Tags: Afghanistan | John McCain | john mccain | doctors without borders | afghanistan | hospital bombing

McCain: Afghanistan Hospital Bombing a 'Tragedy,' Not War Crime

McCain: Afghanistan Hospital Bombing a 'Tragedy,' Not War Crime
A wounded Doctors Without Borders staff member, a survivor of the U.S. airstrikes on the MSF Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, receives treatment at an Italian aid organization's emergency hospital in Kabul on October 6, 2015. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 October 2015 12:39 PM

Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain on Wednesday blasted the classification of the deadly bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan as a war crime.

In an interview with NPR's "Morning Edition," the Arizona Republican called the deaths of 22 people in the accidental strike Saturday a "terrible tragedy" that "would not have occurred if the Taliban had not attacked the place to start with."

"I find it ludicrous and insulting that people would say because of this terrible accident that somehow war crimes are committed," McCain said. "To call that a war crime distorts the definition of a war crime."

The remarks start at the 3:31 minute point in the interview.

Story continues below audio.



The medical charity has condemned the attack as a war crime

McCain, a former Navy pilot, also defended the use of the AC-130 gunship striking in an urban area.

"The right weapon to choose is the weapon that … most efficiently kills the enemy," he said, adding "I have seen these gunships in action, and they have saved American lives by being able to suppress the enemy and enemy fire."

McCain said the Taliban was in Kanduz, where the bombed hospital was located, and that "it's pretty obvious that fire was coming from the Taliban in the city."

"I'm not saying there was anything but a terrible tragedy, but to think that everything we do is with pinpoint accuracy is a fundamental misunderstanding of what warfare is all about," he said.

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Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain on Wednesday blasted the classification of the deadly bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan as a war crime.
john mccain, doctors without borders, afghanistan, hospital bombing
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2015-39-07
Wednesday, 07 October 2015 12:39 PM
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