Home > srebrenica massacre > DUTCH GRAFFITI IN SREBRENICA: SICKENING LEGACY OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN SREBRENICA

DUTCH GRAFFITI IN SREBRENICA: SICKENING LEGACY OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN SREBRENICA

June 27, 2008
WARNING: Some of the material that the United Nations’ Dutcbat ‘peacekeepers’ left in Srebrenica is explicit and highly offensive. Proceed viewing this material at your own risk.

Intro: This is the mountain road south of town where Dutch UN troops maintained observation posts. Facing the Bosnian Serb offensive in July 1995, the Dutch retreated without firing a shot. The town was taken, and the genocide of over 8,000 Bosniaks began. The forcible transfer (ethnic cleansing) of tens of thousands of people was assisted by the United Nations.

(can click on images for higher resolution photos)

Almost 13 years after the worst European genocide since World War II, the Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica still serve as a reminder of a shameful Dutch incompetence and a sickening arrogance they had towards their UN mission and people they ought to protect.

Oblivious to the fact that a horrible genocide was just about to happen before their eyes, the Dutch troops stationed at the UN base in Potocari spent their time “decorating” walls with drawings and graffiti. Some of these disgusting Dutch graffiti are XXX-rated, so it’s up to you whether you want to proceed with viewing this sickening material that Dutch soldiers left behind themselves in Srebrenica…

PHOTO: While people of Srebrenica were starving, Dutch U.N. ‘peacekeepers’ enjoyed T-bone Steaks, Spare Ribs, Schnitzels (see the ‘Dutchbat Menu’ above) and XXX-rated porn, as you will see from disgusting Dutch graffiti below…. Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: XXX-rated Dutch graffiti (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari) in Srebrenica, see right side wall drawing. Man in the photo is Abdulah, one of few who survived the four-day-long march through the forests around Srebrenica while the Serb Chetniks were shelling them with artillery and committing genocide in and around Srebrenica.

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica read “My ass is like a local. It’s got the smell same. Bosnia ’94” (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).
PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica read “I’m your best friend. I kill you for nothing. Bosnie 94.” (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).


PHOTO: XXX-rated Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica read “No Teeth…! A Mustache…? Smel Like Shit…? Bosnian Girl!” (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica read “UN, United Nothing.” (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: XXX-rated Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: XXX-rated Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: ” Lick my Ass.” Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: “Nema Problema” translates as “No Problems” in Bosnian language. Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

PHOTO: Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica read “No Teeth…! A Mustache…? Smel Like Shit…? Bosnian Girl!” (Dutchbat Camp in Potocari).

  1. Anonymous
    July 8, 2008 at 9:18 am

    I’m glad that you’re bringing this to light, to allow people to see the ugly truth about what happened. Unless and until the Dutch come to terms with what they really allowed to happen, and the role they played in it, they’ll make the same mistakes in the future. Have they? Not really, and while they may articulate it to the outside world, inside the Netherlands, it’s still, “Well, what could we have done?” It’s clear, mothers raise your children well. Father’s raise your children well. Cease raising them with xenophobic content. Stop raising your children with chauvinistic ideology. Step up to the plate and join the world, Netherlands.

  2. Anonymous
    July 10, 2008 at 12:53 am

    I just wonder, do people that did all this sleep well?

  3. joost
    July 21, 2008 at 10:15 am

    People have feelings..and circumstances were not ideal..
    how to catch a bus while there’s no answer on its destiny…

  4. Anonymous
    July 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    No wonder things like that happen all over the world every day if no brained primitive oxygen thefts are allowed to carry armor and play a game of peace keeping…

  5. Anonymous
    July 27, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    First of all: terrible what happened over there. I was a DutchBat soldier who’s term was finished 6 months before the Tragedy. It still affects my life in many ways, most of them quite negative. (One positive aspect of this tragedy is, for example, that it made me realise the true meanings of war, discrimination and so on. I’m thankful that I have experienced that important life-lessons) But this site is SO FUCKING SICK! Do people really think we had T-Bone Steak and that stuff??? (Seriously, if you think so, fuck off!) The ‘Devils Bar’ is not offensive, it’s the name of the bar (max. 2 beer each, if not on duty) of the ‘Red Devils’, the 12th Batallion. And yes, some drawings are childish, offensive and just terrible. Maybe 10-15 people did that. The others were there, trying to save the lives of all the people there. (people who shot at us during nights but hey, don’t mention that!)
    Things went wrong, no doubt about that. But that was because of the French and other diplomats and politicians who did not dare to do what should be done.
    Being a smartass on the internet without wanting to see the whole picture, damn, that just so lame… A big FUCK YOU to all the smartasses who never did a thing for the poor people in Bosnia. I did, and have to face the consequences.

  6. Owen
    July 29, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Dutchbat Anonymous, I can understand that it’s hard for you to have to take the blame for other people’s actions. Let me say straight away that I am very fortunate not to have had to endure what you did. But other people here have had their own experiences. You need to understand where their anger comes from at the same time as you express your own.

    I am certainly not entitled to criticise individual soldiers. How do I know how I would have behaved had I been in their situation? But that doesn’t mean that I can’t criticise what Dutchbat did, objectively and in the light of information that is widely available. My original sympathy for the battalion’s predicament has dwindled as I have come to understand how the unit’s actions and omissions contributed to what happened.

    Certainly you were caught in the middle and you were handed the short straw by the international community. But you were not innocent. The Dutch government chose for its own reasons to take on the job of protecting the civilians of Srebrenica and then failed to do just that. It resigned because it failed to ensure that it’s forces were adequately prepared for the job but it has never acknowledged the active role that it played in delivering those civilians to the people who were going to murder them. The Dutch military insist that they were the innocent victims of other people’s actions and failures, blaming the international community, their own politicians, the Bosnians and, as you appear to do, the people of Srebrenica but their own actions and failures have not been adequately explained or excused.

    The fall of Srebrenica didn’t happen out of the blue. The Dutch military command appears to have closed its eyes firmly to any understanding of the situation in which it was deploying its forces. The history of vents in the Drina Valley over the previous three and a half years, the experience of three Dutchbat rotations, following on from other international contingents, and the situation on the ground must have provided a sufficiently clear indication of what would happen to the civilian population if the enclave was captured. Dutchbat appears to have had no plans in place for defending the civilian population in that event or even for handling the flow of civilian refugees that must have been anticipated. In the event Dutchbat refused to provide meaningful protection for the large majority of the refugees and excluded them from the UNPROFOR compound.

    But as you well know it is not for its failures of competence that Dutchbat is reproached. It is for its betrayal of the people Dutchbat had actually taken into its care. And that is the reason why, however sympathetic we may feel for what individual soldiers experienced, Dutchbat as an entity has no entitlement to sympathy. 5000-6000 refugees sheltering inside the Potocari compound were ordered to leave and handed over to Ratko Mladic when not only did Dutchbat know what sort of a fate was likely to await them, the evidence was already starting to accumulate before their eyes.

    Even after the event Dutchbat continued to avoid its responsibilities towards the population they had been assigned to protect. It was their military and legal duty to report on what they had seen even if they had been unable to take any action but they did not report the crimes they had seen committed.

    Karremans’s delight at receiving a departure present from Mladic is something that reflects a strange individual personality but his superiors had clearly not been concerned about the wider implications of positive interaction with Mladic in the circumstances to limit communication to the absolute minimum necessary to ensure the units’ safety.

    And finally back in the outside world the Dutch government and the Dutch military still continue to deny any blame and persist in misrepresenting their own actions. Dutchbat members have actively contributed to the efforst to evade accountability. Last week Johan de Jonge celebrated Radovan Karadzic’s arrest. He hopes that there will be less focus on the former Dutchbat soldiers now that Karadzic has been brought to justice. “I hope that people’s eyes will be opened now. That they will know we were not to blame. But that there are people who had preconceived plans to exterminate certain population groups”. http://www.rnw.nl/internationaljustice/tribunals/ICTY/080724-karadzic-dutch-guilt

    De Jonge appears unaware of what he is actually saying. The criticism levied at Dutchbat and the Dutch authorities is precisely that at Srebrenica Dutchbat knowingly handed over civilian refugees belonging to that certain population group to people who had preconceived plans to exterminate them.

    It’s clear that you and other members of Dutchbat have been deeply scarred by your experiences. But is it impossible for you step out from the pain that you undoubtedly feel and reflect on the pain that this ongoing campaign of denial is inflicting on people you so angrily condemn? Many, many people died because of what Dutchbat did on 13 July 1995. Whoever was responsible for whatever else, that fact has to be dealt with.

  7. Owen
    July 29, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Joost, I’ve been at the bus stop and not known which bus to catch so I’m not going to criticise individuals who were caught up in something they didn’t understand and didn’t know how to deal with.

    But 13 years on I read in the RNW article: “Ton Zwaan, a researcher at the Amsterdam Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, believes that the arrest of the former Bosnian-Serb leader will cast a different light on the Dutch role in the Srebrenica massacre.
    “It will become clear that in this case the Dutch at most played a supporting role. And also of course that the international community left them in the lurch at the decisive moment. It was never cleared up, but there never was any air support. And it will become clear who were the real perpetrators of this massacre”.

    A researcher at an institute for genocide studies dismisses the issue of responsibility with the words “in this case the Dutch at most played a supporting role”!

    And General Couzy insists there’s “no need for atonement regarding Dutchbat’s actions”. The trauma suffered by Dutchbat soldiers apparently doesn’t have anything to do with what happened at Srebrenica, “It’s more to do with negative Dutchbat experiences after they came back to the Netherlands.”

    These people know very well where the bus ended up, they have no excuse.

    http://www.rnw.nl/internationaljustice/tribunals/ICTY/080724-karadzic-dutch-guilt

  8. Owen
    July 29, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Joost, I’ve been at the bus stop and not known which bus to catch so I’m not going to criticise individuals who were caught up in something they didn’t understand and didn’t know how to deal with.

    But 13 years on I read in the RNW article: “Ton Zwaan, a researcher at the Amsterdam Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, believes that the arrest of the former Bosnian-Serb leader will cast a different light on the Dutch role in the Srebrenica massacre.
    “It will become clear that in this case the Dutch at most played a supporting role. And also of course that the international community left them in the lurch at the decisive moment. It was never cleared up, but there never was any air support. And it will become clear who were the real perpetrators of this massacre”.

    A researcher at an institute for genocide studies dismisses the issue of responsibility with the words “in this case the Dutch at most played a supporting role”!

    And General Couzy insists there’s “no need for atonement regarding Dutchbat’s actions”. The trauma suffered by Dutchbat soldiers apparently doesn’t have anything to do with what happened at Srebrenica, “It’s more to do with negative Dutchbat experiences after they came back to the Netherlands.”

    These people know very well where the bus ended up, they have no excuse.

    http://www.rnw.nl/internationaljustice/tribunals/ICTY/080724-karadzic-dutch-guilt

  9. Anonymous
    July 31, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Owen, thank you for your reply. You’ve said a lot of true words, but I must say that to me it all sounds a bit like an opinion or view that’s made afterwards and I think that we should never underestimate the difference between a realtime situation and an explanation or whatsoever made afterwards. (Sorry if my English sucks.)I think this is not the right place to discuss the things that have happened overthere. Yes, Dutchbat has guilt as well (did you know that no other country, except for the Canadians who were there for 3 months, was willing to go to that area?) and yes, Karremans is a prick. But what really pisses me off is the intentions by the one who made this blog and the photos that he/she shows. And that an earlier reply of me was refused. (Why?) Most of the pictures or drawings are not even offensive or meant to be offensive to local people. Some drawings were made by the Canadians (the BonBon-one) or Germans. The person who posted this pictures wanted to make a statement: Dutchbat were having T-Bone Steak every night and having fun making silly drawings, while they did nothing to save the people of Srebrenica. And that’s just so wrong man… So wrong.

  10. Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor
    August 1, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Just a note: I had to block few comments due to excessive use of profanities. There is already one comment with F word, and one is too many. Please, when you post comments, do not use profanities and your comments will be approved.

  11. Anonymous
    August 2, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Thank you Blog Editor. We can’t use the F-word here, but it’s alright if you call the work of a few individuals the “sickening legacy of the United Nations”.
    I think I know enough of you and your intentions now, especially if you keep suggesting that we had T-bone Steaks, Spare Ribs, Schnitzels, etc, and use terms as “XXX-rated porn”. (Come on man!)

    One final question: That “Ech Wel”-drawing, what’s offensive about that? I made it with two friends in november 1994, in the hours we didn’t have to work. It was meant as an honour to our hometown, Rotterdam. Can you tell me why this is a “sickening legacy of the United Nations”? Can you explain that to me?
    Thank you.

  12. Owen
    August 5, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Dutchbat Anonymous, you’re right, my remarks are made with hindsight. But hindsight doesn’t make them meaningless. Thanks to what I have learned through the passage of time I think my understanding of events is rather better than it was back in the days when I argued with a fellow-countryman of yours that Dutchbat weren’t to blame for what happened at Potocari.

    Of course I’m lucky I wasn’t in the situation of confronting Mladic myself. But I’m sure you don’t want me to sell short those Dutchbat soldiers who did face Mladic and understood that what was going on was wrong. Some tried to record what was happening while others seem to have tried to retreat from it in their own way.

    But others are reported to have been happy to play their “supporting role”. And of course others knew what they were doing was wrong but continued to follow orders.

    All of those people eventually returned to the safety of the Netherlands (let’s pass over the party in Zagreb). And once they were back home that was the point at which they were free to choose whether or not to be intimidated by Mladic, and whether or not to bear witness to what had happened.

    some chose to tell the truth and others chose not to. But overall Dutchbat, the Dutch military hierarchy and the Dutch state chose not to tell the truth. And for the relatives of the victims that decision not to tell the truth has been a devastating experience all over again.

    So when you get angry about how you feel misrepresented by other people, can I suggest you just stop for a moment and think how other people might feel about the way Dutchbat misrepresents what happened to them – let alone what Dutchbat did to their relatives.

    Think about your anger and then think how it stands up against other people’s anger. When you get upset about the Blog author’s inaccurate portrayal of your bar and your menu and your own one inoffensive mural, just stop and think about why people like the author of this blog and many other people are so upset by these images. Some had their own relatives who were handed over to be killed, others of us know people who are repeatedly being confronted by lies about what happened to them and their butchered relatives.

    I’ve had my own share of disputes with the author of this blog about the way he sometimes expresses himself, but I never lose sight of the fact of why he expresses himself as he does. If you want others to reflect on the terrible experience that some Dutchbat soldiers undoubtedly went through, then perhaps, before you shout too loudly, you might first consider how appropriate it is for you to be elbowing your way to the front of the queue for sympathy.

  13. Owen
    August 5, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Dutchbat Anonymous, I’m afraid in all that, I failed to t answer your central point.

    Yes, this is the place to discuss all that happened over there.

    And the reason is because the author is so angry and outspoken. He does cause unwarranted offence sometimes, but more often he is reminding us of the truth and speaking out against the denial of the truth.

    If the rough edges cause a bit of bruising that’s something you and I just have to put up with.

  14. Anonymous
    August 6, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Owen, thanks again for your answer. Unfortunately the owner of this blog refuses to answer me. When I said that I don’t think this is the right place to discuss what happened, I meant this page and not this blog, and I said that for several reasons: First, internet-discussions suck. We always forget some points, are misunderstood due to language-differences or other misinterpretations, and whatsoever. Second, this is not about what happened in Srebrenica. The intentions of the page is to damage the entire 3 batallions of Dutchbat, by some stupid suggestions. What does it say about a few thousand men and women when 1 or 2 of them make a drawing that’s offensive to the locals?

    You are talking about ‘the truth’ and are suggesting that many knew this ‘truth’ without mentioning it. I can assure you that many have stood up and raised their voices. Many of those people are in Srebrenica every year at the Memorial. Because they feel guilty, personally, for the failures our bosses made. We have to deal with this for the rest of our lives and at the same time we all realise that of course it is nothing compared to the pain and suffering of the real victims, of which the blog-owner apparently is one of them. You’re telling me to ‘stop and think about why people like the author of this blog and many other people are so upset by these images’. Trust me, I have thought about that. At the same time I would like to ask the blog-owner to realise why I am so upset about the suggestions he/she makes. Of course he/ she is frustrated, but what happens here is a falsification of history. And he/she shouldn’t do that. Unless he/she wants it to be taken as seriously as a random English tabloid. Say what you have to say, but always be fair.

  15. Owen
    August 7, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Dutchbat Anonymous, I’m afraid history is cruel in the way it disregards the personal details of significant events. Dutchbat I and II have to live with the outcome of Dutchbat III’s tour of duty and, however unfairly, the Dutchbat III soldiers are tarred with the same brush as Karremans and his superiors.

    That’s not fair on you, but remember, the relatives are still having to swallow the unfairness of what DutchbatIII as a body did to the refugees in the compound and outside while the officers, the military command and their political masters continue the lies and obfuscation that deny the reality they experienced.

    And although these pictures may misrepresent the attitudes of most of your fellow soldiers, they are offensive, and there are other aspects of Dutchbat conduct that aren’t presented here, some of the things mentioned (susprisingly dispassionately) in Emir Suljagic’s Postcards from the Grave, for example.

    You’re right, sometimes the tone of the blog is not as careful and restrained as it might be if it was written by an academic. But it’s not. It’s written by an individual, who isn’t a professional, who has a day job and the ordinary pressures of life to cope with as well (which is why posts sometimes take even a few days to appear and understandably not everything gets answered – I know from my own experience).

    I do occasionally criticise him for inaccuracies and his lapses from the even tone I’d prefer he adopted. But I’m aware of the massive personal commitment he’s made to fighting for justice for the victims of Srebrenica. And how justifiable the anger is that may sometimes sway his better judgment – think of the criticism you’re complaining of and then think of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of repeated crude propagandising, denial and vile lies.

    I think you’ll acknowledge that even though Dan’s angered you by showing the graffiti pictures in the way he’s done, he’s also allowed you the opportunity to give us your own account here and to offer a defence of your colleagues. Just like him you haven’t made your case as well you might have because of your own anger. So make use of the opportunity to get across the points that you want to, but neverthless don’t expect that to excuse Dutchbat as an entity.

    I’d like to pick up on the point that you make about some of the Dutchbat soldiers returning to Potocari. This is something that some of you have perfectly honourably wanted to do. But are you aware that the presence of Dutchbat soldiers at the commemoration can be quite disturbing for at least some of the survivors and makes them feel uncomfortable at a time when they would rather not be coping with that sort of distraction? Particularly when there’s doubt about the motives.

    When Johan de Jonge says his presence on the march “felt like coming home”, and that he and the five other soldiers on the march explained to people who harassed them en route how they acted back then and why and “talking created a bond”, and then he says he hopes that Karadzic’s arrest and trial will open people’s eyes and they’ll know “we were not to blame”, I wonder quite what’s going on. Is he genuine but just extremely insensitive? Or is the Dutchbat presence at the anniversary ceremonies not completely innocuous? You seem to be pretty up-front. Maybe you’re not able to comment on these doubts but it would be interesting to have your opinion.

    Be sure I don’t disrespect what you’ve been through. You’re right to tell me if you think I do, you went through it, I didn’t. But I hope you’ll understand where the priority of my concern has to lie.

  16. T Pandora
    August 31, 2008 at 10:13 am

    I know that the UN and the international community on the whole totally screwed the Dutch that were there.

    They weren’t armed to the teeth like the Serbs and there were not nearly enough of them considering the situation the region was in at the time.

    BUT that doesn’t even begin to excuse their abandonment of the people who were depending on them for their lives.

    In my opinion–and I know many of you will disagree–if a person was a UN peacekeeper, a member of UNPROFOR, or anything else along those lines, they should have been willing to die to protect the people. Period.

    The fact of the matter is that if the Dutch had stuck around and simply said NO! to the Serbs chances are all those people that got got loaded on buses and executed (and tortured) might still be alive.

    Yes a few Dutchbat would have lost their lives (maybe maybe not), but if they had forced the Serbs hands like that, and if they had died then NATO would have had no choice but to step in.

    It took NATO what 5 days to end the war once they finally decided to do something. They could have done that at the fall of Srebrenica and those people would be alive.

    When people become a part of an army, the UN or whatever, they take on a job that could very well cost them their lives. If they don’t want to sacrifice for others then they shouldn’t join, and if they’re conscripted they should flee. It is better to not show up than show up and watch people die because you don’t want to risk your own life. That should have been their job.

    And does anyone really believe those that say they didn’t know where the Serbs were taking the people? Seriously, it’s just not possible. I am just a chick far from Bosnia and I could have told you what would happen. These guys were there having drinks with the Serbs.

    I also find it amusing that some of the Dutchbat want to testify on behalf of Karadzic. Personally, I don’t see how they can have any credibility.

    Of course they are going to deny the genocide, or any wrongdoing happened at that time, it was on their watch!

    If they admit it happened they admit they were cowards and they failed in their duty to protect the civilians.

    I’m sorry, but I just can’t see any way in which the Dutch should be let off the hook for what they did. I do however think that the UN as a whole is equally responsible and should be help accountable as well. They should have prepared the Dutch better, given them the help they needed but they didn’t.

    Like the one piece of “art work” on the wall says: United Nothing. It’s not the first time I’ve heard the phrase, I can see why it was so popular.

    There were a plethora of mistakes made in Bosnia by the UN and the Dutch situation is just one small piece of the ridiculous puzzle.

    If it wasn’t so tragic it would be funny.

  17. Rob
    September 1, 2008 at 7:55 am

    Wow, good job. You’ve found 3 drawings that are (very) offensive.
    But the other ones???? Ever heard of irony? Ever heard of the fact that army units have nicknames?

    But do continue blaming the Dutch and make sure that your eyes stay closed for everything else.
    Keep kicking yourself in the victim position and make sure that the truth doesn’t come out.

    It will make your life a whole lot better!

    (Oh, in case you missed it; the above was irony too….)

  18. Owen
    September 10, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Rob, I just posted a comment to another post by a Dutchbat3 defendant. We know that certain individual members of Dutchbat3 spoke about what they saw happening at Potocari. Not every member of Dutchbat3 individually betrayed the refugees at Potocari, but the unit as a whole did.

    Now that Dutchbat3 defenders are appearing here can I ask you/them how you believe Dutchbat3’s conduct has been misrepresented? Specifically can I ask whether you have any complaints about the way your government has portrayed Dutchbat3’s actions in contesting the civil court case brought by the victims’ relatives?

    Your government’s representatives maintain that the refugees were not compelled to leave the compound at Potocari by Dutchbat3 soldiers. What was your experience? Did you believe that the refugees were willingly leaving the base and the notional protection offered by Dutchbat3?

    I don’t read Dutch so it’s hard for me to know if there has been any organised show of support by Ducthbat3 for the survivors’ relatives and the account they have given to the court. Has there been? Or do you accept your government’s account of the affair?

    Whatever “irony” there was in those drawings was lost because of what happened subsequently. If you want the irony in those pictures to be appreciated you need to show that you appreciate the irony of civilians under protection being handed over to known mass murderers.

  19. Anonymous
    September 15, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Having been in the UN Compound in 2005, I have seen the the images that you have posted under the title “DUTCH GRAFFITI IN SREBRENICA: SICKENING LEGACY OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN SREBRENICA”. Have made a lot of reserch about them and even wrote a paper. I believe the authors of the so called graffiti are the Dutch, Canadians as well as Serbs (who were in the compound last).

    When walking through the empty rooms of the UN compound, I was amazed at the large number of personal calendars of the UN soldiers. As prisoners, counting the days when they shall be free again. Without a doubt, the Dutch soldiers became beleaguered and demoralized over the months. However it seems, they were letting out their frustration by building and image of Bosniak as a primitive people, that weren’t worth a single Dutch life.

    Ultimately, I can only suppose that the concept of Bosniaks smelling like shit, their women being toothless creatures with moustaches, made it easier to leave these people to their faith.

  20. Anonymous
    September 20, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Thank God (or Allah) that there are people like t pandora and owen, who use their lives to tell the world how things should have been done.
    Afterwards.
    On the internet.
    Keep up the good work, guys!

  21. Anonymous
    October 8, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I think it’s sickening how the dutch and ONLY the dutch are being ‘publicly prosecuted’ in the events that happened in srebrenica.

    We never hear of the facts that when the serbs surrounded the enclave with their tanks the dutch cried out for help to the UN and especially the French. The same French that were assigned to provide air support if needed. It was so obvious that is was needed in this case. Why didn’t they bomb the tanks? Why don’t we hear about this?

    Therefore dutchbat, being left alone, in my opinion didn’t make a mistake in leaving the area. The question that dutchbat had to ask itself was ‘Why would we remain here, probably lose lives, when no one in the world seems to care about us?’

    When looking at this situation like that dutchbat was in the exact same position as the bosnians. They were depending on support of a third party. The bosnians depending on dutchbat, dutchbat depending on the UN (especially France).

    When confronted with this situation almost every person on this planet will chose to protect themselves and get out of harms way. For dutchbat this meant leaving srebrenica!

    As far as the comments go that dutchbat should have protected the bosnians even if it costed ‘some’ dutchbat-lives I think it’s simple minded.

    If you are in the position of dutchbat, getting in harms way when the serbs surround srebrenica, you cry out for help but no one answers. Who tells me as a soldier that once we are attacked they will help us, who tells me that (supposing they will help) it wouldn’t have been the entire battalion killed before help arrived?

    Keep in mind that dutchbat was only lightly armed because of UN rules of engagement. They would have been easily overrun by an army that already showed they had no care for human life whatsoever.

    In short, I think dutchbat was abandoned by the world and because the world is to chicken to take it’s responsibility they all point to the obvious, dutchbat. If the world would have done what was necessary this would never have happened, don’t blame just dutchbat, blame the whole UN!

    PS: As far as the drawings go I’m not even gonna comment too much because most of them are far from sickening or even offensive!

  22. Anonymous
    October 8, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    It’s all censored on this blog??

  23. Owen
    October 9, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Anonymous, you have to be patient. The blog’s author often takes a day or two to put comments up. He rejects comments that deny the genocide – I quite agree, enough time and energy has been wasted on dealing with that sort of malicious lie – but he doesn’t censor comments because they challenge his point of view.

    I don’t think anyone who is concerned about what happened at Srebrenica would disagree with you that the UN and the international community must be held to account for their role in the genocide.

    That’s exactly what the court case being brought by the Mothers of Srebrenica at The Hague is about. Van Diepen van Kroef, the Mothers’ legal representatives (see link at the side of this blog), put out a press release yesterday to confirm that the Rechtsbank’s ruling that the UN has absolute immunity will be appealed.

    The UN and the other individual states involved must be held to account if legal instruments like the Genocide Convention are to have any meaning.

    We shouldn’t forget that while we’re arguing about the role of the Dutch. But the culpability of the UN doesn’t exonerate the Dutch.

    At the very least the Dutch failed to tell the UNPROFOR command on what was going on in front of their eyes at Potocari, as the UN Secretary-General’s Report pointed out.

    But the Dutch weren’t just appendages of the UN. The Dutch contingent were acting on their own behalf as well. The Dutch government volunteered their soldiers to defend a population that was known to be at risk of being murdered. The Dutch government accepted that responsibility but failed to equip its force adequately even within the limitations of a peace-keeping mandate. On top of that it set the limits of its own commitment with the over-riding rule of engagement that there were to be no body bags coming back to The Hague.

    Some of the actions of individual soldiers at Potocari were reprehensible. Others behaved courageously and responsibly. Others were like I fear that I and many people might have been, paralysed with fear and confusion in a situation in which their military command had thrown away its moral compass.

    It’s not the individual soldiers who should be the real target of criticism, whatever the failings of at least some of them who cheerfully assisted their Bosnian Serb Army counterparts in their work. It’s the Dutchbat force as a whole and the Dutch command structure that was responsible for the decision not just to abandon the civilians under their protection but to participate in the process of separation and selection as the Bosnian Serbs identified their vistims.

    And above all it was Dutchbat3 officers who ordered the refugees under their protection inside the battalion’s compound to hand themselves over to Mladic’s forces, even when they knew that the killing had already started just outside the gate of the compound.

    And it’s the Dutch who have insisted ever since, in the face of eyewitness testimony, that they did not order those refugees to leave. That is the key to criticism of Dutch guilt. The Dutch have put themselves in the frame because they have fought tooth and nail ever since to evade their special responsibility for what happened.

  24. Anonymous
    October 17, 2008 at 5:06 am

    Hi there,
    I am a former Dutchbat II member as well, and was stationed at the Battalion HQ in Potocari where most if not all the graffiti was shown.
    What do you expect? That we were angels? The graffiti on the wall showing the daily menu was meant as funny for those of us who were there. We DID not have the things shown on the menu. Why? Because all supplies were blocked by the Serbs.
    We were meant to be neutral over there, but nevertheless -despite our own shortages in supplies- we CHOOSE to dump our extra food as trash so at least part of the population of the starving enclave did have something to eat. Is that known? I guess not.
    Is it also known that there was growing corn and other vegetables on the farmers land and it wasn’t taken off of it? We didn’t understand that. At one time, a request for fuel was brought in on behalf of the farmers, so they could take the crops from the field. What happened? They turned the fuel in to the bosnian soldiers so they could use it for their vehicles. And please, do not forget that our mission from Dutchbat was to disarm the bosnian soldiers inside the enclave. Something we were not able to do under the circumstances we had to meet and endure.
    So, with this being said, don’t be so silly and complain about the graffiti we painted and wrote on the walls. Indeed, the circumstances for the population -WHO WERE IN WAR- was far worse than ours -WHO WERE NOT IN WAR WITH ANY SIDE! But if you want something to point a finger to, point it towards the cowards of the bosnian regular forces who fled the scene without taking a stand to defend their enclave.

    Piet Duits
    former Dutchbat II member

  25. Anonymous
    November 4, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Say whatever you like..
    Dont believe a word of this..

    “Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author.”

    This just proves.. you only get to see what he wants you to see or read what he wants you to read..

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