Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has begged for forgiveness for the Srebrenice massacre, in remarks to be broadcast on Bosnian television

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, in an appearance to be broadcast on Bosnian television, has begged for forgiveness for the massacre at Srebrenice in July, 1995, when some 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were lined up and summarily executed by Serbian and Bosnian-Serb military forces.

He stated, according to Der Spiegel, “I beg on my knees for Serbia to be forgiven for this crime committed in Srebrenice.”

Der Spiegel noted that the 1995 Srebrenice massacre is considered to be the gravest war crime committed in Europe since World War II.

“Serbien: Präsident entschuldigt sich für Srebrenica-Massaker,” Der Spiegel, 25 April 2013 (14:38 h).

Is this relevant to the present? Consider the following:

How many Srebrenice’s have been committed in Syria in the last two years?

What will future presidents of Syria, Russia, China, and Iran be able to say when they beg for forgiveness for the war crimes and crimes against humanity they either directly committed or actively supported?

And what will a future American president say to his countrymen, and to the world, about what his country did to halt these war crimes, which were on a scale far exceeding that of the 8,000 boys and men massacred at Srebrenice?

The Trenchant Observer

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"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.