Krishnadev Calamur at The Atlantic takes a look at the 13-page report issued Thursday by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) regarding the hour-long U.S. bombing and strafing of its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, October 3. At least 30 patients and MSF staff members were killed. A month after the attack, NATO and the United States have not yet produced their own promised reports. Apparently the 50 buckets of whitewash they ordered haven’t yet arrived:
In the aftermath of the bombing, MSF called for a never-before-used mechanism of the Geneva Conventions to investigate the strike, and General John Campbell, the senior-most U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said the “hospital was mistakenly struck”—an apparent evolution of the U.S. position on what happened that day in Kunduz. […]
At a news conference in
on Thursday, Christopher Stokes, MSF’s general director, said it’s “quite hard to understand and believe” the hospital was mistakenly hit. The group released an initial internal review of the strike that pointed out that U.S. and allied militaries were given the GPS coordinates of the hospital, and though Taliban members were treated at the facility, there were no weapons inside—in keeping with the organization’s rules. The report makes for chilling reading. One excerpt: “Patients burned in their beds, medical staff were decapitated and lost limbs, and others were shot by the circling AC-130 gunship while fleeing the burning building.” In its report, MSF said:
This is the view from inside the hospital. What we lack is the view from outside the hospital—what happened within the military chains of command.
The facts compiled in this review confirm our initial observations: the MSF trauma centre was fully functioning as a hospital with 105 patients admitted and surgeries ongoing at the time of the US airstrikes; the MSF rules in the hospital were implemented and respected, including the ‘no weapons’ policy; MSF was in full control of the hospital before and at the time of the airstrikes; there were no armed combatants within the hospital compound and there was no fighting from or in the direct vicinity of the trauma centre before the airstrikes. What we know is that we were running a hospital treating patients, including wounded combatants from both sides—this was not a ‘Taliban base.’
The question remains as to whether our hospital lost its protected status in the eyes of the military forces engaged in this attack—and if so, why. The answer does not lie within the MSF hospital. Those responsible for requesting, ordering and approving the airstrikes hold these answers. […]
What we demand is simple: a functioning hospital caring for patients, such as the one in Kunduz, cannot simply lose its protection and be attacked; wounded combatants are patients and must be free from attack and treated without discrimination; medical staff should never be punished or attacked for providing treatment to wounded combatants.
[…] On October 2, the night of the airstrikes, two MSF flags were placed atop the facility, which was one of the few buildings in Kunduz still to have electricity. A nightly security check, conducted shortly after midnight, found the area “calm.” And, the report appeared to dismiss Afghan government claims that the hospital complex was being used by the Taliban in their fight.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011—Budget cuts slash children’s programs across the country:
America’s already-fragile safety net has been taking a beating recently at both the federal and state levels—jobs and infrastructure legislation that would restart the economy is routinely blocked, Catfood Commission II has all manner ofdevastating proposals, and even widely popular programs like food stamps andPell Grants come under attack from Republicans.
Now, a new report, State Budget Cuts: America’s Kids Pay the Price, details the impact that federal- and state-level cuts are having on kids, and it is brutal. As expansions of health care for kids through SCHIP and a range of education, nutrition, and safety programs passed in 2009 expire, not only is Congress not renewing the funding, but Republicans are pushing further cuts to programs like WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children). With state budgets already in trouble because of the weak economy and Congress refusing needed federal support, children are losing out in just about every state.
David Waldman would like to present the first chapter of Indiana Carson and the Pyramid for grain, but the special FX budget is too steep. Carson could spend his time pondering policy questions, for example wet-foot, dry-foot policy. Greg Dworkin gets into the discussion of the candidates and recent elections: Matt Bevins won by running against Barack Obama, which won’t work for David Vitter. Little change for polling as Trump-Carson are still doing great selling their brands of grift-otainment, Rubio and Cruz continue to inch up, while Clinton-Sanders maintain their levels. Marco Rubio tries to pick on Trump’s immigration stand, probably a bad move, while the press gets around to noticing Rubio’s handling of personal finances. With all of this going on, Ted Cruz may now have found a path through this pack of weaklings. Did gun control cost Democrats in the Virginia election? Are liberals losing the culture wars? Are Democrats plagued by low self esteem, and thus attracted to self-blaming clickbait? Here is what a Democratic sweep looks like. You heard it here first: Was the response to the Colorado Springs shooter affected by police fatigue to open carry pedants? Was Ben Carson a direct-mail scam that just got out of hand?