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The UN – and the delicate art of doing nothing

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a press conference following a meeting Syria on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. U.N. inspectors said there is "clear evidence" that chemical weapons were used in Syria. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

“The report makes for chilling reading,” said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The UN report is out – and it’s conclusion is clear: Last month’s gas attack in Syria, was delivered by artillery rockets filled with high-grade Sarin gas.

Ban did not mince words, “The findings are beyond a doubt. This is a war crime.”

Which led CBS’ Pamela Falk to ask what I thought was a pretty darn good question:

“Based on the munitions in the delivery system, some of which had signatures, have you made an assessment on who is to blame? And if so, how do you propose to hold them accountable?”

His reply? That wasn’t the inspection team’s job.

“It was the team’s job to determine whether chemical weapons were used, not who used them,” said Ban.

No, their job was to determine beyond all doubt that an atrocity was committed by unknown perpetrators who are now in big trouble.

“Those perpetrators will have to be brought to justice. This is a firm principle of the United Nations. How to promote this should be the subject of ongoing discussions,” said Ban.

Ongoing discussions. We can’t tell you who the perpetrators are, but we are firmly determined to punish them by firing a long-range guided discussion at them.

And we wonder why it’s the United States that ends up being the world’s policeman.

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