The USMilitary intentionally bombed a French Medecine Sans Frontieres (MSF) Hospital on October 3rd 2015, and as usual, immediately began lying about it. Some US media (NYT, CNN) attempted to gloss over it. Fog of War..Collateral Damage and so on.
Unfortunately for the USMilitary, this time a few Frenchmen were killed and their organization (MSF) has a megaphone to the world. Then the USMilitary story began changing. And then the NYT story changed as well. As usual the USMilitary will investigate themselves, and express remorse. Obama will wring his hands, offer condolences and apologies, and orate. And the world will move on. And this President, and the next President, like a long line of Presidents before them, will speak of these depraved hospital attackers as “heroes” who “defend” us.
This is rather a long post. I want to document the fact that the USMilitary, and their allies trained by us, are in the business of targeting and bombing hospitals — documented since the (secret) bombing of Cambodia in the late 1960’s.
There is no doubt, anywhere, that these are war crimes. No US main stream media has particularly commented on it as a practice of the USMilitary, and no particular attention has been paid to it by any USGovt agency. Bombing hospitals, like massacring civilians, has been and continues to be, a routine USMilitary practice.
I link first to several items, in reverse chronological order, which refer to hospital bombings carried out by the USMilitary and our allies between 1969 and 2015. I end with statements by Vietnam servicemen who said that targeting hospitals was a common practice.
Items 1 and 2 are the MSF response on Oct 4 and Oct 7 referring to the bombing on October 3 2015.
Items 3,4,5 are pieces by Glen Greenwald of the Intercept beginning on Oct 4 2015, and updated several times.
Item 6 is an item By Felicity Arbuthnot of Global Research describing the attack by US trained Iraqi Military on Fallujah Hospital between 28th February 2014 and 7th May 2014.
Item 7 is the report by Brian Dominick on the 2004 US Bombing of the hospital in Fallujah.
Item 8 is report on the USMilitary 1999 Belgrade children’s hospital bombing By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, March 25, 2014,
Item 9 is the report from RT on the 1999 bombing of hospitals in Yugoslavia
Item 10 is Greg Grandin’s Oct 2015 report in The Nation on the USMilitary targeting of hospitals in Cambodia in 1969.
1. MSF Response to Spurious Claims That Kunduz Hospital Was “A Taliban Base” October 04, 2015
Following an earlier statement Sunday morning reiterating MSF’s call for an independent investigation of the bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, MSF General Director Christopher Stokes released this additional statement on Sunday, in response to claims from Afghan officials that MSF’s hospital in Kunduz was routinely used by the Taliban for military purposes:
“MSF is disgusted by the recent statements coming from some Afghanistan government authorities justifying the attack on its hospital in Kunduz. These statements imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital with more than 180 staff and patients inside because they claim that members of the Taliban were present.
This amounts to an admission of a war crime. This utterly contradicts the initial attempts of the US government to minimize the attack as ‘collateral damage.’
There can be no justification for this abhorrent attack on our hospital that resulted in the deaths of MSF staff as they worked and patients as they lay in their beds. MSF reiterates its demand for a full transparent and independent international investigation.”
2. Kunduz Hospital Attack: MSF Factsheet October 07, 2015
From 2:08 a.m. until 3:15 a.m. on Saturday, October 3, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was hit by a series of aerial bombing raids at approximately 15-minute intervals. The main hospital building, which housed the intensive care unit, emergency rooms, and physiotherapy ward, was hit with precision, repeatedly, during each aerial raid, while surrounding buildings were left mostly untouched.
- The total number of people killed in the attack is 22, including 12 MSF staff members and 10 patients. Thirty-seven people were injured, including 19 members of the MSF team……
3. The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification Oct 2015 Glen Greenwald, The Intercept
….When news first broke of the U.S. airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the response from the U.S. military was predictable and familiar. It was all just a big, terrible mistake, its official statement suggested:…This obfuscation tactic is the standard one the U.S. and Israel both use whenever they blow up civilian structures and slaughter large numbers of innocent people with airstrikes….In this case, though, the U.S. military bombed the hospital of an organization – Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)) – run by western-based physicians and other medical care professionals. They are not so easily ignored….They want real answers. As the Guardian‘s Spencer Ackerman put it last night: “MSF’s been going incredibly hard, challenging every US/Afgh claim made about hospital bombing.” https://twitter.com/MSF?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
4. One Day After Warning Russia of Civilian Casualties, the U.S. Bombs a Hospital in Afghanistan Oct 2015 Glen Greenwald, The Intercept
…Jason Cone, MSF’s executive director, said the medical charity “condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific bombing of its hospital in Kunduz full of staff and patients.” He added that “all parties [to the] conflict, including in Kabul & Washington, were clearly informed of precise GPS Coordinates of MSF facilities in Kunduz,” and that the “precise location of MSF Kunduz hospital [was] communicated to all parties on multiple occasions over past months, including on 9/29.” Worst of all, from MSF itself a tweet:
Bombing continued for >30 minutes after American & Afghan military officials in Kabul & Washington first informed of proximity to hospital.
…For its part, the U.S. military in Afghanistan issued a statement acknowledging that it carried out airstrikes, claimed they were conducted “against individuals threatening the force,” and conceded that “the strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.”…
5. CNN and the NYT Are Deliberately Obscuring Who Perpetrated the Afghan Hospital Attack Oct 2015 Glen Greenwald, The Intercept
6. Iraq: Sixty Nine Days In Fallujah General Hospital Emergency Department (2014) Global By Felicity Arbuthnot Global Research, May 07, 2014
7. In Fallujah, U.S. Declares War on Hospitals, Ambulances (2004) The New Standard by Brian Dominick Nov. 9, 2004
US troops appear to be including the restriction of civilian health care services as a primary objective in the current assault on Fallujah, including the bombing and seizure of clinics and confiscation of ambulances….. In a series of actions over the weekend, the United States military and Iraqi government destroyed a civilian hospital in a massive air raid, captured the main hospital and prohibited the use of ambulances in the besieged city of Fallujah….
8. 24 March 1999: Remembering the NATO led War on Yugoslavia: By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, March 25, 2014, 24 March 2011
In 1999, when Belgrade was bombed, the children’s hospital was the object of air attacks. It had been singled out by military planners as a strategic target.
NATO acknowledged that that had done it, but to “save the lives” of the newly borne, they did not target the section of the hospital where the babies were residing, instead they targeted the building which housed the power generator, which meant no more power for the incubators, which meant the entire hospital was for all sakes and purposes destroyed and many of the children died.
I visited that hospital, one year after the bombing in June 2000 and saw with my own eyes how they did it with utmost accuracy. These are war crimes using the most advanced military technology using NATO’s so-called smart bombs.
In Yugoslavia, the civilian economy was the target: hospitals, airports, government buildings, manufacturing, infrastructure, not to mention 17th century churches and the country’s historical and cultural heritage.
9. 15 years on: Looking back at NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ bombing of Yugoslavia RT 24 Mar, 2014
…In what the alliance described as “collateral damage,” its airstrikes destroyed more than 300 schools, libraries, and over 20 hospitals. At least 40,000 homes were either completely eliminated or damaged and about 90 historic and architectural monuments were ruined. That is not to mention the long-term harm caused to the region’s ecology and, therefore, people’s health, as well as the billion-dollar economic damage….
The historical record suggests that the US bombing of an Afghan hospital may not have been an accident.
“Bombing of Hospitals Called Routine.” That was the August 9, 1973, Newsday coverage of congressional hearings on “clandestine U.S. air and ground activities in Cambodia and Laos”:
U.S. commanders in Vietnam placed no restrictions on ground or air attacks against Viet Cong or North Vietnamese hospitals a Senate committee was told yesterday by several Vietnam veterans.
In direct testimony and in letters, the veterans said hospitals often were considered targets rather than areas to be avoided as required by the Geneva convention on warfare.…
The committee also has been trying to determine who ordered a dual reporting system in which 3,630 B-52 raids over Cambodia were recorded falsely as having occurred in South Vietnam [that would be Henry Kissinger].
Gen. Creighton Abrams, currently the Army chief of staff and a former commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, testified that he carried out the false reporting system, but did not create it…. Abrams said that at one point there were so many different authorizations and reporting systems being applied to the secret operations that he had trouble keeping things straight himself.
In testimony on the hospitals, Alan Stevenson, a stockbroker from San Francisco and former Army intelligence specialist, said that while in Quang Tri province in 1969, he routinely listed hospitals among targets to be struck by American fighter plans.
“The bigger the hospital, the better it was,” he said. Stevenson said he believed the hospitals were rated highly as potential targets, not because American commanders wanted to attack wounded enemy troops, but because hospital complexes were often protected by company- or battalion-sized troop units….
A letter from former Army captain Rowan Malphurs said that in 1969 and 1970, he analyzed aerial photographs where B-52 bombs (the ones ordered by Kissinger) fell on Cambodia: “I saw on several occasions where possible hospitals had been bombed…. On another occasion I observed a red cross on a building that was partially destroyed by bombs.”
Former Air Force captain general Gerald Greven said he personally ordered bombing raids against hospitals: It was policy, he said, to “look for hospitals as targets.”
Update added October 12 2015
…This is just what happens when you lead an air war against irregular forces like the Taliban: You bomb hospitals into dust, you burn patients in their beds, you kill 22 innocent people for nothing….