by Scott Creighton
The New York Times has penned the final version of the official story of the U.S. Special Operations massacre at the Kunduz Hospital in Afghanistan. Gone is the “we didn’t do it” story, the “the Taliban did it” story, the “Afghanistan did it” story, the “We were shooting terrorists” story… gone is all of those.
In their place, the officials of the Peace Prize President’s administration seem to have settled on “Yes, we did it, yes they tried to tell us it was a hospital, yes we mowed down fleeing doctors and patients with incendiary munitions … but the Afghan government may not have trusted Doctors Without Borders and deliberately told us a fib, so there it is”
“For the last hour, the American gunship had been circling high above the city, carefully observing its target with night-vision sensors and waiting for clearance to strike. It was 2 in the morning on Oct. 3, 2015, and Kunduz City was enveloped in total darkness. The city’s power had gone out five days before — soon after the Taliban took over the provincial capital, in a humiliating blow to the American and Afghan governments — and it stayed off through the bitter fighting that followed, as commandos from both nations counterattacked. The aircraft’s target, a distinctively T-shaped building set on an expansive lawn, was lit by generators, a beacon in the blacked-out city. As they prepared to fire, the gunship’s crew members radioed to the ground force commander, a United States Army Special Forces major, for more information.
“Looking for confirmation on which building to strike — Confirm it is the large, T-shaped building … in the center of the compound.
An AC-130 circles its target like a ball swung from a string, raining down gunfire along the radius. At 2:08 a.m., the gunship began its assault, starting on the eastern end of the T-shaped building and working methodically west. For half an hour, the AC-130 fired its 105-millimeter howitzer, the largest airborne gun in existence, and its 40-millimeter Bofors cannon, which shoots exploding incendiary rounds and is ideal for hunting people who flee targeted buildings by foot, often referred to by pilots as “squirters.” There were about 50 squirters at the site, the crew noted, a surprisingly high number. Through the infrared scope, the building glowed as it burned, while ghostly shapes that flitted from inside were gunned down.
“We started a fire, good effects.” New York Times
Notice, it was US Special Forces commander who was in charge of the massacre and they had been circling for an hour making sure they had the right location. The building being lit during the blackout and it’s shape made it impossible for them not to know it was the hospital. Also important to note: the US had lost control of the capital of the province just recently, so making them pay for daring to rise up against their occupiers seems like a potential motive to me. Certainly more believable than any of the previous official excuses.
Also important to note is the statement about commandos from “both nations” counter attacking. Since the Taliban isn’t a nation, or at least we don’t consider them one, that means Afghan troops and troops FROM SOME OTHER NATION were involved in attacking on the ground. I thought we weren’t supposed to have been fighting on the ground in Afghanistan and just advising. I’m confused.
Oh wait a minute:
The American combat mission in Afghanistan had ended in 2014, as announced by President Obama in a Rose Garden speech that year. The remaining American forces were supposed to be restricted to two narrow roles: A noncombat NATO training mission, called Resolute Support, was there to advise Afghan forces, while the American counterterrorism force under Freedom’s Sentinel was charged with targeting Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. “The U.S. military will not be engaged in specific operations targeting members of the Taliban just because they’re members of the Taliban,” Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, told reporters in 2014. New York Times
Yeah, I thought that was the case. So, our Special Operations forces thought those were al Qaeda doctors and nurses running for their lives while they gunned them down with 40mm incendiary rounds? Is that how that works?
All that said, let’s get to the new
spin … excuse… version of events.
Both the American military and the Afghan government declined to comment on whether Afghan forces had intended to target the hospital. But a question hangs over the Kunduz bombing, even as the military has moved to declare the matter settled: Did Afghan forces, out of longstanding mistrust of M.S.F., draw the United States into a terrible tragedy? New York Times
See that? The Afghan military may have drawn the United States into this
obvious war crime… terrible tragedy. Not our fault at all. Nuff said. End discussion.
Turns out a Taliban leader had visited the hospital sometime before the attack from the US. They weren’t there to kill the infidels or occupy the building so they could launch mortars from the roof or any nonsense like that. They simply wanted to know the hospital would remain active as the pending assault on Kunduz took place and told the DWB staff they were free to treat Taliban casualties and Afghan forces casualties alike.
According to Molinie, who was monitoring events from Kabul, the Taliban leadership pledged full cooperation and protection and asked that the hospital stay operational during whatever fighting was to come. “The message was that we could continue our activities, that we would be safe and protected and that the patients of the hospital would be safe and protected,” said Molinie, “as well as the patients from government forces.” The hospital staff activated the mass-casualty plan and readied for the flood of patients that would soon arrive. New York Times
Kunduz was a valuable strategic location according to US military leaders.
“Ironically, I probably jinxed myself on this,” he later told military investigators. “I said I did not believe that we should get involved in Kunduz any further than [training and advising] unless the provincial capital falls, because structurally it is such a political and ethnic problem. It’s not something that we can effectively weigh in on.” New York Times
Well the provincial capital did fall and as a result, Special Operations was called in to do the dirty work: they wiped out the only functioning hospital that was serving the Taliban’s wounded fighters alongside all the sick and injured civilians in the area, who also just happen to support the Taliban.
You can dress that up however you want. You can say the Afghan military “drew us in” to that massacre of a war-crime if you like but no one paying attention is going to believe it.
You can say our guys “didn’t know” what that unique landmark of a building in Kunduz was, but that’s bullshit as well. According to the military’s own investigation, the DWB statement that they were on the phone with Special Forces within minutes of the first wave of attacks, is confirmed. They claim the attack went on for another 18 minutes after hearing from DWB that they were attacking a hospital… and admit nothing was done til the entire structure was leveled and burning out of control.
And you can say, if you wish, that our guys were drawn into the massacre because the Afghan military “didn’t trust” Doctors Without Borders but you would be a fool if you did.
The Special Forces commander knew exactly what that building was and who it served and to suggest that a decision was made that involved committing a war-crime, one directly contradictory to our military codes and the Geneva Convention… on the grounds that the Afghan military didn’t “trust” them, is ridiculous.
They wiped out that facility because it served a function and in so doing, they sent a crippling “shock and awe” message to the people of Afghanistan once again.
That’s exactly what I speculated was the purpose of the war-crime when I first wrote about this and here we are, half a year later, and all the bullshit excuses and official stories have gone by the wayside and we are left standing exactly where we were to begin with.
The US Special Operations attack against the hospital at Kunduz was a war-crime of the most horrific nature, the kind of thing we try to use as an excuse to regime change other nations. And we did it while fully aware of what it was and why we were doing it.
“a place where those who hate ignorance may strive to know, where those who perceive truth may strive to make others see.” John Masefield
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