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Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:25 am

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

A stupid thing. No one should be given a medal for not doing their duty. No soldier should be given a medal for what amounts to cowardice.

The 2002 resignation means nothing when the current government is pinning medals on troops that allowed 10000 people to die - 4 times as many as died in the WTC.

[Edited 2006-12-08 03:28:27]
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bravo45
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:36 pm

I can't seem to understand what point are the Dutch trying to make.
The Dutch soldiers DID NOT resist (allegations are that they assisted in separating men and women), resulting in The Worst Massacre in Europe Since WWII. What did these soldiers do to earn a medal? IIRC the Dutch govt at the time fell because of the this catastrophe.
I would really like to know what the Dutch people on this forum think. Whats going on there?
 
ozglobal
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:41 pm

This is a shameful and desperate attempt to create a revisionist version of an uncomfortable historical event.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
pelican
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:44 pm

What is it called "Medal of Dishonor"?  Wink

pelican

[Edited 2006-12-08 12:10:44]
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:04 pm

First get the facts right.
Don't blame it on the troops on the ground, who were sent there lightly armed (the heaviest weapon they had was a .50 cal machine gun mounted on a jeep) and more than hundred kilometers from any possible reinforcement, with an order impossible to fullfill.
At this time the UN diplomats and UN military led by a French paratrooper general were in a deep argument. While the military leaders wanted to have access to the tools they needed to carry out their missions, the diplomats under a Japanese chief did not want to have the UN forces to appear openly as in their opinion "it would only escalate the situation". The Dutch commander requested tanks, artillery support and aerial support, but did not get it.
Now these Dutch soldiers were stuck without support and lightly armed facinng tanks and artillery being outnumbered by enemy soldier, in a situation, where any resistance would be equal to suicide. They were given a job, but not the means to do it due to political squabbles.
It could just have happened to the British, who were at the same time in a similar situation. The only luck there was that after Serb shelling of the Sarajevo market square the French general had enough, broke orders and ordered his artillery to take out Serb positions and ammo dumps in a huge artillery barrage. Afterwards the Serbs took the UN forces seriously

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
pelican
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:14 pm

Jan, you're right. It's wrong to blame the solidiers. They were hindered to help by stupid regulations. Because of this it became a trauma for many Dutch solidiers.

pelican
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:48 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 4):
Don't blame it on the troops on the ground, who were sent there lightly armed (the heaviest weapon they had was a .50 cal machine gun mounted on a jeep) and more than hundred kilometers from any possible reinforcement, with an order impossible to fullfill.



Quoting Pelican (Reply 5):
It's wrong to blame the solidiers. They were hindered to help by stupid regulations. Because of this it became a trauma for many Dutch solidiers.

Sorry, but I have to side with the anti's on this one. The Dutch soldiers were there to protect the civilians. That was their job and their duty. Their job may have been questioned by the diplomats, but their duty was clear. They failed in that duty. They should have stood their ground, no matter what the the diplomats said, and it was shameful that they didn't. Someone has to speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves, and that was the job of these troops BY UN MANDATE. The law was clearly on their side, even if the stupid Japanese diplomat wasn't.

So no medal - they screwed up, they have to live with it.
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petertenthije
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:00 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):
Their job may have been questioned by the diplomats, but their duty was clear.

Their job was clear, but they lacked any credible means to perform the task. The forces stationed there where more like a police force ine equipment then they where a military force.

Having a small "police force" go against a much larger fully equiped military force would have been suicide. Not only that, if the troops had started fighting then the war would have been brought into the safe zone killing civilians. In the end the (male) civilians where killed anyway, despite assurances that this would not be done.

It can be said that believing the assurances was highly naieve, I'd agree with it. But the troops where in no position to do anything. Requests for back-up where not granted. The Dutch troops stationed there requested aerial support several times, but the general in charge decided against it every time due to political constraints. Not just in Srebrenica but also Sarajevo etc. The shelling in Sarajevo happened only after the general went against the orders he had received from diplomats/politicians.
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pelican
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:08 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):

So no medal - they screwed up, they have to live with it.

That's far too simple.
The problem was the weak mandate which made it nearly impossible for the Dutch soldiers to defend Srebrenica. It was the UN that failed first and then the soldiers failed because of this. With more troops, adequate armory, NATO- air support the outcome would have been different. Therefore I think it's wrong just to blame the soldiers. But I don't think they've earned a medal. See rpl. 3.

pelican

[Edited 2006-12-08 13:12:46]
 
ozglobal
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:20 pm

Quoting Petertenthije (Reply 7):
Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):
Their job may have been questioned by the diplomats, but their duty was clear.

Their job was clear, but they lacked any credible means to perform the task. The forces stationed there where more like a police force ine equipment then they where a military force.

Yes, the situation is fairly well understood.

The question to the Dutch government is: Why a medal? Why now?
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
Schoenorama
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:40 pm

Quoting Bravo45 (Reply 1):
I would really like to know what the Dutch people on this forum think. Whats going on there?

As MD11Engineer already pointed out in reply #4, the Dutch troops themselves really weren't to blame for what would later become known as the Srebrenica Massacre. A public inquiry by the Dutch Parliament in 2003 already put the blame on a number of people/organisations. For instance, it blamed General Bernard Janvier for not allowing air strikes to support the Dutch and it also blamed the UN Security Council for not providing a clear mandate.

That said, I do not think issuing these medals now has been such a good idea. The entire massacre makes awarding medals, for whatever reason, completely uncalled for.


http://www.government.nl/actueel/nie.../12December/04/0-42-1_42-90196.jsp

The picture above of the former Dutch Commander Colonel Karremans receiving a medal from Defence Minister Henk Kamp is particularly awkward and disturbing when one remembers the events in the picture below, where we can see the same Colonel Karremans having a drink with General Mladic at the time the massacre began to unfold. Minister Henk Kamp of the (recently defeated) VVD political party shows that also Dutch rightwingers tend to apply historical revisionism while showing a remarkable lack of sensitivity. The fact that he awarded these medals as the outgoing defence minister only makes matters worse.



Picture Credit BBC/AP
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dl021
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Sat Dec 09, 2006 6:33 am

I don't believe in awarding consolation or revisionist medals to make history seem more palatable. This whole sorry affair should have been relegated to the sand tables and military history and command classes.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):
duty. Their job may have been questioned by the diplomats, but their duty was clear. They failed in that duty.

They were set up for failure, and ordered to do something that was impossible without the proper tools or support.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):
and that was the job of these troops BY UN MANDATE. The law was clearly on their side, even if the stupid Japanese diplomat wasn't.

The Japanese diplomat was more than just that...he was in charge and had the juice to undermine the military end of the operation, and did so. If there is blame to be distributed....he earned his share. Along with the UN pol/dips who refuse to get jobs done.
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767Lover
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:48 am

This thread has been up for what, like 24 hours now, and there are only 12 replies? I cannot fathom the outrage that would have been displayed here if the US had award medals for something like this.
 
bravo45
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:53 pm

Quoting Schoenorama (Reply 10):
Quoting Bravo45 (Reply 1):
I would really like to know what the Dutch people on this forum think. Whats going on there?

As MD11Engineer already pointed out in reply #4, the Dutch troops themselves really weren't to blame for what would later become known as the Srebrenica Massacre. A public inquiry by the Dutch Parliament in 2003 already put the blame on a number of people/organisations. For instance, it blamed General Bernard Janvier for not allowing air strikes to support the Dutch and it also blamed the UN Security Council for not providing a clear mandate.

I was not discussing where the blame lies. This thread is not about who is to blame, but about whether the Dutch soldiers deserve the medals or not. Personally I can't see any reason what so ever.

Quoting Schoenorama (Reply 10):
That said, I do not think issuing these medals now has been such a good idea. The entire massacre makes awarding medals, for whatever reason, completely uncalled for.

 checkmark 

For the record I don't solely blame the Dutch UN force that was on the ground. I agree with the fact that enough resources were not provided to get the job done, but please lets stick to the topic. I only want to know what's the point in decorating those soldiers. So far I can't anyone defending this latest development.

Quoting 767Lover (Reply 12):
This thread has been up for what, like 24 hours now, and there are only 12 replies? I cannot fathom the outrage that would have been displayed here if the US had award medals for something like this.

The Srebrenica Massacre has become a tragedy that (sadly) most people have moved on from. And that while many victims remain missing/unidentified and while the perpetrators remain at large. And now this. Outrageous!?.... I do think so, but that's the way it is. Think about other cases even those much worse like the Rwandan Genocide etc...
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:28 pm

I fully agree that there should be no medals handed out for this operation, but I have talked to Dutch soldiers, who were there and I resent to call them cowards if the only choice they had was to commit collective suicide.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
skyman
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:16 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 14):
I fully agree that there should be no medals handed out for this operation, but I have talked to Dutch soldiers, who were there and I resent to call them cowards if the only choice they had was to commit collective suicide.

Jan

First of all none of them has earned a medal for what happened there. Now while I can understand that the Dutch troops were in a very bad position it is no excuse. They failed bitterly. But they are not the only ones to blame, as other replies already covered this. We don´t know what would have happened if the Dutch would have interfered, if the Serbs would have had the guts to openly attack UN troops. It would have never been collective suicide. Maybe cowardice is a hard word but they weren´t really brave.
 
bravo45
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RE: Dutch Give Medal To Srebrenica Troops

Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:29 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 14):
I fully agree that there should be no medals handed out for this operation, but I have talked to Dutch soldiers, who were there and I resent to call them cowards if the only choice they had was to commit collective suicide.

Thanks for the response. How did you ran into those soldiers, are you in the military? Secondly, the link provided here said that the decoration was the result of their 'behaviour under difficult circumstances'. Is this the official Dutch stance? I am trying to understand what their point of view is. Not being aware of the Dutch politics myself, all I know is the Dutch govt at the time resigned as a result of this episode. Is this the action of an extreme right wing nationalist govt that doesn't care what happens to the rest of the world? I am not advocating this, but I am hard pressed to think of any other possible reason. I know there are some people from the Netherlands here, I am surprised why none have joined in so far.
P.S Not trying to offend anyone, I am just trying to understand why this happened? And why now?

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