U.S. General John Sheehan (retired) sparked controversy at a senate committee hearing when he said gay Dutch soldiers were part of cause for the 1995 massacre at the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.
In 1995 a predominately Muslim populace in the town of Srebrenica was the scene of a massive extermination of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in an effort to ethnically cleanse the town. The town was declared a United Nations safe area for the citizens, but the massacre began regardless that 400 Dutch peacekeepers were situated in the area.
President Obama’s Union address last January called for an end to the Don’t ask, don’t tell policy for Gays in the military. Most likely this is U.S. General Sheehan’s retort that Gays should not be admitted into the military,using the Dutch military model as an example.
There was another massacre during this time in Rwanda, with Canadian General Romeo Dallaire who commanded a small international peacekeeping force in Rwanda. This massacre resulted in the butchering of 800,000 Rwandans by opposing cultural factions.
Canadian General Dallaire upon witnessing the massacre brewing at it’s inception, immediately raised an international alarm to United Nations to bring in more troops to stop the massacre, only to be told by the United Nations not to fire a shot or interfere. Needless to say, General Dallaire did what he could to protect those Rwandan citizens around them, housing them in a small resort hotel as the massacre began all around him.
To this day, General Dallaire touted as hero never fully recovered from this act of barbarism.
The United Nations mandate to peacekeepers are there to observe and report only. The misconception of protection of citizens is a misnomer when UN troops are told not to engage, unless engaged first.
It is not clear if some United Nations peacekeepers in Rwanda felt rage and tried to stop the massacre by force, what is clear is there were deaths of United Nations peacekeepers by Rwandan factions.
This resulted in a Rwandan investigation, which uncovered arms deals to Rwandans in the massacre, implicating Belgian and other European countries who knew of the impending massacre beforehand.
It is not known if Gays were part of the United Peacekeeping force in Rwanda, but what is clear is, when outnumbered by opposing forces, and the failure of the United Nations to act, send in troops, allow peacekeepers to engage the combatants in order to prevent genocide, gender or gender preference will not stop genocide.
At no time serving in the Military, have I have met a man, woman or gay who would not pull their own weight under stress.
U.S. General John Sheehan certainly has a axe to grind when it comes to Gays serving in the military. Funny thing is, he may actually have had decorated U.S. Gay combat soldiers, who in silence, served admirably under him in Vietnam or Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Canada, since 1992, under then Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney passed an edict allowing gays to openly join the Canadian Military.
Human behaviour studies conducted in both the USA and Canada have proven sexual orientation has no bearing on performance for Canadian soldiers.
They say War is Hell, and adding to the extra stress a gay combat soldier must face under fire in the field with Officer mentality like U.S. General Sheehan, is it any wonder Gays are fighting a war on terror on two fronts? Unfortunately one terror front is from friendly fire.