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Lock him up!
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# 181244 7-Oct-2015 19:36
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The USA is usually quick to demand justice when transgressions are committed by other nations. It also seems very reluctant to accept the notion that America itself can ever do anything wrong. Because it is so big and powerful and omnipresent, other countries find it very difficult to hold America to account for anything it does. America refuses to submit itself to the authority of the International Court and it does not usually allow others to pass judgement on the actions of its military personnel overseas. Many Americans seem to genuinely believe their country is so morally superior and so important that it should not have to follow the same rules everybody else does. This belief is enshrined in the doctrine known as 'American Exceptionalism'.

Is America so exceptional? The other day it bombed a hospital in Afghanistan, killing patients and many volunteer doctors. As a result, many local people have been deprived of essential emergency trauma treatment and other hospital services as the bombed hospital was the only facility of its kind serving the city of Kunduz and surrounding area. The highly respected charity running it, Médecins Sans Frontières, has called the bombing a war crime and is demanding a proper investigation of it. They emphatically point out that the GPS coordinates of the hospital were made available to the American and Afghan military forces, and there was no conceivable justification for attacking it.

I wonder what others think about this. Should America be charged and tried for a war crime (bearing in mind that it can be found innocent as well as guilty)? Should it be held accountable in the same way other countries are? Should there be one set of rules for the USA, and another set for everyone else? Does American military and economic might, and America's professed commitment to democratic principles, entitle it to special treatment? What arguments are there to back up any of these stands?
 






I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 1401988 7-Oct-2015 20:06
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America is at war with Afghanistan. 

I'm not saying that what they did was right/wrong, but these things do tent to happen when one goes to war. I guess walking into the hospital with cup cakes was not exactly an option. 

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  # 1401992 7-Oct-2015 20:09
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Sorry if I sound like a prick with this, I'm tired so probably will word this poorly - I always find the concept of 'war crimes' laughable. Just make war a bloody crime then. Things get blown up in war zones, it sucks. I think it would be ideal if, in a case like this, the US and/or other better off nations pitched in in some way to ensure the local civilians don't suffer too much extra from it. But I mean... they're dodging bullets daily, so.. get out of there?

 
 
 
 


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  # 1402005 7-Oct-2015 20:24
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DizzyD: America is at war with Afghanistan;


No, it is at war with ISIS, Al-Qaida, the Taleban and 'terrorism'. There is no state of war between the USA and the friendly government in Kabul, and the invasion of Afghanistan was in accordance with a resolution from the UN.

The invasion or Iraq however could be classed as a war-crime as it was an invasion of a sovereign nation with no UN mandate or even the pretence of self defence.

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  # 1402011 7-Oct-2015 20:34
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war crime
noun
an act carried out during the conduct of a war that violates accepted international rules of war.


roobarb: 
The invasion or Iraq however could be classed as a war-crime as it was an invasion of a sovereign nation with no UN mandate or even the pretence of self defence.


And our PM is there right now. 
New Zealand is just as much of an enemy to  ISIS, Al-Qaida, the Taleban etc.. Best we stay friendly with our US counterparts

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  # 1402021 7-Oct-2015 20:48
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My comment was that the US is not at war with Afghanistan, it is operating in support of government forces.

The attack on the MSF hospital appears to count as a war-crime as it was an overt medical facility which had made its location known to the allied forces and was deliberately targeted.

It would not be a war-crime if there were Taleban fighting out of the hospital, and MSF deny this is the case.

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  # 1402114 8-Oct-2015 08:04
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DizzyD:  Best we stay friendly with our US counterparts


Why? Do you think ... do you think something might happen to Key? And if so, how might one go about encouraging it? ... You know, for science. So that we can prevent it, obviously.




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  # 1402123 8-Oct-2015 08:31
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The current spin is that the attack on the hospital was a mistake. The hunt is now on for some 2nd leutenant (sp?) to take the blame for not checking his target coordinates properly.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1402124 8-Oct-2015 08:33
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The President has apologised to the MSF and the Afghanistan President. The US has also advised that they believe that this was a tragic accident and there will be a full investigation to determine what happened, how to avoid future incidents, and to determine recourse. 




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  # 1402223 8-Oct-2015 10:13
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Four Weddings and a Hospital.


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  # 1402408 8-Oct-2015 13:51
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DizzyD: America is at war with Afghanistan. 

I'm not saying that what they did was right/wrong, but these things do tent to happen when one goes to war. I guess walking into the hospital with cup cakes was not exactly an option. 


America is not at war "with Afghanistan". 

Bombing a hospital known to be a hospital isn't legal under any rules of international law. 

The problem here was that MSF would treat anyone who turned up. That includes Taliban and not-Taliban. 

The local Afghanis weren't happy about that, so they decided to make up a fiction that the Taliban were using the hospital as a human shield. This is garbage because the only Taliban in the place - if there were any on the day - were sick or wounded. 

It doesn't matter either way. Bombing a hospital because it treating sick "enemy" isn't legal in any way. 

Yes.....the US should be held to account here, along with their Afghan allies. Note that the the US specifically didn't accept "I was only following orders" when the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials tried to use it as a defence to avoid being hung. 




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  # 1402410 8-Oct-2015 13:52
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MikeB4: The President has apologised to the MSF and the Afghanistan President. The US has also advised that they believe that this was a tragic accident and there will be a full investigation to determine what happened, how to avoid future incidents, and to determine recourse. 


In other words....the usual BS until the next time.  




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  # 1402412 8-Oct-2015 13:54
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roobarb: My comment was that the US is not at war with Afghanistan, it is operating in support of government forces.

The attack on the MSF hospital appears to count as a war-crime as it was an overt medical facility which had made its location known to the allied forces and was deliberately targeted.

It would not be a war-crime if there were Taleban fighting out of the hospital, and MSF deny this is the case.


It would still be a crime even if there were taliban fighting out of the hospital....(which there weren't). 

You don't destroy an entire hospital because one or two guys might shooting out a window. If that was the case, all these shooters in schools in the US would be dealt with by blowing up the whole school....and everyone in it.  




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  # 1402415 8-Oct-2015 13:55
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Godwin's after 11 posts.

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  # 1402439 8-Oct-2015 14:23
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Linuxluver: It would still be a crime even if there were taliban fighting out of the hospital.


If there were Taliban fighting out of the hospital, eg with an RPK or RPG taking down helicopters then targeting the Taliban and the hospital being destroyed would count as collateral damage - according to LOAC (Laws of Armed Conflict).

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  # 1402443 8-Oct-2015 14:27
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Fred99: Godwin's after 11 posts.

Does it still count when the topic is war and/or war crimes? 

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