Before the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing in Iraq, a group of activists living in Baghdad would regularly go to city sites that were crucial for maintaining health and well-being in Baghdad, such as hospitals, electrical facilities, water purification plants, and schools, and string large vinyl banners between the trees outside these buildings which read: “To Bomb This Site Would Be A War Crime.” We encouraged people in U.S. cities to do the same, trying to build empathy for people trapped in Iraq, anticipating a terrible aerial bombing.
Tragically, sadly, the banners must again condemn war crimes, this time echoing international outcry because in an hour of airstrikes this past Saturday morning, the US repeatedly bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, a facility that served the fifth largest city in Afghanistan and the surrounding region.
US/NATO forces carried out the airstrike at about 2AM on October 3rd. Doctors Without Borders had already notified the US, NATO and Afghan forces of their geographical coordinates to clarify that their compound, the size of a football field, was a hospital. When the first bombs hit, medical staff immediately phoned NATO headquarters to report the strike on its facility, and yet strikes continued, at 15 minute intervals, until 3:15 a.m., killing 22 people. 12 of the dead were medical staff; ten were patients, and three of the patients were children. At least 37 more people were injured. One survivor said that the first section of the hospital to be hit was the Intensive Care Unit.
Last week former defense minister Jason Kenney said if re-elected the Conservatives would significantly expand Canada’s special forces. Kenney said they would add 665 members to the Canadian Armed Forces Special Operations Command (CANSOFCOM) over the next seven years.
Why? What do these "special forces" do? Who decides when and where to deploy them? For what purpose? These are all questions left unanswered (and not even asked in the mainstream media).
What we do know is that since the mid-2000s Canada’s special forces have steadily expanded to 1,900 members. In 2006 the military launched CANSOFCOM to oversee JTF2, the Special Operations Aviation Squadron, Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit and Special Operations Regiment. Begun that year, the Special Operations Regiment’s 750 members receive similar training to JTF2 commandos, the most secretive and skilled unit of the Canadian Armed Forces. After having doubled from 300 to 600 men, JTF2 is set to move from Ottawa to a 400-acre compound near Trenton, Ontario, at a cost of $350 million.
Saturday afternoon, I read about how the U.S. had bombed the only hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which was being staffed by the French volunteer group, Doctors without Borders.I recalled the 2004 U.S. bombings of a hospital in Fallujah. So I tossed out a tweet –
Blowing up that Kunduz hospital is a small price to pay in the greater campaign to rid the world of extremist violence.
With Russian planes bombing ISIS and al-Qaeda targets this week, the air traffic on a piece of land smaller than the state of Oregon is getting crowded. The danger of a tragic accident that could escalate in unknown directions is ever-greater. The US and its Gulf allies are warning the Russians against bombing the terrorists without also trying to overthrow Assad. Saudi Arabia is warning Russia against civilian casualties in Syria even as the Saudis have killed nearly 3,000 innocent Yemeni civilians over the past five months. US-paid NGOs are pumping out the anti-Russian propaganda. What could possibly go wrong? Today’s Liberty Report is on the Syrian powder keg:
More than 50 intelligence officers from the Defense Intelligence Agency have formally complained that their work is being altered before it is sent to senior Obama Administration officials – and even to the president himself. Concerns over the effectiveness of the year-long new US war in Iraq and Syria are being covered up and a more rosy picture is being painted. The media has largely ignored this replay of the kind of lies fed the run-up to the 2002 Iraq war and, as could be expected, Congress is totally uninterested. Today’s Liberty Report is not uninterested, however. Ron Paul’s take below: