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Let UN handle genocide charges



Published: Tue, September 17, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Let UN handle genocide charges

Once again the peoples of the world are witnessing graphic evidence of genocide being exerted within a country on its own people; this time in Syria. The world leaders are in outrage but fail, for the most part, to agree on a proper international response. The United States is, once again, threatening a military response to Syria’s President Bashar Assad and chemical warfare if a proposed deal falls through.

Outside intervention, especially during Syria’s civil war, brings into question several considerations: the sovereignty of a country; avenues of external response by other nations; consideration for not only those innocent citizens caught in the crossfire of warring forces but for those who migrate to neighboring countries seeking refuge for their families.

It would seem that those nations that feel compelled to act have two primary roads of involvement: intervention through negotiation or resorting to direct military action.

Genocides are not a relatively new occurrence within nations. There are, throughout history, examples of inhumane actions toward fellow citizens, be they young or old, wealthy or poor. Unfortunately other nations tend to just stand by as witnesses to such events. In these times of sophisticated electronic surveillance systems, intelligence gathering and exchange, such shared information can provide a more appropriate means of responding to acts of genocide. It is time that the citizens of the world demand from their leaders a truly international humanitarian response to such heinous acts.

After World War I, efforts were made to establish an organization primarily to stop future wars and provide a platform for dialogue among countries called the League of Nations. This effort failed. In 1945, after WW II, 51 countries came together to form the United Nations. Even this effort has been held up to ridicule and contempt by some as ineffective. Today however, critical issues of economic nature, climate changes and wars demand solutions based on the objectives and principles of these types of organizations.

Documented evidence is being compiled and substantiated. Therefore is it not possible, within the UN’s International Court of Justice, that matters of genocide can be addressed and adjudicated? Courts are, by their very nature, established to review and determine guilt or innocence based on factual evidence and not on conjecture over conflicting reports. While the judicial process may be time-consuming, consider the time and costs of current and recent wars in the Middle East to mankind.

Tom Flynn, Warren


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