Genocide

John Shattuck. 3/26/2016. “Karadzic verdict is a victory for civilization.” The Boston Globe. Publisher's Version Abstract

Op-Ed from Carr Center's John Shattuck.

"In a world rampant with terrorism, Thursday’s verdict in the Radovan Karadzic trial in The Hague is a victory for international justice. The former Bosnian Serb leader was convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes for leading a reign of genocidal terror during the Bosnian war."

Genocide

The Carr Center seeks to draw attention to acts of mass atrocity and genocide, analyzing strategies and tools to better prevent and respond to these massive violations of human rights.

As the civilian population is increasingly targeted in wars, children constitute an increasing quota among the victims of each conflict. More often than not, the horrific practice of targeting civilians during conflict is seconded by the deplorable active use of child soldiers. In some countries, a whole generation of children seems to have grown up without knowing peace. A lot has been written about war-affected people, and the psychological consequences that they bear as a result of these traumatic experiences; yet, a literature that focuses specifically on the psychological burden of child soldiers is only now slowly emerging. While it might be intuitive that war and widespread violence leave deep psychological scars, it is essential to understand what shape these scars take on children. The relevance of the topic is striking at both a humanitarian and a developmental level as ‘lost education can take years to regain, and physical and psychological trauma may be long lasting’. 

This report examines the evolution of the Taliban case for armed struggle and the minimal adjustments Taliban rhetoricians made to cope with the impending political change in Afghanistan in 2014. It considers how the Taliban might make a case for peace, should they take the political decision to engage in negotiations. 

The Taliban movement commands the loyalty of thousands of Afghans and applies resources and men to the pursuit of political objectives, guided by doctrine and inspired by rhetoric. Taliban rhetoric consists of religious and historical references, narratives of recent events, and guidance for Taliban sympathizers. The rhetoric asserts that the Taliban are engaged in a righteous jihad aimed at establishing a divinely ordered Islamic system in Afghanistan. Taliban doctrine focuses on internal affairs and in particular on maintaining cohesiveness. The Taliban are ruthless in enforcing their doctrine of obedience to the amir, or leader. The movement has retained a narrow social base, and its power is concentrated in the hands of mullahs from the Kandahari Pashtun tribes. Any project to build a plural Afghanistan is likely to include an appeal to the Taliban or the constituency they have mobilized. The Taliban’s own attempts to regain power rest on a negation of pluralism, rejection of a popular mandate, and assertion of the divine right vested in their Islamic emirate. A Taliban rhetoric of peace would require addressing the position of the Taliban’s amir, peace as a desirable state, the need for cohesiveness and unity in support of peace, celebration of the withdrawal of foreign troops, Islamic credentials of the government in Kabul, protection of those who sacrificed for the Taliban, peace as conclusion of the jihad, and the new role for the Taliban’s cadres. After 2014, the Taliban leadership is vulnerable to a hard-line challenge arguing that the political system in Kabul is irredeemably compromised by its collaboration with unbelievers.

Zachary Kaufman

Zachary Kaufman

Senior Fellow

Zachary D. Kaufman, J.D., Ph.D., researches, writes, and lectures on international law and international relations, including U.S. foreign policy; transitional justice; human rights; genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other mass atrocities; war crimes tribunals (including the International Criminal Court); social entrepreneurship; and the Great Lakes region of Africa (particularly Rwanda).

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Luis  Gabriel Moreno-Ocampo

Luis Gabriel Moreno-Ocampo

Senior Fellow

Luis Moreno-Ocampo was the first Prosecutor (June 2003- June 2012) of the new and permanent International Criminal Court.  His office was involved in twenty of the most serious crises of the 21st century including Iraq, Korea, Afghanistan, and Palestine. He conducted investigations in seven different countries, presenting charges against Muammar Gaddafi for crimes against humanity committed in Libya, the President of the Sudan Omar Al Bashir for genocide in Darfur, the former President of Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo, Joseph Kony and the former Vice President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Jean Pierre Bemba. Previously, Moreno-Ocampo played a crucial role during the transition to democracy in Argentina, as the deputy prosecutor in the "Junta trial" in 1985 and the Prosecutor in the trial against a military rebellion in 1991. He was a Visiting Professor at Stanford University and Harvard University. After the end of his tenure as ICC Prosecutor, Moreno Ocampo was the chairman of the World Bank Expert Panel on the Padma Bridge project. He is now in private practice at a New York law firm.

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