This video from 2003 in the Netherlands says about itself:
Harry Loco playing on the Dam square in Amsterdam in a demonstration against the upcoming war in Iraq.
Dutch big media tended to depict these participations in bloody wars as “humanitarian”. That’s the way war propaganda is, from long before the slaughterhouse for millions of World War I to the slaughterhouse in Libya which has just begun but about which no one knows where it will end.
On Dutch TV, there were advertisements to join the air force in Afghanistan; supposedly, “to help girls’ education in Afghanistan”. That war propaganda turned out to be a lie, as girls’ education in Uruzgan province, occupied by Dutch troops, did not improve. Dutch military presence did kill Afghan civilians.
Like Dutch military presence in Iraq did kill Iraqi civilians.
Apart from foreign military missions supposedly being “humanitarian”, media will tend to whip up nationalism by describing “our boys” as “heroes”. An example of this was the big publicity for Dutch Captain Marco Kroon, who was awarded by Queen Beatrix personally the highest military decoration for “bravery” in Afghanistan.
However, things can go wrong for propaganda. This week, that Captain Kroon stands trial for possession and supply of illegal arms, which he admits; and for cocaine, which he denies though cocaine traces have been found in his hair.
Another Dutch officer who participated in occupying Afghanistan, Marcial Hernandez, is now a Member of Parliament for Geert Wilders‘ xenophobic PVV party. After he became an MP, The Hague police arrested him for headbutting someone with different views. Mr Hernandez had to pay a 500 euro fine for assault.
Another MP for Wilders’ party, Eric Lucassen, an ex-non-commissioned army officer, got in the news for statutory rape of an underage female military recruit, and for intimidating people in his neighborhood, including by threatening to urinate into their letterboxes.
Today, Dutch NOS TV has this news item on a senior officer who was in Iraq and Afghanistan (translated):
Colonel prosecuted for assault
Added: Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 8:05
A senior army officer has been charged with serious assault of his girlfriend. The 48-year-old soldier is head of training at the Dutch Defence Academy.
In 2004 he led a combat unit in southern Iraq. In Afghanistan, he was commander of the unit Task Force Uruzgan 4. Which came into the news when the son of the commander of the Dutch armed forces Peter van Uhm was killed in combat.
The colonel is said to have been on the brink of being promoted to general. Now it turns out that on two occasions, he was arrested by the military police for domestic violence.
He must stand trial on April 18 in the military criminal court in Arnhem.
Update 18 April 2011: here.
- Australian troops hand over Uruzgan bases (abc.net.au)
- Dutch girl murder’s suspect arrested, NOT a refugee (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Dutch Withdraw From Afghanistan (waronterrornews.typepad.com)
- Australia takes command of Uruzgan ISAF forces (theage.com.au)