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The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital

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  • The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital

    Just like their allies in Saudi Arabia, the US has shown they can sink to the same level of depravity

    When news first broke of the U.S. airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the response from the U.S. military was predictable and familiar. It was all just a big, terrible mistake, its official statement suggested: an airstrike it carried out in Kunduz “may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.” Oops: our bad. Fog of war, errant bombs, and all that.
    Usually, the only voices protesting or challenging the claims of the U.S. military are the foreign, non-western victims who live in the cities and villages where the bombs fall. Those are easily ignored, or dismissed as either ignorant or dishonest. Those voices barely find their way into U.S. news stories, and when they do, they are stream-rolled by the official and/or anonymous claims of the U.S. military, which are typically treated by U.S. media outlets as unassailable authority.

    In this case, though, the U.S. military bombed the hospital of an organization – Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)) – run by western-based physicians and other medical care professionals. They are not so easily ignored. Doctors who travel to dangerous war zones to treat injured human beings are regarded as noble and trustworthy. They’re difficult to marginalize and demonize. They give compelling, articulate interviews in English to U.S. media outlets. They are heard, and listened to.

    The hospital was repeatedly & precisely hit during each aerial raid, while the rest of the compound was left mostly untouched #Kunduz

    — MSF International (@MSF) October 4, 2015

    As a result of all of this, there is now a radical shift in the story being told about this strike. No longer is it being depicted as some terrible accident of a wayward bomb. Instead, the predominant narrative from U.S. sources and their Afghan allies is that this attack was justified because the Taliban were using it as a “base.”

    Fox News yesterday cited anonymous “defense officials” that while they “‘regret the loss’ of innocent life, they say the incident could have been avoided if the Taliban had not used the hospital as a base, and the civilians there as human shields.” In its first article on the attack, The Washington Post also previewed this defense, quoting a “spokesman for the Afghan army’s 209th Corps in northern Afghanistan” as saying that “Taliban fighters are now hiding in ‘people’s houses, mosques and hospitals using civilians as human shields.'” AP yesterday actually claimed that it looked at a video and saw weaponry in the hospital’s windows, only to delete that claim with this correction:
    media is playing a great game of being the perfect poodle

    The New York Times today – in a story ostensibly about the impact on area residents from the hospital’s destruction – printed paragraphs from anonymous officials justifying this strike: “there was heavy gunfire in the area around the hospital at the time of the airstrike, and that initial reports indicated that the Americans and Afghans on the ground near the hospital could not safely pull back without being dangerously exposed.

    So now we’re into full-on justification mode: yes, we did it; yes, we did it on purpose; and we’re not sorry because we were right to do so since we think some Taliban fighters were at the hospital, perhaps even shooting at us. In response to the emergence of this justification claim, MSF expressed the exact level of revulsion appropriate (emphasis added):

    “MSF is disgusted by the recent statements coming from some Afghanistan government authorities justifying the attack on its hospital in Kunduz. These statements imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital with more than 180 staff and patients inside because they claim that members of the Taliban were present.

    “This amounts to an admission of a war crime. This utterly contradicts the initial attempts of the US government to minimize the attack as ‘collateral damage.’

    “There can be no justification for this abhorrent attack on our hospital that resulted in the deaths of MSF staff as they worked and patients as they lay in their beds. MSF reiterates its demand for a full transparent and independent international investigation.”

    Just as this article was being published, NBC News published a report making clear that even the latest claims from the U.S. and Afghan governments are now falling apart. The Pentagon’s top four-star commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. John Campbell, now claims that “local Afghans forces asked for air support and U.S. forces were not under direct fire just prior to the U.S. bombardment” of the hospital. As NBC notes, this directly contradicts prior claims: “The Pentagon had previously said U.S. troops were under direct fire.

  • #2
    Latest from the US.

    collateral Damage - Tragic Incident - Afghan Govt fault

    "We have now learned that on October 3, Afghan forces advised that they were taking fire from enemy positions and asked for air support from U.S. forces," he said. "An airstrike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat, and several innocent civilians were accidentally struck."

    Campbell offered his "deepest condolences."

    "Today the U.S. government has admitted that it was their airstrike that hit our hospital in Kunduz and killed 22 patients and MSF staff," the statement read. "Their description of the attack keeps changing -- from collateral damage, to a tragic incident, to now attempting to pass responsibility to the Afghanistan government.

    "The reality is the U.S. dropped those bombs. The U.S. hit a huge hospital full of wounded patients and MSF staff. The U.S. military remains responsible for the targets it hits, even though it is part of a coalition," it continued. "There can be no justification for this horrible attack. With such constant discrepancies in the U.S. and Afghan accounts of what happened, the need for a full transparent independent investigation is ever more critical."
    "There is no country in the world and no military in the world that goes to greater lengths and places a higher premium on avoiding civilian casualties than the United States Department of Defense," Earnest said.
    ^I kinda agree with this, but the US hs to do better


    • #3

      Top U.S. general calls Afghan hospital strike a mistake made within U.S. command chain

      The deadly air strike that hit a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz was a mistake made within the U.S. chain of command, the American commander of international forces in Afghanistan said on Tuesday.
      "To be clear, the decision to provide aerial fires was a U.S. decision made within the U.S. chain of command," Campbell said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. He added that U.S. special forces nearby were communicating with the aircraft that delivered the strikes.


      • #4
        let's start from the original list of excuses

        collateral Damage -> Tragic Incident -> Afghan Govt fault -> We F'cued up


        • #5
          It's not a "radically changing story."

          It's more of a "developing story....stay tuned."
          "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.


          • #6
            Leave him alone, Gunnut.

            He's having too much fun farting when laughing for you to inject reality like this.


            • #7
              There is a circulating meme saying "Congrats Obama, for being the first Nobel prize winner bombing another Nobel prize winner" around.
              No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

              To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Doktor View Post
                There is a circulating meme saying "Congrats Obama, for being the first Nobel prize winner bombing another Nobel prize winner" around.
                :D :D :D :D

                HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA, that's pretty good.


                • #9
                  this is a new low of the US military, regardless the reason. Quite a few heads need to roll, even those with stars.


                  • #10
                    Here's one interpretation.

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                    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 07 Oct 15,, 15:02.


                    • #11
                      Four days - four different reasons


                      US special operations forces – not their Afghan allies – called in the deadly airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, the US commander has conceded.

                      Shortly before General John Campbell, the commander of the US and Nato war in Afghanistan, testified to a Senate panel, the president of Doctors Without Borders – also known as Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) – said the US and Afghanistan had made an “admission of a war crime”.
                      Today’s statement from General Campbell is just the latest in a long list of confusing accounts from the US military about what happened in Kunduz on Saturday,” Cone said.

                      “They are now back to talking about a ‘mistake’. A mistake that lasted for more than an hour
                      , despite the fact that the location of the hospital was well known to them and that they were informed during the airstrike that it was a hospital being hit. All this confusion just underlines once again the crucial need for an independent investigation into how a major hospital, full of patients and MSF staff, could be repeatedly bombed.”

                      The US account has now shifted four times in four days. On Saturday, the US military said it did not know for certain that it had struck the hospital but that US forces were taking fire in Kunduz.

                      On Sunday, it said that the strike took place in the “vicinity” of the hospital and suggested it had been accidentally struck. On Monday, Campbell said that the Afghans requested the strike and said US forces in the area were not “threatened”.

                      On Tuesday, he clarified that US forces called in the airstrike themselves at Afghan request
                      This above part is just sad, why cant the nimble US military who have the bestest satellites and the bestest cruise missiles [that always hits the targets and never falls elsewhere] come up with a rationale and stick to it. why the four different answers on four different days.

                      Again, shit happens during conflict, I just hope we can get to understand what happened. Any other country did this and CNN would be running this story non stop and breathlessly about how pathetic that country is and how terrible the human rights are.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cirrrocco View Post
                        Again, shit happens during conflict, I just hope we can get to understand what happened.
                        You just answered your own question. Besides, I highly doubt you're truly interested in "understanding what happened."

                        Your true motives? Hmm....what could those be? Oh wait, you answered that as well:

                        Originally posted by cirrrocco View Post
                        Any other country did this and CNN would be running this story non stop and breathlessly about how pathetic that country is and how terrible the human rights are.
                        There we go.

                        Don't worry about CNN, that's what we have you for.


                        • #13


                          • #14
                            ISI agent was using Kunduz MSF hospital as base: US intelligence

                            Afghan defense minister says Taliban hid in bombed hospital
                            Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!


                            • #15
                              That's odd...I figured the US just decided that hospital was in the way or something.