This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Squirming Every Which Way : Not Our Fault....Bad Press

"An airstrike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat and several civilians were accidentally struck. This is different from the initial reports which indicated that U.S. forces were threatened and that the airstrike was called on their behalf."
"The Afghans asked for air support from a Special Forces team that we have on the ground [training/advising Afghan troops in Kunduz]."
Army General John F. Campbell, U.S. commander, Afghanistan

"[The U.S. military] 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 US dropped those bombs. The US hit a huge hospital full of wounded patients and MSF staff. The US military remains responsible for the targets it hits, even though it is part of a coalition."
"There can be no justification for this horrible attack. With such constant discrepancies in the US and Afghan accounts of what happened, the need for a full transparent independent investigation is ever more critical."
Christopher Stokes General Director, Doctors Without Borders
In this undated photograph released by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on October 3, 2015, Afghan MSF medical personnel treat civilians injured following an offensive against Taliban militants by Afghan and coalition forces at the MSF hospital in Kunduz. © MSF
In this undated photograph released by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on October 3, 2015, Afghan MSF medical personnel treat civilians injured following an offensive against Taliban militants by Afghan and coalition forces at the MSF hospital in Kunduz. © MSF / AFP 
Several civilians killed? Not quite so. It seems that 22 people in total lost their lives in this unfortunate result of the black fog of war. Ten were civilians being treated in the Medecines sans Frontieres hospital set up in Kunduz, and the remaining dozen were MSF medical personnel. Causing MSF to make the decision to pull out of Kunduz. MSF bills itself as entirely neutral; its focus is on rendering medical aid. They treat anyone who is wounded, whether civilian, military, or Taliban.

Any patient being treated is considered to be a non-combatant, at least by MSF. Which denies that any Taliban were actually present at the hospital at the time it was being bombed. None, for that matter, were held to be anywhere in the vicinity of the hospital, although initial claims were that Taliban forces were using the hospital premises. Whatever the truth happens to be the hospital is no longer functional, destroyed after a series of bombs.

All the coordinates were in place; MSF ensured that the U.S. authorities knew precisely where the hospital was located; MSF officials were in constant touch with the coalition authorities, perhaps with the Afghan authorities as well, to ensure they would be safeguarded, their purpose keeping them safe from harm; they are, after all, known world-wide as a humanitarian organization dedicated to providing medical services under the most lethal situations in war zones.

Now the story is that it was not U.S. Special Forces personnel that had called in the air strikes because they were under fire, but that the Afghan forces had requested the strikes under fire; the initial report was incorrect. Yet the building housing the hospital was repeatedly hit by airstrikes Saturday morning, even while MSF was desperately contacting U.S. military authorities and begging them to stop the attacks.

The newer, bolder aggression of the Taliban with the removal of international forces has seen a confident and violent assertiveness. Which contrasts to the Afghan National Army's continuing inability to counter the ongoing deadly offensives, despite their upgraded training, despite their new and advanced weaponry, despite the continuous presence of U.S. Special Forces in their advisory capacity.

When the northern city of Kunduz was subject to the Taliban's three-pronged attack, they succeeded in taking the city with one-tenth the fighters that the Afghan forces had, though the excuse was that the more adept of the fighting forces had been called away to a more urgent site before the attack of which Afghan intelligence had no hint was forthcoming.

Embedded image permalink
‘Patients were burning in their beds’
Perhaps what represents the very last word in humiliation, is Moscow's condemnation of the attack on the MSF hospital. They, of course, would never be involved in such a situation.

They've pointed out that coalition forces were notified of the exact location of the hospital, meaning that the strikes were inexplicable in their errant destruction. “We find it puzzling that the airstrike took place despite the international coalition being notified of the exact coordinates of the hospital to prevent possible attacks,” said a spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova,for the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

() Follow @rheytah Tweet