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Afghan politician calls German air strike payouts 'laughable'

DDP/The Local · 6 Aug 2010, 10:50

Published: 06 Aug 2010 10:50 GMT+02:00

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On Thursday the German Defence Ministry announced it would give the amount, equivalent to €3,800, to the families of the 102 civilians killed or injured in the NATO bombardment.

Former Commerce Minister Amin Farhang said that $5,000 - equivalent to about 20,000 Afghanis, the local currency - was not very much money in Afghanistan.

“This sum is laughable,” he told German broadcaster Radio Eins.

Farhang said he’d discussed the payments with other Afghan officials, “and many were disappointed here in Kabul.”

On September 4, 2009, German Col. Georg Klein ordered US aircraft to fire on two petrol tankers hijacked by the Taliban. Although the trucks were stuck in a dry river bed, Klein deemed them to be a threat to the nearby German camp.

After initially claiming only Taliban fighters were killed, the German government later admitted scores of civilians were also killed. After an investigation in which the Bundeswehr co-operated with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, it was concluded that 91 civilians were killed and 11 seriously injured.

On Friday the Defence Ministry insisted the payments to be made this month were not Germany’s legal obligation but a “support payment” to help relatives of those killed or injured.

Story continues below…

Farhang said he was also disappointed that Germany had refused to refer to the money as reparations.

“I’m not talking here about guilt or innocence here. But people were killed. And the Afghan blood should not be traded so cheaply,” he said.

The Defence Ministry had justified the payments as similar to the "type and fashion typical for the country," as the relatives of five Afghan soldiers were paid the same amount after they were accidentally killed by Bundeswehr soldiers in a “friendly fire” accident on Good Friday.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:39 August 6, 2010 by pepsionice
You have to rate this against the standards of the country. For a typical Afghan....this $5k offer rates as like $500k to an Afghan. I could see doubling this, but you come back to this scenario of a bunch of guys huddled around a stolen gas fuel truck and buying black-market fuel. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time for the wrong reason.....isn't something that bumps up your compensation deal for a dead relative.
11:48 August 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Wrong place = their home

Wrong time = during a war started by Americans

Wrong reason = survival

Yep. They deserved to die.
11:59 August 6, 2010 by tallady

Your Assessment is scary..hopefully you are not representative of Germany.

The war.. I thought was the result of an attack on the USA by Bin Laden who was supported by the Taliban,,

People wanting fuel was their fault????? thats a reach..

They deserve to die ..where is your Humanity??? sounds a little N..z to me.
12:18 August 6, 2010 by Wabit
The message to the peole has been clear for many years now, and that message states: STAY AWAY FROM THE TALIBAN. This is not a new warning but has been repeated time and time again over the past years. You remember the old saying.."Show me who your friend is and I will tell you who you are". We are not at war with Afghans but we are at war with theTaliban.

As for the 5k payout, that is more than generous... Many Afghans would need to work very hard for many years to earn that kind of money if at all!! As for Afghan officials saying it is not enough, this may have something to do with being able to keep some of the money for themselves ie.. administration fee's ha ha ha ha.. The country is corrupt to the core and when the payout from Germany is handed over, then everyone from all levels will have their hand in the pot. I doubt very much if the so called victims will ever see 5k.

I still fail to understand why we do not destroy the Poppy Fields? There must be a damn good reason for not doing so yet what that reason is, completely escapes me?????
13:04 August 6, 2010 by OMFG
@tallady - I think it is quite obvious that Prufrock's post is a nice example of sarcasm. Your comments and questions should rather be addressed to pepsionice.

As for the 5k, I agree with Wabit, plus I think it was a mistake to even offer anything, considering that there might have been less complaints from Afghan officials if the sleeping dog hadn't even been woken... Sad, but that's my opinion. I wonder how much money (or other type of "compensation") other countries involved in all these wars are offering to relatives of civilian casualties - if offering anything at all.
13:06 August 6, 2010 by marimay
I'm sure those retards who got themselves stuck in the tunnel are being paid more.
15:16 August 6, 2010 by tallady
Yes OMFG in rereading the comments you are most likely correct. I was on my 1st cup of coffee.

5k would go alot further in Afghanistan than the 13,500. the USA gave families under the Bush Admin.
16:01 August 6, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Eh. Look, if you're hanging around with the wrong people at night (the Taliban), and you're doing things you shouldn't (taking fuel from an obvious NATO vehicle), in the wrong place (within observation range of a coalition military base), you're eventually going to get hurt. That has nothing to do with being in a war zone or not, that's a pretty universal rule.

I'm sorry, but in war, you don't always have the luxury to come up to a crowd and ask them what, exactly, they think they are doing. I'm not arguing whether the war i just, or should have happened, or whatever. But it is a war, and innocent people get killed in war - more so when they do stupid things like this. That's all there is to it. It's not anyone's fault at that point except fate.
16:22 August 6, 2010 by deutschamer
The Taliban kills civilians ON PURPOSE. Plus, since they don't wear uniforms and mix with the civilian population, the blood of civilian collateral deaths caused by NATO attacks is also on the Taliban's hands. Not wearing uniforms is a violation of the Geneva convention which makes the Taliban unlawful combatants and puts the civilian population at risk.

According to Antony Beevor, a British historian, the western allies killed more French civilians during WWII than the Germans did. That's because they bombed and shelled French towns and villages to rubble before they sent in tanks and infantry. It was a decision made with eyes open to save British and American soldiers lives at the expense of French civilians. Of course if too many western allied soldiers were killed, France may not have been liberated, at least not by the western allies. Perhaps all of Germany and much of France would have been taken by the Soviet Union.
17:26 August 6, 2010 by elboertjie

'I still fail to understand why we do not destroy the Poppy Fields? There must be a damn good reason for not doing so yet what that reason is, completely escapes me?????'

The CIA owns those fields as they are the ones in charge of drug flows into the USA and now also into Russia.

Search the internet for: 'cia drugs'

You will be schocked.
17:58 August 6, 2010 by auniquecorn

Yea, your right there E. Everything on the internet is true.
18:26 August 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010
The Taliban are unlawful combatants? By whose terms? They were there long before Bush invaded Afghanistan (in fact he entertained them in DC), and they will be there long after the US and NATO forces leave that godforsaken plot of land with their tails between their legs. Nothing is going to change except the death count. The Afgans may be primitive, the Taliban may be bad guys, they may be barbarous bastards, but it is THEIR country -- not yours, not mine. The unlawful combatants there are the American and NATO troops. How many more thousands of people, innocent and otherwise, have to die before the invaders are held accountable for this obscene war? Pack up and go home, and then you won't have to worry about paying off the families of the people you've massacred.
18:34 August 6, 2010 by snorge
Just like Iraqis and Middle Easterners in general, do nothing but always "give me, give me, give me...
19:02 August 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Nothing like an unsupported generalization to strengthen one's argument.
20:33 August 6, 2010 by marimay
I'm gonna have to agree with Prufrock2010.
00:34 August 7, 2010 by DrGideonPolya
Prufrock's sarcasm is well put.

Germany is involved in genocidal war crimes again (again - remember the 0.1 million-victim Namibian Genocide, the 1.5 million-victim WW1 Armenian Genocide by its ally Turkey, and the WW2 Holocaust that killed 30 million Slavs, Jews and Gypsies) ) in Occupied Afghanistan (post-invasion violent deaths 1 million, post-invasion non-violent deaths from deprivation 3.5 million, post-invasion under-5 infant deaths 2.4 million, refugees total 3-4 million plus a further 2.5 million refugees generated by warmonger Obama in NW Pakistan - an Afghan Holocaust and an Afghan Genocide as per Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention (for UN agency-derived details see "Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide": https://sites.google.com/site/afghanholocaustafghangenocide/ ).

The $5,000 compensation per person killed cost is an insult to humanity - it ignores non-violent excess deaths due to German and US alliance war crimes (e.g. 0.3 million under-5 Afghan infants die each year, 90% avoidably and due to German and US alliance violation of the Geneva Convention that demands that an Occupier provide life-sustaining food and medical supplies "to the fullest extent of the means available to it" - WHO informs that annual per capita total health expenditure permitted by Occupiers Germany and the US Alliance is only US$29 in Occupied Afghanistan as compared to US$3,328 in Germany).

According to the US EPA the risk avoidance-based cost of one American human life is US$6.9 million - if one believes (as do all decent folk) that "all men are created equal" then Germany and the US Alliance face a mortality-related bill alone in Occupied Afghanistan of US$6.9 million per person x 4.5 million persons = US31 trillion (a bill to put the Global Financial Crisis in the shade).
02:01 August 7, 2010 by Prufrock2010
DrGideonPolya --

Your equation is financial. Mine is moral.
06:37 August 9, 2010 by wenddiver
It is laughable, paying somebody, because you killed their relative in a war will not make them like you, so why bother.
19:19 August 20, 2010 by panzerkommandant
there luckey they got anything
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