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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Al -Qaeda And The Taliban Very Happy With Dutch Labor Party Stance On Afghanistan Which Is Fully In Line With Their Tactics

Al -Qaeda And The Taliban Very Happy With Dutch Labor Party Stance On Afghanistan Which Is Fully In Line With Their Tactics

February 24, 2010


‘This a indeed great victory for our holy warriors! The Dutch are the first to withdraw from Afghanistan. Allah be praised! This is only the beginning. Other infidel crusaders are bound to follow soon and the country will be ours once again! Praise be to Allah! We defeated the Russian infidels back in 1988. Then, it took less than ten years to throw them out. We'll now defeat the criminal gang in the White House and all those who alligned themselves with them against the Muslims! Praise be to Allah!'

Just imagine we are at Al-Qaeda Headquarters somewhere in Pakistan. Just imagine a high ranking Taliban leader listening to what a top-level Al-Qaeda member told him about the Dutch being the first to withdraw from Afghanistan. The above comments may be fictitious but I have no doubt at all that they are entirely in conformity with the Al-Qaeda/Taliban way of thinking.

Our enemies today are not very different from the enemies back in 1939-'45 – not very different from the equally fanatical German Nazis and Japanese, that is. Like today's Muslim suicide bombers, the Japanese had no fear of death, and the Nazis admired them for it. They ‘are ready to die' (‘todesbereit'), a Nazi paper wrote about the arrogant and extremely fanatical Japanese warriors whose only God was their holy emperor. (Fortunately many things changed after Japan was defeated.)

My sister Annelies died in a Japanese concentration camp in 1944. I never saw her because I was born a few years after the war. My Swiss-educated mother and my two brothers barely survived the camp. My father later told me he was a Japanese death row inmate. My uncle was also about to be executed by the Japanese. (He saved his life by making a nice portrait of the camp commander in full military uniform.)

Mind you, the same Japanese were the very first to introduce suicide attacks by planes – Al-Qaeda copied their silly ‘kamikaze' methods on 9/11. In the face of such a deadly and merciless enemy, weakness will be fatal, as it was back in 1939-‘45. Once again, it is a war worth fighting and there will be, as British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchil said in 1940, ‘blood, toil, tears and sweat.' ‘This is a time for everyone to stand together, and hold firm, as they (i.e. the Nazis, V.) are doing,' Churchill said on September 11, 1940. These words could and should have been repeated on September 11, 2001.

Our enemy today is equally, if not even more fanatical and more committed to overrunning weak nations and eventual world conquest. They believe that, some day, their fascist version Islam will rule over the world.

Despite their strange racial prejudices, the German Nazis deeply admired fanatical Muslims, as if they were fellow fascists. Nazi SS-leader (‘Reichsführer') Heinrich Himmler founded a special Imam School in Nazi Germany saying he needed fanatical imams, not moderate ones. And in January 1944 he said, in the presence of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels: ‘I have nothing against Islam for it promises that those who fight and die in battle will go to heaven. This is a practical and sympathetic religion for soldiers.' Were he still alive today, Himmler would, no doubt, admire the numerous and silly suicide bombers who also believe they'll go straight to heaven.

Dutch Labor Party: unilateral withdrawal is now the only option

Back to Holland. What happened there in the early morning hours of Saturday, February, 20? The Dutch coalition government of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), the smaller ‘Christian Union' (CU) and the Social Democratic Labor Party (PvdA) fell over the war in Afghanistan. The center-left Dutch Labor Party demanded that all Dutch forces leave Afghanistan before the end of the year. The other two coalition partners as well as NATO and president Barack Obama want the Dutch forces to stay, and to extend this highly successful military mission in the unruly Afghan province of Uruzgan. These Dutch forces are assisted by badly needed F-16 fighter planes.

Now that the government has fallen over the issue, the Dutch mission in Afghanistan will come to an end this year. An extension is out of the question now. The Dutch will be the first to unilaterally withdraw from Afghanistan, and both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda are quite happy about it. Our enemies, no doubt, expect other nations to follow suit.

The Dutch Labor Party made its withdrawal demand in the very week when the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) started to launch a major offensive against the Taliban in the hotly contested Afghan province of Helmand. ‘This is fully in line with Taliban tactics,' writes Jan van Benthem, a Dutch commentator on international affairs. ‘The Taliban announced in 2007 that they would target the parliaments in NATO countries. "We are sure that we will gain the victory. Western Parliaments will protest asking why are our sons dying in Afghanistan? This means we will eventually defeat them."' Interesting quote, don't you think?

What happened in Spain after Al-Qaeda terrorists struck in Madrid in March 2004? (There is new evidence that Al-Qaeda was indeed involved in the attacks.) The elections were won by the Social Democrats who opposed Spanish military presence in Iraq and all Spanish forces were subsequently withdrawn.

Eva Ludemann and Mark van Assen point out that the Dutch will be the first to withdraw all their troops. ‘It is feared that this will produce a domino effect. The Dutch role in Afghanistan is important and its 1,940 strong force is located in Uruzgan, a province of vital importance to the Taliban, and consequently to ISAF.' ‘Only the Taliban are happy about it.' Australia has already announced it will not fill the gap.

Participation in the Afghan war is a controversial issue both in Europe and North America. There is war fatique everywhere, even in Australia. President Obama announced he plans to withdraw the bulk of US forces by the end of next year, thus publicly announcing to a ruthless and mortal enemy that there is no long term American resolve.

Mient Jan Faber played a major role in the Dutch peace movement in 1980s. He is currently Professor of ‘Human Security in War Situations' at Amsterdam's prestigious Free University and as such opposed to Dutch withdrawal from Afghanistan. He even accused the Dutch Labor Party of ‘escape behavior,' ‘defeat.'

Traditional Dutch neutralism and pacifism

There is a strong neutralist and pacifist tradition in Holland, especially in leftist circles and leftist political parties. Before the Second World War, leftists, pacifists and other idealists were opposed to reinforcing the Dutch army and navy. They preferred a policy of military weakness, neutralism and unilateral detachment. This proved fatal in May 1940 when the Nazis occupied Holland as well as in February 1942 when the weak Dutch navy lost the battle against the superior Japanese navy in the Java Sea. Subsequently, the Netherlands East Indies (today's Indonesia) was occupied by the brutal and merciless Imperial Forces of Japan.

It was in the 1970s and 1980s that Dutch leftists – communists, socialists, Christian leftists – joined the anti-NATO ‘peace movement' which was basically a continuation of traditional neutralist and pacifist tendencies in Dutch politics. Influential members of the Dutch Labor Party strongly sympathized with the peace movement, although communist calls to leave NATO were ignored by them. The so-called ‘New Left' was making deep inroads into the Labor Party, which was a major cause of concern for the Christian Democrats from the CDA party as well as for conservative liberals from the VVD party (Joris Voorhoeve, Frits Bolkestein, Jaap Rietkerk, and others).

The above mentioned Mient Jan Faber played a leading role in the Dutch peace movement at the time. But after two successful NATO interventions in the Balkans (Bosnia and Kosovo), he quickly changed his mind. In 2003, he was one of the very few influential leftists who supported the invasion of Iraq which he regarded as a kind of ‘humanitarian intervention' (military intervention with a view to delivering a nation or country from a brutal dictator – an old concept in international law). The Dutch Labor Party was strongly opposed to the Iraqi invasion, but the ruling Christian Democratic Party supported it – leading to yet another clash between Christian Democrats and Social Democrats.

Today, the same Dutch Labor Party finds it very difficult to resist calls for a total break with NATO policies vis à vis Afghanistan. They now want to give in and leave that poor country as quickly as possible. Although they deny it, of course, they don't seem to care about the outcome of such a fatal decision. ‘Let others do the job,' they say. A very lame argument indeed. It is, as Mient Jan Faber correctly points out, ‘escape behavior' and ‘a victory for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.'

Pure party politics at its worst

Why did the Dutch Labor Party force a cabinet crises over this issue right now? They supported Dutch troop deployment in Afghanistan, the so-called ‘Task Force Uruzgan,' when it began in 2006. They also supported a cabinet decision to renew the Dutch military commitment in 2007 – provided it would be for two years only. They were one of the three ruling parties in the coalition government. In the second half of 2009, the CDA was pressing for another extension of the Afghanistan mission. Dutch military presence and aid turned out to be rather effective, to discontinue the mission now would certainly not benefit the local population, Dutch CDA Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and CDA Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, argued. They were supported by the Christian Union coalition party but not by the Labor Party.

The leader of the Dutch Labor Party, Deputy Prime Minister Wouter Bos, agreed, however, that Verhagen would discuss with NATO Headquarters in Brussels ‘possible options' for a continuation of the Dutch mission in a different manner. It was agreed that NATO would first have to make a formal request to that effect. When NATO complied with that requirement, prominent Labor Party politicians quickly said they remained totally opposed to the continuation of the Dutch military presence in Afghanistan. However, Bos and at least one other Labor Party minister agreed with the two other coalition partners on Friday 12 February, ‘to keep options open.' Indeed, this was also the contents of a formal Netherlands Cabinet Ministers' letter to NATO. Five days later, on Wednesday 17 February, Bos suddenly vetoed any further discussion on this issue. For some reason, he was now in a hurry and pressed for a negative response to NATO's request before the self-imposed deadline of Saturday, 20 February.

Naturally, Balkenende and Verhagen were not amused. Consequently, the coalition government fell on Saturday around 3:30 a.m. I saw it happen on Dutch TV.

Why was Bos in such a hurry? It was because of party politics. The fate of the Afghan people was subordinated to domestic considerations of pure party politics at its worst. There will be municipal elections in Holland on March 3, and the Labor Party was not doing well in the polls. Bos felt that a tough stance on Dutch troop withdrawal would improve the party's prospects in the elections. Indeed, after he and his party left the coalition government, polls showed a slightly more favorable result for the party.

But this is not it. Bos was also a fairly able Minister of Finance. He knew quite well that tough austerity measures will have to be taken in the course of 2010 – of the kind that Greece is belatedly taking right now. By leaving the Dutch government now, Bos and his party will escape immediate responsibility for unpopular government budget cuts and austerity measures. There is a 35 billion euro deficit which is rapidly growing. (It will soon be 50 billion if nothing is done.)

The strain of massive non-Western immigration

Last but not least, there is the huge problem of the rapid and unwelcome influx of asylum seekers from countries like Somalia and Iraq, costing the Dutch tax payer a huge amount of money. It all began in 2007 when the Labor Party successfully pressed for the regularization of 26,000 asylum seekers whose applications had previously been rejected by both the Justice Ministry and Dutch courts.

The issues of immigration and the economy will be the most important topics of the parliamentary snap elections in June. The Dutch Labor Party has a vested interest in continuous immigration from non-Western countries since most non-Western immigrants vote for leftist parties. City councils dominated by the Dutch Labor Party and other leftist parties continue to provide illegal immigrants with accomodation and money. (In the city of Groningen, for example.) The longer these illegal immigrants stay in Holland, the less likely they are going to leave, and once ‘regularized,' they will, no doubt, soon join the ranks of Labor or Green Party voters.

In several Dutch cities there are even election posters in Turkish and Moroccan. By the way, most Muslims in Holland are also opposed to the military intervention in Afghanistan. Some day, native Dutch might wake up and discover it is no longer their own country they are living in. There were about 75,000 non-Western immigrants back in 1972, in 1996 there were more than half a million and early 2009 the number had even risen to 1,8 million. This exponential growth puts a huge strain on society, not just in Holland but in the rest of Europe as well. Jack A. Goldstone even claims that ‘current levels of immigration from developing to developed countries are paltry compared to those that the forces of supply and demand might soon create across the world.' Additional mass migrations are to be expected from Africa and the Muslim world and more of the same will not help to solve our already immense problems.


Emerson Vermaat, a law graduate from Leiden University, the Netherlands, is an investigative reporter. Website: emersonvermaat.com.


Das Schwarze Korps (official organ of the Nazi SS, 1935-'45), January 1, 1942, p. 5 (‘Über die Todesverachtung der Japaner'). Bundesarchiv Berlin (library).

Bradley F. Smith and Agnes F. Peterson, Heinrich Himmler Geheimreden 1933-1945 (Frankfurt: Propyläen Verlag, 1974), p. 181 (Himmler's preference for fanatical imams or Islamic preachers). A unique collection of Himmler's secret speeches.

Rede des Reichsführers SS und Reichsinnenminister Himmler auf der Tagung der RPA-Leiter am 28. Januar 1944, Bundesarchiv Berlin, BArch NS 19/4012, p. 66, 67. ‘Ich habe gegen den Islam gar nichts; denn er erzieht mir dieser Division (i.e. the Muslim SS ‘Handschar' Division, V.) seine Menschen und verspricht ihnen den Himmel, wenn sie gekämpft haben und im Kampf gefallen sind. Eine für Soldaten praktische und Sympathische Religion!' Himmler was also in charge of all the concentration and extermination camps and was directly responsible for the death of six million Jews and countless others. After he had been taken prisoner by the British in May 1945, he said: ‘Am I responsible for the crimes of my subordinates?'

Winston S. Churchill, Never give in! The best of Winston Churchill's speeches (London: Pimlico/Random House, 2004), p. 204, 252.

Jan van Bethem, ‘Nederlandse terugtocht tijdens aanval. Midden in de grootste ISAF-actie in Afghanistan haakt Nederland af,' in: Nederlands Dagblad (Barneveld), February 22, 2010, p. 7. ‘Dit is namelijk in lijn met de tactiek van de Taliban, zoals ze die in 2007 naar buiten hebben gebracht. Terwijl Nederland instemde met een langer verblijf in Uruzgan, maakte de Taliban haar doelwitten bekend: de parlementen van de NAVO-landen. "Wij zijn er zeker van dat we zullen winnen. Er zal veel ophef ontstaan in de westerse parlementen, waarom hun zonen de dood moeten vinden in Afghanistan. En dat betekent dat we hen uiteindelijk zullen verslaan.'

Fernando Reinares, ‘Al-Qaeda is back,' in: The National Interest, January 8, 2010. (New evidence of Al-Qaeda tie to Madrid blast.) Professor Reinares is one the best European terrorism experts whose articles I quoted on previous occasions.

Eva Ludemann and Mark van Assen, ‘Alleen de Taliban zijn er blij mee,' in: Dagblad De Pers (Amsterdam), February 22, 2010, p. 5.

NRC Handelsblad (Rotterdam/Amsterdam), February 22, 2010. p. 1 (‘VS beducht voor domino-effect'), p. 4 (‘Nederland doorbreekt eenheid NAVO').

Mient Jan Faber, ‘De PvdA wil simpelweg de oorlog de oorlog laten,' in: De Volkskrant, November 18, 2010, p. 11. This article was published four days before the Dutch government collapsed. ‘Maar niemand in de PvdA durft het vluchtgedrag te bestempelen als een nederlaag, conform alle oorlogswetten. Mocht het CDA (=Christian Democratic Party, V.) door de knieën gaan omwille van het behoud van de ocalitie, dan kunnen deze zomer onze tegenstanders, Al Qaida en de Taliban, het vertrek van Nederland uit Uruzgan bijschrijven als een overwinning.'

J.A. Emerson Vermaat, ‘Neutralist tendencies in the Netherlands,' in: The World Today (Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, 1979). ‘The World Today' was a RIIA monthly on foreign affairs.

J.J.C. Voorhoeve, Peace, Profits and Principles. A Study of Dutch Foreign Policy 1945-1977 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1979, doctoral dissertation). I met Professor Voorhoeve on many occasions after his doctoral dissertation. He was very concerned about the rise of the Dutch peace movement at the time, characterized by him as ‘neutralist' and ‘pacifist.' Voorhoeve also assisted me in publishing an important article in the United States which he later showed to other VVD-party members.

Mient Jan Faber: personal observations by the author, 1977-2003. I met Mr. Faber on many occasions.

De Volkskrant (Amsterdam), February 13, 2010, p. 1 (‘Bos wel op de hoogte van contact met NAVO'). Bos: ‘De minister van Buitenlandse Zaken (=Verhagen, V.) heeft in goed overleg met betrokken bewindslieden contact onderhouden met de secretaris-generaal van de NAVO en deze heeft, in het licht van die contacten, het inmiddels bekend gemaakte verzoek aan Nederland gericht.' (Bos admits that he was aware of Verhagen's conversations with NATO General Secretary Rasmussen and that NATO's subsequent request was a result of these conversations.)

De Volkskrant, February 17, 2010, p. 1 (‘Verhagen: Bos wist van verzoek NAVO over Afghanistan').

De Telegraaf (Amsterdam), February 12, 2010, p. 1 (‘Dubbel spel PvdA'). ‘Partij akkoord met NAVO-verzoek, en zegt dan nee.'

De Telegraaf, February 22, 2010, p. 11 (‘NAVO in hemd gezet'). ‘Bondgenootschap voelt zich geschoffeerd door PvdA.'

NRC Handelsblad, February 19, 2010, p. 1 (‘Rasmussen kon zijn oren niet geloven'). ‘In NAVO-kringen is er al maanden verbazing en irritatie over Nederland. In een tijd dat bijna alle NAVO-landen extra troepen sturen naar Afghanistan, zou Nederland ophouden met zijn missie in Uruzgan.' (‘NATO circles': While nearly all other NATO countries are sending more troops to Afghanistan, the Dutch are going to withdraw.)

Nederlands Dagblad, February 19, 2010, p. 1 (‘Optreden Bos drijft PvdA in het nauw'). Also editorial comment ‘Provinciaal'(=‘parochial') on page 1: ‘Daarbij doet de PvdA het – met als uitzondering van een korte opleving begin vorig jaar – sinds 2007 onafgebroken slecht in de peilingen. Met als resultaat dat de partij houvast zoekt in geharnaste standpunten.' (‘Dutch Labor Party – PvdA – seeks to compensate bad results in the polls by taking a tough stance on several issues.)

NRC Handelsblad, February 18, 2010, p. 3 (‘Het is campagnetaal van Wouter Bos').

Pauw & Witteman (Talkshow on Dutch TV), February 22, 2010. CDA ministers Piet Hein Donner and Ab Klink: ‘Vrijdag (12 February) heeft kabinet, óók Bos, een brief aan de NAVO gestuurd om opties open te houden. Halverwege de week daarop kwam er ineens een ultimatum van Bos.' ‘Vrijdag besluit het kabinet: (We zullen) alle opties bekijken, met instemming van Bos. De woensdag daarop zegt Bos dat alleen zijn oplossing de enige is en anders doen we het niet.'

Syp Wynia, ‘Danse Macabre,' in: Elsevier (Amsterdam), February 13, 2010, p. 47. On the state of the Dutch economy and the deficit.

NRC Handelsblad, February 22, 2010, p. 9 (‘Crisis bij een crisis...'). Editorial article: ‘Economy betaalt prijs voor de val van het kabinet.'

Algemeen Dagblad (Rotterdam), February 17, 2010, p. 7 (‘Kritiek op Turkse en Marokkaanse verkiezingsposters'). Turkish and Moroccan election posters (municipal elections); De Telegraaf, February 19, 2010, p. 6 (‘Stemposters geven verkeerd signaal'); De Volkskrant, February 16, 2010, p. 3 (‘Incident in Delfshaven: PvdA-poster in het Turks').

Elsevier, February 20, 2010 (‘Immigratie: Nederland verkleurt'). ‘De meeste asielzoekers komen sinds enkele jaren uit Somalië en Irak.' ‘In Amsterdam, dat ca. 10 procent van alle immigranten ontvangt, strijken steeds grotere aantallen Ghanezen neer.' (Most asylum seekers are from Somalia and Iraq.' ‘Amsterdam is witnessing an ever larger influx of Ghanians.)

Arie van der Zwan, ‘Waar blijft de ombuiging in het immigratiebeleid?' in: Socialisme & Democratie, 2002, number 4, p. 43. (Non-Western immigrants in 1972 and 1996.)

RIVM, Nationale Atlas Volksgezondheid (‘Niet-westerse allochtonen'), December 2009. Non-Western immigrants in the Netherlands in 2009: 1,8 million.

Jack A., Goldstone, ‘The New Population Bomb,' in Foreign Affairs, January/February 2010, p. 37. I do not agree with Goldstone's simplistic conclusion on page 42 that mass immigration ‘can serve as a safety valve for all.' (In other words, we must open our borders and let everyone in.) See, for example, what is happening in the no-go areas in North American cities, where Latin American drug violence and honor crimes have been exported to the US and Canada. The banlieus of Paris are just another example. In Britain, the bulk of terrorist plots originate in the Muslim community. In Holland, hospital staff and even police officials are receiving death threats from Moroccan or Turkish family members or other non-native criminals who say: ‘I know where you, your wife and your children live.' (More than 2000 incidents occurred in Dutch hospitals last year, doctors and nurses are terrified.) In Brussels, Albanian gangs are distributing kalashnikovs with the equally terrified police not being able to do anything about it.

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