Monday, June 4, 2007

Srebrenica looks for justice

Citizens of Srebrenica are looking to sue the Netherlands and the U.N. over the slaughter of Muslims by the Serbs.

UN bureaucracy and rules of engagement kept Dutch "peacekeepers" from intervening. A big motive was to not take sides in the Bosnian catastrophe. But lack of forces and pressure to not risk Dutch casualties drove operations, or lack of them, on the ground.

While the widows of the Srebrenica massacre may be right in their anger at the ineptitude of the UN in times of war, (see Rawanda), is suing the Dutch going to achieve the goal of reform?

Addressing a general Western ambivalence to get involved in conflict, in which the West doesn't have an interest, may be too difficult. And given the situation of defending "human rights" in Iraq, Afghanistan, developing proper intervention in such situations becomes all the more muddied.

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