As often happens, two contradictory stories hit the news simultaneously, in this case the clearing of Serbia of "direct responsibility" for genocide against Bosnians by the International Court of Justice in De Hague, and the filing of details of war crimes in Darfur by the chief prosecutor before the International Criminal Court, also in De Hague. Nobody argues that genocide is morally wrong or that war crimes should go unpunished. It is immediately obvious, however, that there is a serious flaw in how we deal with these issues as a society. Courts are not neutral institutions fully independent from the political realities of the environment in which they operate. The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. The United Nations are controlled by the Security Council giving undue influence to a small number of dominant states of the majority of members in the General Assembly (leaving aside the even less palatable fact that the land on which its administrative offices are established was donated by the Rockefeller Family). For the court to find that Serbia was responsible for the horrible crimes committed during the Bosnian conflict and that reparations were to be paid would set a dangerous precedent under which reparations might subsequently also be sought by the Palestinians or Lebanese against the State of Israel or by Iraqis and Afghans against the US and UK. To ignore the evidence of a genocide, on the other hand, would give a green light to any group of people furthering their political agenda through the use of terror.
As courts frequently do, the International Court of Justice came up with a compromise. They declared that the massacre of Muslims at Srebrenica (under the "watchful" eyes of UN observers, by the way) was genocide, but that Serbia was not directly responsible as a state. They found that Serbia didn't do enough to stop genocide from happening, but found no evidence that they directly ordered the crime. The countries dominating the UN may have saved their own skin by this ruling, but it compounds an already complex issue even further. Based on this judgment it appears a waste of time to continue gathering evidence against Sudan for the atrocities committed in Darfur. What point is there in spending large sums of money and time to establish what everybody knows anyway, that crimes were committed? It will be equally impossible to prove that the Sudan government directly ordered the action and thus it cannot be held directly responsible. And will Israel now repay all the money it received in reparations to Germany? After all, it is also an established historic fact that not a single piece of evidence exists that Hitler or the government of the Reich directly ordered or authorised the extermination of Jews. By way of logical deduction, the judgment in favour of Serbia means that Germany, too, should now be exonerated and no longer held responsible.