< HOME  Wednesday, October 25, 2006

israeli F-16s fire over German ships

Two Israeli warplanes have fired over a German naval vessel patrolling off the Lebanese coast, the defence ministry in Berlin says.

Two Israeli F-16 fighters flew low over the ship, firing twice, Der Tagesspiegel newspaper quoted a German junior defence minister as telling a parliamentary committee.

The jets also activated infrared countermeasures to ward off any rocket attack, the paper said, in an advance release ahead of Thursday's edition.

The minister did not say when the incident happened or what had caused it.

"I can confirm that there was an incident," a ministry spokesman said on Wednesday. He declined to give further details as an investigation was under way.

An Israeli military spokeswoman denied that the incident had taken place.
Surprise, surprise.
Germany assumed command of a United Nations naval force off Lebanon 10 days ago, and has sent eight ships and 1,000 service personnel to join the international peace operation in the region.

The naval force is charged with preventing weapons-smuggling and helping maintain a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah.

The Israeli air force has come under heavy criticism for continuing flights over southern Lebanon since a 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah ended on August 14 with a UN-sponsored truce and the expansion of the United Nations peacekeeping force.

Amir Peretz, Israel's defence minister, said at the weekend that the flights would continue because of alleged arms smuggling to Hezbollah.

The Lebanese government and the UN say the overflights, which Israel had conducted since ending its 22-year occupation of south Lebanon in 2000, violate both the latest truce and the terms of Israel's earlier pullout.

Anyone who thinks israel is finished with Lebanon can wakeup now.

The battle has just begun.


At Thursday, October 26, 2006, Blogger The Great Revealer said...


German “peacekeepers” caught up in abuse scandal in Afghanistan
10/26/2006 5:15:00 AM GMT


A copy of Bild which features photographs of German soldiers playing with a human skull

Nearly three years after the U.S. abuse scandal in Iraq first came to light, another one involving the German “peacekeepers” in Afghanistan has just surfaced threatening to tarnish the image of the entire NATO-led force in the country.

The German army is investigating allegations of misconduct of German soldiers in Afghanistan.

Germany’s Bild newspaper published shocking photos depicting scandalous acts by German troops in Afghanistan. In one image a German soldier appeared playing with a human skull on a military vehicle.

“It's absolutely clear that we cannot tolerate such behaviour by German soldiers,” Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung said, ordering an investigation into the incident and pledging that any soldier found to be involved in such scandalous acts would be punished, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Soldiers appearing in the appalling pictures published by Germany's biggest-selling daily, Bild, are believed to be German “peacekeepers”, part of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), deployed near the capital, Kabul, in early 2003.

In one of the pictures, a soldier places the skull on the cablecutter at the front of a patrol vehicle, bearing the German flag and the acronym for the international force, ISAF.

In another, one soldier wearing a bullet-proof vest poses with the skull next to his exposed penis.

The paper said the photographs were taken in spring 2003.

Soldiers would have to reckon with disciplinary consequences 'and possible criminal prosecution' if investigation proved the photos’ credibility.

"We are conducting the investigation at full steam,” Jung said. If the incident is confirmed, he added, those involved will face "disciplinary or even criminal measures." Jung described the barbarous behaviour of soldiers as "diametrically opposed to the values and ways of behavior" that German troops are taught in training.

"Anyone who behaves this way has no place in the Bundeswehr," Jung said.

“It is revolting and disgusting,” said Bernhard Gertz, chairman of the German Armed Forces Association, responsible for German soldiers in Afghanistan.

Under a headline reading "German soldiers desecrate a dead person," Bild said that the skull apparently came from a mass grave, but it didn’t elaborate on whether it belonged to an Afghan or dated back to the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.

The paper also didn’t say how it obtained the photos.

"These pictures arouse repugnance and horror," the Defense Minister told reporters.

Two of the soldiers who appeared in the scandalous photos had been identified and are being investigated, Military chief of staff Gen. Wolfgang Schneiderhan said, adding that one of them is still with the military and the other has left the army.

"The matter has been handed over to prosecutors," Schneiderhan said.

Last week investigators launched a probe into allegations that German Special Forces in Afghanistan abused a prisoner named Murat Kurnaz, a German-born Turkish citizen who was later kept at the U.S.-run detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Kurnaz complained that German soldiers slammed his head into the ground during interrogations at a camp near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar in 2002.

Schneiderhan said he rejects any attempt to draw comparison between the German soldiers’ scandalous acts and the U.S. abuse scandal in Iraq which surfaced in April 2004 with the emergence of photos depicting sexual and physical abuse of Iraqi detainees at the hands of American troops at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib jail near the Iraqi capital.

Germany has 2,800 troops, part of 30,000-strong NATO-led “peacekeeping” force deployed in Afghanistan. Last month, Bundestag, or lower house of the German parliament, announced extending their mandate in Afghanistan until October next year.

It seems that this is the only form of stability and democracy Western forces bring to the thirld world nations they're deployed in to monitor "peace".

First it was the U.S. and UK in Iraq and now German "peacekeepers in Afghanistan.

At Thursday, October 26, 2006, Blogger The Great Revealer said...


Israel accused of attacking German ship in Lebanon
10/26/2006 5:01:00 AM GMT

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(Reuters Photo) F-16 fighter jet passes an Israeli flag after landing at Ramon air base in Israel

Germany and Israel are at odds over an incident involving attack on a German naval vessel patrolling the Lebanon coast as part of an international peacekeeping force, reported Reuters.

While German Defence Ministry spokesman Thomas Raabe says that six Israeli F-16 jets had flown very low over the German vessel Tuesday morning, indirectly accusing Israel of carrying out the attack on the German vessel, Israel denies that its air force planes attacked the German navy ship.

Germany's Defence Ministry confirmed that the incident did occur, but didn’t accuse Israel directly of carrying out the attack.

German daily Der Tagesspiegel reported that two German junior defence minister told a parliamentary committee that Israeli F-16 fighters had flown low over the ship, firing twice and activating infra-red countermeasures to foil rocket attacks.

A German helicopter took off from a German vessel near the Israel-Lebanon border without having coordinated this with Israel, which prompted Israel send fighter jets into the air which later forced the helicopter return to the vessel and land back onto it, Israeli army spokeswoman claimed.

The incident took place off Israel's coast, just south of the border with Lebanon, the spokeswoman told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

The German vessels is part of a United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) which is monitoring August 14 ceasefire that put an end to Israel’s month-long war in Lebanon against Hezbollah.

UN Resolution 1701 that ended the 33-day war in Lebanon states that the UN naval force is also responsible for monitoring arms transfer to Hezbollah fighters through the coast of Lebanon.

UNIFIL has repeatedly warned Israel to stop its overflights over Lebanon as they endanger the UN mission deployed in the area. But Israel insists on ignoring the UNFIL calls, arguing that overflights are needed to monitor arms transfers to Hezbollah.

It increased its overflights over the country in recent days instead of halting them, and staged several mock raids over southern Lebanon and Beirut.

Germany, which commands the United Nations naval Interim Force (UNIFIL), has deployed eight ships and 1,000 military personnel in the area to monitor the UN-brokered ceasefire as well as arms smuggling.

Israel’s recent offensive in Lebanon killed over 1,400 innocent civilians and inflicted enormous damage to the country’s infrastructure.

At Thursday, October 26, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

tgr, thanks for posting the article about the German soldiers - appalling.

I'm not surprised at the responses of shock coming from German officials. I could never picture the few Germans I met doing something like that.

However, there are some young people who are just that stupid and clueless about even their own humanity to do something that insensitive and repugnant.

It seems that youth in the west are deliberately de-moralized to enable them to be better worker and killer bees. When you have no sense of society and humanity you tend to work harder for money and self-gratification.

At Thursday, October 26, 2006, Blogger The Sphinx said...

Was going to post that yesterday, but there was an error on blogger.. Anyway who didn't see that coming..

At Friday, October 27, 2006, Blogger Eric Vaughan said...

I'll tell you, those soldiers playing with the skull was awfully convenient having happened just before an Israeli attack on German NATO forces. I have to believe that Prince Harry's swastika episode occuring on the 60th anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation (and England's public announcement of withdrawing from Iraq) and Mel Gibson's "Jews start all the wars" incident just as women and children were being in a wholesale slaughter in Lebanon is sort of like getting to write your own lottery ticket just after the draw. Nobody really believes it, but it beats the dehumanizing-of-your-opponent propaganda of the days of yore, I guess.


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