First published October 6, 2015
During the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing and afterwards, Voices for Creative Nonviolence was encouraging anti-war groups to go to hospitals with signs and banners saying, “To bomb this site would be a war crime!”At around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, Oct. 3, 2015, U.S./NATO forces carried out an airstrike that hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Medical staff immediately phoned NATO headquarters to report the strike on its facility, and yet strikes continued on for nearly an hour. At least nine medical staff were killed and thirteen patients including three children. At least 35 more people were injured.
Taliban forces do not have air power, and the Afghan Air Force fleet is subordinate to the U.S., so it is patently clear that the U.S. has committed a war crime. This occurred just days prior to the 14th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, which was itself the “supreme war crime” of aggression against a nation that posed no imminent threat to the U.S. The U.S. is responsible for the chaos that has followed its invasion — almost 6 years after Obama’s 2009 “surge,” there remain close to 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with the Pentagon talking up the need to keep those troops there.We want to affirm the Afghans’ right to medical care and safety, and we want the aggression to end. Only Afghans themselves can engineer their society. If the U.S. has any role to play at all, it is only to provide reconstruction funds for Afghan-led projects to uplift civil institutions.
In Chicago, we will gather at Stroger Hospital (SE Corner of Damen & Ogden) on Tuesday October 6 at 3 PM for a public protest of the abysmal and tragic attack on the Kunduz hospital. We will be bringing signage that says “To bomb this site would be a war crime!” with the subscript “The same is true in Afghanistan.”
Sponsored by Voices for Creative Nonviolence, the Gay Liberation Network and the World Can’t Wait (list in formation).