Thursday, October 15, 2015

Investigating Horrific US War Crime Against Afghan Hospital Staff and Patients

Investigating Horrific US War Crime Against Afghan Hospital Staff and Patients

by Stephen Lendman

On October 3, US warplanes knowingly and deliberately bombed a Kunduz, Afghanistan hospital repeatedly for over an hour, the facility staffed by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) physicians and other medical personnel.

A previous article said let’s not mince words. Multiple US air strikes were willful acts of mass-murder, a horrific war crime demanding accountability.

The death toll rose to 24, another 37 injured. Doctors, other medical staff and patients died. Nine patients remain unaccounted for. Two or more unable to be moved were immolated in their beds - burned alive by US imperialism.

MSF rejects Washington’s hollow apologies and condolences. They’re meaningless, disgusting and insulting. Pentagon investigations when conducted are automatically whitewashed to absolve guilty parties of blame. 

They include responsible military and government officials up the chain of command to the highest levels, including joint chiefs chairman, defense secretary and president, culpable for all US war crimes committed.

MSF condemned what happened in the “strongest possible terms.” It demands a full independently conducted investigation, assuring “maximum transparency and accountability.”

Whether they’ll get any form of justice remains to be seen - for sure no accountability. Hegemons operate by their own rules. 

Article 90 of Geneva’s First Additional Protocol authorizes the establishment of an international fact-finding commission to investigate grave breaches of international law.

MSF asked the Bern, Switzerland-based International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) to fully investigate the US attack. On October 14, MSF said the following:

It was “informed that the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) is ready to investigate the bombing of MSF's hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on October 3.” 

“This is the first step needed to undertake an independent investigation into the US attack on MSF's hospital. The IHFFC is now awaiting the agreement of the United States and Afghanistan governments to proceed.”

MSF rejects internal investigations by parties responsible for what happened. It wants a full independent, impartial account. The vital medical facility is no longer operational. 

Tens of thousand of Afghans in and around Kunduz have no way to receive urgently needed medical and surgical treatment. In 2014, the hospital served 22,000 patients, performing over 5,900 surgeries.

MSF international president Dr. Joanne Liu said “(i)f we let this go, as if it was a non-event, we are basically giving a blank cheque to any countries who are at war.”

“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. Even wars have rules,” she stressed. America ignores them.

Previous articles explained US forces came to Afghanistan to stay. Permanent occupation is planned. After 14 years of aggression, conditions throughout the country are deplorable.

The US public and congressional members have been systematically lied to about how bad things are. Washington created an unmitigated disaster. The longer its forces stay, the worse things get. 

Millions of affected Afghans understand the horrors US aggression wrought. Many lack essentials for life, health, safety and welfare.

Throughout his tenure, Obama announced an end to US military operations in Afghanistan numerous times. They continue as the October 3 war crime showed.

US forces aren’t leaving. They staying throughout Obama’s entire tenure, according to administration sources. Around 9,800 troops are there now. 

They’ll stay through at least most of next year, before reduced to about 5,500 in early 2017 as now planned. Given how many times US policy changed, expect thousands to remain indefinitely, their numbers more likely to increase than drop, endless war to continue, along with horrific human suffering.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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