So, why is this Canada's fault???...April 25 2004 at 7:39 AM
|D'Artagnon77 (Login face_off_circle)|
from IP address 220.127.116.11
Response to Answer the questions!
.....To answer your questions...
1) I don't know
2) I don't know
3) Canada was sending lots of information between UNPROFOR HQ and UN HQ on a daily basis. Canada is not to fault for the UN not relaying this information to the Dutch, and Canada is certainly not at fault for the Dutch not seeking further information from the UN, UNPROFOR HQ or UN HQ.
.....Here goes that resume thing again, just to put things into perspective, I was in Jugo from Sept 92 to Aug 93, so it's before the worst in Srebrenica. When I went to Srebrenica, the population of the town was already swollen beyond its capacity, Serb Militias had the town mostly surrounded, it was like a big prison more than anything, without the visible walls, but guaranteed, when a Muslim stepped outside of what was the known boundery, there would be sniper fire, and Muslims were being killed...all of this was reported back to UNPROFOR HQ and then relayed to UN HQ...this I know for a fact.
.....Now, as for Canada leaving Srebrenica, just to shed light for you, Canada had troops in Bosnia, in (my spelling could be wrong) Kiseljak and in Visoko, plus we maintained another camp in Daruvar, which was in Sector West, all part of what was known as Krajina...that's the part between Croatia and Bosnia, or Croatia and Serbia. Of course, we had people in UNPROFOR HQ as well, up in Zagreb, Croatia.
.....On top of that, you seem to have this misunderstanding of the purpose of the UN, or Peace Keeping for that matter. I realize you want "guns blaring", and "bombs dropping", and "Helicopters firing missiles" all over the place, but that's not how it works. The first thing to understand is, UN Peacekeepers usually...USUALLY only go into a conflict where both warring parties have agreed to attempt peace...in the case of Former Jugoslavia, that existed to a certain extent, but there were still a lot of problems. You'd have to go back a little further...try this...
a) In the early 90s, Slovenjia and Croatia were talking about becoming independent from Jugoslavia. In clandestine meetings between those two states of Jugoslavia, a date (I can't recall which date exactly) had been agreed upon for both to seek independence in the eyes of the International Community. When that date came, I believe it was sometimes in late 91... could be wrong, it's been a long time, both countries declared their independence. Needless to say, Jugoslavia...the Government in Belgrade, these guys went ballistic and tried to stop both states from becoming independent. By the way, this was also before my time in Former Jugoslavia, so I'm going by memory of what I remember when I was there...don't go all "Octo" on me about minor discrepencies, the overall picture is what's important. Anyways, I think it was Milosovic, he dispatched the JNA (Jugoslavian National Army) to quell the uprising for independence up to Ljubliana and Zagreb. Now, to go from Belgrade (Serbia proper) to Ljubliana, you have to go through Croatia (nice big buffer)...and once the JNA got to Slovejia, Croat Militia cut off the supply routes to the JNA, something Milosovic obviously didn't count on... and that became a problem for the JNA. At this point, in Slovenjia, the JNA was being beaten (not because of the Slovenjians fighting back, but because they couldn't re-supply the ill-prepared troops, thanks to the Croats) and it was forced to withdraw...and immediately, Slovenjia was granted its independence in the eyes of the International Community. Now, to boot, when the JNA withdrew from Slovenjia, Tudjman allowed the JNA to withdraw through Croatia and it basically paraded itself right through Zagreb. At the time, it was agreed, between Milosovic and Tudjman, the JNA could withdraw as long as it didn't war with Croatia...and Milosovic agreed...UNTIL THE JNA GOT TO SERBIA THEN LAUNCHED MORE ATTACKS AGAINST CROATIA!!! Needless to say, Croatia didn't have the Military resources to fight back...this is where the ugliness became visible to the eyes of the World. Croatia appealed to the World, specifically to Slovenjia for fighting help...problem was, when Craotia turned to Slovenjia for reciprocal help, Slovenjia turned its back on Croatia. You know what, you have to go back a little further...
b) As you surely know, after WWII, Tito controlled Jugoslavia, ran it with an iron-fist. Tito was a big supporter of a Greater Jugoslavia, encouraging the Serbs, Croats and Muslims to live in harmony, love thy neighbour... all that good stuff. In (I think it was) '72, when Tito died, changes started to occur in Jugoslavia...and in a wave, much of the Government, Military Chain of Command, Schools, Police Forces...most of the command positions in Jugoslavia were now held by Serbs. If memory serves me correctly, take this with a grain of salt, the JNA, one of Europes biggest Militaries, of all the Generals in the JNA, I think only 3 were Croat, none were Slovenjian, none were Muslim...the rest were all Serb. The point I'm trying to make is, at its highest levels, Jugoslavia was dominated by Serbs...and these Serb authorities were nasty to everything none-Serb and it got to the point, eventually, that Croatia, Slovenjia, Kosovo...they wanted out.
.....Now, to get back on track a bit, when the UN was called in, it was after the declaration (and acceptance) of independence by Slovenjia, and Croatia was up in the air still. But, there was a lot of concern here, because people were getting slaughtered, war had erupted in Jugoslavia...AGAIN!...and, there's no denying the thoughts of another World War was on the minds of the brainset at UN HQ and NATO. So, a request was made for a peacekeeping force, needless to say, Croatia agreed right away...their survival depended on it, but Serbia...Serbia didn't want to allow the UN in, specifically because this would recognize Croatia as independent, Milosovic wasn't willing to do that...but, he was pressured to agree, reluctantly UN Peacekeepers were allowed to enter the country. On top of that, Russia was to be a main player in the peacekeeping process...and Russia was a main ally to Serbia, and Russia was rotten to the core when it came to perpetuating the atrocities committed by the Serbs against the Croats in Sector East...ask the Belgiques. During the Peace process in Jugoslavia, early on, it was impossible to carry out any duties that were not favoring the Serbs, because the Ruskies would leak all the info to Belgrade. In other words, Russia was supposed to be working for the UN in this mission, but it would be more precise to suggest it was working for Belgrade.
.....Now, with all that said, early on, in Srebrenica, though over-populated, though mostly surrounded by Serb Militia, it was considered a safe-haven for Muslim, not because Canada made it that way, not because Canada said so...but it was the place where the Muslims were, for a lack of a better term, corralled...maybe, forced to go, by the Serbs. Now, in Srebrenica, before the Dutch got there in 94, yeah, there were a lot of problems...but Canada didn't create the problems, the war and exodus of Muslims to Srebrenica caused the problems. The fact Serb snipers were shooting at the Muslims in a war environment, this created problems. I know, you'd have wanted Canadian soldiers to return fire...that's not how peacekeeping works. You can say peacekeeping is flawed, so be it... but the fact of the matter is, when a peace keeping force goes into a hot zone, you're going in with a Regiment-size force, it's often spread so thin... not because Canada dictates, but because of the mandate to observe and police...and police by the way, that means being a visible presence, not a fighting force. You don't have to further than any city in the US or Canada to get the picture that for every police officer, there are thousands of residents. If you send two police officers into a neighbourhood where a hundred people are fighting with guns, these two police officers will either get killed or withdraw. In peacekeeping, UN soldiers very seldom have the authority to withdraw, too often they get killed...but the only thing to do when there are hundreds of Serbs with big guns, tanks, missiles, artillery, mortars...and there are thousands of Muslims looking for food, or running all over the place trying not to get killed, well, the only thing a couple/few peacekeepers can do is watch and take notes, take cover (yeah...hide) or get killed. In this type of situation, like in Srebrenica, Peacekeepers didn't have a chance...and neither did the Muslims.
.....Lastly, and I'm not speaking for any mission in particular, but every mission has a set of Rules of Engagement. Often, when Peace Keepers are in a mission, the ROE are detrimental to the Peace Keeper...so much so, you almost have to be hit before you can return fire. Oh, it doesn't always work out that way, many soldiers have adopted this philosophy... "I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6"...and with that philosophy, some peacekeeping soldiers, from all over the world, have opened fired before their lives were taken...so be it. Still, I've been on missions where on OP (Observation Post), you could have a mag on the weapon, but the mag was empty...or you could have a mag on the weapon but no round chambered. A Peace Keeper cannot point his weapon at anyone, usually unless he's already been fired upon...again, it's not all missions like this, but the point is, the Peace Keeper is at a disadvantage...but that's the nature of what we do.
.....You can go on and on about trying to blame Canada for Srebrenica, you can trash the UN...you can blame whomever you want for all that's wrong in the World...it's not a perfect place, sometimes people hate each other, and fight with each other, and when the UN is called in to do its best, that's what we try to do. You can point fingers at the flaws in the UN for going about its business in a most diplomatic fashion, so be it...but that just happens to be the prefered method over an escalation into a bigger war, or sending in 120 thousand fighting troops. Hate the UN if you like, but the UN still tries to help the World with good, rather than perpetuating more fighting. Is it a lost cause? Sometimes...but you still have to try...D'