‘Even War Has Rules’: MSF Takes Unprecedented Action Against US Military for Afghan Hospital Bombing

Written by on October 8, 2015 in Government, Military with 24 Comments

“If we let this go, as if was a non-event, we are basically giving a blank check to any countries who are at war,” said Dr. Joanne Liu, MSF’s international president.”

By Lauren McCauley | CommonDreams.org


“Even war has rules,” declared Dr. Joanne Liu, international president of Doctor’s Without Borders (MSF), who announced Wednesday that the aid organization will take unprecedented action against the U.S. military by formally launching an international fact-finding inquiry into the bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Related Article: Dozens of Civilians Killed by US-Led Bombing of Syria: Report

The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, which was established by the Additional Protocols of the Geneva Conventions, is the only permanent body set up specifically to investigate violations of international humanitarian law. Though it was established in 1991, this investigation marks the first time the Commission has been requested.

“This was not just an attack on our hospital—it was an attack on the Geneva Conventions. This cannot be tolerated,” Liu stated. “These Conventions govern the rules of war and were established to protect civilians in conflicts – including patients, medical workers and facilities. They bring some humanity into what is otherwise an inhumane situation.”

MSF has asserted that Saturday’s airstrike amounts to nothing less than a war crime. Twenty-two people died in the attack, including 12 MSF staff members and 10 patients, and an additional 37 were wounded.

Since that time, U.S. officials have altered their account of the bombing a total of four times, the most recent explanation given by General John Campbell being that the attack, which was called in by U.S. Special Forces, “mistakenly struck” the hospital. However, MSF has repeatedly said that the U.S. military was aware of the hospital’s GPS coordinates.

Pending activation by signatory states, the Commission inquiry will gather facts and evidence from the U.S., NATO, and Afghanistan, as well as testimony from surviving MSF staff and patients. “The facts and circumstances of this attack must be investigated independently and impartially, particularly given the inconsistencies in the U.S. and Afghan accounts of what happened over recent days,” Liu said. “We cannot rely on only internal military investigations by the U.S., NATO and Afghan forces.”

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During a subsequent press briefing, Liu said that the inquiry was essential to “safeguard” essential medical space within war zones. Without that protection “it is impossible to work in other contexts like Syria, South Sudan, like Yemen.”

“If we let this go, as if was a non-event, we are basically giving a blank check to any countries who are at war,” she concluded.

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24 Reader Comments

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  1. 10205334707982361@facebook.com' Greg Nigrin says:

    I hope the truth comes out!

  2. 10207450573241624@facebook.com' Cindy Howard says:

    our military needs to be perfect , and the volunteers need to realize they are in a war zone, enough said

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wars are fought by ego maniacs. What rules?

  4. 1183387731676947@facebook.com' Joe Bizumo says:

    be sure that the inquary will be torpedoed

    • 1039707206048864@facebook.com' Kelly Alger says:

      I doubt it. Who is going to do anything about it? The sociopaths running the world? As though those people care at all about us peasants.

  5. 1619126831670451@facebook.com' Rui Machado says:

    Stupid Americans…?

  6. 677161089082794@facebook.com' Dlav Gaucher says:

    Ya…go AFTER them!! …you fight a WAR or start a war for PROFIT..and people DIE..you better your bottom dollar people are GOING to pay for war crimes..

  7. 1043457205686421@facebook.com' Ann Romanek says:

    I grew up in military allot of unstable people and yes ego manacs and psychotics. If a colonel doesn’t get milk in his tea he would start a war. People need to realize what type of people in military that are making decisions for the country they would be shocked.

  8. 1076840522340232@facebook.com' Megat Sharifudin says:

    We need to get UN involved…

  9. 1076840522340232@facebook.com' Megat Sharifudin says:

    Imagine if Russia did this whilst bombing ISIS..US wd be screaming murder ..

  10. 1183387731676947@facebook.com' Joe Bizumo says:

    Kennedy was killed by the US gvt,let alone peasants in Afgstan and the truth never saw the light,you bet!

  11. 1636892926565507@facebook.com' Ishan Imtiaz Sheikh says:

    Where is UN

  12. 176440599355916@facebook.com' Robin Christy says:

    Good. Send them home with a demerit in humanity! Do not let them wage war ever again. On anyone. And while we are on it, can we get the rest of the armed services sent home too??!! Please??!! War no more.

  13. 10206734025164875@facebook.com' Harold Somerville says:

    Because “oops sorry” doesn’t count.

  14. 1689419384611318@facebook.com' Paula Stamps says:

    Our comandor and chief. Sad to say

  15. 178885712450687@facebook.com' Sydney Webb says:

    Shouldn’t war be voted on by WE THE PEOPLE???? What the hell were we doing THERE anyway?? No wonder people don’t like America, the government is making all of us look like violent ruthless murders. Enough is enough dammit??

  16. 10153886291773455@facebook.com' Bryan W. Wilson says:

    if it was russia that did this nothing so whats your point deal ya put your selves there

  17. 10208160212273927@facebook.com' Bepirštis Mindaugas says:

    propaganda

  18. 970016509708933@facebook.com' Chuck Leung says:

    unfriendly friendly fire

  19. 1007230965976112@facebook.com' John Wiede says:

    the victors make the rules of war

  20. 911718478895101@facebook.com' David Bailey says:

    in war some get killed

  21. 898048693620766@facebook.com' Kimberly Suzanne says:

    Good. Long over due

  22. 1142567012423421@facebook.com' Mernie Whitted says:

    good.

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