Here’s the difference: the US invades multiple countries and finally summarily executes persons designated “terrorists”.
In Europe, we create international legal institutions and firmly, slowly but steadily, pressure countries into extraditing suspected war criminals so they can be tried.
I believe this is one area in which we as Europeans can say we’re in every respect more advanced and civilized than our counterparts at the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
I’d like to point out the difference between the way Europe and the US go after bad guys. The US invades countries, blows them to pieces, then goes into another country, blows that to pieces, only to find out that the guy they’re looking for is hiding in yet another country. One they thought was a friend. But regardless of the friendship, the US goes in without telling their friend and executes their bad guy.
Here’s how Europe does it. It holds a big carrot over the place where the bad guy is hiding: membership of the EU union. It creates an international court system, in this case the Yugoslavia court. And it waits. And slowly the bad guys get discovered by the locals. First Milosovic. Then Karadzic. Now Mladic.
No guns, no execution, no torture, just the patient power of the law. Just look at the dry headline on The International Criminal Tribunal’s website: “Tribunal Welcomes the Arrest of Ratko Mladić”. These thugs have to stand trial. No glorious, scandalous trial. No politicians fearing death and destruction. Just the slow-grinding, boring mill of justice. Milosovic died under the pressure. Karadzic is fading away. And now Mladic faces the same prospect in a very decent cell in Scheveningen.
America is a fantastic country to live in. But boy am I proud to be European on days like this.
Yes indeed. There is no conceivable reason why Osama bin Laden should, against all international law, be executed without a trial, while Ratko Mladic should be arrested and tried. Juridically, of course, anyone can point out that Mladic acted as officer of a state, while Bin Laden headed a stateless organization. But does that matter in terms of the crimes being committed? Of course not. Bin Laden could well have been charged for committing mass murder in an American court. But he never has been. Why? Because that’s not the way Americans work.