Afghanistan

Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Tue May 07, 2013 1:33 pm

Azrael wrote:Should we be more concerned about Karzai's bowel movements?

Is the CIA paying him every time he goes to the potty like a big boy?

It's more like maintaining lease options on gas pipeline routes and "The Saudi Arabia of lithium deposits"http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Ibrahim » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:08 am

http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/i ... 3020130625

Afghan forces put down attack on presidential palace: police
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan forces put down an early morning attack by Taliban insurgents on the presidential palace and nearby buildings in central Kabul on Tuesday, with police saying all the assailants had been killed after a 90-minute gunfight.

A Reuters reporter at the palace said the attack began soon after 6:30 a.m. (0200 GMT) when at least one man opened fire with an automatic rifle at a gate to the palace in the central Shash Darak district.

Karzai's whereabouts were not immediately known, though he had been due to attend a press event at the palace after 9 a.m. Reporters had been gathering at the palace and took cover when the firing broke out.

Kabul police chief, General Ayoub Salangi, told Reuters all the attackers had been killed. An Afghan official said five assailants had been killed along with two Afghan guards.

The defense ministry and the Ariana Hotel, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's Afghan station, were also targeted.

Afghan forces and U.S. servicemen returned fire and explosions resounded in the area. Schoolchildren walking to classes nearby were also caught in the exchanges. It was not immediately clear if any were hurt.

A thick plume of smoke was seen rising from Ariana Hotel at the height of the exchanges.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks.



I like the upbeat tone from the Afghan government security forces, but apparently the Taliban can stage an attack on Karzai's HQ, and open up an office in Qatar, and negotiate with the US, all in the same week, after 12 years of US/NATO occupation and a trillion dollars spent fighting them.
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Space Exploration & Guns for Grrlz would have been better...

Postby monster_gardener » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:09 pm

Ibrahim wrote:http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCABRE95O03020130625

Afghan forces put down attack on presidential palace: police
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan forces put down an early morning attack by Taliban insurgents on the presidential palace and nearby buildings in central Kabul on Tuesday, with police saying all the assailants had been killed after a 90-minute gunfight.

A Reuters reporter at the palace said the attack began soon after 6:30 a.m. (0200 GMT) when at least one man opened fire with an automatic rifle at a gate to the palace in the central Shash Darak district.

Karzai's whereabouts were not immediately known, though he had been due to attend a press event at the palace after 9 a.m. Reporters had been gathering at the palace and took cover when the firing broke out.

Kabul police chief, General Ayoub Salangi, told Reuters all the attackers had been killed. An Afghan official said five assailants had been killed along with two Afghan guards.

The defense ministry and the Ariana Hotel, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's Afghan station, were also targeted.

Afghan forces and U.S. servicemen returned fire and explosions resounded in the area. Schoolchildren walking to classes nearby were also caught in the exchanges. It was not immediately clear if any were hurt.

A thick plume of smoke was seen rising from Ariana Hotel at the height of the exchanges.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks.



I like the upbeat tone from the Afghan government security forces, but apparently the Taliban can stage an attack on Karzai's HQ, and open up an office in Qatar, and negotiate with the US, all in the same week, after 12 years of US/NATO occupation and a trillion dollars spent fighting them.


Thank You Very Much for your post, Ibrahim.

after 12 years of US/NATO occupation and a trillion dollars spent fighting them.


Yeah. What a waste. That's what happens with a Wilsonian like George W.W. :twisted: Bush who wants to teach Demoncrazy ;) :twisted: to Crazy Demon Tallywacker Tribesmen....... Restoring the King would probably have been better......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Zahir_Shah

Or failing that........

Would have been spending most of that money on Space Colonies and Meteor Deflection and Exploitation....

And some of it on putting guns in the hands of Afghan and Pak grrls like that school girl the Taliban shot on her school bus.
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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby YMix » Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:57 pm



Last two Afghan Jews fighting each other.

Cabal in Kabul: a documentary comedy by Dan Alexe. Coming out in theaters in Paris on October 17.
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Re: Space Exploration & Guns for Grrlz would have been bette

Postby Ibrahim » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:44 pm

monster_gardener wrote:
Ibrahim wrote:http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCABRE95O03020130625

Afghan forces put down attack on presidential palace: police
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan forces put down an early morning attack by Taliban insurgents on the presidential palace and nearby buildings in central Kabul on Tuesday, with police saying all the assailants had been killed after a 90-minute gunfight.

A Reuters reporter at the palace said the attack began soon after 6:30 a.m. (0200 GMT) when at least one man opened fire with an automatic rifle at a gate to the palace in the central Shash Darak district.

Karzai's whereabouts were not immediately known, though he had been due to attend a press event at the palace after 9 a.m. Reporters had been gathering at the palace and took cover when the firing broke out.

Kabul police chief, General Ayoub Salangi, told Reuters all the attackers had been killed. An Afghan official said five assailants had been killed along with two Afghan guards.

The defense ministry and the Ariana Hotel, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's Afghan station, were also targeted.

Afghan forces and U.S. servicemen returned fire and explosions resounded in the area. Schoolchildren walking to classes nearby were also caught in the exchanges. It was not immediately clear if any were hurt.

A thick plume of smoke was seen rising from Ariana Hotel at the height of the exchanges.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks.



I like the upbeat tone from the Afghan government security forces, but apparently the Taliban can stage an attack on Karzai's HQ, and open up an office in Qatar, and negotiate with the US, all in the same week, after 12 years of US/NATO occupation and a trillion dollars spent fighting them.


Thank You Very Much for your post, Ibrahim.

after 12 years of US/NATO occupation and a trillion dollars spent fighting them.


Yeah. What a waste. That's what happens with a Wilsonian like George W.W. :twisted: Bush who wants to teach Demoncrazy ;) :twisted: to Crazy Demon Tallywacker Tribesmen....... Restoring the King would probably have been better.....



American ideology might have been more popular had Americans not proven to be every bit as badly behaved as the Taliban, with the added bonus of being foreign and holding the entire local culture in open contempt. Your own violent extremism is just another, relatively harmless example of this.
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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:53 pm

.

Interesting .. at the same time Hagel visiting Afghanistan, Karzai visiting Tehran

what does mean ?

Means they could not fool Karzai .. Afghanistan does not want to be a western base in that space .. that also in Western, American interest .. Not west but Afghans themselves must secure Afghanistan .. West should welcome this .. this not against west but in western long term interest .. An self-relying Afghanistan much stronger than relying-on-west Afghanistan

West, in self interest, should direct any help for Afghansitan in non military, called soft power .. people of that space old civilization, they home of Rumi, Molana, and they will appreciate that western help much more than military stuff

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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Ibrahim » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:19 am

Karzai needs all the help he can get, but he already sold out to everybody and has no real base of support so who can/would help him now?
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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:17 am

Ibrahim wrote:.

Karzai needs all the help he can get, but he already sold out to everybody and has no real base of support so who can/would help him now ?

.



Issue Afghanistan, not Karzai

and

long term, Afghanistan must find accommodation with neighbors

re relation with America and West, it's pure money, give and take .. America not in Samaritan business, but in BUSINESS .. meaning America will pay
for benefits it gets from a calm Afghanistan, nothing is free

key will be , IRAN, INDIA, PAKISTAN, CHINA, RUSSIA

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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:59 pm

.

Washington Post


a must read
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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:56 am

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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:22 pm

.


http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/03/07 ... on-abroad/




ashrafghani31-296x320.jpg
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He stayed at Columbia University and won his Ph.D. there, with a doctoral thesis (Production and domination: Afghanistan, 1747-1901) and was immediately invited to teach at University of California, Berkeley (1983) and then at Johns Hopkins University (1983-1991).

During this period he became a frequent commentator on the BBC Dari and Pashto services, broadcast in Afghanistan

In 1991, Dr. Ghani joined the World Bank as lead anthropologist, advising on the human dimension to economic programs. He served for 11 years, initially working on projects in East Asia, but moving in the mid-nineties towards articulating the Bank’s social policy and reviewing country strategies, conditionalities, and designing reform programs.

In 1996, he pioneered the application of institutional and organizational analysis to macro processes of change and reform, working directly on the adjustment program of the Russian coal industry and carrying out reviews of the Bank’s country assistance strategies and structural adjustment programs globally.

He spent five years in China, India, and Russia managing large-scale development and institutional transformation projects. Whilst at the World Bank Dr Ghani attended the Harvard-INSEAD and Stanford business schools leadership training program.

Work after 2001:

Following the ousting of the Taliban in late 2001, Dr Ghani was asked to serve as Special Adviser to Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to Afghanistan.



And


The same Dr Ghani now


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Special Adviser to Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi ? ? ? :lol: :lol: .. A CIA man


Abdullah Abdullah won the election, he represents not only all Afghan Tajik, not only has he Iranian support but is really supported by all Afghans .. Ghani was CIA favorite, cheated the vote


Not gonno work


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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:04 pm

.

Karzai farewell : America invaded Afghanistan in 2001 for “its own interests” and never really wanted peace in the region.



.

. . United States only wanted war in Afghanistan "because of its own interests,” and that Pakistan colludes with Washington to back perpetual violence in his country.

"If America and Pakistan really want it, peace will come to Afghanistan," Karzai said, according to AP. "War in Afghanistan is based on the aims of foreigners. The war in Afghanistan is to the benefit of foreigners. But Afghans on both sides are the sacrificial lambs and victims of this war."

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:lol:


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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Doc » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:27 am

Heracleum Persicum wrote:.

Karzai farewell : America invaded Afghanistan in 2001 for “its own interests” and never really wanted peace in the region.



.

. . United States only wanted war in Afghanistan "because of its own interests,” and that Pakistan colludes with Washington to back perpetual violence in his country.

"If America and Pakistan really want it, peace will come to Afghanistan," Karzai said, according to AP. "War in Afghanistan is based on the aims of foreigners. The war in Afghanistan is to the benefit of foreigners. But Afghans on both sides are the sacrificial lambs and victims of this war."

.

:lol:
.



Great !! You can be sure AZ that Obama is going to walk away fromAfghanistan like he did Iraq. Then Iran will have ISIS and Al Qaeda for neighbors. :lol:





















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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:22 am

Doc wrote:
Heracleum Persicum wrote:.

Karzai farewell : America invaded Afghanistan in 2001 for “its own interests” and never really wanted peace in the region.



.

. . United States only wanted war in Afghanistan "because of its own interests,” and that Pakistan colludes with Washington to back perpetual violence in his country.

"If America and Pakistan really want it, peace will come to Afghanistan," Karzai said, according to AP. "War in Afghanistan is based on the aims of foreigners. The war in Afghanistan is to the benefit of foreigners. But Afghans on both sides are the sacrificial lambs and victims of this war."

.

:lol:
.



Great !! You can be sure AZ that Obama is going to walk away from Afghanistan like he did Iraq. Then Iran will have ISIS and Al Qaeda for neighbors. :lol:

.





Middle East, from Afghanistan to Mediterranean to Tangier to Bosporus to Caucasus .. all that space .. moving away from Religion (Islam)

If you guys had not showed up 1900, all that space, after "trial and error", would be now secular and democratic

but

You guys, to secure Oil, later using communism as excuse, climbed in bed with Satan, the fanatic Islamist, not only Wahhabi & Salafi Saudi but many other crazy factions .. West, for 100 yrs waging war against "liberal" & democracy seeking factions in all that space, the Mossadegh (and Nasser) faction .. result was fanatic animals took control of that space .. Taliban was invented to counter USSR, Mossadegh overthrown leading to Khomeini, Qaddafi bombed leading to Bengazi, Assad fought leading to ISIS

If West leaves all that space, Iran will take over and fix the barn :lol: .. Arabs do not have what it takes, never had .. and .. neither Turks an option

Once West realizes this, it would be smoooooth sailin :lol:


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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:48 pm

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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:49 pm

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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:10 am

.






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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby YMix » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:56 am

Taliban storms into northern Afghan city in major blow for security forces

KABUL — Taliban insurgents fought their way into a major city in northern Afghanistan on Monday, driving back stunned security forces in a multi-pronged attack that also sent Afghan officials and U.N. personnel fleeing for safety.

The fall of Kunduz would be a huge blow to the Western-backed government in Kabul and would give Taliban insurgents a critical base of operations beyond their traditional strongholds in Afghanistan’s south. Afghan government leaders and the U.S.-led coalition here view the battle for Kunduz as a key test of the Afghan security forces in their continuing fight with the Taliban.

For the moment, Afghan officials acknowledged, much of the city is in Taliban hands, and Afghan authorities were left struggling over how to turn the tide, although they insisted that they would prevail once they mount a counterattack.

The assault began shortly before dawn when hundreds of Taliban fighters advanced into the city from four directions. Although Afghan security units were backed by helicopter gunships, the Taliban took over a 200-bed hospital and overran the local prison, freeing hundreds of prisoners. From there, they seized the office of the governor, who was not in the city at the time.

The militant group posted triumphant pictures to Twitter showing Taliban fighters hoisting their white-and-black flag throughout the city.

Kunduz, a hub for the country’s once relatively stable grain region about 150 miles north of Kabul, would hand the Taliban one of the linchpins of Afghanistan’s economy. It was the last Taliban stronghold in northern Afghanistan in November 2001, when the group’s grip on the country collapsed in the face of opposition fighters and U.S. airstrikes.

If Taliban fighters succeed in keeping control of Kunduz, it would be the first time in 14 years that they have seized and held a city.

On a broader level, the attack displays the Taliban’s battlefield power and coordination even as the radical Islamist insurgency faces internal discord following the acknowledgment in the summer of the death of its longtime leader, Mohammad Omar.

The U.S. military still has 9,800 troops in Afghanistan, but it was unclear Monday whether any American personnel were stationed near the fighting in Kunduz.

Army Col. Brian Tribus, a military spokesman, said that the American-organized coalition has not conducted any recent airstrikes in Kunduz but that it was providing intelligence and surveillance support to the Afghan army. Coalition forces “train, advise and assist” the Afghan military, but Tribus declined to discuss specifics of the mission, citing concerns about operational security.

Afghan security officials said that government forces withdrew Monday in an attempt to avoid civilian casualties and that they are planning a counteroffensive to regain Kunduz — a city that has already been the target of Taliban attacks twice this year.

“We are prepared, and measures have been taken to recapture the city,” the deputy interior minister, Ayoub Salangi, told reporters.

In Washington, a U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said officials at the Pentagon believe that, based on previous Taliban assaults on population centers, Afghan ­forces will probably be able to prevail.

The United States can conduct airstrikes only if Afghan forces are judged to be “in extremis,” or facing a critical threat from militant forces, the defense official said, adding: “I wouldn’t rule out there being some sort of extremis situation.”

Taliban fighters have taken all the major government buildings in Kunduz, including the police and intelligence headquarters, and set fire to some of them, said Amruddin Wali, a member of the provincial council.

“This will have a lot of impact on morale on all sides,” said Atiqullah Amarkhail, a retired Afghan general and military analyst. “Government forces may lose morale, while opposition forces’ morale will be boosted as they can now say they can capture cities.”

But he noted that Taliban gains do not necessarily foreshadow “the fall of the entire north or the fall of the government.”

Over the summer, the Taliban was able to steadily expand its reach across the country. Most major population centers, including Kabul, remain firmly under the control of government forces but still vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Across large swaths of rural Afghanistan, however, the Taliban has also been seizing strategic targets that form the backbone of the Afghan economy.

Hafizullah Benish, the agriculture director for Badghis province, said in an interview over this past weekend that the Taliban now controls much of Afghanistan’s $30­ million pistachio crop in the northwestern part of the country.

Taliban gains in Helmand province in the south forced the evacuation of British engineers from a hydropower project this month, the Guardian newspaper reported.

Dominic Medley, spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said Monday that all U.N. staffers were evacuated from the Kunduz area as security deteriorated.

The Taliban fighters were outside Kunduz all summer. In June, the Taliban briefly gained control of two of the city’s six districts. Within days, however, Afghan security officials had driven them out again.

Monday’s attack may have been timed to coincide with the first anniversary of Afghanistan’s new national unity government.

On Sept. 29, 2014, after a months-long stalemate over election results, Ashraf Ghani was sworn in to replace former president Hamid Karzai. The second-place finisher in that election, Abdullah Abdullah, was named to a new position of chief executive officer.

Ghani and Abdullah have struggled to oversee an Afghan military that appeared surprised by the ferocity of Taliban attacks this summer.

This year’s fighting season was marked by clashes not only in historical Taliban strongholds in the southern part of the country but also in northern areas that had previously been relatively secure.

The insurgency has been joined by thousands of fighters who have been driven from neighboring Pakistan because of the ongoing Pakistani military operation in that country’s tribal belt.

But in the summer, Ghani’s government and Army Gen. John F. Campbell, commander of the U.S.-led coalition, stressed that Afghan forces were well prepared to prevent significant Taliban gains on population centers.

Faisal Sami, an Afghan senator from Kunduz, said he and other local officials had grown increasingly worried in recent months that Ghani’s government did not have a serious plan for keeping the city safe.

“This is a major embarrassment to this government,” Sami said.

In recent weeks, there were also growing calls for Ghani to replace the governor of Kunduz province, Omar Safi, who was away on Monday.

“The main reason for the deterioration of the security situation and the Taliban’s gains is bad management of the affairs by the governor and lack of attention from the central government,” said Mohammad Yousuf Ayoubi, the chief of Kunduz’s provincial council.
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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby kmich » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:45 pm

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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:25 pm

kmich wrote:




NYT : U.S. General :
Afghans Requested Airstrike That Hit Kunduz Hospital



WASHINGTON — The American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John F. Campbell, on Monday responded publicly to criticism over the American airstrike that destroyed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in the city of Kunduz, claiming that Afghan forces had requested the strike while under fire and conceding that the military had incorrectly reported at first that American troops were under direct threat.

But General Campbell’s comments, in a sudden and brief news conference at the Pentagon, did not clarify the military’s initial claims that the strike, which killed 22 people, had been an accident to begin with. Doctors Without Borders has repeatedly said that there had been no fighting around the hospital, and that the building was hit over and over by airstrikes on Saturday morning, even though the group had sent the American military the precise coordinates of its hospital so it could be avoided.

In the news conference, General Campbell said that Afghan forces had come under fire near the hospital and then called for help. “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,” he said.




Fine, Afghans requested to bomb the hospital, but what about US ? ?

Would you bomb without checking what you bombing ?

Apparently, Yes

What about if it was a school with 100s of children ? ?

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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby kmich » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:21 pm

The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification

The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification
Glenn Greenwald
Oct. 5 2015, 10:11 a.m.

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.

This obfuscation tactic is the standard one the U.S. and Israel both use whenever they blow up civilian structures and slaughter large numbers of innocent people with airstrikes. Citizens of both countries are well-trained – like some tough, war-weary, cigar-chomping general – to reflexively spout the phrase “collateral damage,” which lets them forget about the whole thing and sleep soundly, telling themselves that these sorts of innocent little mistakes are inevitable even among the noblest and most well-intentioned war-fighters, such as their own governments. The phrase itself is beautifully technocratic: it requires no awareness of how many lives get extinguished, let alone acceptance of culpability. Just invoke that phrase and throw enough doubt on what happened in the first 48 hours and the media will quickly lose interest.

But there’s something significantly different about this incident that has caused this “mistake” claim to fail. 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.

MSF has used this platform, unapologetically and aggressively. They are clearly infuriated at the attack on their hospital and the deaths of their colleagues and patients. From the start, they have signaled an unwillingness to be shunted away with the usual “collateral damage” banalities and, more important, have refused to let the U.S. military and its allies get away with spouting obvious falsehoods. They want real answers. As the Guardian‘s Spencer Ackerman put it last night: “MSF’s been going incredibly hard, challenging every US/Afgh claim made about hospital bombing.”

In particular, MSF quickly publicized numerous facts that cast serious doubt on the original U.S. claim that the strike on the hospital was just an accident. To begin with, the organization had repeatedly advised the U.S. military of the exact GPS coordinates of the hospital. They did so most recently on September 29, just five days before the strike. Beyond that, MSF personnel at the facility “frantically” called U.S. military officials during the strike to advise them that the hospital was being hit and to plead with them to stop, but the strikes continued in a “sustained” manner for 30 more minutes. Finally, MSF yesterday said this:

All of these facts make it extremely difficult – even for U.S. media outlets – to sell the “accident” story. At least as likely is that the hospital was deliberately targeted, chosen either by Afghan military officials who fed the coordinates to their U.S. military allies and/or by the U.S. military itself.

Even cynical critics of the U.S. have a hard time believing that the U.S. military would deliberately target a hospital with an airstrike (despite how many times the U.S. has destroyed hospitals with airstrikes). But in this case, there is long-standing tension between the Afghan military and this specific MSF hospital, grounded in the fact that the MSF – true to its name – treats all wounded human beings without first determining on which side they fight. That they provide medical treatment to wounded civilians and Taliban fighters alike has made them a target before.

In July – just 3 months ago – Reuters reported that Afghan special forces “raided” this exact MSF hospital in Kunduz, claiming an Al Qaeda member was a patient. This raid infuriated MSF staff:

The French aid group said its hospital was temporarily closed to new patients after armed soldiers had entered and behaved violently towards staff.

“This incident demonstrates a serious lack of respect for the medical mission, which is safeguarded under international humanitarian law,” MSF said in a statement.

A staff member who works for the aid group said, “The foreign doctors tried to stop the Afghan Special Operations guys, but they went in anyway, searching the hospital.”

The U.S. had previously targeted a hospital in a similar manner: “In 2009, a Swedish aid group accused U.S. forces of violating humanitarian principles by raiding a hospital in Wardak province, west of Kabul.”

News accounts of this weekend’s U.S. airstrike on that same hospital hinted cryptically at the hostility from the Afghan military. The first NYT story on the strike – while obscuring who carried out the strike – noted deep into the article that “the hospital treated the wounded from all sides of the conflict, a policy that has long irked Afghan security forces.” Al Jazeera similarly alluded to this tension, noting that “a caretaker at the hospital, who was severely injured in the air strike, told Al Jazeera that clinic’s medical staff did not favour any side of the conflict. ‘We are here to help and treat civilians,’ Abdul Manar said.”

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:

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. American forces on the ground then called for air support, senior officials said.” It also claimed that “many residents of Kunduz, as well as people in Kabul, seemed willing to believe the accusations of some Afghan officials that there were Taliban fighters in the hospital shooting at American troops.” And this:

Still, some Afghan officials continued to suggest that the attack was justified. “I know that there were civilian casualties in the hospital, but a lot of senior Taliban were also killed,” said Abdul Wadud Paiman, a member of Parliament from Kunduz.

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.”

From the start, MSF made clear that none of its staff at the hospital heard or saw Taliban fighters engaging U.S. or Afghan forces:

But even if there were, only the most savage barbarians would decide that it’s justified to raze a hospital filled with doctors, nurses and patients to the ground. Yet mounting evidence suggests that this is exactly what the U.S. military did – either because it chose to do so or because its Afghan allies fed them the coordinates of this hospital which they have long disliked. As a result, we now have U.S. and Afghan officials expressly justifying the consummate war crime: deliberately attacking a hospital filled with doctors, nurses and wounded patients. And whatever else is true, the story of what happened here has been changing rapidly as facts emerge proving the initial claims to be false.

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.”

See also from today: CNN and the NYT Are Deliberately Obscuring Who Perpetrated the Afghan Hospital Attack

UPDATE: Responding to the above-referenced admission, MSF has issued this statement:

“Today the US government has admitted that it was their airstrike that hit our hospital in Kunduz and killed 22 patients and MSF staff. 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 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.”

The U.S. seems to have picked the wrong group this time to attack from the air.


"The U.S. seems to have picked the wrong group this time to attack from the air." Damn straight.
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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:43 pm

Reports indicate the location of the hospital was listed and known to US forces for five years.
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Re: The Afghanistan Thread

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:05 pm

.


Some yrs ago, in W.Bush presidency, saw on TV, a retired US serviceman claiming there a standing order that if Taliban fighters hiding "among" civilians, the rule is if by attacking "up to 8" civilians casualty can be expected, it is OK to attack, if more than 8 civilian casualty can be expected, than it needs white House approval (something to that effect).

Seems, the hospital was well known to US military and attack was deliberate, and civilian causality more than 8 .. probably White House knew and approved.


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