Doctors Without Borders Condemns Airstrikes On Afghanistan Hospital; US Defense Secretary Promises P

Discussion in 'Think Tank' started by The Wrong Guy, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Doctors Without Borders Condemns Airstrikes On Afghanistan Hospital; US Defense Secretary Promises Probe

    Doctors Without Borders, the international humanitarian group, condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the aerial bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Saturday. The U.S.-confirmed airstrikes killed 12 members of the organization’s staff and at least seven patients, including three children. It also injured 37 other people.

    The attack “constitutes a grave violation of international humanitarian law,” Doctors Without Borders President Meinie Nicolai said in a statement. “We cannot accept that this horrific loss of life will simply be dismissed as ‘collateral damage.’”

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    Kunduz charity hospital bombing 'violates international law' | The Guardian

    A US airstrike that killed up to 20 aid workers and patients in a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Afghanistan constitutes a “grave violation of international law”, the charity’s president has said.

    The bombardment, which occurred early on Saturday morning, went on for more than 30 minutes despite the charity raising the alarm with US and Afghan officials, and destroyed much of the compound in Kunduz.

    The hospital had treated hundreds of people injured after the northern city fell to a dramatic Taliban attack last week, and when government troops launched an assault to reclaim it. Beds and corridors were still crammed with patients and their relatives when it was hit in the early hours of Saturday morning.

    On Saturday evening, the dead included at least 12 members of staff and seven patients – three of whom where children. An MSF source told the Guardian the death toll could rise further.

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    NATO 'Deeply Saddened' After US Bombs Hospital | Sky News

    Medics frantically phoned NATO and Washington as bombs rained down on the hospital, killing at least 19 people.

    Afghan hospital attack in Kunduz possibly criminal - UN | BBC News

    MSF demands explanations after deadly airstrikes hit hospital in Kunduz | MSF International
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  2. Ogsonofgroo Member

    'War' crimes. that is all I haz ta say, just plain sickening that for all the intel, all the war tech, trillions spent killing people in other countries, they still fuck it up. Fucking fuckers are morally bankrupted imho.
    So very saddening that DWB's had to take a hit like that, despicable, they are an amazing bunch of humans and certainly didn't deserve this.

    It is my opinion that as long as munitions manufactures continue to pollute the planet with death machines, to keep making money, the hurt will continue everywhere and affect everyone, I hope the bosses fucking choke on their cocktails, and their (veritable) yachts fail the floating thing.

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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Bombed Afghan hospital staff helpless as patients burned in wards | Reuters

    When the bombing started at 2:08 a.m. on Saturday morning at the Medecins Sans Frontieres compound in the Afghan city of Kunduz, the hospital staff was doing what they have been doing there for years: saving lives.

    Earlier, a large group of passengers injured in a road accident had arrived at the compound's wide gates, according to Abdul Rauf, a logistics specialist who was on duty at the hospital.

    Doctors were treating the patients late into the night when the hospital's main building came under bombardment, Rauf said, waking him and his colleagues who had been sleeping in a basement area. "When I came outside, I saw bodies burned," Rauf said.

    At least 19 staff and patients, including three children being treated, were killed and 37 people wounded when an air strike hit the hospital run by the medical charity, in what U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said on Saturday may amount to a war crime.

    "The bombs hit and then we heard the plane circle round," said Heman Nagarathnam, MSF Head of Programmes in northern Afghanistan, in a statement. "There was a pause and then more bombs hit ... When I made it out from the office, the main hospital building was engulfed in flames."

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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

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  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    MSF Says Afghan Hospital Was 'Repeatedly Hit' by Bombs in Prolonged Attack | VICE News


    US Forces in Afghanistan acknowledged conducting a strike at 2:15am Saturday morning against "individuals threatening the force."

    "The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility," US Army Colonel Brian Tribus, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan said in a statement, adding that the incident is under investigation.

    The White House issued a statement from President Barack Obama that offered condolences but stopped short of an apology.

    "On behalf of the American people, I extend my deepest condolences to the medical professionals and other civilians killed and injured in the tragic incident at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz," Obama said. "The Department of Defense has launched a full investigation, and we will await the results of that inquiry before making a definitive judgment as to the circumstances of this tragedy."

    "I have asked the Department of Defense to keep me apprised of the investigation and expect a full accounting of the facts and circumstances," Obama said, adding that the US "will continue to work closely with President Ghani, the Afghan government, and our international partners to support the Afghan National Defense and Security forces as they work to secure their country."
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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    One Day After Warning Russia of Civilian Casualties, the U.S. Bombs a Hospital in Afghanistan

    By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

    Yesterday afternoon, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power marched to Twitter to proclaim: “we call on Russia to immediately cease attacks on Syrian oppo[sition and] civilians.” Along with that decree, she posted a statement from the U.S. and several of its closest authoritarian allies – including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UK – warning Russia that civilian casualties “will only fuel more extremism and radicalization.”

    Early this morning, in the Afghan city of Kunduz, the U.S. dropped bombs on a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)). The airstrike killed at least 9 of the hospital’s medical staff, and seriously injured dozens of patients. “Among the dead was the Afghan head of the hospital, Abdul Sattar,” reported The New York Times.

    Jason Cone, MSF’s Executive Director, said the medical charity “condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific bombing of its hospital in Kunduz full of staff and patients.” He added that “all parties [to the] conflict, including in Kabul & Washington, were clearly informed of precise GPS Coordinates of MSF facilities in Kunduz,” and that the “precise location of MSF Kunduz hospital [was] communicated to all parties on multiple occasions over past months, including on 9/29.”

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  7. RightOn Member

  8. Kilia Member

  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification

    By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

    Last few paragraphs:

    Just as this article was being published, NBC News published a report making clear that even the latest claims from the U.S. and Afghan governments are now falling apart. The Pentagon’s top four-star commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. John Campbell, now claims that “local Afghans forces asked for air support and U.S. forces were not under direct fire just prior to the U.S. bombardment” of the hospital. As NBC notes, this directly contradicts prior claims: “The Pentagon had previously said U.S. troops were under direct fire.”

    Responding to the above-referenced admission, MSF has issued this statement:

    “Today the US government has admitted that it was their airstrike that hit our hospital in Kunduz and killed 22 patients and MSF staff. Their description of the attack keeps changing — from collateral damage, to a tragic incident, to now attempting to pass responsibility to the Afghanistan government. The reality is the US dropped those bombs. The US hit a huge hospital full of wounded patients and MSF staff. The US military remains responsible for the targets it hits, even though it is part of a coalition. There can be no justification for this horrible attack. With such constant discrepancies in the US and Afghan accounts of what happened, the need for a full transparent independent investigation is ever more critical.”

    The U.S. seems to have picked the wrong group this time to attack from the air.
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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Media Are Blamed as US Bombing of Afghan Hospital Is Covered Up | FAIR

    A US-led NATO military coalition bombed a hospital run by international humanitarian aid organization Doctors Without Borders (known internationally as Medecins Sans Frontières, MSF) in Afghanistan, killing at least 22 people — 12 staff members and 10 patients, including three children — and wounding 37 more.

    AFP, the first network to report the story, in the early hours of October 3, quoted NATO saying, “US forces conducted an air strike in Kunduz city…. The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.”

    MSF promptly issued a statement (10/3/15), revealing that it had been “hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged.” In an update hours later, MSF said it “condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, which was full of staff and patients.”

    The humanitarian organization also indicated multiple times — and in bold capital letters — that “all parties to the conflict, including in Kabul and Washington, were clearly informed of the precise location (GPS Coordinates) of the MSF facilities in Kunduz, including the hospital, guesthouse, office and an outreach stabilization unit.” MSF says the US “repeatedly and precisely” hit the hospital.


    “Air Attacks Kill at Least 19 at Afghanistan Hospital; US Investigating,” wrote CNN (9/3/15). Who carried out those attacks? Never asked is who else could possibly have bombed the hospital. What other air forces are attacking Kunduz? Did the bombs magically fall from the sky? CNN provides no answer.


    Fox News‘ headline (10/3/15) reads “US Officials Investigate Airstrike in Afghanistan That Killed at Least 19 at Doctors Without Borders Hospital.”


    Not one of the five New York Times headlines indicated that the US was responsible for the bombing. The final title, “US Is Blamed After Bombs Hit Afghan Hospital,” which was published in print, fails to acknowledge that it was the US who dropped those bombs, which explains why it is blamed.


    AP headlined an article (10/4/15) updating the death toll, “Doctors Without Borders Leaves Afghan City After Airstrike.” The piece says, “A deadly airstrike destroyed its hospital and killed 22 people, as the US and Afghan governments vowed to get to the bottom of the carnage.” Not mentioned is that the US government is responsible for the carnage.

    Ambiguous, misleading and even downright dishonest language abounds throughout the coverage. US media spin the story to reflect positively on the culprit; they report that the US is investigating the atrocity, while failing to acknowledge that the US itself is responsible for the atrocity.

    This technique is very reminiscent of the loaded language police departments use to downplay police brutality — language that is often repeated verbatim by journalists who just uncritically quote government press releases.

    More here:
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  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    US commander says Afghans requested US airstrike in Kunduz | The Associated Press

    Afghan forces who reported being under Taliban fire requested the U.S. airstrike that killed 22 people at a medical clinic in northern Afghanistan over the weekend, the top commander of American and coalition forces in Afghanistan said Monday, correcting an initial U.S. statement that the strike had been launched because U.S. forces were threatened.

    The strike wasn't sought by U.S. forces, Gen. John F. Campbell said at a hastily arranged Pentagon news conference.

    "We have now learned that on Oct. 3, Afghan forces advised that they were taking fire from enemy positions and asked for air support from U.S. forces," Campbell said. "An airstrike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat and several civilians were accidentally struck. This is different from the initial reports, which indicated that U.S. forces were threatened and that the airstrike was called on their behalf."

    The clinic was operated by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders. The attack killed at least 22 people and wounded dozens more, setting the hospital on fire.

    In response to Campbell's remarks, the organization's general director, Christopher Stokes, said the U.S. had admitted that it attacked the facility.

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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

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  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    U.S. General: Kunduz air strike on hospital a mistake | Reuters

    The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says the decision to carry out a deadly air strike that hit a hospital in Kunduz was made within the U.S. chain of command.

    MSF says Kunduz hospital bombing could be a 'war crime' | Reuters

    Aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres dismisses claims that an air strike on an Afghan hospital was targeting militant fighters.

    Why Bombing the Kunduz Hospital Was Probably a War Crime | The Intercept

    Did the U.S. military commit a war crime when it bombed a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz and killed at least 22 people? It’s too early for experts to say for certain, but there’s good reason to believe the attack may have violated international humanitarian law.

    Hospitals enjoy special status protecting them from deliberate attack, and they are generally filled with protected persons — medical personnel, civilians, and sick or wounded soldiers, enemy as well as friendly — none of whom may be willfully wounded or killed.

    “While hospitals can lose that protection if they’re being used for military purposes, the standard is very high,” says James Ross, the legal and policy director at Human Rights Watch. What if the unsubstantiated Afghan claims about Taliban fighters being deployed at the hospital are true? “Even if this were the case it would have not have allowed for the kind of attacks that struck the hospital,” Ross told me.

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  14. The Wrong Guy Member

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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

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  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Why Is the U.S. Refusing An Independent Investigation If Its Hospital Airstrike Was An “Accident”?


    In Geneva this morning, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) demanded a formal, independent investigation into the U.S. airstrike on its hospital in Kunduz. The group’s international president, Dr. Joanne Liu (pictured above, center), specified that the inquiry should be convened pursuant to war-crime-investigating procedures established by the Geneva Conventions and conducted by The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission. “Even war has rules,” Liu said. “This was just not an attack on our hospital. It was an attack on the Geneva Conventions. This cannot be tolerated.”

    Liu emphasized that the need for an “independent, impartial investigation is now particularly compelling given what she called “the inconsistency in the U.S. and Afghan accounts of what happened over the recent days.” On Monday, we documented the multiple conflicting accounts offered in the first three days by the U.S. military and its media allies, but the story continued to change even further after that. As The Guardian’s headline yesterday noted, the U.S. admission that its own personnel called in the airstrike – not Afghan forces as it claimed the day before – meant that “US alters story for fourth time in four days.” All of this led Liu to state the obvious today: “We cannot rely on internal military investigations by the U.S., NATO and Afghan forces.”

    An independent, impartial investigation into what happened here should be something everyone can immediately agree is necessary. But at its daily press briefing on Monday, the U.S. State Department, through its spokesman Mark Toner, insisted that no such independent investigation was needed on the ground that the U.S. Government is already investigating itself and everyone knows how trustworthy and reliable this process is.

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  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    A Short History of U.S. Bombing of Civilian Facilities

    By Jon Schwarz, The Intercept

    On October 3, a U.S. AC-130 gunship attacked a hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières in Kunduz, Afghanistan, partially destroying it. Twelve staff members and ten patients, including three children, were killed, and 37 people were injured. According to MSF, the U.S. had previously been informed of the hospital’s precise location, and the attack continued for thirty minutes after staff members desperately called the U.S. military.

    The U.S. first claimed the hospital had been “collateral damage” in an airstrike aimed at “individuals” elsewhere who were “threatening the force.” Since then, various vague and contradictory explanations have been offered by the U.S. and Afghan governments, both of which promise to investigate the bombing. MSF has called the attack a war crime and demanded an independent investigation by a commission set up under the Geneva Conventions.

    While the international outcry has been significant, history suggests this is less because of what happened and more because of whom it happened to. The U.S. has repeatedly attacked civilian facilities in the past but the targets have generally not been affiliated with a European, Nobel Peace Prize-winning humanitarian organization such as MSF.

    Below is a sampling of such incidents since the 1991 Gulf War. If you believe some significant examples are missing, please send them our way. To be clear, we’re looking for U.S. attacks on specifically civilian facilities, such as hospitals or schools.

    Here are the titles of the rest of the article:

    Infant Formula Production Plant, Abu Ghraib, Iraq (January 21, 1991)

    Air Raid Shelter, Amiriyah, Iraq (February 13, 1991)

    Al Shifa pharmaceutical factory, Khartoum, Sudan (August 20, 1998)

    Train bombing, Grdelica, Serbia (April 12, 1999)

    Radio Television Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia (April 23, 1999)

    Chinese Embassy, Belgrade, Serbia (May 7, 1999)

    Red Cross complex, Kabul, Afghanistan (October 16 and October 26, 2001)

    Al Jazeera office, Kabul, Afghanistan (November 13, 2001)

    Al Jazeera office, Baghdad, Iraq (April 8, 2003)

    Palestine Hotel, Baghdad, Iraq (April 8, 2003)

    More here:
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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Washington Post ‏@washingtonpost 4 minutes ago
    Details missing from U.S. military's narrative of airstrike that killed Doctors Without Borders staffers at hospital

    By evening, a hospital. By morning, a war zone. | The Washington Post


    The U.S. military, whose own account of what took place changed in the initial days after the attack, has said that the hospital was “mistakenly struck” in an attempt to support Afghan security forces. But the military has declined to provide full details of the incident while its investigators examine what occurred in the worst example of errant U.S. air power in recent years.

    This account of what took place is based on multiple interviews in Afghanistan and the United States with U.S. and Afghan military officials, Doctors Without Borders personnel and local Kunduz residents; some of those interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.
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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    US Runs Tank over Evidence Before Afghan Hospital Bombing Investigation Begins

    By Cassius Methyl, the AntiMedia


    On Wednesday, an international panel announced it will pursue an investigation into the United States’ bombing of a Médecins sans Frontière (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

    The U.S. bombing in Kunduz killed 22 people and is being called a war crime. As described by MSF international president, Joanne Liu, “Our patients burned in their beds; MSF doctors, nurses, and other staff were killed as they worked. Our colleagues had to operate on each other.”

    The International Humanitarian Fact Finding Committee (IHFFC) is the international panel pursuing the investigation, and according to its website, aims to “[ensure] the respect for, and faithful implementation of, international humanitarian law.”

    The IHFFC was formed in 1990 but has never actually been activated, meaning if the MSF investigation moves forward, it will be the first of its kind.

    IHFFC requires just one thing before it begins the investigation: compliance from the United States and Afghan governments.

    “It is for the concerned Governments to decide whether they wish to rely on the IHFFC. The IHFFC can only act based on the consent of the concerned State or States. The IHFFC cannot give any further information at this stage,” the IHFFC said Wednesday in a statement.

    The situation places the United States and its Afghan allies in a quagmire.

    They can either consent to the investigation and presumably be torn apart for their actions, or they can decline, likely citing a “matter of national security” when the public accuses them of covering up their crimes. Either way, it appears both nations will continue to be eviscerated by the independent media and the public as new discoveries about the sordid strike come to light. It seems unlikely that the U.S. would allow itself to be put in that vulnerable situation, but it faces a lose/lose situation, nonetheless.

    The president of MSF said, “We have received apologies and condolences, but this is not enough.” “We are still in the dark about why a well-known hospital full of patients and medical staff was repeatedly bombarded for more than an hour. We need to understand what happened and why,” she continued in a statement on Wednesday.

    Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that “American special operations analysts were gathering intelligence on an Afghan hospital days before it was destroyed by a U.S. military attack because they believed it was being used by a Pakistani operative to coordinate Taliban activity.”

    This revelation suggests the U.S. had knowledge of the hospital’s location. It also offers insight, if it is confirmed that the hospital was purposely bombed, into the United States’ lackluster process that decides on targets for airstrikes.

    On Thursday, a U.S. tank rudely rolled into the destroyed hospital “with investigators inside” the tank, a gesture of disrespect that destroyed evidence. “Their unannounced and forced entry damaged property, destroyed potential evidence and caused stress and fear,” said MSF.

    The U.S. has ignored the idea of an independent inquiry, claiming that its own internal investigation will suffice. As White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “The administration has confidence that the investigation that is currently underway by the Department of Defense will provide the full accounting of the situation that the president has asked for.”

    The United States’ problems in Afghanistan are far from over in the wake of a resurgent Taliban and under-prepared Afghan security forces. President Obama announced yesterday that 5,500 troops will remain in the country until 2017 and likely many years into the future.

    The following is a video released by MSF after the devastating bombing and shows the hospital before and after.

    This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Cassius Methyl and

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  20. The Wrong Guy Member

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