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Obama apologizes to MSF for deadly air strike on Afghan hospital

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It was a tragic mistake. The U.S. Military has openly admitted to the mistake. Compensation should be paid and the military must study the incident to assure that it won't happen again.

But it is not a crime. It was a tragic and unacceptable accident.

Would Russia's military admit to such a mistake? No would China's?

Some groups are trying to politicize this incident.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Would Amerika be satisfied with an apology? Lawyers no! She's already issued excuse being attack from that facility on the 'goodguys'... victims of circumstance I'm guessing. Wrong place at the wro... no... that won't work... and so there remains no justice nor reward for the innocent.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

A terrible accident in a war zone is not a war crime.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

But it is not a crime. It was a tragic and unacceptable accident.

Imagine had some other group bombed a hospital in the USA. Do you think there would be anyone claiming it's not a crime?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This Obamacare's gotten out of hand.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@Crazy Joe "Would Russia's military admit to such a mistake? No would Cnina's?

Good question, indeed. So, where and when did Chinese or Russian armed forces bomb a hospital with civilian personnel and patients ?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Wonder if the response and language would be the same if Russians bombing Syrian targets committed a similar mistake. Guess not.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While Obama is at it, he should also apologize for the military's shifting story which is obviously an attempt at CYA.

But apologies are not nearly enough. Heads need to roll.

And as I have said before, this is the tip of the iceberg. The only reason this has become an issue is because people with clout were killed this time.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Apologies bring back the dead? Nope? thought not. It's a nice gesture and all after brutally murdering a large number of people who are only there to help, but how about next time checking 'intelligence' a little further before jumping the gun, eh?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

MSF should carefully consider whether it is worthwhile to squander the goodwill they've accumulated through their good works in order to achieve a bit of short-term smugness that a few of its high-profile members feel they'd achieve by playing politics.

No credible person believes that US forces intentionally attacked a hospital. That MSF President Liu is willing to fritter away whatever credibility MSF may have in order to push her own personal agenda is sickening, and should rightly cause MSF contributors to reconsider the wisdom of their contributions.

Our contributions are intended to help folks who need medical care, not salve the egos of medical professionals who regret not having pursued careers in politics or international relations.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

but how about next time checking 'intelligence' a little further before jumping the gun, eh?

So that doesn't mean mistakes won't happen. Come on now.....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@smithinjapan I think you have the wrong end of the stick smithinjapan. For one, nothing brings back the dead. For two, no intelligence was needed to know better than to destroy even a seemingly random building that militants just ran into in the middle of a city. Any fool could surmise that innocent people are in there. But the thing is the U.S. and also the British military has been doing this for a long time and getting away with it. See Dresden, Tokyo, Kobe, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and more recently, air strikes with armed drones violating the territorial sovereignty of countries America is not even at war with.

The only reason this is even being discussed is because it was not some innocent shepherd's stone hut this time. Even madrassas full of kids hardly got mention.

America just went a little too far with their virtual impunity this time. That's all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

MSF should carefully consider whether it is worthwhile to squander the goodwill they've accumulated through their good works in order to achieve a bit of short-term smugness that a few of its high-profile members feel they'd achieve by playing politics.

I don't know whether to be outraged by that comment or scared by it.

Outraged at the suggestion that people performing humanitarian work in a war zone should keep schtum about being bombed in a hospital in case the 'good guys' who did it no longer feel goodwill toward them (lotta good that 'goodwill' did them).

Outraged at the barely-veiled threat - Don't rock the boat if you know what's good for you.

Outraged at the suggestion that complaining about being bombed in a hospital is 'playing politics' or amounts to a display of smugness.

Scared by the thought that CrazyJoe isn't the only one to hold these views in all seriousness.

No credible person believes that US forces intentionally attacked a hospital.

Is it any more comforting to think that US forces simply bombed the place without checking first? - and presumably in the past have bombed other places full of innocent people who do not have the voice and standing of MSF, that we were assured were all dangerous terrorists, insurgents and Bad Guys? Hard to imagine this is the first time this kind of thing has happened. Makes me think many if not all of those 'terrorists shooting at us from the ground' incidents were in fact just weddings after all.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@yamashi

Good question, indeed. So, where and when did Chinese or Russian armed forces bomb a hospital with civilian personnel and patients ?

Did you not see the Russian destruction of Grozny?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So now the Taliban admit that they were there in the hospital, but "twelve hours before". Right.

US position. Afghan govt position. Taliban position.

Slowly the three opposing stories will come closer together, and just maybe we will be able to see how this perfect Fubar storm occurred.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This might well constitute a war crime. Then again, its one rule for America and a different one for everyone else. Didn't see Lt. Calley at the end of a rope for Mia Lai. Those Black Water cowboys are still breathing to boot. And what about that chap in Afghan who slaughtered the civilians?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Spanki"Did you not see the Russian destruction of Grozny?"

Nope. But I checked your information about Grozny. Twenty years ago Russians were fighting radical islamists in Chechnya, performing the same kind of work as in Syria these days. I have never find anything concerning to Russian attack on Chechen hospital with civil personnel.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The hospital was full of Taliban, so it's okay.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But it is not a crime. It was a tragic and unacceptable accident.

Bombing hospital and killing 22 victims was unforgettable and unforgiveable war crime. According Geneva convention, Obama is a war criminal. He should return his Noble price for peace after bombing hospital. He has no moral ground for lecturing Others. He has doctors, nurses and patients blood in his hands.

In fact Obama killed more innocent people more than Bush. In Afghanistan, wedding party was bombed by US Air force. Many US Marines deaths were caused by friendly fire from US Air force. Many kids from playground of Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan were mistaken as Taliban for drone strikes.

Incompetence, recklessness and vision impairment are slogans of US Air force. For that tragedy, they could not see red cross sign from hospital.

Dirty Dick Cheney proudly boasted new generation precision weapons will minimize civilian casualty. Friendly fire and collateral damage during Vietnam war was lower than Irag war.

Weapons manufacturers are enjoying the profits with innocent civilians blood.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Unfortunately, there's always collateral damage in the fog of war. When there's war, it's unavoidable. RIP

(Do ya believe those powerful Russian cruise missiles don't have collateral civilian damage? Of course they do. But that's war.)

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Apologizes? So this is not a war crime, I must have been wrong then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Flyfalcon"He should return his Noble prize for peace after bombing hospital."

Agreed. After Barack Hussein the Noble Prize for Peace has no value.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It was a tragic mistake. The U.S. Military has openly admitted to the mistake. Compensation should be paid and the military must study the incident to assure that it won't happen again.

But it is not a crime. It was a tragic and unacceptable accident.

The US knew that Doctors Without Borders were in the hospital. In fact, they kept pleading to the US to stop bombing it, but it continued. There are mounting evidence that it wasn't a mistake, and thus why the US story keeps changing (it started with being an accident, to being justified, etc etc). For sure it will happen again. These crimes have been happening all the time, it's just that, most of the victims are villagers from somewhere that no one, sadly, gives a damn about. The Doctors Without Borders however are vocal and politically strong to defy this for the media to give its attention to.

Would Russia's military admit to such a mistake? No would China's?

Now you sound like one of those Japanese politicians who say "...but many other countries did bad things during WW2 too". A very cowardly position by trying to divert the attention elsewhere. Besides, tell me when the Russians or the Chinese ever bombed a hospital filled with medical staff and patients? Believe me, if the Russians and Chinese did this, YOU would be singing a different tune. This is a perfect example of the American Exceptionalism mentality: "When we do it, it's not that bad because we had good intentions, and thus have the moral high-ground to have mistakes.".

Some groups are trying to politicize this incident.

And why shouldn't they? Didn't Obama make a speech after the Oregon shooting of why we should politicize these types of violent massacres? Because we are the ultimate reason why these things happen by being numb to it, and therefore allowing it to happen. If we want change, it needs to be politicized. Same goes for this hospital tragedy, except that Americans are ever more numb to it because it happened in a country other than theirs. Quite hypocritical for Obama to make that statement actually, if you just compared these scenarios.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

MSF’s U.S. chief Jason Cone later called on Obama to consent to the commission, which he said would “send a powerful signal of the U.S. government commitment to… international humanitarian law and the rules of war.”

And indeed Obama should absolutely consent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But it is not a crime. It was a tragic and unacceptable accident.

It being an accident doesn't rule out criminal negligence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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