Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Finding Karadzic and Mladic: A media stunt

Yesterday I watched my local TV News just to see Bosnian Serb policeforces in black and balaclavas do a futile search for the two war-criminals Karadzic and Mladic.

But it strikes me as odd that you would publish such a grand - and failed - attempt if you wouldn't have some kind of purpose. It was stressed in all media outlets that the search was futile, right there in the first paragraph. An example is Reuters that writes:

Hundreds of Bosnian Serb police officers supported by helicopters on Wednesday launched a hunt for a top war crimes suspect -- either Radovan Karadzic or Ratko Mladic -- but the operation failed.

Considering the massive interest in those two and the year-long hunt for them, including a lot of prior attempts to catch them, this smells very much like a stunt to provide the media with good pictures (and oh! they were - mystery! Weapons! Mountains! Helicopters!) and thus send an international signal.

But what does it mean? With my limited knowledge of the current situation I gather so much:

1) Serbs signalling the international society (and especially the EU) that they really DO try, even though they haven't succeeded so far. This was by the way their first go at Mladic - if he was the target, that is.

2) A signal to Russia (where Karadzic is alleged to hide) that the situation is getting problematic.

3) Or It might just be a genuine attempt that had far too much coverage considering the outcome.


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