Saturday, October 3, 2015

Doctors Without Borders, Hospitals Without Walls

A U.S. gunship bombed a hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF), early Saturday morning, killing at least 16 people. The Americans had been flying close air support as Afghan government troops continue their effort to re-take the city of Kunduz, which fell to the Taliban last week almost without a shot.

Muhammad Ajami, 35, tells The Daily Beast that he was talking to his 17-year-old brother Jamil on the phone at the time of the airstrike. Earlier in the evening Jamil had been injured during the fighting and admitted to the MSF clinic, the only operational hospital-type facility in the city.

“This was about 2:00 a.m.,” said Muhammad. “Jamil was telling me he wanted me to get him and take him home, there was a lot of bombing and shelling in the city. Then there was a big bang, and my brother dropped his phone. The last words I heard were ‘Move to the basement! Move to the basement! And crying and crying.”

MSF issued a statement “condemning in the strongest possible terms the horrific bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, which was full of staff and patients.” Three MSF staff were confirmed dead and more than 30 unaccounted for after the trauma center “was hit several time during sustained bombing and was every badly damaged.”

MSF has decades of experience working in war zones and had notified “all parties to the conflict, including in Kabul and Washington,” of the precise GPS coordinates of its facilities, including the hospital, guest house, office and an outreach unit in a village northwest of Kunduz. Those coordinates had been communicated repeatedly most recently on September 29, after the Taliban took the city, according to another MSF statement.

A U.S. senior defense official told The Daily Beast in Washington that a U.S.-manned AC-130 gunship “was called in to return fire against a Taliban position that was firing on U.S. Special Forces advising Afghan Special Forces” when the attack began somewhere near the hospital.

But the official could not say how close that fighting position was to the hospital or whether the United States did indeed know the hospital coordinates beforehand. Defense officials also could not say how long the attack took place.  

Let's go over the fact that bombing a hospital is in fact a war crime, not to mention that 14 years after 9/11 we're still bombing goddamn Afghanistan.

Ya'll aren't going to want to hear this, but Obama is responsible for this mess.  We need to get out of Afghanistan fully, no more "support", no more "advisory capacity" no more Special Forces, just out.  Period.

Fourteen friggin years, guys.

And Obama, you screwed this up big time.  You need to answer for it.  Now.

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