Caleb, thanks for your intelligent engagement on this topic. Toward the end you write “Somehow those guilty of atrocities must be held to account”. That is so easy to say/write — but far harder to figure out in any specific case how it should be done. Some accountability-seeking processes are themselves extremely divisive and expensive (e.g., the international courts for Rwanda and former Yugoslavia.) Other processes include various versions of South Africa’s TRC… You also need to unpack what you mean by “accountability”. It is not necessarily something that a Western-style court system delivers to survivors and society as a whole in any satisfying way. I explored all those issues in my 2006 book Amnesty After Atrocity?, which is still widely available.

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Veteran analyst of global affairs, with a focus on the Middle East. Senior Fellow, Ctr for International Policy. Fuller bio at my Wikipedia page.

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