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Guttenberg on surprise trip to Afghanistan

DDP/DPA/The Local · 11 Dec 2009, 15:46

Published: 11 Dec 2009 08:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Dec 2009 15:46 GMT+01:00

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Guttenberg was accompanied by parliamentary defence experts and he held talks with soldiers after landing at a base in the northern Afghan Kunduz province.

Discussions likely included the controversial September 4 bombardment that killed up to 142 people – many of whom were civilians according to NATO estimates. Since German Col. Georg Klein ordered the bombing of two fuel trucks hijacked by the Taliban there has been intense political fallout.

Amid allegations of a cover-up, the Bundeswehr's chief of staff and Guttenberg's predecessor at the Defence Ministry, Franz Josef Jung, both resigned.

Meanwhile Guttenberg, who took his post in late October, vowed a thorough investigation into the accusations that German defence officials withheld information about the air strike.

“I want the most transparency possible for the parliament and the German people,” Guttenberg said after meeting Bundeswehr commanders in Kunduz.

Story continues below…

But new revelations are putting Guttenberg under increasing political pressure for his initial assessment of the incident.

Weekly magazine Stern said on Wednesday that while the minister has said he did not have access to information seen by his predecessor Jung, he in fact had a report by the International Red Cross that deemed the bombardment contrary to international law and responsible for the deaths of at least 74 civilians.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:28 December 11, 2009 by DrGideonPolya
In 1945 a defeated Germany accepted a post-Holocaust protocol summarized by the acronym CAAAA (C4A) and involving Cessation of the killing, Acknowledgment of the crimes, Apology, Amends and Assertion "never again to anyone". Unfortunately the German Government is grossly violating the CAAAA (C4A) protocol through its complicity in the ongoing Afghan Holocaust and Afghan Genocide with attrendant holocaust denial and genocide denial. The post-2001 Afghan Holocaust (October 2001-December 2009) has been associated with 3.4 million non-violent excess deaths, about 1 million violent deaths (estimated from Iraq war comparisons), 2.4 million under-5 infant deaths (90% avoidable and due to US Alliance war crimes), 3-4 million refugees and a further 2.5 million Pashtun refugees generated by Obama war policies in NW Pakistan - an Afghan Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention. The current "annual death rate" for Occupied Afghan under-5 year old infants under the US Alliance is 7% - as compared to that of 4% (for Poles under the Nazis in WW2), 5% (French Jews under the Nazis and the Nazi-collaborator Vichy régime in WW2), 13% (Australian POWs of the Japanese in WW2) and 19% (Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe). Bring on new Nuremberg Trials for Germans complicit in these appalling, current US Alliance war crimes.
16:04 December 11, 2009 by Frenemy
are you serious?!

(no, really...is the pseudo-intellectual BS above a joke of some kind? its fine if that's what it is, the humor is just lost on me. However, if you ARE trying to make a serious point of some kind, we are gonna have words...).
16:35 December 11, 2009 by DeafJeff
DrGideon, are you high? Are you high?! I love how people like you only see the door for the knob. "Oh, no there is all this killing... blah blah blah buh blah.." You don't know what the H3LL you are talking about! Plain and simple. The deaths occurring without US involvement would be insane. Look how many Hitler whacked on his own...or Stalin...or Idi Amin...or Saddam Hussein...or Bin Laden! Bin Laden was so zealous he came over to the States to whack innocents! Unlike you, I didn't believe what the BBC or the AP or any other unionized politically left media punks had to say about it. I read history books, talk to military and ex-military personnel and have even befriended American-loving refugees. That's right! We have refugees here in the US that are crying their eyes out with joy because we have helped them away from tyranny, and they are happy as anyone can be to be in our land of opportunity. We didn't get to be the land of opportunity in the New World by reading commie crap from Karl Marx or smokin doobie and tripping out on Nietzche! Get real! Put down the newpaper and read a history book. Talk to people who were there! On both sides. Hippies smell!
17:00 December 11, 2009 by Henckel
It's laughable to call what the Budneswehr and other NATO forces are doing in Afghanistan genocide. The Bundeswehr and the others are fighting almost with one arm tied behind their back in an attempt to minimize civilian caualties. What happened at Kunduz on 4 September was the result of human error, not intentional malice. I think Guttenberg was premature in making any characterization of the attack's military appropriateness, or lack thereof, until after a full inquiry has been made by the proper authorities.
18:05 December 11, 2009 by Frenemy
(hence this trip to go and try and calm down a bunch of very pissed off operators...)
19:44 December 11, 2009 by Major B
DrGideon, regardless, Germany was asked Germany to contribute military forces to the Afghanistan conflict as a member of the NATO alliance. NATO agreed to conduct the Afghan military operation, although it is dominated by the U.S. Look, this is the first "almost real" combat for Germany in 68 years. You can't remotely compare the Germany of 2009 to the Germany of 1939.
20:32 December 11, 2009 by maxbrando
You left-wing Germans are all jackasses. You forget your own history and expect perfection thereafter. The next time, we will give all of you to the Russians. This time comes soon.
23:09 December 11, 2009 by pmach
Maxbrando doesn't know the first thing about history as most people don't unless you are an undeniable seeker of real history (long format). Safe to say by Maxbrandoblow comments he seems to be another poorly educated poop like Dr. Gideon.

Such a shame there are so many left wing idiots in the world.

00:50 December 12, 2009 by Frenemy
On a lighter note, even tho the guys in the photo certainly ain't KSK (the guys I worked with wore multicam)...I'm definitely loving how zG-dawg is sportin' a pea coat on tan 5.11 tacticals....rock it! ;-)
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