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Gay Soldiers To Blame For Genocide - Supreme Allied Commander
March 18, 2010 11:27 PM   Subscribe

Dutch officials have rejected the retired US Supreme Allied Commander's claim that its forces failed at Srebrenica because of poor morale over openly gay soldiers. In 2010 General John J. "Jack" Sheehan (born 1940) - a retired United States Marine Corps general - testified to the US Congress that the Dutch told him that the fall of Sebrenica was related to the Dutch allowing openly gay men to serve in the military together with unionization and a decision to take a peace dividend because the Soviet threat was gone. During the same testimony, Sheehan claimed that sexual attraction between servicemembers of the same sex would have a negative impact on readiness, while attraction between men and women in gender-integrated units would not. His final active duty commands, culminating 35 years of service in the Marine Corps, were as the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) for NATO and as Commander-in-Chief for the U.S. Atlantic Command (CINCUSACOM) (1994–1997).

Sheehan claimed that Dutch leaders, including the former chief of staff of the Dutch army, had told him that the presence of gay soldiers had contributed to the fall of Srebrenica.

The Dutch issued an outraged denial.

Defence ministry spokesman Roger van de Wetering:

"``I have never heard of a single statement by a Dutch political or military leader that drew a link between the fall of the enclave and the fact that there were Dutch homosexual soldiers''

The Dutch ambassador to the US, Renee Jones-Bos, added in a statement on the embassy's website that she ``couldn't disagree more'' with Sheehan's claims.

``I take pride in the fact that lesbians and gays have served openly and with distinction in the Dutch military forces for decades, such as in Afghanistan at the moment,'' she said.
posted by VikingSword (75 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Somehow the links to the Srebrenica Genocide didn't show up in my FPP. Here they are.
posted by VikingSword at 11:34 PM on March 18, 2010


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Caduceus at 11:42 PM on March 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


One need only look to the barely-remembered Spartans, Greeks, Romans, as examples of military groups in history who couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag, so overwhelmed with teh gay as they were.

Clearly not a one built anything of lasting value or had any impact on what would become Western Civilization. No sir.
posted by yeloson at 11:45 PM on March 18, 2010 [35 favorites]


Yeah, yeloson, but that was back before being gay was ooky.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:57 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Human garbage.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:04 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm reminded of an old saying: "It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools."
posted by Malor at 1:14 AM on March 19, 2010 [18 favorites]


This dude is pretty crazy attributing the Dutch army's actions to gays in the military. It probably surprised the senators as much as if he claimed it was fluoride in the water supply. P.O.E. After reading the links I wondered how many Serbs the Dutch were facing. This article says there were 500 Dutch soldiers against 15,000 Serbs. Some of them collaborated. What happened there undermined the credibility of the Dutch military, NATO, and the UN.
posted by Tashtego at 1:26 AM on March 19, 2010


I thought that the rigid hierarchy of the military meant - by definition - that the buck stops at the commander-in-chief.

Apparently not, if he can find a scapegoat - preferably a minority group, and even better if it's from another country's forces.

What a snivelling coward. How in hell did a man unwilling to take full responsibility & accountability for his strategies & tactics ever last so long in the armed forces?
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:30 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


(of course, i'm a big man tapping away at my keyboard, but still...)
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:35 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


UbuRoivas - I'm ex-British Army, and I'm quite sure that we wouldn't take this crap from officers (or the enlisted men, in fact) and nor would the US army if he was serving. It disgusts me.
posted by jaduncan at 2:16 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maxime Verhagen, Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs, mentioned it on twitter and called it "extraordinarily strange". "I fear that this has more to do with the discussion in the US about homosexuality in the army", he said.

I think it is weird that the defence ministry responds to these claims as if they should be taken seriously: The Srebrenica massacre and the involvement of UN soldiers was extensively investigated by the Netherlands, international organisations and the United Nations. Never was there in any way concluded that the sexual orientation of soldiers played a role. This sounds like people may think that it could have been an option, but that it was ruled out. If some idiot says that some military failure happened because there are black people in the army, would people respond with "there were extensive investigations about this operation and never was there in any way concluded that the skin color of soldiers played a role"?
posted by davar at 2:16 AM on March 19, 2010


Sheehan's an idiot for thinking that anything about Sebrenica would be analogous to what the US military does-- the Dutch forces in Sebrenica were there to protect Muslims, not kill them.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:26 AM on March 19, 2010 [11 favorites]


I'm reminded of an old saying: "It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools."

It's more a case of "It's a total tool who blames his craftsservicemen."
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:03 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


jaduncan - thanks for corroborating that. It just seems so totally out of line with the entire code of military conduct, for an officer to publicly badmouth the men (and presumably also women) under his command, not to mention the associated problems of airing dirty laundry & presenting an image of an organisation divided against itself.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:07 AM on March 19, 2010


I'm reminded of an old saying: "It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools."

Clearly, the retired General would have benefited from the new MouthStop™ technology.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:22 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


The General, it seems, is a coward.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:23 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


something something precious bodily fluids...

MANDRAKE!
posted by MeatLightning at 3:32 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Me thinks that retired general has watched too many European reality TV shows. [SLYT]
posted by ijsbrand at 3:35 AM on March 19, 2010


The retired general could well be speaking the truth.

It's quite possible that an old Dutch army crank maintained that the fall of Srebrenica wasn't his fault but that of unions, gays and the pernicious muskrat who gnaws holes in our dykes/levées.
We have our share of bigots and scape goaters.
This doesn't have any bearing on what really happened at that shameful incident.

This video shows Mladic chastising the Dutch commander of Dutchbat III, the batallion present at Srebrenica.
I don't know what to say about that. But it has nothing to do with being gay.
posted by joost de vries at 3:45 AM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wait, you have muskrats that gnaw holes in your dykes? Dutch gay people have it harder than I thought!

I'm sorry, I had to do it. I'm a terrible person.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:17 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


This video shows Mladic chastising the Dutch commander of Dutchbat III, the batallion present at Srebrenica.

Man, that video still makes me sick. And angry. Karremans looks totally incapable for the job, but this was just one part of the massive clusterfuck that was Srebrenica. And Sheehan? I'm not wasting words on him.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 4:18 AM on March 19, 2010


As a dutchman, let me say, FUCK YOU "General" Sheehan.

Fuck you very, very much...


What an asshole...
posted by Pendragon at 4:23 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


My father (born 1940) conducts gay weddings and commitment ceremonies. I'm not sure what was implied by including that.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:23 AM on March 19, 2010


Pendragon: "As a dutchman, let me say, FUCK YOU "General" Sheehan.

Fuck you very, very much...


What an asshole...
"

Indeed. If straight men and women can be broken down and trained to kill, so can gay men and women.

This guy is simply a homophobe.
posted by bwg at 4:32 AM on March 19, 2010


Let's see... asshole, coward... already in thread. I'm going with scumbag. Yup. Scumbag.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:48 AM on March 19, 2010


Spencer Ackerman wrote yesterday: "It’s easy to forget that all Choi wants to do — like every other servicemember affected by DADT — is defend you from harm. There is absolutely nothing more to it than that. I simply fail to understand how people cannot be moved by that, and moved in a very visceral way. "

Writing, btw, about Lt. Choi chaining himself to the white house.
posted by shothotbot at 4:52 AM on March 19, 2010


I thought Carl Levin's questioning of the General pretty much made the General look like the bigoted fool he is.

I loved it when Levin pressed Sheehan on his comments about gays needing "special accomodations" to be allowed to say openly what their sexual orientation was. I could feel the General realizing, at that point, that he had just uttered some completely idiotic, untenable things and couldn't back them up at all and was caught out in front of the entire world and history.

Well done, Levin!
posted by darkstar at 4:53 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


How in hell did a man unwilling to take full responsibility & accountability for his strategies & tactics ever last so long in the armed forces?

I think your question contains its own answer.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:55 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Christ, what an idiot.
posted by rtha at 4:57 AM on March 19, 2010


for those who aren't going to read the links, sheehan is now senior vice president and project operations manager for bechtel international's petroleum and chemicals business. articles i saw are several years old & sheehan may have retired from bechtel by now. that doesn't account for how he rose to his military position, but retired high-ranking military officials are highly prized employees of plenty of government-dealing private industries. when they're not too busy testifying at Senate hearings, that is.
posted by msconduct at 5:27 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


General Sheehan's obvious capacity for dispassionate evidence-based strategic analysis must have inspired real confidence in the troops that served under him. Surprised he stopped ticking boxes after gays, unions and cuddling up to the Reds - surely he should have laid some blame on equal pay acts, nursery provision, secularism and dope smokers in Amsterdam if he was going for a bigot bingo full house?
posted by Abiezer at 5:47 AM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


"the Dutch told him" ... what?

There was extensive research done on the fall of Screbrenica. Those reports even led to the fall of the Dutch cabinet at the time. Even without having read those, I'm pretty goddamn sure that "being gay" wasn't among the reasons for the disaster.

I wonder if actual political or military leaders of nations that do allow gays in the military will be heard?
posted by Harry at 5:52 AM on March 19, 2010


Why didn't he mention the composition of the other companies that were there. The units of:

- kittens and kindergartners
- Catholic priests and boys aged 6-12
- golfers and Las Vegas cocktail waitresses

totally got their asses handed to them but nobody blames them at all.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:56 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


PS - this irrelevant asshole doesn't even warrant a mention on the blue IMHO.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:58 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


As with most stuff along these lines, as their position becomes more and more socially untenable the remaining holdouts sound ever more shrill and ridiculous.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:59 AM on March 19, 2010


THIS JUST IN: Old military man is homophobe. News at 6.
posted by Malice at 6:17 AM on March 19, 2010


This really puts the American obsession with teh gay in its proper light-- it IS a sick, perverse obsession and maybe we just need to lie down on the couch and get analyzed or something. In the 50's we saw commies everywhere and now it is homosexuals.

America! Embrace the gayness!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:22 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


"It is astonishing that a man of his stature can utter such complete nonsense," Dutch defence ministry spokesman Roger van de Wetering said in response.

It may be astonishing to the Dutch, but to those of us who live in the United States, it's business as usual.
posted by blucevalo at 6:46 AM on March 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


I find it makes more sense if you imagine him speaking in Grandpa Simpson's voice.
posted by Naberius at 6:52 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


kindergartners

The real problem was there weren't enough five-year-olds.
posted by rtha at 6:59 AM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


How do you say "YOU GO OVER THERE AND FUCK THEM, WE'LL STAY HERE AND MASTURBATE!" in Dutch?
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:00 AM on March 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


I wonder how many gay soldiers were in Dutchbat. Considering the reduced size of the contingent, the most likely answer is none at all.

And I wonder why Gen. Sheehan had to single out the Dutch and Srenrenica. AFAIK, the Dutch military's policy on gays isn't much different than that of most NATO forces: that is, they don't give a fuck who you choose to fuck, as long as it isn't, say, a PoW "enemy combatant", or your officer's wife. Methinks he watches too much O'Reilly.

What next will Gen. Sheehan blame on the ghey: Mogadishu? Beirut? Pearl Harbor? Gettysburg? (A victory, you say? Not for this General's side!) Brooklyn Heights? The Thermopyles? (Wait a minute...)
posted by Skeptic at 7:02 AM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Perhaps now's the time for all the other countries whose militaries allow GLBT to enlist to tell the USA, "Oh, so sorry. Our gays are messing up everything, you know. Can't do a single thing right with all the gay sex going on! So we'll just take our stuff and leave." And then never, ever help the USA again.
posted by contessa at 7:10 AM on March 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


This guy is simply a homophobe.

Hey, now, that's not fair.

He's also an antiunionist.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:27 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure withdrawing support for military action is much of a threat to the United-lateral Action States.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:29 AM on March 19, 2010


Sheehan: A Summary
posted by Sys Rq at 7:35 AM on March 19, 2010


Speaking on gays in the Dutch military, that reminds me of the late, flamboyantly gay populist politician Pim Fortuyn's take on military reform: according to him, the Netherlands should disband its Army and Air Force and kept only the Navy. Then, conscription should be reintroduced for both sexes, but in separated encampments.

It was at that moment that the audience usually started sniggering...
posted by Skeptic at 7:47 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's tragic that a gay man was forced to deny who he was for his entire life, and career, to the point where it has made him so bitter and twisted. Here's hoping we don't do that to the next generation of homosexuals.

Working on the amply borne-out assumption here that strident homophobes are, at this point in history, invariably gay, and therefore more to be pitied than censured.
posted by rusty at 7:51 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Prime Minister Balkenende also used very strong words to reject this (article in Dutch). He said it was not just bad for gay serviceman, but for all serviceman, because "this is not how you talk about people who work under difficult circumstances".
Also Defence minister Van Middelkoop, from the Evangelical Party (which is not the most gay friendly party in our country, as you may imagine), called the statements shameful and unworthy of a military man.

According to the Dutch article Sheehan based his statements on a conversation with general Van den Breemen. Van den Breemen called the statements utter nonsense and says that he never mentioned such a thing.
posted by davar at 8:12 AM on March 19, 2010


Also, I think Philip II of Macedon's comments (according to Plutarch) following the defeat of the Sacred Band of Thebes are fitting to this subject:

"Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:30 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


How do you say "YOU GO OVER THERE AND FUCK THEM, WE'LL STAY HERE AND MASTURBATE!" in Dutch?

Als jij ze daar nou gaat neuken, dan trekken wij ons hier wel af.
posted by DreamerFi at 8:33 AM on March 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


"Homosexuals can't swim, they attract enemy radar, they attract sharks, they nudge people when they're trying to shoot, they always insist on sitting at 'The Captain's Table'... they muck about. Imagine... the fear... when you go to sleep with a gay man on board and think 'Oh God, when I wake up, will everyone be dead?' You can't run a ship like that."
posted by Abiezer at 8:36 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know what else the gays are responsible for? That's right, the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens. Because, see, the gays were nearby, and the mountain said "Whoa, fuck that!" and blew up.

Then, the gays, using their mind control, caused the Soviet Union to fail, nearly ruining our defense budget plans.

And that, my friends, is why we should outlaw abortion.
posted by quin at 8:37 AM on March 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


Sheehan claimed that sexual attraction between servicemembers of the same sex would have a negative impact on readiness, while attraction between men and women in gender-integrated units would not.

Every hetero dude knows this is a lie. Seriously, 1% of the population's sexual attraction issues are a problem, but 99% of the population will have no issues?

Get fucking real.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:42 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


The retired general could well be speaking the truth.

It's quite possible that an old Dutch army crank maintained that the fall of Srebrenica wasn't his fault but that of unions, gays and the pernicious muskrat who gnaws holes in our dykes/levées.
We have our share of bigots and scape goaters.
This doesn't have any bearing on what really happened at that shameful incident.


My bet is on this scenario. With "the Dutch" being one cranky old weirdo.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:44 AM on March 19, 2010


Even if some old Dutch army crank told him, it doesn't let him off the hook. He's repeating it because he agrees with it. Like someone else said, I can't believe this is getting as much press as it seems to, except that, depressingly, some newspapers still think this sort of thing is newsworthy.
posted by ntrifle at 9:21 AM on March 19, 2010


I too would like to register my outrage.

But what I want to know is what Henk van den Breemen thinks about this all. He was the Dutch officer Sheehan appeared to cite about this nonsense.

Apparently some sort of denial was issued, but it's not enough. I want this guy on all the Dutch talk shows denying in the strongest words that he ever supported this notion.

Because it is one of either: Van den Breemen said at least something that can be construed, mistakenly or not, to support Sheehan's testimony, or Sheehan is flat-out lying.

Now, I'm cynical enough to imagine that Sheehan may have been instructed by military-political entities to obstruct the repeal of DADT, but the fact at the heart of the matter is that he basically said "Gays with guns is bad, just ask the Dutch" and I find it hard to believe he just picked Van den Breemen's name at random during the hearing. Something here besides the homophobia stinks, and I'm not convinced the smell is entirely American. This is some serious In The Loop "climb the mountain of conflict" business here.

(For some modern historical perspective on the Netherlands' image within NATO, check out this 1996 AP report.)

Lastly, on Thursday Sheehan was initially widely ridiculed in the Dutch media (even by NOS, the otherwise respected state-run broadcaster) for citing a "Hankman Berman". Defence officials in The Hague and the Dutch Embassy in Washington were quick to point out they had never heard of any person going by that name -- which admittedly does seem quite obviously fictitious, to Dutch ears at least.

But all the news copy was updated without comment Friday morning as Holland's newsdesks realized it was all based on a mishearing of Van den Breemen's name, although admittedly Sheehan had omitted the "den". Now, honest mistake or not, this seems like something a respectable news organization should know how to avoid, but really I suspect this little mishap had more than a little to do with a rush to ridicule Americans, although I suppose the idiocy of Sheehan's testimonial can be seen as extenuating circumstances. But still. "Hankman Berman"?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:27 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Als jij ze daar nou gaat neuken, dan trekken wij ons hier wel af.

Yeah, just assume they're all male, you sexist
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:28 AM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I did this FPP because there's persistent and blatant anti-gay bigotry at the highest ranks of the U.S. military, particularly the Marine Corps (see Gen. Peter Pace, Gen. James Conway, Gen. George Casey, Gen. Norton Schwartz etc.)but it was cloaked in "concern" for the troops, "readiness", "cohesion" and other such lies, but with this latest outburst the insanity is so apparent that I think it represents something of a breakthrough. Blaming gay soldiers for allowing genocide to happen is about as insane as it gets, but what is particularly galling is that this is besmirching of an allied military - by the Supreme Allied Commander! We need to fix the whole DADT thing NOW. The sooner these neanderthals are dealt with the better.
posted by VikingSword at 9:36 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sheehan's an idiot for thinking that anything about Sebrenica would be analogous to what the US military does-- the Dutch forces in Sebrenica were there to protect Muslims, not kill them.

and they did a great job too!
posted by Snyder at 9:52 AM on March 19, 2010


The Dutch did nothing in Srebrenica because their command wouldn't allow the defense of otherwise defenseless men, women and children, and because no Dutch soldiers were brave enough to argue the point or to simply (but heroically) offer real protection to anyone. Later, it turned out that many Dutch officers were complicit with the Serbs (with whom they drank, played cards and socialized, despite the fact that their deployment was intended to protect Bosnian Muslims from these same people.) Dutch combatants are alleged to have frequented brothels with trafficked women and to have participated in the organization of these same brothels, long after the Srebrenica massacre. Many Srebrenican women have made claims of rape and forced sexual slavery which directly involved Dutch soldiers meant to protect them. Frankly, gay soldiers would have probably done a better job of protecting these people.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:02 AM on March 19, 2010 [18 favorites]


Sheehan's an idiot for thinking that anything about Sebrenica would be analogous to what the US military does-- the Dutch forces in Sebrenica were there to protect Muslims, not kill them.

That's very glib, but I hope you realize that the US military did actually do some Muslim-protecting of its own in the Balkans. Of course they did take their sweet fucking time about it, and mostly did it from 30,000 feet with high explosives, but still. There's a Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina, with a statue of Bill Clinton at the head; I'm not holding my breath for them to put up any statues of Wim Kok in Srebrenica.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 10:23 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Frankly, there are no heroes in this tragedy. The Dutch failed, obviously, but the real failure had been the failure of EU's political will. The lack of action while the Serb nationalists unleashed aggression against their neighbors, and the continuing failure of "negotiations" while the Serbs kept committing crimes (and the Croats joined at the margins). Nobody wanted to put their troops in, because of the political cost. It took the U.S. to belatedly move militarily. I actually think this is one of the best performances from the U.S. in the past 30 years (militarily speaking), and I give Clinton huge credit (contrast that with the clusterfuck of Iraq). Regardless, this is veering off from the focus of this post, though it deserves its own FPP.
posted by VikingSword at 10:30 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


By his logic, maybe we can blame My Lai and Haditha on having too many straight guys in the military.
posted by Dasein at 10:48 AM on March 19, 2010


How am I supposed to concentrate in a fire fight when I know that one of the other guys is staring at my ass? 'Cause you know that the gays are totally unable to suppress their sexual desires whenever they pop up. I mean we're going to be crouching in our foxhole in the jungle, it's 120 degrees and I take off my shirt to cool off and BAM! Seargent Stud s going to grab me around the waist and spin me around and just do me right there in the foxhole. At least that's how it keeps playing out in my mind, over and over, all night. But anyway, see, its already distracting me!
posted by Pollomacho at 10:49 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Pollomacho: "How am I supposed to concentrate in a fire fight when I know that one of the other guys is staring at my ass? 'Cause you know that the gays are totally unable to suppress their sexual desires whenever they pop up. I mean we're going to be crouching in our foxhole in the jungle, it's 120 degrees and I take off my shirt to cool off and BAM! Seargent Stud s going to grab me around the waist and spin me around and just do me right there in the foxhole. At least that's how it keeps playing out in my mind, over and over, all night. But anyway, see, its already distracting me!"

Hey, be grateful, in a war zone it may be the last time you get laid.
posted by bwg at 4:46 PM on March 19, 2010


Let's see something decent and military
posted by A189Nut at 5:47 AM on March 20, 2010


Hey Sheehan: Way to cynically reduce a foreign genocide into a talking point about a domestic issue!

I hope that in four months, as the international community descends on Srebrenica for the 15th anniversary of the massacre, that the diplomats stepping out of their chauffeured vehicles, and the journalists huddled around tables at Abdullah's, and the families washing their feet in the Potocari graveyard, and the slivovic-reeking hooligans "celebrating Petrodan" can all remember that John Sheehan doesn't like homosexual folks.

That's right. Forget analyzing the limitations of UN peacekeeping, the difficulties of multilateral troop engagement, the danger of disarming threatened populations, the failure of "safe areas," the role of cultural bias, or any other aspect of the clusterfuck in Srebrenica. John Sheehan distrusts the gays!

Glad we cleared that up!
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:36 AM on March 20, 2010


....and all of the hip, paying-attention and looking-stuff-up people know all of this. And the gigantic, bland bulk of the not-paying attention, don't-like-furreners-and-queers lot that overpopulate America listened long enough to hear that teh gays bungled it again.

He's not talking for people who think. He's a military guy. He's talking for people who need to be told what the patriotic thing to think is. People never read the retractions, do they? Not that there would be one.... I mean, seriously? Who ya gonna believe? A Respected Military Man? Or some dutch fag?
posted by umberto at 1:11 PM on March 20, 2010


Today in the news: The fallout continues in Monday’s press, with de Volkskrant reporting that gay Dutch soldiers are planning to sue the retired general for libel. Communication strategist Peter Schouten has launched the Pink Army foundation on their behalf. Via the website pinkarmy.nl he’s looking for Dutch soldiers to bring a class action lawsuit against General Sheehan in the Californian federal court. Pink Army is demanding that he should publish a full-page apology in the international press – and attend a course in “sensitivity training”.

"It is about more than the Dutch gay soldiers who are insulted" Shouten said (article in Dutch). "In the Netherlands we find the notion that homosexuality can lead to genocide nonsensical. But in the US there are millions of people who nod and say 'yes, he's right'"
posted by davar at 1:19 PM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pink Army is demanding that he should publish a full-page apology in the international press – and attend a course in “sensitivity training”.

Based on what though? He's retired, so its not like he actually represents the US Government or military at this point officially. He is entitled to his bigoted, factless, moronic opinion after all.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:24 PM on March 22, 2010


Recent editorial:

"As a former member of the Dutch parliament and a spokesman for the parliamentary investigation into the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, I know the history that the retired U.S. Marine Corps general tried to rewrite, and I was astonished by his homophobic concoctions."
posted by VikingSword at 7:48 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


The retired general has sent an email to the Dutch military officer he maintained he was quoting. In the email he says he remembered things wrongly after fifteen years and that he is sorry. He also says in the email that what went wrong were not the failings of individuals but the result of a lack of mandate. (link in Dutch)
posted by joost de vries at 11:34 AM on March 30, 2010


The broader context - the massacre is a current political issue:

"Serbia's parliament is debating a resolution condemning the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 - the worst incident of the Bosnian war.
The text apologises that Serbia did not do more to prevent the tragedy."

"Meanwhile a Dutch court has rejected an attempt to hold the United Nations responsible for the massacre."
posted by VikingSword at 12:28 PM on March 30, 2010


More on the Serbian apology for Srebrenica. The word "genocide" did not make it into the text. How did the political forces align? As usual the nationalists were against any apology, while the liberals were for a stronger one - in the end a weak compromise resulted:

"For some parliamentarians, the resolution was unjust for ignoring war crimes against Serbs.

In Srebrenica "the crime was no greater than in other places", said opposition deputy Velimir Ilic, citing neighbouring Croatia's moves against Serbs during the war. "We can't put everything else off to the side."

Others, such as Cedomir Jovanovic of a liberal opposition party, criticised it for not deeming Srebrenica genocide.

"We wanted a completely different resolution but apparently that is not possible," he told the parliament. "Our society does not have the sufficient strength."

Dozens protested in front of the parliament, some carrying pictures of Mladic and Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, who is on trial in The Hague for the Srebrenica genocide.

Another group carried small signs saying: "Srebrenica was not in my name.""
posted by VikingSword at 5:50 PM on March 30, 2010


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