It has emerged that the United States is planning to compensate the victims of Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital attack that left some 22 people dead in Afghanistan.
The attack, carried out by the United States Air Force AC-130U gunship on October 3 2015 happened in the northern city of Kunduz, in what the US claimed was targeting Taliban fighters. At the time of the attack, more than 200 patients and employees were said to be in the hospital. The hospital was badly damaged.
Among the casualties, 12 of the 22 dead were MSF staff and 10 were patients, including three children. Six intensive care patients were burned to death in their beds, and another patient died after staff had to leave them on the operating table.
It is said the hospital is the only facility in the region that can deal with major injuries. According to statistics, in 2014, more than 22,000 patients were treated at the hospital’s emergency trauma center and more than 5,900 surgeries were performed successfully. The airstrike has therefore worsened the healthcare situation on the ground in the very restive region of the country.
More than 30 people were reportedly injured, and 33 still remain missing since the attack. The US Defence headquarters, the Pentagon initially denied responsibility for the attack calling the dead “collateral damage”, accusing Taliban fighters of using the hospital as a shield.
Then after strong words from MSF and some humanitarian media, the Pentagon quickly issued another statement, blaming Afghanistan forces of calling in the airstrike.
MSF condemned the incident, stating that all warring parties had been notified of the hospital’s location ahead of time with GPS information and that the airstrike was deliberate and a violation of international humanitarian law by the US.
President Barack Obama was forced to apologize for the recklessness of his army after it became clear that the US carried out an outrageous attack, targeting innocent civilians who had nothing to do with the fighting.
1/ MSF condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific bombing of its hospital in Kunduz full of staff and patients.
— Jason Cone (@jtcone1977) October 3, 2015
But in a latest revelation by the Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon is offering “condolence payments” to the civilians injured and the families of those killed by the airstrike. Apart from the payment, the US will also provide funds for repairing the abandoned hospital. And the Zero Hedge reports that what is more disturbing is that since the US prints the world’s Reserve Currency, should Obama proceed to exterminate countless other “collaterally damaged” civilians, all that the US will need to do is print a few more million to wash its – and that of the “free and democratic world” – conscience, and all shall be well in all future cases. However, the US has not yet disclosed how much it will be paying but many commentators and observers have said it will be in millions of the Reserve Currency which will be aimed at silencing the families of the dead. The Wall Street Journal reports that the compensation will be handled through the existing Commanders’ Emergency Response Program in Afghanistan, and if necessary additional authority will be sought from Congress. Pentagon’s Press Secretary, Peter Cook was quoted as saying “The Department of Defense believes it is important to address the consequences of the tragic incident at the Doctors Without Borders hospital”.
Meanwhile, MSF has called for an independent probe of the incident by the Swiss-based International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, which is made up of diplomats, legal experts, doctors and some former military officials from nine European countries, including Britain and Russia. It was created after the Gulf War in 1991 and has never deployed a fact-finding mission.
The Zero Hedge says “It was unclear just how much the Pentagon would have to spend here to, mostly in the form of bribes, to assure the found “facts” are in line with a narrative that is least damaging to the US war machine”.
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