Thursday, September 13, 2012

Genocide Suspect Deemed Unfit for Trial

Ieng Thirith was the most powerful woman in the Khmer Rouge. Under Pol Pot, she assisted in the genocidal executions, mass killings, and starvation of countless Cambodians. The UN's appointed court has deemed the 80 year old is probably unfit to stand trial due to possible Alzheimer's, dementia, and other mental disorders.

Ieng Thirith was the wife of Ieng Sary, one of Pol Pot's senior-most subordinates. She was also Pol Pot's sister-in-law, her sister having married the tyrant. Pol Pot died in 1998 after leading the Khmer Rouge's rein of terror for over 30 years.

Thirith's ability to stand trial should not be held in question. They may claim "diminished mental capabilities". However, what sane and rational person intentionally contributes to the murder of thousands? In addition, what sane person would be complicit in starving thousands more to death?

There is little doubt that people such as John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahlmer were mentally ill. No sane person does the evil and horrible things they did. In fact, one could argue that being an evil maniac such as Adolph Hitler or Slobodan Milosevic is a mental disorder like extreme megalomania coupled with  narcissistic rage and extreme sociopathy. However, that is not a justifiable reason to excuse them from facing justice.

Thirith knew what she was doing and what she was complicit to when she did what she did. If she has dementia or Alzheimer's, she may recall those glory days very well even though her recent and short-term memory are clouded. In any case, seeing the misery and death she was responsible for during the course of her trial could serve as part of that place in hell she has earned.

Then again, we have people such as Lisa Fithian who want a Khmer Rouge type Maoist "utopia" forced upon our free citizens of the US. Certain politicians in federal offices are soft on tyrants, preferring to apologize to them rather than firmly call them out on their crimes. Under the current administration, the US has a rather weak presence in the UN. Without a strong US presence in the UN joining in calling for a fair trial of individuals such as Thirith, Milosevic, and other tyrants, we cannot count on any of them meeting with justice anytime soon.