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Sanitizing the atrocities in Syria

A United Nations commission investigating war crimes in Syria just confirmed what the world already knew to be true: The regime has committed lots of them.

But Wednesday’s UN report on eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, wound up omitting the ugly, ugly details.

For instance, that at least twice this year, the Syrian military fired Iranian-made chemical-weapon artillery shells on innocent victims. Or that, in another attack, Syrian forces dropped a chemical bomb off the top of an apartment building, killing 49 people, including 11 children. Not to mention the mass starvation, or the homes routinely bombarded.

A draft of the report had seven pages of details on atrocities on Syrian civilians, but the final document summarized those pages in just two paragraphs.

Yet again, the United Nations messes up even what it gets right.

The excuse for cutting out the horrors seems to be that the details needed more corroboration before going into the official report. Right.

In fact, it’s plain that the Syrian government’s allies (Russia and Iran) used their UN sway to sanitize the report — just as they’ve used that power to shield the regime all along, in part because they themselves are guilty of other atrocities in this war.

The United Nations can never do much about the world’s worst villains, because they’re members in “good” standing.

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