Mar 19 2010

Srebrenica, blame the gays!

Published by at 10:16 am under Politics

Retired US General John Sheehan, a former Nato commander, has caused outrage by suggesting that Dutch Peacekeepers failure to act and prevent the massacre of Bosniaks at Srebrenica was due to low morale caused by the presence of gay soldiers within the Dutch ranks.

General Sheehan was speaking to a US Senate hearing on allowing openly  gay people to serve  in the US military.

Dutch defence ministry spokesman Roger van de Wetering rebutted the General saying, “It is astonishing that a man of his stature can utter such complete nonsense.”

Full Story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8575717.stm

In 1995 Srebrenica was a UN safe-haven under the protection of 400 Dutch peacekeepers, when Bosian-Serb Forces overran the town killing more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys. To suggest that the presence of gay servicemen in the Dutch contingent contributed to the massacre, is not only wrong and insulting, it also completely ignores the facts.

The Serb forces had been laying siege to the town for weeks. They numbered almost 2,000 and were equipped with tanks, armoured vehicles, heavily artillery and mortars. Once they took the decision to overrun the town, the Dutch troops were largely powerless to prevent it and became little more than hostages. This prevented UN forces from carrying out air-strikes on Serb positions surrounding the town and forcing the invading troops out of the safe-haven.

Dutch morale was indeed low, but it had nothing to do with homosexuals it had far more to do with conditions on the ground, which were dire. Srebrenica has been under siege conditions for weeks, there was little running water and basic sanitation was virtually non-existent. Meanwhile the Dutch camps sheltering refugees were over-crowded and short of supplies, Dutch troops were turning away a large stream of refugees claiming their camps were full.

Now when you are faced with that level of human suffering and you have to turn away needy people,  on the orders of your superiors, yet feel that human urge to help, this is going to  damage your morale.

Of course its far easier to blame it on the gays than it is to understand the situation and suffering on the ground. General Sheehan was never at Srebrenica.

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Srebrenica, blame the gays!”

  1. Gregon 31 Mar 2010 at 2:03 am

    It has nothing to do with the Dutch Marines having homosexuals in the unit but the Dutch Prime Minister who ordered the marines to do nothing – thus committing a war crime.

    The Fact that the Dutch commanders obeyed the unlawful command of their superiors is a contravention of the Geneva Convention and in itself is a serious war crime.

    Now that U.S. General is a blow hard who is playing on others ignorance of the situation to promote his own agenda.

    It must be remembered that the US military like any other large organization will have homosexual and bisexual members. The fact that the regime they work under is oppressive has nothing to do with the effectiveness or otherwise of an organization.

  2. Noelon 15 Apr 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I wonder how this general would explain the ability of the Roman army to dominate Europe, North Africa and much of the Middle East from the first to the fourth centuries. Homosexuality among Roman soldiers was normal and even used to get individual soldiers to fight harder. A guy who has his boyfriend in the front rank will fight the harder to protect him or the harder in revenge if the b/f is killed.

    But the distinguished general probably wouldn’t explain it as he is clearly deeply prejudiced and prejudice rests on ignorance.

  3. Garrett Joneson 18 Mar 2012 at 4:42 pm

    My website – http://www.garrettjones.talktalk.net is titled LOVE – NOT WAR. This may sound more than a little soft in the head but the love it stresses is love between men. This is not just between gay men but virtually all men once the old taboos have been shaken off and men have become free to realise their bisexual potential. Love between men does not have to be, nor does it need to be, of the anal variety, since anal sex is in any case merely imitating heterosex. It can still be sexual and full-blooded and miles away from the macho ideal of the strong silent man who is handy with his fists – or his automatic weapon.
    It also stresses the need for us to throw off our inherited tribal ideas about defence and security, put all armed force in global hands and restrict the use of force to the maintenance of peace and the protection and promotion of human rights. This can only happen in a secular world where principles of justice can be impartially applied to all citizens.
    This is a tall order, but it is the only way forward and it does depend, to quite an extent, on changing our ideas about manliness. If you are not convinced, take a look at the site.
    Garrett Jones

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