Friday July 28, 2017
In Afghanistan on 24 July, a Taliban suicide bomber killed forty people in the centre of Kabul, just four days after a US airstrike killed 16 Afghan policemen in Helmand Province. Both incidents of slaughter were terrible and highlighted the US State Department official warning that “Travel to all areas of Afghanistan remains unsafe due to the ongoing risk of kidnapping, hostage taking, military combat operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry between political and tribal groups, militant attacks, direct and indirect fire, suicide bombings, and insurgent attacks, including attacks using vehicle-borne or other improvised explosive devices. Attacks may also target official Afghan and US government convoys and compounds, foreign embassies, military installations, commercial entities, non-governmental organization offices, restaurants, hotels, airports, and educational centres.” Is there anything left that isn’t under threat of destruction?
This is official recognition by Washington that Afghanistan is a catastrophe. It could not be made plainer that the place is a hellhole of unlimited shattering violence. It is also terminally corrupt, and if the grief-stricken families of the dead policemen ever receive the compensation or pension due to them it will be a miracle. Out of 176 countries, Transparency International places it at 169 in its corruption index.
Two days after the US-NATO slaughter of Afghan policemen it was announced that Médecins sans Frontières, or Doctors without Borders — known as MSF — had “reopened a small medical clinic in the Afghan city of Kunduz — its first facility there since US air strikes destroyed a hospital it ran in 2015.”
MSF is a saintly organisation whose doctors, nurses and support staff “provide assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict.” They do so “irrespective of race, religion, creed or political convictions," but on 22 October 2015 the MSF hospital in Kunduz was destroyed by a series of US airstrikes.