It is not that hard to understand why he insists the US army “would never intentionally target a protected medical facility.” Though he has conceded that the US chain of command had indeed made the decision through “a rigorous procedure” to attack the hospital in Kunduz, a strike that killed 22, including 12 Doctors Without Borders staff.
The UN Human Rights Watch and Doctors Without Borders have both condemned the hospital massacre as a “war crime” and are demanding an independent investigation beyond the silly one carried out by the Pentagon. The White House rejects the suggestion that bombing the hospital full of civilians is a “war crime,” and Gen. Campbell declines to offer a timeline on the Pentagon probe.
This write-up is not an attempt to politicize the whole thing or present it as a repeated accident that the US general is desperate to sweep under the rug. What’s important to realize is that you may make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you start blaming someone else. And being a failure and blaming the Afghan troops for the Kunduz tragedy is what Gen. Campbell has been doing all this time.
Lest he forgets, to err is human, to repent divine, to persist devilish. People are still dying in Afghanistan for all the wrong reasons. Attacks on medical centers cannot be brushed aside as a mere mistake or an inevitable consequence of war. They affect humanitarian work everywhere, and fundamentally undermine the core principles of humanitarian action throughout the world.
Strange enough, the “tough” US general refuses to recognize all this and more. Instead, he is talking of "succeeding" in perhaps a decade in order to prolong the US army’s bloodstained occupation. The unfortunate American and NATO troops who think they have a decade to win a pointless war against insurgents have clearly not been reading military history.
Many polls are showing that the majority of Afghans want the American and NATO forces to leave and the majority of US voters want the same thing from their presidential candidates. This is because as long as the occupying troops remain in Afghanistan there will be no security for the American public back home amid the nasty continuing inter-ethnic wars between the warlords as well as between the Taliban and the US-led forces. Simply put, the result is what we just saw in Kunduz: Chaos and an ocean of blood.
Regardless of the polls, certain arrogant US generals on the ground still insist that the desperate situation can be turned around if only more time and more troops are committed. Even with US forces being increased to 10,000-strong allied army, the generals also know the situation in Afghanistan is serious and that success is not achievable.
There is no impressive purpose to having US military forces operating in Afghanistan. Those who favor an escalation of the war ought to own up to its heavy costs and bloody consequences. Of course, none of this is likely to be the case as long as the US and NATO commanders pursue their strategy of bomb and apologize, while garrisoning the planet and fighting open-ended wars on not only Afghan but global frontiers.
Instead of fueling global outrage for their illicit wars and occupations, the warmongers would be better off – and safer - if they come to their senses and downsize their pointless missions in the world, particularly in Afghanistan. By making deadly mistakes, the War Party will never become superior in Afghanistan. Here, when the US army “mistakenly” strikes and then scrambles for a scapegoat, they call it evil.
Yes, the US military's October 3 airstrike on a charity hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, is a war crime. The US military, which initially described the hit as "collateral damage," is now claiming that Taliban fighters had been hiding in the medical center. The Doctors Without Borders rejects those charges, stating unequivocally, "We reiterate that the main hospital building, where medical personnel were caring for patients, was repeatedly and very precisely hit during each aerial raid, while the rest of the compound was left mostly untouched.” The organization condemned the attack and said it constituted a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law.
As always, the US government says it will conduct an investigation into the bombing, but will wait until the Department of Defense completes its own probe - a silly response that Doctors Without Borders rejects as weak. This is because relying only on an internal investigation by a party to the conflict will be wholly insufficient. Physicians for Human Rights, a medical and science advocacy organization, has also referred to the targeting of the hospital as a war crime, and similarly called for an independent investigation into the bombing. In a statement, the organization said, "Targeting a hospital is a war crime.”
However, this truly horrific and inexcusable incident is not something new; except that it was carried out by an occupying force that claims is there to protect people from the Taliban. This particular incident also becomes ever more important seeing that the US has decided to scrap their pullout plans.
It is now an open secret that the Taliban were formed under a US plan and with Saudi cash. The plan to occupy Afghanistan and create havoc in Pakistan is just a continuation of that initial project, with the sole purpose of making the situation ever more complex. Although it is true that the terrorist activities of Taliban pose a real threat to the region, it is also true that this is a major achievement for Washington.
Washington has no intention to clobber the Taliban for the simple fact that they serve its illicit interests: To win more allies by exaggerating the threat of the Taliban; to stay longer in the occupied countries and territories; and to target civilians to enhance regional unrest and sectarian violence.
Just as importantly, Saudi Arabia is busy sponsoring the Taliban and al-Qaeda throughout the region. Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states friendly to Washington are the chief source of funding for these terrorist groups. Shadowy “donors” in Saudi Arabia also constitute the most significant source of funding to terrorists groups worldwide.
Despite international pressure, the Arab states have been hesitant to act against known terrorists that are threatening stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They also refuse to disrupt their finance channels, which are the Taliban's greatest source of income - above revenues from the opium-poppy trade.
The chief funders of al-Qaeda in Syria and Yemen continue to sponsor the Taliban in Afghanistan, and as anticipated, this makes them US partners in crime in the latest massacre in Kunduz. The regime changers are promoting terrorism and violence in the Muslim world and one way or another they will have to pay a heavy price for their thoughtless subversion and crimes against humanity.