>Life Imitates Art: Wishful Thinking

>The Independent Republic of Kosovo was born yesterday, much to the chagrin of the Bosnian Serbs. There is great consternation and rage directed towards the new-found republic and religious homeland for the Bosnian Serb Christians.

In fact, so many Bosnian Serbs are outraged at the audacitiy of Muslim Kosovars to declare their independence that they are looking to their heros to help them regain their core region. Cries for Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic are heard openly in the streets and in the papers.

Of course, these “heros” have been identified as war criminals by The Hague, and are on the lam from international police agencies, despite living open lives in Serbian strongholds. Ratko Mladic’s visage may be seen on political posters in Macedonia.

On the eve of Kosovo’s independence, my wife and I watched the movie, The Hunting Party. The movie came highly recommended by the manager of Video Gold; he and I trade opinions on politically-charged movies from time-to-time. The Hunting Party is loosely based on the real-life story of Scott Anderson and four other intrepid journalists, one of whom is Sebastian Junger, who become confused with a CIA hit squad. The group sets out to “interview” Radovan Karadzic but the endeavor quickly escalates to bringing him to justice.

The movie significantly deviates from the truth, however. In the real effort, five journalists set out to capture Radovan, while in the movie five becomes three. And – spoiler coming – the movie three end up capturing Radovan, while in real-life the five never capture Radovan. Radovan is still living in Serbia, or perhaps Russia by some accounts. His pal, Ratko, is still living in Serbia, protected by the Serbian army.

What the movie appears to have accurately portrayed is the apparent incongruence on the part of the international community in their interest in finding these individuals. Yes, they have warrants out for their arrest. Police and law enforcement officials seemingly know the location of said individuals. Their efforts at apprehension are bumbling, at best, noted by the attempted arrest of Radovan at church that left a clergyman and his son wounded. All true is the advertisement in a Serbian paper, asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of either of the two men to call an 800 number. The 800 number was only accessible to callers from inside the U.S. When asked about the possibility that this blunder could have been deliberate, S. Anderson provides this comment:

“You hear this kind of conspiracy-theory crap about the United States from European journalists all the time. As the only one at the table who’d actually worked for the American government–years ago and briefly–I assured Philippe that Washington was actually capable of far greater idiocy.” (Scott Anderson, 2001)

Rather than run up against copyright infringement I have posted a link to the original article, ‘What I Did on My Summer Vacation’ via the Finding Karadzic blog. Watch the video, then read the article; or vice-versa. One cannot help but note the Hollywood embellishment. And that is the most frustrating:

If only life did imitate art, on occasion, particularly the way the movie Radovan received his just desserts.

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