80 Countries Just Slammed the US Over Habit of Bombing Hospitals

An AC-130H gunship from the 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., jettisons flares as an infrared countermeasure during multi-gunship formation egress training on Aug. 24, 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Julianne Showalter) (RELEASED)

By Claire Bernish

Saudi Arabia, the United States, and their allies have developed a nasty habit of “epidemic” proportions in various military theaters, particularly around the Middle East — bombing hospitals, healthcare facilities, and, in at least one instance, an ambulance. But despite countless pleas from humanitarian organization Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), that bombing continues, so the United Nations was finally forced to issue its own resolution on the matter.

Resolution 2286, co-sponsored by 80 member nations, condemns attacks on medical personnel and facilities in conflict situations and demands “an end to impunity for those responsible and respect for international law on the part of all warring parties.”

Though it might seem superficially absurd to issue a condemnation for something so patently fundamental, evidence of its necessity remains unfortunately prevalent in headlines.

One egregious example came at the end of April in the conclusion of an investigation into the targeted bombing of an MSF hospital facility in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on October 3 of last year. Though 16 U.S. service members were found responsible for the attack, accountability in the form of punishment lacked the severity warranted for the deaths of 42 medical staff, patients, and civilians.

“The 16 found at fault include a two-star general, the crew of an Air Force AC-130 attack aircraft, and Army special forces personnel, according to U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the internal investigations” with the Los Angeles Times. “One officer was suspended from command and forced out of Afghanistan. The other 15 were given lesser punishments: Six were sent to counseling, seven were issued letters of reprimand, and two were ordered to retraining courses.”

It would be difficult, when taken with the magnitude of what actually took place in the Kunduz hospital attack, to classify such a punishment as even slaps on the wrists of those responsible.

“Many staff describe people being shot, most likely from the [AC-130] plane, as people tried to flee the main hospital building that was being hit with each airstrike,” MSF said in a statement following the bombing. “Some accounts mention shooting that appeared to follow the movement of people on the run.”

Though the official explanation from U.S. officials inexplicably characterizes the bombing as an ostensibly horrible mistake, details of the harrowing 90-minute siege stretch the veracity of such a claim beyond the limits of feasibility. Médicins Sans Frontières has in place numerous safety precautions to protect both staff and patients — particularly since the organization treats any injured parties, regardless of affiliation, in conflict areas — including a staunch prohibition on weapons in their facilities.

A series of multiple, precise and sustained airstrikes targeted the main hospital building, leaving the rest of the buildings in the MSF compound comparatively untouched. This specific building of the hospital correlates exactly with the GPS coordinates provided to the parties of the conflict (GPS coordinates were taken directly in front of the main hospital building that was hit with the airstrikes).

Absolving itself of responsibility for what has been widely deemed a war crime, the Pentagon’s official explanation significantly downplays the attack as “a combination of human errors, compounded by process and equipment failures,” and that “fatigue and high operational tempo also contributed” to what it calls the “fog of war.”

In actuality, no excuse exists for a targeted attack on a civilian structure which dually functions as a safe haven for those injured in an already relentless, violent military campaign — itself with questionable motives and practices. No whitewash strong enough exists to paint over an inexcusably egregious so-called error.

But the worst facet of the Pentagon’s self-declared impunity is that Kunduz isn’t the only healthcare facility bombed by the U.S. and its allies — and Afghanistan isn’t the sole location such an attack has been carried out. Not by far.

Between March and November 2015, the U.S.-backed coalition managed to bomb nearly 100 hospitals in war-ravaged Yemen — though with the media’s attention trained on the imbroglio raging in Syria, that report caused little more than a ripple. Echoing innumerable unanswered pleas by MSF, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) asserted the targeting of health facilities “represent a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”

“The neutrality of health care facilities and staff is not being respected,” contended deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen, Kedir Awol Omar. “Health facilities are deliberately attacked and surgical and medical supplies are also being blocked from reaching hospitals in areas under siege.”

Apparently and typically, repeated calls to end targeted violence fell on deaf ears.

At the end of April, Al Quds Hospital in Aleppo fell under attack, killing 27 people — including three children and one of the decimated city’s last qualified pediatricians — and eliciting one of the most gut-wrenching open letters to date, courtesy of the director of the Aleppo Children’s Hospital.

“Like so many others,” wrote Dr. Hatem, “Dr. [Mohammad Waseem] Maaz was killed for saving lives. Today we remember Dr. Maaz’s humanity and his bravery. Please share his story so others may know what medics in Aleppo and across Syria are facing.

“The situation today is critical — Aleppo may soon come under siege. We need the world to be watching.”

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Addressing the United Nations in utter frustration on Tuesday, MSF head, Joanne Liu, beseeched the members responsible to “Stop these attacks! You … must live up to your extraordinary responsibilities and set an example for all states.”

Though her sentiment may be broadly shared, the Pentagon’s less than lackluster response to the U.S. military members complicit in the Kunduz bombing make the likelihood of her demands being met exceedingly unlikely anytime soon.

This article (80 Countries Just Slammed the US Over Habit of Bombing Hospitals) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

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17 Comments on "80 Countries Just Slammed the US Over Habit of Bombing Hospitals"

  1. Only a Mongoloid idiot would need further proof;
    Sewer Nation – (are you part of) – Idiot culture?

  2. Zaphod Braden | May 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Reply

    Bet anything that Allepo hospital was bombed by Turkey.

  3. carpkiller | May 7, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Reply

    Screw the un. Worthless,problem makers. Theres only one way to stop it and Russia the only one to do it since the US is one of the bombers.

  4. The ones who deserve the most severe punishment are the people who ordered these attacks. The ones who followed orders should have refused to do so, but they would have been punished more severely for not killing these people. Chances are the identities of the ones who issued the orders were not ever made public.

    • People “just following orders” (= proudly commiting evil).
      Or, people “just enforcing the law” (= proudly commiting evil).

      Without the aid of those no tyranny has a chance.

    • Douglas Kelly | May 8, 2016 at 11:43 am | Reply

      I agree, And then there are the drones that bomb innocent people, killing hundreds ostensibly to “get” one bad guy (one whom the sickos in government have deemed to be a bad guy). Those who give the orders for this to be done are obviously those who have the command power to give such orders. Not to difficult to find these criminals. Go to the Pentagon and just start knocking on doors. But those who carry out the drone campaigns, those who actually follow the orders are pathological. No one but a sociopath would do this, and they should be punished as severely as those who issued the orders.

      But neither will be punished. We are all too familiar with those who conduct the endless wars in the ME and then complain about the Syrian and other immigrants who are trying to escape the total destruction of our massive war machines. It is sickening.

  5. gifteconomy | May 7, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Reply

    The US criminals bombed hospitals and TV stations in Serbia in the ninties ! nobody protested !
    New born children were killed in Belgrade by satanic US bombs… and american people have never protested against such acts!
    No wonder that same criminal acts just go on… and on.. all around the world!
    It’s on American people to stop own satanic political class.
    Trump plans war with China – be aware – do not let him destroy your own country too !

  6. Doctor Jack | May 8, 2016 at 12:50 am | Reply

    It seems like the policy is the more people that are killed, the better, regardless of who they are or what side they’re on cause that’s what keeps happening.

    • Who knew that we would become the evil menace?

      • Pyra Gorgon | May 9, 2016 at 10:14 am | Reply

        We either knew or should have known we’d be that menace once we collectively allowed the military industrial complex to weave its tentacles throughout our cultural experience as Americans.

        That should have been our wake up call. But we slept through it.

  7. The Awakening | May 8, 2016 at 2:58 am | Reply

    I read this report, but non of the information about what the United States has done is on the MSM…

    If it had been the Russians committing it, there may have been ‘wall to wall’ coverage.

    • duh

      Hate to say it, but we are the evil ones!!!! Too bad because the average American is a nice person… We will have to pay for the sins of the few…and it won’t be pretty!

  8. Arlene Lane | May 8, 2016 at 3:54 am | Reply

    is there no end to this AMERICAN TREACHERY, there will be no peace until the leaders of those European countries who have allowed themselves to be blackmailed by the USA, and the leaders the EU countries to realize that the EU and NATO also the UNITED NATIONS, are the creation of the USA, so now is the time for EUROPE TO DUMP THEM. and for the rest of the world to recognise the USA as public enemy NUMBER ONE.

  9. We all know who is responsible for the attacks on hospitals and medical facilities and that is the evil and cowardly nation that has done it in the past and will do it in the future . namely the nation that Arab people call the Great Satan aka the USA . Now becoming more infamous with its so called elections which are just revealing themselves as being rigged and always have been . promoting themselves as protectors of freedom and democracy but at the same time attacking and destroying countries that have done nothing to them . A Iranian Minister proclaimed that Israel should be wiped of the face of the earth . its just a shame he had not included the USA in that rant . collectively these two countries removed from the world . would bring peace and safety to the world !!

  10. All points to corporate objective, corporate greed!!! Did you think for one moment they thought of you as a human being? They simply don’t care, they have their objective to keep the fat cats rich…and they will!!!

    America, please note, as soon as these countries see their way clear and can hide what they do, the WHOLE WORLD is going to kick our azz!!! Our only saving grace is that many now have relatives here!

  11. y3shuA imMANu3l | May 9, 2016 at 10:40 pm | Reply

    “Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
    Come flood this place and
    fill the atmosphere
    Your glory, God, is what our
    hearts long for
    To be overcome by
    Your presence, Lord”

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