Anger at award of Srebrenica Medal for Dutch Military

#1
Remember how our dutch allies gave in without firing a shot, and actually helped sort the men and boys for later execution, well for their restraint and organisational skills they are going to get a medal.....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6207254.stm

This even brought down the Dutch government, and seems a somewhat ill-judged move, what do you think?

Ratcatcher
 
#2
Not the fault of the troops on the ground. Do you remember the British UNPROFOR troops who had no choice but to stand by and watch as innocent families were murdered by the serbs? Are you suggesting they shouldn't be allowed to wear their medals?

In situations like this, it is almost always the leaders who should be made accountable.
 
#3
Something similar. Tell that to the 20 unarmed British soldiers shot down by the local armed cops in Aden in 1967. We, ordered to by the politicos, held a parade for the bastards a few days later. That's anger nearly 40 years later!
 
#4
arakan said:
Something similar. Tell that to the 20 unarmed British soldiers shot down by the local armed cops in Aden in 1967. We, ordered to by the politicos, held a parade for the bastards a few days later. That's anger nearly 40 years later!
Or the hundreds of British Servicemen killed in Ulster by the Provo's only for Liebour to give Gerry & Martin the keys to the city!
 
#5
That's politics and politicians. I think we should be paying them more. £100,000 to start with, then let's look at expenses and pensions, which are clearly too low.
 
#6
...sorry, back on thread. The Dutch Government was rightly given a hard time for the ridiculous RoE which their troops operated under in Srebrenica. The Dutch Army contingent was following orders from fat politicians in fat armchairs, far far away. I doubt whether many of them felt proud of their Government's attitude.
 
#7
Good point - it aint the fault of the troops on the ground maybe they deserve medals they may have been extremely angry at not being able to do more, but as a political move is it the right thing to do, also, should Col Kerralmans be getting a medal? Much of the blame has been laid at his feet also?

Ratcatcher
 
#8
spike7451 said:
arakan said:
Something similar. Tell that to the 20 unarmed British soldiers shot down by the local armed cops in Aden in 1967. We, ordered to by the politicos, held a parade for the bastards a few days later. That's anger nearly 40 years later!
Or the hundreds of British Servicemen killed in Ulster by the Provo's only for Liebour to give Gerry & Martin the keys to the city!
History re-written? To clarify, the NI peace process started in 1993 when talks were held between the British Government and Sinn Fein. The first IRA ceasefire was announced on 31st August 1994. Elections for an NI Forum were held in 1996 with a 65% turnout.
Labour were elected to power on 1st May 1997 and (rightly) continued a process already started by the previous Conservative government.
 
#9
I don't know how effective Karremans was before Srebrenica but he was useless afterwards.

I had the dubious pleasure of working for him when he was reintroduced to NATO as the Ch G3 in Heidleberg. Of all the staff I meet and worked with there, there was no-one more incapable of making a decision.

I know that this is normally a problem in a NATO HQ anyway but when your boss comes arrives, goes to his office and closes the door, refusing to see anyone unless they have booked an appointment beforehand.....? Nightmare.

As the branch became more and more ineffectual, we gave up trying to engage him and with the tactit agreement of the Ops 2* (a Brit) took to bypassing him completely.
 
#10
At the end of the day, yes troops on the ground have to obey orders from above but every individual commander has the ability to assess an increasing volatile situation unfolding with massive numbers of humans lives in the balance, and to adapt those orders to suit the situation on the ground. If that was a Company of British troops on the ground they would have done their utmost to prevent armed aggressors doing what they eventually did but we were not in the shoes of those Dutchmen and we will never know the overall situation, rumours abound that they couldn't fire any of their Anti Tank weapons as they had been passed down from tour to tour and were simply unusable, that the Dutch herded the civilians who had taken refuge in their camp, out into the waiting Serbian Bijela Vuke (White Wolf) soldiers who in turn marched them into the surrounding hills and executed them. Any military unit under a blue beret comes under ludicrous Rules of Engagement and political crap. At the end of the day whatever anyone says, a British Infantry Company in the same place would not have let that happen without putting up a fight...





Gundulph






.
 
#11
I think it was all totally political and not the fault of the soldiers on the ground. I worked with the Dutch on numerous occasions in Bosnia and found them to be very proud and diligent soldiers. As stated at the bottom of this extract. A "small country with a big heart". At least they were there.

Below is an extract from:
http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/peacekpg/lessons/sreb1.htm

The desperate plight of Dutchbat - the beleaguered, demoralised Dutch soldiers who had the responsibility in July 1995 for implementing the safe havens policy. It describes a crazily conceived international figleaf (liberal interventionism on the cheap) with ludicrous terms of engagement, which amounted to the misplaced belief that the mere presence of a UN force was a sufficient deterrent to the Bosnian Serbs. The air support that might have protected the 8,000 massacred in Srebrenica - which Dutchbat called for - never materialised courtesy of a jittery UN. It was an impossible mission, all now agree; many fond illusions in the international community about a new era of peacekeeping died along with the Bosnian Muslims, and it was largely a matter of chance that it happened on the Dutch watch.

The only possible crime that the Dutch government could be accused of was naivety. They didn't take up the CIA's offer of agents to intercept Bosnian Serb communications and they didn't debrief their Canadian predecessors in Srebrenica, who withdrew, arguing that the policy was unsustainable. But the naivety was evident across the entire Dutch political culture: parliament, the media and the country was swept along by a morally outraged public opinion that Something Must Be Done that allowed no room for a critical examination of what that Something was.

The Dutch were one of the few nations to offer soldiers for the 32,000-strong force first envisaged under the Owen-Vance peace plan; in the end the number barely scraped 6,000. They found themselves propping up a bankrupt international policy not of their devising: the fate, you could argue, as did one contributor to a website debate yesterday, of a "small country with a big heart".
 
#12
Gundulph said:
At the end of the day whatever anyone says, a British Infantry Company in the same place would not have let that happen without putting up a fight....
Couldn't agree more.

As for RFUK saying British troops stood back whilst innocent were being slaughtered - utter, insulting pish and I say that from first hand experience.
 
#13
RFUK said:
Not the fault of the troops on the ground. Do you remember the British UNPROFOR troops who had no choice but to stand by and watch as innocent families were murdered by the serbs? Are you suggesting they shouldn't be allowed to wear their medals?

In situations like this, it is almost always the leaders who should be made accountable.
No i don't remember? Give us the time/date and location of this event please RFUK?
 
#14
RFUK ; think about Gorazde and what the Duke o'Boots lads achieved there - despite sh1tty ROE and being massively outnumbered - then compare and contrast UK v. Dutch performance!
 
#15
It doesn't take a lot to bring down the Dutch Govenment - it collapases on average once every 2 years!!
 
#16
Were not all the Armed Forces in this theatre under the auspices of the UN? The UN that issued a mandate that said something along the lines of " Do not open fire. Even if innocent men, women and children are being massacred do not open fire". Or am I being a cynic? The same UN that presided over most of the genocide in Africa. The same UN that is under Kofi Annan. He was the on who must surely take part of the blame rather than laying it all squarely at the feet of the countries that were there to keep the peace. The UN is the problem. It was, is and always will be corrupt and ineffective.
 
#17
FABLONBIFFCHIT said:
Were not all the Armed Forces in this theatre under the auspices of the UN? The UN that issued a mandate that said something along the lines of " Do not open fire. Even if innocent men, women and children are being massacred do not open fire". Or am I being a cynic? The same UN that presided over most of the genocide in Africa. The same UN that is under Kofi Annan. He was the on who must surely take part of the blame rather than laying it all squarely at the feet of the countries that were there to keep the peace. The UN is the problem. It was, is and always will be corrupt and ineffective.
My Bold: The Un Secretary General at the time was Boutros Boutros-Galli.
 
#18
Just to add some modern day context, British forces in Helmand, have, I understand been ordered to ignore the ritual executions of women villagers, who have been literally stoned to death before their eyes. I cannot imagine what must have been going through their minds when they were, allegedly, ordered to march on by and not interfere.

Another example of ethics versus pragmatism at the expense of human life., when Tommy Atkins knows the plain difference between right and wrong and is overruled. I am sure the Dutch version of Tom felt the same way about the Balkan atrocities.

I think I would know where to shove that medal......
 
#19
Lets be clear. The ROE did not allow the Dutch to intervene. We have all seen what happens to soldiers who are even suspected of exceeding the ROE in other theatres.

The Dutch will never be as good as the Brits but the criticism levelled at them here is unfair.
 
#20
nigegilb said:
Just to add some modern day context, British forces in Helmand, have, I understand been ordered to ignore the ritual executions of women villagers, who have been literally stoned to death before their eyes. I cannot imagine what must have been going through their minds when they were, allegedly, ordered to march on by and not interfere.

Another example of ethics versus pragmatism at the expense of human life., when Tommy Atkins knows the plain difference between right and wrong and is overruled. I am sure the Dutch version of Tom felt the same way.
My Bold:

Prompted by your post nigegilb I have just phoned Afghanistan to see if anyone i know there can shed some light on what you have posted. You understand soldiers have been ordered to ignore ritual executions. Thats a pretty big statement, can you back it up?
Probably not, because i am assured, from the horses mouse, as it were, that no such order exists.
Provide further evidence nige and I will glady PM you the results of my enquiries. Don't post comments like that unless you are 100% sure that what you are typing is true and that you can back it up. It really doesn't do anyone out there any favours you know.
 
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