Headline of the day

Dutch troops still traumatized by Bosnia
THE HAGUE, Netherlands | June 22, 2005 5:11:47 PM IST
Forty percent of Dutch soldiers who served in Srebrenica during the Bosnian war needed psychological help after the massacre, reports Radio Netherlands.
Poor things! It must have been really hard on them to abandon the people of Srebrenica and leave them at the mercy of General Mladic and his associates. My heart goes out to them.


Yakima_Gulag said...

well Holland is such a 'values free zone' Probably they don't recognize the distress as the pangs of conscience. I'm sorry the only Dutch with any guts went to South Africa,and Indonesia and I can't say the results there were so wonderful! Courage without some moral compass is useless maybe worse than useless.

Heleen said...

Holland a values-free zone? You'd be surprised...

Michael M. said...

I remember seeing a video of Dutch soldiers dancing and drinking beers after leaving Srebrenica on the way home. They certainly didn't look tramautized. Maybe it sets in later...

Anonymous said...

A news item, same date as the one above -- for the original (in Dutch) see www.domovina.net
Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant
22 June 2005

Dutchbatters want special decoration

By Liane Sleutjes

THE HAGUE, June 22 -- Defence Minister Kamp is considering making a special memorial medal for Dutchbatters. He stated this yesterday at the presentation of the book Memories of Srebrenica, in which 171 former members of Dutchbat give their accounts [of the events at Srebrenica].

Dutch soldiers usually receive recognition for their participation in peacekeeping missions. That also applies to those sent to Srebrenica. Many Dutchbatters feel they were left in the lurch and misunderstood, because they are wronly held responsible for the fall of the enclave. For this reason, one of the Srebrenica veterans present (at the book launch) asked Kamp for special recognition in the form of a decoration.

Comment: one wonders what they're going to call it?
The "Genocide Cross" ?

The whole thing reminds one uncomfortably of the American cult of the Vietnam vet - full of understanding, perhaps rightly so, for the hardships undergone by US veterans who served in "Nam" ... while there is rarely any public mention of the horrendous carnage inflicted upon the Vietnamese people by those same suffering US vets.

Whenever people speak about the Vietnam War here, it's always about the 58,249 names of fallen American soldiers inscribed on the war memorial in Washington. Rarely does anyone recall the est. 5 million Vietnamese who were killed (4 million of them civilians).

And hardly anyone these days is so rude as to speak of atrocities committed by American soldiers in Vietnam, even My Lai (for which the one junior officer who was tried and held responsible served only days at Fort Leavenworth).

So one wouldn't want to be too harsh on the Dutch for doing no better at facing up to their failings.


Yakima_Gulag said...

Well in defence of the Dutch, they didn't personally with their own hands kill the men and boys of Srebenica. That up close, personal one by one by hand killing was done by the the Bosnian Serb forces, and the JNA.
The 'International Community' has to bear some blame there and hasn't been slammed nearly hard enough.
As to the American discourse on Vietnam, I think it is dangerous that only a certain patronizeing sympathy is extended to the Vietnam vetrans, and no discussion of attrocity as a national policy, or the effects of this on American society is takeing place. Not only has this failure to discuss this led to bad things in American foreign policy, it's led to a degradation of the social atmosphere in the U.S. So many things are accepted which are not good to accept. We are less civilized because of the lack of an honest, open and objective discussion of this era.