Currently, there is a large political debate going on in the Netherlands, about whether they should send a team of Dutch policemen to Afghanistan to “train” the Afghan policeforce (they even talked about teaching them how to read). If you don’t believe the previous sentence, I don’t blame you. By the way, the last time the Netherlands sent “policemen” to another country to “help them out”, was in the fifties when they sent the army (because that’s what they really were) out to Indonesia, to suppress the freedom fight there. It all ended up in tears. And blood, of course.
(I almost forgot, we also “helped” very much in Srebenica).
Anyway, so there is this debate going on. And the people in favour of sending them out (because, yes, some people are even in favour of it), like to think it’s a very noble thing, like sending out UN troops to far away countries to help the local people and fight dictatures or – in the case of Afghanistan -, to fight the Taliban. (Why stop at Afghanistan? Why not “help” the people in China, Saudi-Arabia (or Egypt for that matter)?)
Meanwhile, there are additional reasons to think that people in the Netherlands have lost their mind. And one of those is the political party “PVV”. A party that openly says that all muslims are a threat to European cultural values. A party that openly states that having a Europe without immigrants would be an Utopia. A party that “jokingly” refers to veils as nob-rags. A party that openly talks about shooting immigrant criminals through their knee-caps.
So, on Twitter someone tweeted that the Netherlands has its own Taliban: the PVV. Then, he continued: “In fact, they should send UN troops to the Netherlands to shoot PVV-voters.” This, by some people not used to reading, was interpreted as a death threat. Holland’s biggest newspaper, and one important Dutch opinion magazine, not only misquoted him (claiming he had said that all PVV voters should be killed) but also threw any kind of objective reporting in the wind. None of them was able to recognize the original tweet for what it was: a rather sarcastic comment, which anyone was free to ignore or have a grim grin about. Nothing more.
One wonders whether the fact that the same tweeter quite recently wrote some critical articles about an
important exceptionally stupid and often quoted “reporter” (and I use that word rather wrongly) of that same big newspaper might have something to do with all this. Meanwhile, right now, numerous people in Holland are molesting the tweeter’s employers, pushing them to fire him. They seem to think that employers have the right to interfere with their employee’s private lives and opinions.
So, please, EU, UN, NATO, world: before starting another big drama in Afghanistan, why don’t you send your troops to the Netherlands first, just to practice a bit, and try to restore a bit of democracy and civil liberties? And if you do happen to shoot a PVV-voter, just call it collateral damage.