Title picture: Cloudscapes, Stornoway, 1 February 2017

Monday, 6 July 2015

July 7th

July 7th has two black marks on it. The first occurred in 1995, when Bosnian Serb forces overran the UN safe haven of Srebrenica, Bosnia, which was established in Bosnian Serb territory during the Yugoslav war. General Ratko Mladic ordered men and boys to be rounded up, using UN forces to do the dirty work, and have them bussed out into the woods - where all were shot dead. The Dutch battallion of the UN force did nothing to stop the Bosnian Serbs, and the Dutch government have since been held responsible for their inertia. What could they have done? One soldier said he stood next to Mladic and could have pulled the trigger. However, the Bosnian Serb force was so overwhelming that any resistance would have been suicidal. Furthermore, the UN force was so poorly equipped that they would not have stood a chance. Seven thousand Bosnian Moslims were killed. Mladic is standing trial at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague. I personally know Dutch military personnel who were at Srebrenica during this episode. I cannot imagine their state of mind.

The second black mark against July 7th goes back ten years, to 2005. Four suicide bombers let off their devices on the London Underground and a London Transport bus, killing 52 innocent people.

We remember the innocent victims of senseless violence across the ages.

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