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Should Christians mildly approve the action of governments which act on the principal that
two wrongs make a right?
Recently the former president of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, was kidnapped by a government faction that wanted to ensure receipt of international financial aid to their struggling nation. The United States and other western nations had promised millions of dollars to assist in rebuilding Yugoslavia's infrastructure. But this aid was subject to the former president being released to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. Milosevic had been president when his nation's troops and police forces had allegedly tortored and killed perhaps thousands of Albanians living in Kosovo. These Albanians, some passively and others agresssively, had opposed the Serbian culture and discrimination that they had been subjected to. Evidence mounts that Yugoslavian/Serbian activities cruelly crushed the lives and society of an ethnic group that Milosevic and many if not most fellow Serbian citizens resented.
Slobodan Milosevic governed during this time and in all likelihood could have eased the conditions that caused Albanian dissatisfaction and prevented most of the Serbian mis-uses of power. From information available to us from the news media, Milosevic was not without guilt. He should perhaps or even probably be tried for war crimes.
But he was turned over to the war crimes tribunal by a gang of kidnappers. The current president of Yugoslavia claims to have failed to approve of the turnover, at least at the time it occurred. And the Supreme Court of Yugoslavia had ordered that until it acted further on Milosevic's appeal that the former president be held in prison in Yugoslavia. The highest court in Yugoslavia had ordered that at least for the time being Milosevic was not be handed over to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.
Christians cannot morally turn a blind eye to injustice done to others in an effort that perhaps aimed to exterminate an unwanted minority in the country. We shouldn't turn a blind eye when government tramples the rights of even a single individual. We in the United States sometimes must resist this trampling of rights within our own country when persons like the mentally retarded man in Texas this year are scheduled for execution. This is especially true when ample evidence exists that this mentally retarded prisoner may have been defended in trial by attornyes who may have been inadequately paid for their services and perhaps inadequately qualified to represent anyone in a murder case, let alone someone who could not fully function in society or his own trial.
Yes, we must do what we can to stop ethnic attrocities and cleansing. But, should Christians approve of trampling on the rights of the man, in this case Slobodan Milosevic, who while probably guilty of horrible crimes against a group of his country's citizens was himself denied court determined rights that he was entitled to? Should we not publicly tell our nations executives and legislators that they should ensure that Milosevic be returned to his own country until his own country might choose to legally hand him over to be tried internationally for his war crimes?
I'd want my rights protected. Wouldn't you? That doesn't mean that the guilty shouldn't be punished. But I've always been taught in church school and Sabbath school that two wrongs don't make a right. What do you think?
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