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Obama says “sorry” but…

Written By: - Date published: 9:47 am, October 9th, 2015 - 19 comments
Categories: afghanistan, International, journalism, Media, Politics, war - Tags:

Obama called Médecins Sans Frontières and said sorry for killing

Twelve Doctors Without Borders staff and seven patients, including three children…

And for injuring;

Another 37 others : 19 staff members, including five in critical condition, and 18 patients and caretakers.

He explained that he is authorising US or US affiliated and controlled investigations of the incident.

But Doctors without borders still wants

an independent investigation led by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to establish what happened in Kunduz, how it happened, and why it happened

It needs the US and Afghan Governments’ consent because the USA and Afghanistan are not signatories to Article 90 of the additional protocol to the Geneva Convention, which will mobilize the commission.They have written to 76 countries that have signed the Article but none have yet replied.

The article came into force in 1977. Just after the end of the Vietnam War. We are a signatory. Good question for Mr Key from our intrepid reporters travelling with him?

“Have you read the letter from Medicins sans Frontieres and what is your response to their request?”

 

19 comments on “Obama says “sorry” but… ”

  1. savenz 1

    +100 – show some guts and some decency. People have been killed needlessly. Is our government’s response – meh? (Pandas anyone?)

    Another example of the military out of government control, either they deliberately did it (murder) or they recklessly did it or they stupidly did it.

    Either way they should be held to account.

  2. Aidan 2

    Pretty good article at the intercept on civilians killed by American bombs. Some of thro shocking ones were the Al Jazeera hits in Afghanistan and Iraq. Because bush didn’t like their reporting.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    As I read yesterday: “that awkward moment when one Nobel Peace Prize winner bombs another.”

    (Obama was awarded the Peace Prize in 2009; MSF was awarded it in 1999)

    • Bill 3.1

      That the one with a comment to the effect that if dynamite had been used, the Nobel trifecta would have been achieved?

    • dukeofurl 3.2

      Just a small correction, its wasnt a ‘stray bomb, but much worse, it was a Hercules gunship , which flies low and slow, which circled for about 20-30 mins
      http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/10/04/ac130-gunship-carried-out-attack-in-kunduz-reports.html

      THis part is interesting:
      “The Afghan National Security Forces, backed in the area by U.S. Special Operations trainers and advisers and some German troops, have since mounted counter-attacks to retake the city.
      ( Which is the circumlocution for NZ forces in Middle East, while some are pure trainers others are up at battle fronts)

      I guess it will the Germans blamed – again

    • tracey 3.3

      YUP!

      And now the war against ISIS is a war about who is doing the most good in the middle east… and who should be there and who should not.

      It’s now an engagement of military muscle in a game of who is the biggest hypocrite on the world stage

      Putin for saying that a duly authorised government should be protected (contrast with his stance in Crimea and Ukraine)

      USA for saying that it’s rebels fighting Assad should be left alone because… well because ISIS is bad?

      • Jones 3.3.1

        Yes… but I wouldn’t cite Ukraine as an example… from what I’ve read that was an outright coup sponsored by the US. The Russian response to go into Crimea was predictable given their interests there.

    • savenz 3.4

      +100 Colonial Viper

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Edward Snowden has the right idea:

    AC-130 warplanes record the gunner’s video and audio. It’s time to release the tapes to an #IndependentInvestigation.

  5. Manuka AOR 5

    Some Excerpts From the MSF site:
    – From 2:08am until 3:15am on Saturday, 3 October, MSF’s trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was hit by a series of aerial bombing raids at approximately 15-minute intervals. The main hospital building, which housed the intensive care unit, emergency rooms, and physiotherapy ward, was hit with precision, repeatedly, during each aerial raid, while surrounding buildings were left mostly untouched.

    – The total number of people killed in the attack is 22, including 12 MSF staff members and 10 patients. Thirty-seven people were injured, including 19 members of the MSF team.

    – The attacks took place despite the fact that MSF had provided the GPS coordinates of the trauma hospital to Coalition and Afghan military and civilian officials as recently as Tuesday, 29 September. The attack continued for more than 30 minutes after we first informed US and Afghan military officials in Kabul and Washington that it was a hospital being hit.

    – MSF’s hospital was the only facility of its kind in northeastern Afghanistan, providing free high level life- and limb-saving trauma care. In 2014, more than 22,000 patients received care at the hospital and more than 5900 surgeries were performed.

    – The MSF hospital in Kunduz has been partially destroyed and is no longer operational. This leaves thousands of people without access to emergency medical care when they need it most.
    http://www.msf.org/article/factsheet-kunduz-hospital-attack

  6. tracey 6

    That the USA did not sign up to Protocol I in 1977 makes me think they didn’t want to have their actions in Vietnam independently investigated, and sadly, they seem to have adhered to that view ever since.

    Rightly or wrongly, two family members (now deceased) who served int he Pacific in WWII used to say that they fear the US forces far more than the “Japs”.

  7. AmaKiwi 7

    The Intercept (Glenn Greenwald) has excellent articles including how the US changed its story four times in four days and a history of US attacks on civilian targets.

    https://theintercept.com/2015/10/07/why-is-u-s-refusing-an-independent-investigation-if-its-so-clear-its-hospital-airstrike-was-an-accident/

    https://theintercept.com/2015/10/07/a-short-history-of-u-s-bombing-of-civilian-facilities/

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      the comments under the INtercept story are well worth reading too.

    • Manuka AOR 7.2

      Excerpt from The Intercept (link above) on the claim it was “an accident”:
      “They’re certain of this despite how consistent MSF has been that this was a “war crime.” They’re certain of it despite how many times, and how recently, MSF notified the U.S. military of the exact GPS coordinates of this hospital. They’re certain of it even though bombing continued for 30 minutes after MSF pleaded with them to stop.

      “They’re certain of it despite the substantial evidence that their Afghan allies long viewed this exact hospital with hostility because — true to its name and purpose — the group treated all wounded human beings, including Taliban. They’re certain of it even though Afghan officials have explicitly defended the airstrike against the hospital on the ground that Taliban were inside. They’re certain of it despite how many times the U.S. has radically changed its story about what happened as facts emerged that proved its latest claims false. They’re certain of it despite how many times the U.S. has attacked and destroyed civilian targets under extremely suspicious circumstances.

      “But they are not apparently so certain that they desire an independent, impartial investigation into what actually happened here.”

  8. Manuka AOR 8

    From Medea Benjamin: “International pressure will be key to getting the US military to submit to an impartial and transparent probe.

    “But more is needed. The US government must be pressured to provide for the long-term healthcare needs of the wounded survivors and must compensate the families of the deceased. A new hospital must be built to replace the facility that was the only free trauma care hospital in northern Afghanistan, treating 22,000 and performing more than 5,900 surgical procedures in 2014.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/08/the-doctors-without-borders-bombing-is-a-symptom-of-foreign-occupation

    • savenz 8.1

      +100 – would love to see this made into international law. The US military is out of control and completely lawless with zero consequences for their actions at present.

      You have to wonder if Obama is even in control of his own military. I would think not. Nor does he seem interested in curbing their behaviour.

      I would like to see the governments of the military having to compensate for damage to property and compensation for the victims.

      I think the military’s government’s might think twice about bombing, if they were actually legally required to rebuild their targets and compensate victims.

      In particular if it is ‘an occupation’ not actually a war.

      This would be particularly good in West Bank as well as Iraq.

      The military bombing these targets also hits the victims twice as it discourages private donations for aid. No sooner the public have donated money to rebuild a school or hospital, the military bombs it down again.

      They (US and Israel) will never win the ‘war on terror’ the way they are going. Because both sides are the military terrorists and their actions escalating the problem and the violence.

      It’s a manufactured war that Osama bin Larden would be proud of, as the US trillion dollar deficit funding a useless occupation will aid the US downfall and their once slightly more moral superiority on human rights compared to some governments, which is now in the gutter, as is the greed of some of their organisations like Tobacco, Pharma, intellectual rights and Oil, all turning the world against them.

      TPP will hasten their decline as the US jobs lost, US standards driven further down, and the back lash of those countries forced into an un democratic agreement and unfettered corporate greed will start turning people who are moderate on globalism in the current form turn against the US and the corporate agreements that deprive average Joe of a real stake in their own country’s water, power, housing health, transport and education.

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