Doctors Without Borders should raise the question of whether the U.S. bombing of a hospital compound Saturday in Afghanistan constituted a war crime.
The humanitarian organization provides medical aid in 70 countries worldwide mostly in areas of armed conflict, natural disasters, epidemics and other human crises. Doctors without borders was running the hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz when a U.S. bombing raid hit Saturday, killing at least 19 people and injuring dozens more.
U.S. officials said the airstrike is under investigation. It was issued after Afghan forces came under fire. Afghan troops backed by U.S. airstrikes had been battling Taliban forces since Thursday in Kunduz.
Doctors without Borders had been using the hospital compound about four years. It had about 105 patients at the time of the bombing and more than 80 international and Afghan staff.
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U.S. airstrikes have been a continual problem in Afghanistan since U.S. forces with other countries invaded in 2001 after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Civilian casualties too often have resulted.
Hopefully an investigation will get to the bottom of whether a war crime did occur in the latest bombing. The war in Afghanistan has been the longest in U.S. history.
President Barack Obama has drawn down U.S. involvement.
Meanwhile, Voices for Creative Nonviolence is advocating that people throughout the United States stand in front of hospitals with banners and signs, saying, “Dropping Bombs Here would be a War Crime!” and “The same is true in Afghanistan.”
It is hard to argue with that message.