Shocking news has emerged about the US bombing a hospital in Afghanistan even though the hospital in Kunduz run by Doctors Without Borders had previously notified the US of its GPS coordinates.
A US airstrike that killed up to 20 aid workers and patients in a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Afghanistan constitutes a “grave violation of international law”, the charity’s president has said.
The bombardment, which occurred early on Saturday morning, went on for more than 30 minutes despite the charity raising the alarm with US and Afghan officials, and destroyed much of the compound in Kunduz.
The hospital had treated hundreds of people injured after the northern city fell to a dramatic Taliban attack last week, and when government troops launched an assault to reclaim it. Beds and corridors were still crammed with patients and their relatives when it was hit in the early hours of Saturday morning.
On Saturday evening, the dead included at least 12 members of staff and seven patients – three of whom where children. An MSF source told the Guardian the death toll could rise further.
This follows the killing of over 100 people attending a Yemeni wedding as a result of bombings by Saudi Arabia as part of a US–led coalition.
US hypocrisy was on full display in the form of the odious Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN, who was quick to express outrage at the reports of Russian killings of civilians in Syria but was much more muted about the Yemeni deaths and so far has been silent on the US bombing.
Yesterday afternoon, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power marched to Twitter to proclaim: “we call on Russia to immediately cease attacks on Syrian opposition and] civilians.” Along with that decree, she posted a statement from the U.S. and several of its closest authoritarian allies – including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UK – warning Russia that civilian casualties “will only fuel more extremism and radicalization.”
This strike on a hospital in Afghanistan comes days after the Saudi-led coalition bombed a wedding in Yemen that killed more than 130 people. After days of silence from the U.S. Government – which has actively participated from the start in the heinous bombing of Yemen – Ambassador Power finally acknowledged the wedding massacre, but treated it like some natural disaster that has nothing to do with the U.S.: “Terrible news from Yemen of killing of innocent civilians & aid workers. Urgently need pol solution to crisis,” she tweeted.
Her accompanying statement claimed that “the United States has no role in the targeting decisions made by the Coalition in Yemen,” but yesterday, the Saudi Foreign Minister told CBS News that “We work with our allies including the United States on these targets.” There’s no dispute that the U.S. has lavished the Saudis with all sorts of weapons and intelligence as it carries out its civilian-massacring attacks on Yemen.
President Obama, who just yesterday waxed eloquently about the way we do nothing about avoidable killings in the US, will likely just except express regret and do nothing about the avoidable deaths that he is causing, just like the NRA does when there are mass killings in the US. And the media will allow him to get away with this double standard. As Glenn Greenwald says:
It’s impossible to fathom what the U.S. media would be saying and doing if Russia did something like this in Syria. By contrast, the reaction to this airstrike by their own government will be muted and filled with apologia, ironically quite similar to the widely vilified caricature of Jeb Bush’s comments about the Oregon shooting spree: “stuff happens.”
Because we (and our friends) are always, always the good guys, never mind what we do.