By Dave Lindorff
Kunduz hospital destroyed by deliberate American attack that killed 22 ( by ThisCantBeHappening!)
Really? The best that Nobel Peace Laureate President Obama can do after the US bombs and destroys a hospital in Afghanistan, killing 22 people, including 12 volunteer doctors from Doctors Without Borders, is to say, "We're sorry"?
No wonder people around the globe hate the US.
A decent human being in the White House would be calling for an independent international investigation into the incident and would be insisting that heads would roll! After all, the initial reports out of the Pentagon were that the strike had been called in to protect threatened American troops -- an action that would be a clear war crime since hospitals have special protected status under the internationally accepted laws of war. Only later did the Pentagon backpedal and claim that the strike was a "mistake" that had been called-in by Afghan government forces. But that alibi founders on reports from Doctors Without Borders that days before the assault on their facility in the Taliban-held city of Kunduz, their organization had provided the US with clear coordinates of the hospital, so as to avoid any such "accident."
But hey, this is America. We don't do justice. We don't have to because, as "the exceptional nation," we are always just in our actions. We kill and maim and then we say we're sorry (but only if Westerners get killed and maimed as in this instance). And then we move on.
Hospitals? The US always claims it's an accident, or "collateral damage," when they get hit. It's never a matter of deliberate targeting.
But people on the ground where the bombs and rockets fall know better: That the American military has been targeting hospitals and ambulances deliberately for decades. The US bombed hospitals in North Korea in the 1950s. And it bombed them in North Vietnam with a regularity that made a joke of claims to the contrary.
In fact, painting a red cross or a red crescent on the roof of a hospital in an area where the US is conducting one of its many illegal wars is simply an invitation to be bombed.
In the all-out assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in November/December 2004, hospitals were deliberately bombed, as well as raided by US troops, ambulances were shot up and hit with bombs and rockets, and fleeing civilians were mowed down as they swam a river to escape. No apologies were offered -- presumably because no volunteer Western medical personnel were killed.
In Kunduz, the assault on the hospital in question lasted over an hour, from 2:08 am until 3:15 am with sorties coming in and dropping more bombs every 15 minutes. And this attack involved not just bombs and rockets, but also a deadly spraying of intense fire by a gunship designed to kill everything within the area of the target. Those who weren't hit by direct fire or exploding bombs died (including three children) in the ensuing raging fire. The hospital was destroyed totally. If this was a "mistake" it was a long and repetitive one.
On its website, Doctors Without Borders (a French-based international organization actually called Medicine Sans Frontieres) writes damningly of the prolonged assault on its facility, saying::
From 2:08 AM until 3:15 AM local time today, MSF's trauma hospital in Kunduz was hit by a series of aerial bombing raids at approximately 15-minute intervals. The main central hospital building, housing the intensive care unit, emergency rooms, and physiotherapy ward, were repeatedly hit very precisely during each aerial raid, while surrounding buildings were left mostly untouched.
This latest atrocity occurred in Afghanistan, a country where the president claims the 14-year US invasion is over. Clearly it's not.
War crimes, under international law, must be investigated, and the perpetrators punished. When a country responsible for a war crime by its military refuses to do that, those in authority, up to and including the top leadership in the military chain of command, are considered to be guilty of the same war crime. That would include a president and commander-in-chief who refuses to investigate and punish war criminals under his command.