Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fudge Srebrenica!

One of my continuing peeves is people blaming Dutch soldiers in Srebrenica for the massacre there. They are free of blame, they're heroes, they hurt nobody. I support these statements based on three simple facts: A) they Serbs killed the Bosnians, there are your murderers. B) Very few people could have endured in the terrible situation Srebrenica was in during the siege and stayed until the chips were down, not even Bosnia's own military which fled before the Dutchbat soldiers did. C) No incidents of friendly fire are reported with Dutch soldiers firing on allies (plenty of reports of Bosnians firing on Dutch troops though).

Really, Bosnians shouldn't whine so much. The fact is, the Dutch were willing to go there and try to stop the chaos, against an enemy who's ruthlesness wasn't even fully understood yet. They picked the worst defendable town and hoped to set a good example. Hopefully other NATO countries would follow. They did not, NATO and the UN abandoned the meagre force in Srebrenica while it was blatantly obvious the Dutch force was not defending, it was just a start. Srebrenica was actually a lost cause from the start with just 400 men. I apoligize to the people of Bosnia if we went into the breach to save your people from a genocidal, rampaging general even though his army had been underestimated. I know now that the people who stand up for a righteous cause get screwed pretty painfully.
And I know Bosnians aren't Christian (or most of them) and you might not have heard of it, but remember the ancient wisdom: "He who is without sin casts the first stone". Bosnians residents tried to gather food from local farming towns. Serbian farming towns. The escorts these gatherers got were armed. The Serbs did not trust them (and who would trust an armed company of men saying they're there to collect your food?). So most of these trips ended up as bloodbaths. Whoever put the Bosnians in the victim role clearly wants to make sense of the Balkan where there are no good or bad guys. This is not like WW2 with two sides: one evil and one not evil. There is a lot of rivalry, defensive nationalism, state nationalism and religious intolerance all over the region which has much to do with conflict dating back to the time of the Habsburg Austrian Empire and the Ottoman Sultanate. This is a region full of loonies that are responsible for mind boggling wars and attrocities.
And who is going to be surprised they ran? There was no fuel, no food, no water. Any sane person would have fled already. High command did little to alleviate the problems, so the soldiers had been deserted by their officers for once. What's worse is that the only fatal attack on Dutch troops came from the Bosnian army, not the Serbians! Seriously, if these are the kind of people you are defending, they next time they need help I say we ignore them even if it was the devil himself bringing his reign on earth starting with Sarajevo.
Do I blame the French and British for not having been able to prevent the Netherlands from falling to the German army resulting in five long years of fear, starvation and murder? I blame only Adolf Hitler and anyone who believed in that sociopathic dogma called National Socialism. Why then are Bosnians blaming Dutch troops why tried to help, but were severely outmatched, just like the Allies back then?

Yes, I know people are going to bring up Colonel Karremans. He might be a flip-flopping coward, but a whole company doesn't have to suffer for that right? I know being a soldier is a big responsibility. But nobody should carry responsibility for the maniacal reign of violence caused by the Serbian forces besides those part of it. I think even a lot of Serbs are not strong enough to bear such a burden.
If it makes up for it, at least the Republika Srpska acknowledges the attrocity in Srebrenica. And it along with Serbia see the warcriminals involved as a liability now, which means there is hope for a coming to terms. Have the Bosnians ever apoligized for the much less important skirmishes between civilians? Minor attrocities would seem easier to come clean about I'd think.

If you ask me, that fudging country is good for only one things: Ion cannon strikes!

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