[pjw] NEWS: US bombing of Afghan hospital could be war crime (News 24 10/4) + OR Guard deploys to Kuwait

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Sun Oct 4 14:12:17 EDT 2015

How tragic that a horrible mass killing like this could happen-- US 
warplanes not only bombing an Afghan hospital but doubling back and 
continuing the raid for 30 minutes while Doctors without Borders tried to 
get them to stop.

It's horrible timing, too, as Wednesday will mark 14 years of US 
adventurism in Afghanistan, and, as the article below notes:

    US-led Nato forces ended their combat mission in Afghanistan last
    December, though a 13 000-strong force remains for training and
    counter-terrorism operations.

So we're not there any more, but bombing (including drone strikes) go on 
pretty regularly.

Meanwhile, despite the two letters we sent to Governor Brown about not 
letting the Oregon National Guard be deployed as part of the "War on 
Terror," 90 Army Guardspeople are being sent to Kuwait:


I suppose technically we asked the Governor not to deploy them to Iraq or 
Afghanistan, so since this group is headed to Kuwait (for "Operation 
Spartan Shield," whatever the heck that is) she's not ignoring our request 

OK, brace yourselves for the horror story of the bombed hospital, and see 
you next Sunday at 1 PM for the big march (and maybe Friday too).
dan h
peace and justice works iraq affinity group

Afghan bombing: Patients burned to death in their beds, says MSF
    2015-10-04 07:24

    Kabul - President Barack Obama has pledged a full investigation into an
    apparent US air strike on an Afghan hospital that killed 19 people, in
    a bombing the UN said could amount to a war crime.

    Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said patients burned to death in their
    beds during a bombing raid that continued for half an hour after US and
    Afghan authorities were informed the hospital had been hit.

    "Twelve staff members and at least seven patients, including three
    children, were killed; 37 people were injured," the charity said. "This
    attack constitutes a grave violation of international humanitarian

    The air raid came days after Taliban fighters seized control of the
    strategic northern city of Kunduz, in their most spectacular victory
    since being booted from power by a US-led coalition in 2001.

    Afghan forces, backed up by their Nato allies, claimed to have wrestled
    back control of the city.

    Armed terrorists

    But the defence ministry in Kabul said "a group of armed terrorists...
    were using the hospital building as a position to target Afghan forces
    and civilians".

    MSF has denied any combatants were present in the hospital.

    The charity said despite frantic calls to American and Afghan military
    officials in Kabul and Washington, the attack continued for another 30
    minutes, with the main hospital building housing the intensive care
    unit and emergency rooms being targeted.

    "The bombs hit and then we heard the plane circle round," said Heman
    Nagarathnam, MSF's head of programmes in northern Afghanistan.

    "There was a pause, and then more bombs hit. This happened again and
    again. When I made it out from the office, the main hospital building
    was engulfed in flames.

    "Those people could have moved quickly to the building's two bunkers to
    seek safety. But patients who were unable to escape burned to death as
    they lay in their beds."

    Tragic incident

    In a statement released by the White House, US President Barack Obama
    offered his "deepest condolences" for what he called a "tragic

    "The Department of Defense has launched a full investigation, and we
    will await the results of that inquiry before making a definitive
    judgement as to the circumstances of this tragedy," Obama said.

    Nato earlier conceded US forces may have been behind the bombing, after
    forces launched a strike they said was intended to target militants.

    "The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical
    facility. This incident is under investigation," a Nato statement said.

    The incident has renewed concerns about the use of US air strikes in
    Afghanistan, a deeply contentious issue in the 14-year campaign against
    Taliban insurgents.

    UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called for a full and transparent
    probe, noting: "an air strike on a hospital may amount to a war crime".

    "This event is utterly tragic, inexcusable and possibly even criminal,"
    he said.

     'Again and again'

    MSF said some 105 patients and their caregivers, as well as more than
    80 international and local MSF staff, were in the hospital, the only
    medical facility in the area that can deal with major injuries, at the
    time of the bombing.

    The charity said Afghan and coalition forces were fully aware of the
    exact location of the hospital, having been given GPS co-ordinates of a
    facility it said had been providing care for four years.

    "This attack is abhorrent and a grave violation of International
    Humanitarian Law," said MSF President Meinie Nicolai.

    "We demand total transparency from Coalition forces. We cannot accept
    that this horrific loss of life will simply be dismissed as 'collateral

    Kunduz is facing a humanitarian crisis, with thousands of civilians
    caught in the crossfire between government forces and insurgents. At
    least 60 people are known to have died and 400 wounded in recent

    The Taliban seized on the incident, saying "barbaric American forces...
    carried out deliberate air strikes on a civilian hospital".

    In a statement, it denied any of its fighters were being treated at the
    MSF clinic "because the prevailing military situation of Kunduz would
    not allow us to admit our patients to the said hospital".

    The Islamists' offensive in Kunduz marks a major blow for Afghanistan's
    Western-trained forces.

    US-led Nato forces ended their combat mission in Afghanistan last
    December, though a 13 000-strong force remains for training and
    counter-terrorism operations.

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