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Posted in: Gender, Psychology & Law

Published on Jul 23, 2008 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Dr. Karadzic, I Presume?

The Monster As Healer


The monster was hiding in plain sight–working as a holistic healer, a health guru. I am talking about Dr. Radovan Karadzic of course who has finally been captured by his own people, not because his crimes repulsed them, (he was viewed as a hero), but rather in the hope that his capture and extradition to the Hague might soften their image as a rogue nation and lead to an economically profitable membership in the European Union.

The man, nay the fiend, is a psychiatrist and as luck would have it, I actually knew a woman who once was his patient. She was an educated Muslim woman, married to a Christian man, in a time when Belgrade prided itself on its sophistication and tolerance.

How could Karadzic turn on Muslims who were once his patients? (How could Nazi doctors turn on their Jewish patients and teachers? How could Mengele do what he did? How could the British-based Muslim doctors try to blow up the Glasgow airport?)

It is not unusual for ideologically and militarily empowered people who were once your employees, employers, neighbors, and friends, to be the first to turn you in to the police, participate in beating you up, plunder and occupy your home, kill you to eliminate the possibility that you might one day return to claim what is rightfully yours. Sometimes, more rarely, your former neighbors and friends might save you.

Karadzic enjoyed sixteen years of power and safety. His genocidally massacred victims did not. Those girls and women who survived his (and Radko Mladic's) "gender cleansing" policies of repeated, public gang-rapes have been tormented every day since then. One such woman, "Jasmina," says that under Karadzic's rule, "we were raped every day."

She lived in Bijeljina and in 1992, Karadzic's soldiers took over her largely Muslim city and began to torture and kill the population.

Jasmina never saw her mother again. The men in her family were beaten. She and ten other women were gang-raped in front of their children. When she begged the soldiers to kill her, they laughed and said "We don't need you dead."

However, in Jasmina's case, after one year as a sexual slave, a Serbian soldier who had known her parents rescued her (he purchased her as a "private prostitute"). You may read about Jasmina Here.

Many of the raped Muslim women became pregnant. Many were rejected by their families because they had been dishonored. Depression and suicide were real risks. In Jasmina's case, she felt that her husband should have rejected her but they got around that by never discussing what had happened to either of them during the war.

But, she has attempted suicide three times and to this day, "cannot look her husband in the eye." The "ethnically cleansed" Muslims do not wish to return to the region where their tormentors live and have been peacefully re-located elsewhere.

I was once on tap to testify about Rape Trauma Syndrome in the matter of the former Yugoslavia. Although rape is now considered a war crime, the international criminal tribunals (in the matter of Rwanda and Bosnia) remains pitifully under funded.

Do not expect Dr. Karadzic to be any more apologetic than his pal, Slobodan Milosovic, was. Eichmann in the Jerusalem dock was unashamed, unruffled, even proud of his "efficiency." Expect that Karadzic will justify what he did as "self defense," as a Serbian Bosnian nationalist equivalent of a political honor murder.

Those who commit evil on a grand scale are the kinds of people who do not think it is wrong. Dinko Sakic commanded a notorious death camp in Croatia where 2,000 Serbs, Jews, and gypsies were murdered. Sakic fled at the end of World War Two and lived openly for half a century in Argentina. He even gave interviews boasting about what he had done. Sakic said that he would gladly do it all over again. When he was finally caught and tried, he laughed at the verdict.

Sakic just died at age 86. I hope there is a special circle in Hell for the likes of Sakic, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Milosevic, Karadzic and for all those, world-wide who committed similar crimes against humanity. On the other hand–maybe it would be more instructive, more punitive, to condemn them to the company of angels and saints.


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