Here are some things worth reading about the capture of the man aptly described by Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who brokered the 1995 Dayton peace agreement, as the Osama Bin Laden of Europe.
First, I strongly recommend the recollections of Ed Vulliamy in today's Guardian. Ed is an outstanding foreign correspondent (and a close family friend). No journalist did more to reveal to an English-speaking audience the depravities of the the war conducted by Karadzic under the malign influence of Slobodan Milosevic. In his dogged pursuit of truth, Ed was among the first journalists to expose the Serb detention camps. On a visit to London in July 1992, Karadzic - when confronted with allegations of Serb atrocities - had challenged journalists to "come and see for themselves". He was presumably counting on his ability to erect Potemkin villages, or at least clean up the camps before the journalists got there. Ed, along with the ITN reporters Penny Marshall and Ian Williams, famously got there in time to expose the grotesqueries at Omarska.
But that's far from all. In his piece today, Ed writes:
But Karadzic is charged with ordering so much more during those three years between Omarska and Srebrenica - the latter being iconic of so much atrocity in so many places that Srebrenica's notoriety now tends to distract from, rather than draw attention to. Atrocity in places whose names are barely known and soon forgotten in the world outside. Who talks now about Bosnian Serb massacres at Zvornik, Vlasenica, Brcko or Bijeljina? (Or, indeed, sites of Croatian atrocities, such as Ahmici, or the Bosnian Muslim camp at Celebici.)
On this issue - the character of the Bosnian war as a campaign of genocidal aggression, and not an incomprehensible explosion of ancient ethnic conflicts - The Guardian got it right very early. The quality of its reporting from the region remains a great strength.
I'd also direct your attention to a leader in The Independent today, which makes an essential point:
What this Byzantine saga [the capture of Karadzic] reveals is the influence of the European Union at its deepest level. The lumbering behemoth, for all its superstructure of political controversy, has a profoundly benign influence on the cultural as well as economic polity of the region. The arrest of Karadzic shows how the EU works as a "soft power". The lure of membership leads those who want to join into changes which are social and legal as well as political. A place in the European family depends on embracing European values of justice and human rights.
I agree with this almost evangelically. I'm pro-European not primarily owing to an economic judgement - I think, for example, the economic and financial arguments for the euro are good but not conclusive - but because of the role of the EU in reforming institutions and making conflicts more tractable. Bosnia's prospects are immeasurably better now that Serbia and Croatia have the same end in view, namely membership of the EU.
Finally, let's recall who was pulling the strings. We know, from records of telephone conversations between Milosevic and Karadzic in July 1991, that Belgrade was making clandestine shipments of arms directly to the Bosnian Serbs. This was in preparation for the adoption by the UN Security Council, at the request of Yugoslavia, on 25 September 1991 of Resolution 713 imposing an arms embargo. The resolution thus left the newly independent states helpless against Serb aggression. It was a terrible moment in international diplomacy. The least that Western governments, working through supranational institutions, can do now is ensure that the perpetrators of genocide are brought to justice.