Many people have been shocked, frightened and angry at the breakdown of law and order that has caused great damage in some of the larger cities across England; violence against unarmed police, arson and destructive behaviour together with widespread looting and mugging which terrorised shopkeepers and residents. A lot of those going on the rampage were teenagers. How has this happened? How do we make any sense of these disgraceful scenes that have brought shame on a nation?
Ratko Mladic was the key player and commander of the Bosnian Serb forces that tried to eliminate Muslims from large parts of Bosnia. His forces massacred eight thousand Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, and the brutal siege of Sarajevo between 1992 and 1995 resulted in the death of 10,000 people. His capture and trial for war crimes reminds us of the torture, mass rape, arson and genocide that formed part of this ‘ethnic cleansing’. How does one explain these evil crimes against humanity? Are standards of good and evil are only products of local culture, custom, or prejudice and that the very word ‘evil’ is an outmoded concept no longer fit for purpose.