(This article is published in Salon.)
Imagine living in the middle of a war — a war waged by a foreign superpower that has dragged on now for almost 15 years. Next, imagine the Taliban just overtook your city. Finally, imagine the only hospital in your city, which was treating over 100 people per day, is bombed to rubble by that foreign superpower, forcing the international humanitarian organization running it to withdraw.
This is what the people of Kunduz, Afghanistan are living through.
On Oct. 3, a U.S.-led NATO coalition bombed the only hospital in the entire northeastern region of Afghanistan. Doctors Without Borders (known internationally in French as Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF), the humanitarian aid organization that ran the medical center, called the bombing an “attack on the Geneva Conventions,” referring to the laws of war finalized after World War II.
12 MSF staff members were killed in the airstrikes, along with a minimum of 10 patients, including three children. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called the attack “utterly tragic, inexcusable, and possibly even criminal.”