Mar 19 2010
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.
3 Responses to “Srebrenica, blame the gays!”
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