About my visit to SFOR


Dear Folks, Here’s the journal of Daan de Lange about my trip to the Dutch Base in Bugojno, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

I want to thank him and the people of SFOR for the cordial and human reception.
A tip of the vale of what is going on there, was lifted to me. A sheer drama, to all involved.
What I greatly admire, is the things those men do over there. In The Netherlands one reads about the events like in Srebrenica and I can say from the bottom of my heart that we must be glad with what these people have done over there. One bullet from our side would have been enough in that situation, in which everything would have happened in vain. I first understood this after having thought about the situation in Iraq and realized that we had no reason to be there in the first place, but that the people over there seem not able to accomplish things on their own. It seems as if they’re programmed to exterminate one another.
What I understand now, is that the people over there respect the Dutch and are even friendly to them, but to come to the heart of the matter is not easy.
There are films on the matter like “Warrior” and “Through the Heart” which tell enough. I myself was also chitchatting in the pub like “a bomb on it” etc., but it is much deeper than I expected, after a long conversation with Dario, of Turkish origin and an interpreter for SFOR. By the way: what a great guy!
I’m glad that they already managed to bring some of these “great” generals to The Hague and put them with their asses on the barbeque, although it might not seem that way, they will talk. I also hope that they will be able to catch those remaining two biggies as well.
I’ve been to Sarajevo in places where little children or young couples were simply shot in their backs and I wonder what kind of guy one must be to do this. Just to keep one’s peace or just the opposite, that’s the reason for this trip and this article.

From Iraq we now know that it’s a blunder and a blessing at the same time, but this here is another story. In some way I have this feeling, that SFOR is much needed over there (not by everyone of course).
I didn’t for one moment get the feeling that people were shooting at each other, so it’s quite important that SFOR is present over there.
But there’s not much attention for the stories of deeply traumatized (military) people who no longer like to live, maybe one item in one opinion TV-programme, which doesn’t help the people who have been there in the first place. Fine, we don’t like to spend time on this matter because “the show must go on”, so to speak.
As you might know we in Holland have quite a number of “social workers” who don’t have a solution or even an answer to these kinds of experiences. Only some pills to do this or that kind of disease or pain, but that’s not the solution here.
I’m sure that I’m not sure if there is one. Yes, let your heart do the talking, okay this one’s on me.
I wish everyone (over there and here) lots of courage and support.CU2
Jan Akkerman

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