US airstrike on Kunduz hospital war crime: Activist
Press TV has conducted an interview with Jess Sundin, from Anti-War Committee in Minnesota, to discuss a deadly US airstrike on a Doctors without Borders’ (MSF) hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz in early October.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Why has it been so difficult for MSF to get this independent probe? What is the US so worried about?
Sundin: You know the United States has committed a long list of war crimes against the people of Afghanistan, but the day that they bombed the Doctors Without Borders’ hospital, was the day that they crossed the line. The international community needs organizations, like Doctors Without Borders, and we need medical facilities like their hospitals to be safe refuges. And the reality is the United States knows that what it did in Kunduz was wrong, but it’s changed the story to the public time and time again and is, at the end of the day, unwilling to take responsibility for what happened, for the deaths that happened that day and for the impact of the possibility of a US policy, a war policy, that allows for the bombing of hospitals. And so the independent investigation is really the only way that we can hope for any kind of accountability.
Press TV: The US rules of engagement were clearly violated in this incident. Does this not mean war crimes have been committed here?
Sundin: I think absolutely a war crime has been committed here and I think that the more than half a million people that signed a petition they would deliver to the White House today would agree, the whole world agrees you cannot ever bomb hospitals.; there is no acceptable military reason, and moreover, in the context of a war that has gone on 14 years, a war where we see no end inside, the idea that elastic accountability every day is an option, is that we cannot stop it. So it is absolutely imperative that war crimes like that committed in Kunduz are investigated and that the US is held accountable for its wrongdoing.
Press TV: How optimistic are you personally that 30 innocent lives, both medical workers of a charity and their patients, will get some form of justice for this ill-advised attack on their hospital?
Sundin: I mean at the end of the day nothing is going to bring those lives back. As someone who has seen the effects of US wars around the world, and particularly in Iraq, I know that nothing will ever account to those families for their lost loved ones, but at least some truth and some acknowledgement of the truth is the least they can hope for. I am hopeful that the international community will take no foreign answer and that an independent investigation will clearly reveal what happened there and then the US will have no choice but to accept independent findings in the case.