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Sunday
Feb032008

[EN] 2.3 Late Dutch Revenge for the way, the big Powers made a fool of them in Srebrenica

Why do the Dutch and the Belgians block an SAA?

A Fistful of Euros wonders, why the Dutch dare (together with the Belgians) to block a Serbian Accession Agreement to the EU. The SAA was intended to help the less extremist Serbian factions to accept (grudgingly) Kosovar independence, and to open a fast track to Serbian inclusion into the EU.
Mladic and Karadzic in 1994/95

For both intentions, it is a lame compromise: Even moderate Serbs will not agree, in a foreseeable future, with the breaking of the 1999 UN guarantee of the territorial integrity of Serbia, including Kosovo. They are supported by Russia and by a number of EU members who fear irredentist claims in their own countries. And, less important, but significant, by a growing cabal of extreme right-wing American/European anti-Islam activists. The latter warn against the creation of another "Islamic" state on European soil, like Ariël Sharon of Israel already did in 1999.

On the other side, there is no argument about the necessity and unavoidability of a Serbian membership in the EU. Neither in the most Eurosceptic circles in the EU, nor in Serbia itself. Serbian EU-membership will come, sooner or later. But not now.

The SAA was a wrong signal:
It will not help more moderate nationalists to win today's presidential elections. Perhaps it would even have weakened Tadic and his followers. Serbian frustration over coming European support for an independent Kosova will anyhow have the upper hand over hopes to be in the EU soon.

A commenter, Ivan Nicolic, on A Fistful of Euros, has quite another view:
So, what do we get? We get that the Dutch are blocking democratic Serbia that had nothing to do with Srebrenica, moreover that was fighting against Milosevic, the same person that was giving assistance to those who are accused to be guilty, and yet, asking from Serbia to be responsible for arresting and delivering those two to the Tribunal in Hague, although they are citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Maybe some argument could be found for Mladic, because for some time he was hiding in Serbia, but for Karadzic there is no basis at all to connecting him to Serbia.
Correction: Former JNA General Mladic is a citizen of Serbia, is living publicly in Belgrade and meets there regularly with old comrades from the Yugoslav Army in public places. From time to time, when there is a surge of pressure for his arrest, he goes into hiding in Montenegro.
Nikolic' conclusion on the Dutch move:
And why? Because the Dutch need to wash them selves in their own eyes, not taking into consideration that they could cause even more damage.
Well, I think, that the Dutch accepted the horrible truth about Srebrenica, too late, but nevertheless some five years ago, when the Report on the Srebrenica mission that was commissioned by the Dutch Government, provoked its downfall (April 2002).

Americans and EU-big powers made a fool of the Dutch Srebrenica batallion
Apart from their own failures (politically and military), another, important, circumstance came then finally into the open: The big powers had intentionally left the Dutch Government in the dark about the arrangements they had made with Milosevic and Karadzic/Mladic, about giving up the UN-protected Muslim enclaves (like Srebrenica) to the Serbian Bosnians as a precondition for the ceasefire that was to end the armed phase of the Bosnian conflict later in 1995.

That is why I took the liberty to comment today on the Fistful-site, as follows:
In my opinion, the Dutch Government is taking revenge for the scandalous way, it was kept uninformed of the big countries’ arrangement with Milosevic/Karadzic in the spring of 1995, i.e., to give the latter green light to do away with the (UN-protected) Muslim “enclaves” in Serbian Bosnia, like Srebrenica.
Frustration about the NATO allies, who did not come forward with the promised air support, is still great in the country.
The whole affair has been documented by Frank Westerman (1996,in Dutch), the 2002 Dutch government-commissioned report by the Amsterdam Institute of War-Documentation (English version at the Dutch Government website) and most recently by Florence Hartmann (Paix et Chatiment, November 2007, French), the former porte parole of Carla Del Ponte (TPIY).

The Dutch, while officially referring to the TPIY procedure, are unofficially saying to the Brits, the French (and the US): “Milosevic died, before he could be brought to confirm the 1994/5 deals with you about Srebrenica at the The Hague Court. Give us Mladic, who you helped to protect for more than 17 years, and who is freely walking around in Belgrade, and we’ll see!”
A slightly different French version of this opinion is on: L'Europe Chez Soi, Toto Le Psycho and HUIBSLOG. The Brussels Medium4You Blog Journal also carries that French version, where it provoked some interesting comments.


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