As a direct result of the US airstrike which targeted the Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the aid organization has announced it is leaving.
The impact of this decision is difficult to adequately describe, as the big picture only becomes visible over time. There are a few details we need to get out of the way:
First, this is a war crime and the murder of innocent medical personnel is appalling. Initially, the US and allied forces all denied responsibility, adding insult to injury literally. Second, MSF is one of the few organizations that has aided Afghanistan's most vulnerable since before the rest of the world even knew how to say 'tora bora.' Third, their departure will be an irreparable upheaval of life-saving resources, just as the country heads into harsh winter. By November, the regional temperature will average at about 24 degrees F, many will die of cold, and all will face the challenges that come with the frigid season.
Many news sources are saying that the recent siege at Kunduz means the resurgence of the taliban... which I do not agree with, and find a tiresome distraction from the fact that, regardless, the biggest threat to Afghan civilian safety is still the United States and allied force airstrikes and drone attacks.
I am still waiting for the day that the suffering of Afghan people is truly defined, laid out for the world to ponder upon. Afghanistan is and has been the #1 Humanitarian Crisis in the entire world... for over 30 years. For perspective, that means the Afghan citizen is worse-off in every way than Somalia, Mexico, Ukraine, India, or Zimbabwe. 'Hey, what's the big idea, Homie? Its all bad! Why is this important?
This, and the fact that most of Afghanistan's basic humanitarian issues have remained desperate and dire, are the only important things you will learn in politics this year.
#1 Humanitarian Crisis in the World... What does it mean tho?
That means, absolutely no access to medicine or medical personnel from within the country; That means 1 in 2 births resulting in death before age 5, and the lowest birth rate in the entire world, with a life expectancy averaging at 37 years old a staggering 20 years younger than even neighboring Uzbekistan; furthermore a complete lack of educational resources including teachers, writing paper and utensils; That means victimization as a result regional despotism; That means absolutely no NGO or government relief; That means only 12% of citizens have access to clean water, and lack of qualified personnel has left most roads and other commercial infrastructures in total disrepair cutting citizens off from access to medicine, food, and one another; That means there are twice as many people aged 0-14 than people of child bearing age, indicating staggering numbers of double and single orphans; refugees totaling over 6 million, and millions of Internally Displaced Persons. It basically means Afghans have been heavily exploited, while their suffering has gone largely ignored, and now the world has been told Afghanistan is a hotbed of terrorist activity as a result of the tragedies of 9/11, which involved no Afghans.
Now, You were absolutely right Homie, this isn't a competition... the only reason I even bring it up is to highlight the lack of media and public acknowledgement of how dire the situation has been, for a very very long time, and even more staggering, how little it has changed even today. The narrative has always been that 'these war-loving Afghans can't figure peace out,' while the reality remains and always has been, Afghans are pawns in a Great Game, their suffering a direct byproduct of conflict and embargo inflicted by outside hegemony, now and for centuries before. [I don't have time to tell you about the Anglo-Afghan wars, or the Indo-Afghan wars, or reiterate that the taliban were funded and armed by the United States, basically the whole world wants what Afghanistan's got to offer, from natural resources, to its tactically brilliant geographical positioning between nations of great power and valuable resources like oil, natural gas, copper, lithium and semi-precious and precious stones... Oh wait, I just did]
Basically, Folks, never has a World Vision or Save-A-Child commercial featured an Afghan child. Afghanistan's plight has the least media coverage of anything I have ever seen, which is perplexing considering we see it in the news so often. But hey, narrative matters! If people think the United States, England (Great Britain is a condescending and silly name for a place, until Afghanistan is called Highly Superior Afghanistan, I really refuse), and Russia okayed an attack on a civilian hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that's not a good look for the United States and Russia. Really, the entire truth about Afghani suffering is not a good look for anyone. The US, Pakistan, India, England, Russia, and by default all of the Allied Forces, the United Nations, Amnesty International. All of these powerful bodies of government, all facing the malign of failure, perhaps even exploitation, I daresay, even the status of War Criminals... and Afghanistan's truth becomes a thing of folklore and fantasy, a minor issue. A collateral issue. The truth about Afghanistan is now disappeared.
The truth about Afghanistan, is that the starvation, bombardments, abuses, theft, embargoes, trade contracts, billions of dollars in revenue, the deaths in the millions, have all happened as a result of foreign greed and gain. If the current migrant distress seen from Syria lightly spilling into Europe disturbs you, protract these issues by 50 years, and you will have the life story of the majority of Afghan people.
I am appalled at the global lack of acknowledgment that the brunt of the immigrant population from Syria is being harbored in neighboring countries, and the absolutely false assertion that Europe is facing some kind of crisis by allowing in refugees. This is an Islamophobic world, Homie, I'm just tryna live in it. The Truth about Afghanistan is that the US bombed hospital, burning patients and medical staff alive inside. This unwarranted and US-authorized attack has shut down one entire region's access to health care and humanitarian aid, and this is not the first, nor the second time, nor the fifth... and so the question remains: what will be done to bring relief to the Afghan people for once?
Russia and the US are arguing again. Pakistan is mad about India again, India needs a favor from China... blah blah blah and so critical trade routes to Afghanistan, a landlocked nation will be cut off yet again. Meanwhile the US and Britain are trading Afghan oil and copper with contracts that amount to billions of dollars, while Afghans freeze to death, and still have no hospitals or schools to go to. How straight forward and obvious does exploitation, theft, and mass murder need to be, really?
America was very careful not to bomb the oil refineries and trade routes in Kunduz it has built to gain access to Afghan resources. On my last trip to Kunduz in 2008, I spent some time at one such refinery site; Its quite the racket, really. A british oil container gets through a government checkpoint so much easier than a bus of Afghan civilians, its really nifty. I would go even further to say that the US and Great Britain have done almost nothing to promote the advancement of the Afghan people, and instead promulgated ignorance, and literally banked on the lack of education in Afghanistan to con Afghans to sign off on property deeds and contracts which exploit and underpay. Nothing about this war has been ethical, not even the 'humanitarian' efforts.
People have always had an easy time of writing off tragedies like the one in Kunduz, as 'collateral damage.'
How long will Afghan children grow up to die? To be collateral? Periphery? Secondary? Part of the process of weeding out so-called enemies? Now that some of the 'collateral' includes medical personnel from around the world, will anyone pay attention? Can we stand by Doctor's Without Borders by demanding an #IndependentInvestigation in #Kunduz ?
You tell me, Homie. All this rhetoric, and still no answers.