidential system. Even in strongly democratic France, however, political stability is often compromised when the President and Prime Minister are members of different political parties, as will be the case in Kenya. It will be interesting to see how the Kenyan version of cohabitation will develop in the coming months and years.

Who Speaks for Islam–a New Book by the Gallup Poll

The Gallup Polling outfit has a new book out based on a massive (over 50,000 respondents) recent poll on attitudes amongst the world’s approximately 1.3 billion Muslims. Let us allow the publishers to describe the content themselves:

islamwld.jpgGallup’s largest study of Muslim populations worldwide challenges conventional wisdom and the inevitability of a global conflict as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue. Despite widespread media coverage of global terrorism from America and Europe to the Middle East and Asia, little is known about what majorities of the world’s Muslims really think and feel. What do Muslims say about violence and terrorist attacks? What do they say about democracy, women, and relations with the West? What are their values, goals, and religious beliefs?

Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think by John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed (Gallup Press; March 2008; hardcover) sheds new light into the “increasing hostility” that Archbishop Tutu characterizes.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, U.S. public officials seemed to have no idea whether or not many Muslims supported the bombings. This troubled Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton, who felt that “no one in Washington had any idea what 1.3 billion Muslims were thinking, and yet we were working on intricate strategies that were going to change the world for all time.” Clifton commissioned his company to undertake the enormous job.

The result is Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, based on six years of research and more than 50,000 interviews representing 1.3 billion Muslims who reside in more than 35 nations that are predominantly Muslim or have sizable Muslim populations.

Some of the more intriguing findins?

  • Muslims and Americans are equally likely to reject attacks on civilians as morally unjustifiable.
  • Large majorities of Muslims would guarantee free speech if it were up to them to write a new constitution AND they say religious leaders should have no direct role in drafting that constitution.
  • Muslims around the world say that what they LEAST admire about the West is its perceived moral decay and breakdown of traditional values — the same answers that Americans themselves give when asked this question.
  • When asked about their dreams for the future, Muslims say they want better jobs and security, not conflict and violence.
  • Muslims say the most important thing Westerners can do to improve relations with their societies is to change their negative views toward Muslims and respect Islam.

Note: the map above is from Professor Juan Cole.  The colors refer to the percentage of inhabitants of each state who are Muslims.

Leaderless Jihad–the Transformation of Al Qaeda

In PLSC250, we have discussed both Samuel Huntington’s prediction of the nature of the new world order (as outlined in his “Clash of Civlizations” thesis) and Yahya Sadowski’s response (“Political Islam: Asking the Wrong Questions”). David Ignatius has written an op-ed piece in the Washington Post today, which amounts to a book review of former CIA officer Marc Sagerman’s new book, “Leaderless Jihad.” Find some excerpts posted below. How does Sagerman’s view fit with the views expressed by Sadowski in his article?

Sageman has a résumé that would suit a postmodern John le Carré. He was a case officer running spies in Pakistan and then became a forensic psychiatrist. What distinguishes his new book, “Leaderless Jihad,” is that it peels away the emotional, reflexive responses to terrorism that have grown up since Sept. 11, 2001, and looks instead at scientific data Sageman has collected on more than 500 Islamic terrorists — to understand who they are, why they attack and how to stop them.

The heart of Sageman’s message is that we have been scaring ourselves into exaggerating the terrorism threat — and then by our unwise actions in Iraq John McCain, that, as McCain’s Web site puts it, the United States is facing “a dangerous, relentless enemy in the War against Islamic Extremists” spawned by al-Qaeda. making the problem worse. He attacks head-on the central thesis of the Bush administration, echoed increasingly by Republican presidential candidate

The numbers say otherwise, Sageman insists. The first wave of al-Qaeda leaders, who joined Osama bin Laden in the 1980s, is down to a few dozen people on the run in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan. The second wave of terrorists, who trained in al-Qaeda’s camps in Afghanistan during the 1990s, has also been devastated, with about 100 hiding out on the Pakistani frontier. These people are genuinely dangerous, says Sageman, and they must be captured or killed. But they do not pose an existential threat to America, much less a “clash of civilizations.”

It’s the third wave of terrorism that is growing, but what is it? By Sageman’s account, it’s a leaderless hodgepodge of thousands of what he calls “terrorist wannabes.” Unlike the first two waves, whose members were well educated and intensely religious, the new jihadists are a weird species of the Internet culture. Outraged by video images of Americans killing Muslims in Iraq, they gather in password-protected chat rooms and dare each other to take action. Like young people across time and religious boundaries, they are bored and looking for thrills.

“It’s more about hero worship than about religion,” Sageman said in a presentation of his research last week at the New America Foundation, a liberal think tank here. Many of this third wave don’t speak Arabic or read the Koran. Very few (13 percent of Sageman’s sample) have attended radical madrassas.

The Political Economy of Assassination

Today in intro to IR, we discussed the role of individuals in international politics.  On Friday, we’ll look at the policy debate on page 152 of Mingst, where the debate question is “Should ‘bad’ or ‘corrupt’ leaders be forcibly removed by the international community?  Mingst provides arguments for and against.  What about not only removing them, but having them assassinated?  Two economists–Ben Olken and Ben Jones–have decided to take a look at the link between assassinations and other factors such as democratization and economic growth.  What have they found?

Olken wonders whether economic devel­opment and the path to democratization are shaped more by broad historical forces or by the actions of specific leaders—be they demo­cratically elected prime ministers or thuggish authoritarians…

…In “Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War,” Olken and Jones looked at the effects of political assassination, using a strict empirical methodology that takes into account economic conditions at the time of the killing and what Olken calls a “novel data set” of assas­sination attempts, successful and unsuccessful, between 1875 and 2004.

Olken and Jones discovered that a country was “more likely to see democratization follow­ing the assassination of an autocratic leader,” but found no substantial “effect following assassinations—or assassination attempts—on democratic leaders.” They concluded that “on average, successful assassinations of autocrats produce sustained moves toward democracy.”

…In “Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth since World War II,” Olken and Jones explored whether “individual political leaders make a difference in economic growth.” This is tricky business for the researcher because, as Olken explains, a country’s economic situa­tion can affect the election of a leader: when the economic outlook is good, for instance, presi­dents are more likely to be reelected. [This is the problem of endogeneity–JD] So Olken and Jones looked at 57 leaders who died in office from accidents or natural causes and “found big changes in growth when autocratic leaders die in office—both positive and negative,” but no sub­stantial change when democratic leaders died in office. “The results suggest,” they write, “that individual leaders can play crucial roles in shap­ing the growth of nations,” provided they are ruling with minimal or nonexistent checks and balances to their power (think Augusto Pinochet or Robert Mugabe).