Former War Crimes Prosecutor To UN: “I Quit!”


Oh, boy. How bad must things be when a big time former war crimes prosecutor throws up her hands when it comes to the UN and Syria?

Apparently, pretty bad, as this ABC News article indicates:

“We have had absolutely no success,” she told Blick on the sidelines of the Locarno film festival Sunday. “For five years we’ve been running up against walls.”

Del Ponte, who gained fame as the prosecutor for the international war crimes tribunals that investigated atrocities in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, has repeatedly decried the Security Council’s refusal to appoint a similar court for Syria’s 6?-year-old civil war. Permanent member Russia, which can veto council actions, is a key backer of Assad’s government.

“I give up. The states in the Security Council don’t want justice,” Del Ponte said, adding that she planned to take part in the last meeting in September. “I can’t any longer be part of this commission which simply doesn’t do anything.”

Appointed in September 2012, Del Ponte was quoted by Blick as saying she now thinks she was put into the role “as an alibi.”

Whoa – that is quite the statement, that Del Ponte thinks she was essentially “an alibi,” window dressing for the Commission charged to go after Syria but which, in reality, has done nothing – NOTHING – to rein in the madman running the joint (Assad). That says a whole lot, especially from a woman with such a storied career in prosecuting war criminals.

Which brings me to this claim by Del Ponte:


In her comments to Blick, Del Ponte described Syria as a land without a future.

“Believe me, the terrible crimes committed in Syria I neither saw in Rwanda nor ex-Yugoslavia,” she said. “We thought the international community had learned from Rwanda. But no, it learned nothing.”

At first in Syria, “the opposition (members) were the good ones; the government were the bad ones,” she was quoted as saying.

But after six years, Del Ponte concluded: “In Syria, everyone is bad. The Assad government is committing terrible crimes against humanity and using chemical weapons. And the opposition, that is made up only of extremists and terrorists anymore.”

The commission issued a statement saying it was aware since mid-June of Del Ponte’s plans to leave and insisted that its work “must continue” to help bring perpetrators in Syria to justice. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Dang. Let’s just look at that claim by Del Ponte about Syria being WORSE than both Rwanda and Yugoslavia. As a reminder, here is a statement from the UN’s Tribunal on Rwanda:

On the evening of 6 April 1994, the plane carrying Juvenal Habyarimana, the President of Rwanda, and Cyprien Ntaryamira, the President of Burundi, was shot down over Kigali. The assassinations shattered the fragile peace established by the Arusha Accords, brokered in the hope of ending the armed conflict between the Rwandan Patriotic Front and the Rwandan Government.

During the 100 bloody days that followed, unimaginable violence overtook the country. Genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes were perpetrated on a horrific scale, primarily against Tutsi civilians and moderate Hutus. Soldiers, gendarmes, politicians, Interahamwe and ordinary citizens were amongst the perpetrators.

Between eight-hundred thousand and one million men, women and children were massacred by Hutu extremists – a rate of killing four times greater than at the height of the Nazi Holocaust.

That last paragraph is just hard to imagine – the vast number of people slaughtered in less than 3 1/2 MONTHS. The numbers are staggering, as are the levels of brutality, violence, and blood thirst.

And then there is the former Socialist Yugoslavia. This was a far more complex situation, one which involved a number of different regions in the former Yugoslavia. Here is the gist of why a Tribunal was formed:


In May 1993, the Tribunal was established by the United Nations in response to mass atrocities then taking place in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Reports depicting horrendous crimes, in which thousands of civilians were being killed and wounded, tortured and sexually abused in detention camps and hundreds of thousands expelled from their homes, caused outrage across the world and spurred the UN Security Council to act.

The ICTY was the first war crimes court created by the UN and the first international war crimes tribunal since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals. It was established by the Security Council in accordance with Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

The key objective of the ICTY is to try those individuals most responsible for appalling acts such as murder, torture, rape, enslavement, destruction of property and other crimes listed in the Tribunal’s Statute. By bringing perpetrators to trial, the ICTY aims to deter future crimes and render justice to thousands of victims and their families, thus contributing to a lasting peace in the former Yugoslavia.

Situated in The Hague, the Netherlands, the ICTY has charged over 160 persons. Those indicted by the ICTY include heads of state, prime ministers, army chiefs-of-staff, interior ministers and many other high- and mid-level political, military and police leaders from various parties to the Yugoslav conflicts. Its indictments address crimes committed from 1991 to 2001 against members of various ethnic groups in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

That is all to say, the level of abuses that raged on in this area for a number of years was astonishing. I think it is safe to say that what happened in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia was nothing less than barbaric.

And apparently, according to someone who knows, Syria is far worse with the United Nations Security Council essentially turning a blind eye and deaf ear.

Yeah, I think I’d throw up my hands and quit, too.

But while I understand the sheer levels of frustration at the complete unwillingness of the United Nations to do something about Assad and the atrocities he is committing against his people, WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE??

Therein lies the rub. Who will stand for them if the United Nations Security Council refuses to stand up to this murderous madman?

Thank heavens that the United States is trying to do SOMETHING there, but why is Assad not being held to account for his crimes against his people by the very organization that represents Nations around the World?

I’ll leave it to you to answer this question. As for me, I am left just shaking my head in disgust…

This is an Open Thread.


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12 Responses to “Former War Crimes Prosecutor To UN: “I Quit!””

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    Here is the reason so little is done about atrocities until millions die – politics. We may be trying to do something now but “now” is years too late for all those that have suffered and died.

    Yes Assad is a bad man. We’ve always know it. Anyone that denies it is a liar or a fool. But by ignoring the problem until now there simply are no good options left.

    I found this paragraph by Del Ponte particularly disturbing:

    After six years, Del Ponte concluded: “In Syria, everyone is bad. The Assad government is committing terrible crimes against humanity and using chemical weapons. And the opposition, that is made up only of extremists and terrorists anymore.”

    Great post Rev. This is an important story that will get little attention because Trump may or may not have tweeted something and because “Mueller the Corrupt” is empaneling a Grand Jury.

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

    The MSM’s New BS Attack On Trump: He’s Lazy

    Newsweek went all in last week with a cover showing Trump splayed out in a recliner, bag of Cheetos in one hand, TV remote control in the other. “LAZY BOY: Donald Trump is bored and tired. Imagine how bad he’d feel if he did any work,” says the cover text. “Trump, America’s Boy King: Golf and Television Won’t Make America Great Again,” reads the story headline.

    So, the meme is Trump’s lazy. There’s a lot of things people can say about Trump — some of them quite accurate — but “lazy” just isn’t one of them.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Oh, good Lord. That is just idiotic on its face and shows them up to be the tabloid gutter journalists they have become. WOW.

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        MSM has become simply gossip columnists and not very good ones at that.

        Trump is known for many negative qualities – being lazy isn’t one of them. This is laziness alright, lazy journalists who can’t be bothered to tell the truth.

        They were probably so enthused with the image they used for a cover it never occurred to them that even his enemies acknowledge the remarkable energy Trump has for a man his age.

        Wanna bet they giggled like naughty little school children when they put that bag of Cheetos in the picture?

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

    No, Lindy West, Abortion Isn’t ‘Liberty,’ It’s Murder

    Abortion advocates now push their cause as a positive good, in line with how post-revolutionary American slavery partisans came to embrace slavery.

    “Abortion is not a fringe issue,” West writes. “Abortion is liberty.”

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      WTH?? Seriously – what the hell is wrong with people?!

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I cannot even fathom the lack of decency that allows someone to claim that killing a baby in it’s mother’s womb is liberty. This is not a country I even recognize most of the time these days.

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    I can never quite decide if the media is lazy, corrupt, incompetent or just too damn ignorant. Or maybe all of the above.

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

    Speaking to the topic of this post, it seems to me, that the shame of we as a people, a country, and as humanity in general is that we all become so concerned, after the fact.

    “Suddenly” something is done after hundreds, thousands, millions die.

    Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Syria, the list goes on and on. In some cases “humanity” did and does nothing.

    I am no better than the next and I wonder if that will ever change. If we will ever change.

    I believe that John McCain is wrong on what to do about this issue. But I will give him credit for caring. And that’s more than any credit I’ll give to most politicians.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      That is a good, and provocative, question, Marge. At what point are people spurred to action, and why is it that it is so often way too late? Like when ISIS was literally slaughtering Christians, driving them out of lands in which they have lived since the beginning of Christianity? Why did NO ONE take any action to protect them?

      And now it is Syria. We don’t want to step on toes, or get involved, or “be the world’s police,” or whatever.

      I wonder if we will change, too…

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