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Friday, March 19, 2010

Hey, general Sheehan, Holland just called

I should say, "retired general." He told Congress said Dutch military operations failed because of gay soldiers.  Der Spiegel reports on a story that has gained quite a lot of traction in Europe:
The Netherlands on Friday was quick to react to Sheehan's testimony. Dutch Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop issued a statement calling the remarks "outrageous and unworthy of a soldier." He went on to say, "I do not want to waste any more words on the matter."

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said the remarks were "disgraceful" and "should never have been made. ... It is way off the mark to talk like that about people and the work they do under very difficult circumstances." He added that he would not take up the matter with Obama because Sheehan is retired.

Wim van den Burg, head of the Dutch military union AFMP, called Sheehan's comments "ridiculous" and "out of the realm of fiction."
More, from the Washington Post:
The Netherlands has a long history of accepting homosexuality, and gays have long been welcome in the country's armed forces - which also allow labor unions.

The leader of one such union, Jan Kleian, was incensed by Sheehan's comments.

"The man is crazy," he told Dutch radio. "It sounds hard, but I can't put it any other way."

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