German President sacked for admitting truth on Afghanistan

This video says about itself:

Germany in the dock over Kunduz airstrike

20 March 2013

Relatives of Afghans killed by an airstrike ordered by a German NATO officer in northern Afghanistan have taken Germany’s government to court.

The country has already paid more than 400,000 dollars – or 330,000 euros – in what it calls aid. The families from Kunduz want ten times that amount.

At the courthouse in Bonn, federal government lawyer Mark Zimmer said: “Of course I can understand these people because they suffered a terrible fate. At the same time, it is our task to fend off this claim because Bonn District Court is not the right place for it. There are rights based on international law and there are payments which have already been made, also by the German government.”

Karim Popal, a lawyer for the plaintiffs countered: “The goodwill aid payments of 5,000 dollars were handed out in a men’s assembly, so a lot of orphans and widows received nothing. A lot of strangers lined their pockets. Some of our clients received this aid, others did not.”

Scores of people were killed or maimed in September 2009 when two stolen fuel tankers were hit in the airstrike.

The planes were American, but the order came from a German commander.

Germany’s lower house of parliament said it was ‘one of the most serious incidents involving the German army since World War Two.’

From The Local in Germany:

President Köhler resigns

Published: 31 May 10 14:12 CET
Updated: 31 May 10 14:24 CET

German President Horst Köhler said Monday he was stepping down, following criticism of recent comments he made about the country’s military mission in Afghanistan.

“I announce my resignation from the office of the presidency with immediate affect,” Köhler said in Berlin.

He said he decision came after withering criticism of comments he made connecting Germany’s military deployment in Afghanistan with the country’s economic interests.

More woes for Merkel as president steps down in Afghan row: here.

The unexpected and sudden resignation of President Horst Köhler on Monday afternoon has further intensified the crisis of the German government: here.

Friendly Fire Casualties in Afghanistan: German Military Criticized for Deadly Mistakes: here.

USA: The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Mutilated Our Economy: here.

Corporations are profiting from wars and lobbying politicians for more. The US and the rest of the world cannot afford the rising personal and financial costs of permanent war: here.

Germany is Paying $5,000 in Compensation to Kunduz Bombing Victims’ Families: here.

Afghanistan: Child Brides Escape Marriage, but Not Lashes: here.

Within US and European ruling circles, there are now clear signs of concern for the viability of the Kandahar offensive and the far-reaching implications of failure: here.

64 thoughts on “German President sacked for admitting truth on Afghanistan

  1. 2 Christian aid groups suspended in Afghanistan

    Associated Press Writer

    Updated: May 31, 2010, 7:43 am / 0 comments
    Published: May 31, 2010, 6:08 am

    Afghan authorities suspended two Christian foreign aid groups Monday on suspicion of proselytizing in the strictly Islamic nation and said a follow-up investigation would include whether other groups were trying to convert Muslims.

    U.S.-based Church World Service and Norwegian Church Aid will not be allowed to operate while the allegations, aired Sunday on Afghan television, are investigated, said Mohammad Hashim Mayar, the deputy director of the Afghan government office that oversees nongovernment organizations, known as NGOs.

    Mayar said officials did not have any evidence of proselytizing beyond the television report.

    An investigation commission including officers from the National Security and Interior Ministries had been appointed, he said.

    “They are investigating whether the groups were proselytizing or not,” Mayar said. “They will report back and also assess what is the impact of closing these NGOs. The investigation will include whether other groups or individuals are involved.”

    The two groups could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Proselytizing is illegal in Afghanistan, as it is in many Muslim countries. It is a hot-button issue for many Afghans sensitive to the influence of the scores of foreign aid groups operating in the country to help it recover from decades of war.

    The television report, which interviewed local police saying they had heard rumors of the charities’ proselytizing, triggered a demonstration by several hundred students at Kabul University on Monday.

    The group shouted deaths threats toward foreigners who seek to convert Muslims and demanded that the government expel anyone who tried, said Mohammad Najib, a professor at the school who witnessed the protest.

    The group blocked the road outside the university’s main gate for more than an hour before the demonstrators moved off peacefully, Najib said. Police stood by but did not intervene.

    Church World Service is a cooperative ministry of more than 30 Protestant and Orthodox denominations in the United States and works in more than 80 countries. It is headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana.

    Norwegian Church Aid operates in about 125 countries, providing long-term development and emergency response aid, according to its website.

    Associated Press Writer Rahim Faiez in Kabul contributed to this report.


  2. Top Canadian Commander Sacked in Sex Scandal

    Updated: 3 hours 18 minutes ago

    (May 31) — Canada’s top commander in Afghanistan, who was supposed to lead NATO’s Kandahar offensive this summer, has been fired for allegedly having an affair with a female soldier on his staff.

    Brig. Gen. Daniel Menard, who is married with two children, was Canada’s top soldier with a decorated 26-year career. He was based in southern Afghanistan and was due to lead what’s expected to be one of the largest battles so far of the nine-year Afghan war. NATO’s push to oust Taliban fighters from their spiritual stronghold in Kandahar is expected to start within weeks.

    But Menard, 42, was relieved of his command over the weekend after Canada’s military brass became aware of allegations that he was having an affair with a female subordinate on his command staff.

    He’s believed to be the first Canadian officer to be dismissed on the battlefield since World War II.

    The military issued a brief statement late Saturday saying that Menard has been replaced as commander of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan after allegations concerning “inappropriate conduct” related to Canada’s policies on personal relationships and fraternization.

    The military has lost confidence in Menard’s capacity to command, and “an investigation into the circumstances related to the allegations is being launched,” it said. The statement appeared on the Canadian military’s website, and details of the allegations appeared in several Canadian newspapers.

    The scandal comes just a week after Menard was fined $3,500 by the military for accidentally firing his rifle near a group of officers at a Kandahar air base as they waited to board a U.S. Army helicopter. No one was hurt. The commander had just returned from Canada on a three-week vacation, during which time he faced a court martial over the rifle incident.

    Now he and the female soldier allegedly involved, who wasn’t identified, have both been ordered to leave Afghanistan immediately. They face possible courts martial.

    “Sexual activity or any other form of intimate contact in any context with another individual is prohibited anywhere in the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Area of Operations,” reads NATO’s policy for troops on deployment.

    Menard is married to a fellow Canadian soldier, Maj. Julie Fortin, who commands a logistics company at a military base in Quebec. The couple have two children.

    Besides being a national embarrassment for Canada, Menard’s removal wields a blow to NATO’s preparations for the upcoming Kandahar offensive. As a commander there, Menard was in charge of American troops as well as Canada’s 2,800 soldiers, who are due to be withdrawn from Afghanistan next year.

    It also could increase scrutiny of the lifestyle of soldiers in Afghanistan. The U.S. general who oversees all NATO troops in the country, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, recently ordered the closing of fast-food outlets and other comforts at U.S bases there.

    Menard was a rising star in Canada’s military, reportedly well-liked across ranks. His signature project in Afghanistan was creating a “ring of stability” around Kandahar city, considered a crucial stronghold for both the Taliban and NATO forces. He also served previously in Germany, Bosnia and Haiti.

    Canadian military experts said his storied career is probably over.

    “This is not something he will survive,” Michel Drapeau, a retired colonel and military law expert at the University of Ottawa, told The Toronto Star. “There is no harsher penalty, as I see it.”


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