A My Lai engagement in Kunduz & “the terrible tragedy”

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Culture of Lickspittle, Psychopath & Sociopath, Why the World Doesn't Need US at 3:15 pm by George Smith

Another atrocity, or My Lai moment, has arrived for the US military in what was described superciliously as its pointless bombing wars last week.

Whether the American government will actually do something about it other than issue the usual get-out-of-jail-free card as it has done with every single hit job in the last decade remains to be seen. Personally, I’d bet against anything more than the equivalents of shit happens and/or they had it coming.

But this really does look like a war crime:

The Army Green Berets who requested the Oct. 3 airstrike on the Doctors without Borders trauma center in Afghanistan were aware it was a functioning hospital but believed it was under Taliban control, The Associated Press has learned …

A day before an American AC-130 gunship attacked the hospital, a senior officer in the Green Beret unit wrote in a report that U.S. forces had discussed the hospital with the country director of the medical charity group, presumably in Kabul, according to two people who have seen the document.

The attack left a mounting death toll, now up to 30 people.

Separately, in the days before the attack, “an official in Washington” asked Doctors without Borders “whether our hospital had a large group of Taliban fighters in it,” spokesman Tim Shenk said in an email. “We replied that this was not the case. We also stated that we were very clear with both sides to the conflict about the need to respect medical structures.”

The hospital was destroyed by the gunship and is now abandoned.

“Doctors without Borders has said it was frantically calling Kabul and Washington during the attack, trying to make the U.S. aware of what was unfolding as patients died in their beds,” rreports AP.

“Presumably, the gun camera video from the plane would show whether anyone was firing from the hospital.”

Although the gun camera video has not yet been made available, in the past the US military has not been particularly reticent about showing AC-130 gun ships hosing down buildings, vehicles and alleged terrorists. There are examples on YouTube, often accompanied by quite a bit of bragging about its merciless power.

They document what amounts to the easy obliteration of people with a good deal of detail.

A week ago, there was a great deal of excuse making and assertion that if a war crime had been executed, it would be hard to prove.

From NPR:

John Bellinger, a former legal adviser to the State Department, says the bombing of the hospital was a terrible tragedy, but he believes it would be a rush to judgment to call it a war crime.

“The mere fact that civilians are killed, that a hospital is damaged, doesn’t automatically mean that there has been a war crime,” he says. “It only becomes a war crime if it is shown that the target was intentionally attacked.”

If the AP’s report is good, there goes that argument.

And here is Newsweek, commissioning an American professor of law to explain to all how it might not be a war crime.

Incidentally, a measure of us Americans describing the Kunduz massacre as a terrible tragedy, or some iteration of it, as we always do.

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