Retired U.S. General John J. Sheehan was the source of worldwide condemnations recently after he blamed the Srebrenica massacre on the presence of gay soldiers in their Army. The former NATO Commander testified that he was told that the presence of the gay soldiers was a significant contributor to the troops being captured without a serious fight. The Dutch general to whom he attributed the information later denied telling him that the homosexuality of soldiers contributed to the loss.
Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sheehan said that the Dutch battalion at Srebrenica “was under strength, poorly led, and the Serbs came into town, handcuffed the soldiers to the telephone poles, marched the Muslims off, and executed them.” He suggested their lack of combat readiness was due to the presence of homosexual soldiers. Committee Chairman Carl Levin pressed the point and asking if Dutch leaders had told him that gay soldiers were to blame and Sheehan responded “yes they did. They included that as part of the problem.”
When the Serbs moved in on Srebrenica, the Dutch force put up little resistance. Some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered.
The Dutch Defense Ministry said the comments were “outrageous and unworthy of a soldier.” He is of course correct. This is much like prior statements that black soldiers could not be trusted in combat. He seems to have missed all of the decorated combat veterans who have been thrown out of the military because they are gay.
Dutch soldiers guard a UN checkpoint near Srebrenica in 1995. An ex-US gene…
Sheehan wrote an apology to the Dutch command that he was sorry for the remarks and the attribution to the former chief of staff of the Dutch army General Henk van den Breemen. He stated “To be clear, the failure on the ground in Srebrenica was in no way the fault of the individual soldiers, . . . I am sorry that my recent public recollection of those discussions of 15 years ago inaccurately reflected your thinking on some specific social issues in the military. It is also regrettable that I allowed you to be pulled into a public debate.”
It is interesting that these public quotations do not categorically state that Dutch army General Henk van den Breemen did not raise the homosexuality of the troops. It says that it “inaccurately reflected his thinking” and regretted getting him involved in the dispute.
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13 thoughts on “General Sheehen Apologizes For Anti-Gay Comments on Dutch Defeat at Srebrenica”
No apology needed on this one.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Reversing course, Army Secretary John McHugh warned soldiers Thursday that they still can be discharged for admitting they are gay, saying he misspoke earlier this week when he suggested the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy had been temporarily suspended.
The public stumble by a senior service official is an indication of the issue’s legal complexity. The Pentagon has said it wants to hear from gay troops as it conducts a broad study on how it could lift the ban, as President Barack Obama wants.
But to do that, gay service members would have to break the law, which prohibits them from discussing their sexual orientation.
Using 17-year-old language from Gen. Colin Powell (ret.) that the former Joint Chiefs Chairman says he no longer believes, President Obama’s Justice Department filed a brief in court this week supporting the military’s “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy, which the president has said he wants to rescind.
Maybe more would be dead and/or pink flowers added. Nah, it would clash with the red.
I wonder what the 8,000 murdered Muslims think about this brouhaha.
People, people of all ages, learn to read. That is R-E-A-D. The first sentence says this: Retired U.S. General John J. Sheehan was the source of worldwide condemnations recently after he blamed the Srebrenica massacre on the presence of gay soldiers in their Army.
He may still be retarded and subject to recall at any moment. But he is retired…..
I think he “doth protest too much” ala Mark Foley. One wonders if the General hasn’t “dropped the soap” a few times himself.
One hopes he’ll enjoy his upcoming forced retrirement.
Sheehan couldn’t even get the name of the general he misquoted right. We never should have let the Irish in.
What mespo said.
Sorry you got caught acting like a homophobe, General?
Nothing more special than a fake apology.
It . . . brings a tear to my eye. *sniff*
There is only one word I can use to describe Sheehan – Dumbass
From the article: “I am sorry that my recent public recollection of those discussions of 15 years ago inaccurately reflected your thinking on some specific social issues in the military,” said the letter, a copy of which was given to AFP by the ministry.”
Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
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