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Hypocrites and Srebrenica


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Netherlands to release Srebrenica report

Reuters News Agency
Sunday, April 07 – Globe and Mail

Amsterdam — Reeling from charges that it failed to prevent the 1995 massacre of up to 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica, Bosnia, the Netherlands is preparing to release a report into the bloodbath this week.

Up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed in the United Nations-designated "safe area" — Europe‘s worst massacre since World War Two — when the town fell to Bosnian Serb forces during the Bosnian war.

More than five years in the making, the 7,000-page report by the Dutch Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) is the official Dutch history of events in Srebrenica.

Tension is high ahead of Wednesday‘s publication, not least because of a damning report released two weeks ago.

That report, Srebrenica: The genocide that was not prevented, by domestic peace group IKV (Interchurch Peace Council), said Dutch UN troops, generals and politicians bore clear responsibility for failing to protect the Muslims.

The IKV wants a parliamentary inquiry and an official Dutch apology for events in Srebrenica, where some 110 lightly-armed Dutch peacekeepers were stationed when the town fell without a shot being fired.

A French parliamentary report last November assigned wider blame, finding UN members including France and Britain shared responsibility for failing to stop the July, 1995 massacre, and cited a lack of political will to intervene.

France‘s report accused French General Bernard Janvier of an error of judgement for refusing to sanction air strikes, as the Dutch requested, to protect the enclave.

The IKV, whose sources included leaked cabinet meeting minutes, accused Dutch ministers of knowing the Muslims risked slaughter if the troops abandoned them but of doing nothing to prevent those fears being realised.

"For the Dutch government, the lives of the Dutch blue helmets were far more important than the safety of the Muslims, who depended on them," said the organisation.

The IKV accused the Dutch defence and foreign ministries of pulling in conflicting directions and said Prime Minister Wim Kok, still in power, sat on his hands.

Mr. Kok, who has called the IKV report "one-sided," is withdrawing from politics after next month‘s general election in which his Labour party aims to maintain its dominant place in the government coalition.

He had been keen to keep a lid on the debate until NIOD finally issued a report widely expected to contain criticism on many fronts, thus blunting the attack on any one player.

Some analysts say the blame was not all Dutch. UN errors lay at the root of the catastrophe, said **** Leurdijk of the Clingendael Institute in The Hague.

The UN Security Council declared Srebrenica a "safe area" without thinking through what that really meant, and then sent peacekeepers to a war scene, said Leurdijk, a UN expert.

"From the strictly military point of view, the Dutch mission in Srebrenica was a mission impossible," he said.

The UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague last year jailed former Bosnian Serb general Radislav Krstic for 46 years for genocide over the Srebrenica massacre. One of his subordinates arrived in The Hague last week to deny genocide charges.

Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic are also indicted for genocide in Srebrenica — the tribunal‘s most wanted men after former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic arrived in The Hague in 2001.

The Dutch government commissioned NIOD in 1996 to conduct an inquiry into events before, during and after the fall of Srebrenica, including policy- and decision-making at a national and international level.
There was a CDN coy in Srebrenica at that time, "A" coy 1R22R. A good friend of mine was there as a section cmder and could not believe his ears when he received the order to pull out... he tried to argue but was issued a "formal" order. He still believes they abandonned these people to be massacred :cdn:
Without getting into the semantics of the big picture, Srebrenica was the demise of the UN and Security Council resolutions. If one draws a time line, from initial involvement in the Balkans, Cambodia and the African Missions of the early ‘90’s. There is a clear and discernable rise in UN political involvement with a correlating failure to ensure that resolutions were administered, staffed and supported to accomplish the various Missions.

This reached full climax with the Srebrenica debacle. There was a television documentary on several months ago that followed the events leading up to the fall of Srebrenica and did not do the UN or Dutch any favors, especially the Dutch Col.

There has always been a disconnect in the UN WRT Security Council politicking and actual UN Mission Area reality. The politicians are very quick to formulate resolutions and whether through naiveté or incompetence, believe that the world is full of nice people who will respect their will. Then we have countries like the Dutch and ourselves who willingly take on the role of the worlds PK’ers. Yet we do not support our own troops with adequate numbers, equipment or support. Heck, when belligerents whom we portrayed as the good guys killed one of our soldiers, our government covered it up for a year, same with the Medac Pocket, not politically correct to paint the Croat’s as bad guys.

Srebrenica was literally the straw that broke the camels’ back. After this fiasco, many nations questioned the viability of the UN; it’s integrity and ability to conduct PKO’s. The US quickly escalated SFOR crushing UN involvement in the Balkans. Too date the UN’s role in direct high intensity PKO’s is dwindling. A large part of the very UN body has come to the realization that the UN has lost it’s credibility and is only willing to support involvement in backwater, soft Missions.

If anyone wants to go into the UN web site and look at the current missions and numbers deployed, you might be surprised at how little is really going on. The UN has some very sensitive situations that it has been forced to keep the lid. Case point, UNOMIG, the Republic of Georgia and it’s breakaway region of Abkazia. The Abkaz won their independence like many other break away regions, but as this area is where the majority of Russian Dachas are, (not kidding) guess which member of the Security Council is against the UN formally giving them recognition. The PK force there is made solely of Russian Airborne with a very small contingent of International UNMO’s who do not move without Russian approval...(?) The Abkaz have been in a political vacuum for ten years with a self declared state, that has been held by UN inaction in abject poverty, decay and isolation. Where is Canada’s voice on this matter?

The UN demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubts that it could not protect non-combatants or maintain lines of separation between belligerents. The UN proved ineffective; the US tired of trying to get any form of commitment from the Security Council, and used Srebrenica as the justification to break with and override the Security Council mandate and to set the benchmark that enough was enough.

Anyone notice whether the US got the UN okay to go into Afghanistan?
interesting how the blame is being shifted, will they blame the Vandoos next? What a shame, somewhat typical. :cdn: :rocket:
In light of Srebrenica, to bad the government doesn‘t dust off the UN report on the Rwandan Genocide, read it and then fall on their sword like the Dutch. :fifty:

Also, did anyone else catch the bleats and blurts of the Auditor Generals Report. Hmm, amazing how she honed in on the way the Grits have been funneling Billions outside of proper channels. :rolleyes:

Not to mention that the DND mandarins and Generals got a poke in the eye for the way the Department is being run, spending habits and personnel problems. :rage:

Too bad nothing will come out of it. To bad we can’t send them a NON CONFIDENCE message. :(
To bad we can’t send them a NON CONFIDENCE message. HEY STUPID! who did you vote for in the last federal election
Easy there Mac, if you haven‘t noticed, the Grits have been acting with impunity. JC hasn‘t been listening to the commoner of late, heck, when was the last time he mentioned his homeless friend? :cool:
Staff shortage may require 30 years to fix
Engineers, doctors needed: Lack of trained sailors has kept one warship docked for two years

Robert Fife, Ottawa Bureau Chief
National Post
17 Apr 02

OTTAWA - Canada‘s Armed Forces are facing such a critical shortage in key military occupations that it is unable to deploy one of its frigates because there are not enough qualified sailors, Sheila Fraser, the Auditor-General, said yesterday.

The army is short of weapons and fire-control technicians, and engineers and mechanics to maintain combat capabilities, while the Air Force does not have enough experienced fighter pilots.

The shortages could take 30 years to fix, Ms. Fraser predicted.

"The most serious shortages are in the common occupations that account for almost 40% of the Canadian Forces population. Of the 55 occupations common in the navy, army and air force, 40 are short of trained people," she said in a quarterly report to Parliament.

The severe shortages come at a time when Canadian Forces have added combat roles in Afghanistan to an already busy schedule of peacekeeping missions.

Since 1994, Jean Chrétien‘s government has reduced defence spending by 23% and cut the size of the Forces‘ regular personnel to 60,000 from 75,000.

The last budget provided $1.2-billion over five years for the military, but the Prime Minister has rejected major funding increases.

The Senate Defence Committee and other experts have said the defence department needs an increase of $4-billion annually, but Mr. Chrétien denies the Armed Forces are underfunded and ill-equipped. He blames lobbyists for the armaments industry and generals with a 1939 mentality for creating a false impression of Canada‘s combat readiness

However, the Auditor-General also levelled criticism at military officers for not taking new technology into account when handling the defence budget.

She noted, for example, that DND paid $174-million for a military satellite communications system that is now in storage.

"The system was completed and delivered in 1997-98, but by that time the department had developed a lower-cost alternative and could not afford to operate the system," she said.

"It took delivery of the system and placed it in storage, where most of it remains."

Today, the Armed Forces total 57,600 men and women, but when retirement, sick leave and disciplinary measures are considered, the number of effective members is just 52,300.

Rather than look for qualified personnel, the Armed Forces continue to accept people it does not need, such as cooks, stewards and communication researchers.

"Over 3,000 positions are vacant, many of them in key occupations such as engineers, vehicle and weapons technicians and doctors and dentists," Ms. Fraser said.

The lack of skilled personnel means the navy has only about 80% of the electronic technicians it needs to run it ships and submarines.

It is also short of naval weapons technicians, communicators and engineers.

"Any shortages in just a few skills can mean that a ship may have to deploy without enough people or enough fully trained people or that it may not be able to deploy at all," she said.

"For example, HMCS Huron has been tied to the dock since October, 2000, partly because the navy cannot provide it with enough skilled sailors to put to sea."

With more officers approaching retirement, the military is also facing a shortage of candidates for promotion.

Gaps in the higher ranks are difficult to correct if there are not enough people moving through the system.

As a result, Ms. Fraser said, it could take 30 years to fix the gap in the military population.