In The Bridge on the Drina (1945), which tells Bosnia’s history through 500 years of anecdotes centered on an Ottoman bridge in the town of Višegrad (Basil Davidson called the novel ‘Bosnia’s Waverley’), Ivo Andrić wrote of the persecution of ethnic Serbs by Austrio-Hungarian authorities and their Muslim backers after Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914: As has so often happened in the history of man, permission was tacitly granted for acts of violence and plunder, even for murder, if they were carried out in the name of higher interests, according to established rules, and against a limited number of men of a particular type and belief. Saturday, 11 July was the 20th anniversary of the start of the slaughter of 8000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, ninety kilometres north of Višegrad.
Were all Serbs complicit in the crimes of the Milošević era? That’s the view of Ratko Mladić, the man who ran the four-year siege of Sarajevo and orchestrated the killings in Srebrenica. 'You voted for Milošević,' he said at the special war crimes court in Belgrade, after his arrest last week. 'I am not guilty.' Punish us all, in other words, but don't single me out. It's a weight-free argument beside the gravity of the charges, and an insult to the many Serbs who could do nothing to halt the degradation of the 1990s. In The Hague, Mladić will want to do better.
Mia Farrow is still a star turn. See her testimony at The Hague, where Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, is on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity in neighbouring Sierra Leone. Farrow, Naomi Campbell and Campbell’s agent, Carole White, of Premier Model Management, were in South Africa in 1997 when, according to White and Farrow, Campbell was a knowing beneficiary of Taylor’s dodgy largesse. Here’s how it looks, very roughly, if you dovetail the testimonies of White, Farrow and Campbell at the Special Court for Sierra Leone: