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Bombing Hospitals All in a Day's Work


Bombing Hospitals All in a Day's Work

Phyllis Bennis

The destruction of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, with 22 dead so far, including doctors, other staff and patients, capped a week that also saw the bombing of​ another hospital in Afghanistan, plus the U.S.-backed Saudi Arabian bombing of a wedding party in Yemen set up in tents far out in the desert, away from anything remotely military. (What IS it about wedding parties that U.S. and allied bombers keep hitting them?).


Beware of foreign entanglements. Maintain NO standing army. The US has evolved into the very beast the founders feared. Their study of history proved them to be right. Jefferson’s call for periodic revolution seems quite prescient.


“The wars are far from over.”

Everyone who heard GW plead his case before Congress for the passage of the AUMF with his call to arms for a “generational war” should have realized this is where we’d be today. I did, and it turned my blood cold. I imagined then that it would get even worse than it has, and recent events confirm that fear.


At least three children were among the people who were burned to death in the hospital…

The Pentagon admits (sort of) that the bombing of the hospital may have caused some “collateral damage.” The use of the conditional implies that it’s also possible that the bombing did NOT cause collateral damage…

President Obama expressed condolences to the families of the victims but he refused to apologize for the bombing of a hospital…

And so we see once again the moral depravity of American imperialists and warmongers. No one in the United States government will lose any sleep thinking about this latest terrorist crime in the so-called “war on terror.” US politicians do not regard Afghans, or any other brown-skinned people, as real human beings. They can be assaulted and killed at will. They mean nothing to the future of humanity. They are clearly inferior to the divine white race. It’s a simple matter, as Conrad put it, of “exterminate the brutes.” Of course, US politicians don’t come out and say “kill all the savages,” but their conduct, in the never-ending wars, conveys exactly this message. Afghanistan is a desperately poor country, which has suffered mightily the last 50 years from brutal unrelenting violence. Afghan children have only known nightmares. For them, there is no such thing as “sweet dreams.” But Obama and his murderous cabal continue to drop bombs on this tragic country. It’s obvious that no amount of Afghan death or suffering will ever be enough to force a change of policy in the Pentagon. The American war machine only knows how to destroy, and once the machine is in motion not enough people care to stop it. It’s a sad, tragic fact that tens of millions of Americans will pay no heed at all to the American bombing of an Afghan hospital. In many areas of the United States, the people have no inkling of what the American military is really doing overseas and of what our boys and gals in uniform are really capable of, once they go amongst “the enemy.” Having grown up on a diet of nationalistic pap and Disneyworld, too many Americans are just American dreamers. They inhabit the make-believe world created for them by the engines of the State and the corporate media and thus they are kept “innocent” of the true American capacity for monstrous evil. What, our boys bombed a hospital and killed children? It must be a “mistake,” a “tragic error.” We Americans don’t do things like that. That kind of behavior characterizes Arab terrorists and Russians and Cubans. Americans are a good people with great and noble intentions. People who think like this are in another universe: the fact that the United States willfully destroys ENTIRE COUNTRIES should give them pause when they want to assert fundamental American goodness.

The bombing of the hospital in Kunduz is a definite atrocity, but it is not anomalous: it fits right in with the greater atrocity, which is the war itself. As for Obama, he must have earned his place in hell: he expresses sympathy but he will not apologize. In other words, he refuses to concede wrong. What would we say of a killer who says to the relatives of his victims, “I’m sorry for your loss, but I’m not sorry I killed him, I had to do it” ? It’s obvious that a person who takes this stance is not really repentant, as they .are more concerned to defend their own actions than bear witness to the terrible loss of human life. Obama and all the others belong in the dock in the Hague, but history shows, with depressing regularity, that the greatest criminals and terrorists tend to get away with their crimes…


Just this morning the local news reported that several van-loads of local residents were headed to DC to confront those cowardly Rethugs who did not prevent the Iran deal from happening. Claim to represent 300 Ohio Valley residents and plan to tell their GOP reps that if they won’t do the job they should resign. Where do you possibly start with neighbors like this? I noticed that they were all at least my age (62) or older, and all white, wearing the typical t-party battle slogan t-shirts.

I believe that because the US has killed so many people around the world for dubious or unsubstantiated reasons that there IS an acute collective awareness that we will reap what has been sown. This is a powerful contributing source of the fear of the likes of those now on their way to demand more confrontation, more escalation of tension, and inevitably, more of the death and destruction of war.


The war on terror was never intended to be anything but a war of terror on brown skinned peoples in third world countries where the horde of terrorist thugs wearing NATO uniforms of one brand or another feel they can do things, there, that they would never be allowed to do at home. The Pentagon will do its investigation for the sake of appearances, followed by Obama’s investigation for the sake of appearances and then, if the incident hasn’t been forgotten by the media, we’ll get some spin-doctored BS as to how it happened. In the meantime, the carnage will continue in all of these countries because those people are, well, less than exceptional. Bombs, away!


I also believe that the incredible paranoia of the US right is seated in an unconscious collective guilt and fear of revenge from former slaves, indigenous people, those around the world that we have bombed. Recall that spot-on cartoon skit (done by the South Park cartoonist - forgot his name) in the movie “Bowling for Columbine”.

For me, the only escape is to spend as much time as possible in those refuges of semi-sanity called “cities”** where such Tea Party attitudes are much more rare. I’d recommend Pittsburgh - especially Bloomfield or Lawrencville neighborhoods. There simply is nothing like these places in Cleveland or Columbus or Buffalo.

The political and cultural division between urban areas and suburbs/rural areas in the USA is becoming very stark - especially here in the rust belt - OH, PA, western NY.

** Not to be confused with the suburbs, or - inexplicably considering their status as economic sacrifice zones by capitalist forces - right-wing rust-belt towns like Youngstown, Steubenville, Wheeling or worst of all, Erie.


The only thing the Amerikan, fascist regime is exceptional at is the US government is an exceptional liar! The whore MSM has been spinning this war criminal bombing of this hospital as an inevitable act of war because the MSF was hiding the Taliban,when nothing could be further from the truth!

The doctors had Taliban in their hospital true; BUT IT IS TOTAL BS THAT THEY WERE HIDING THEM! They were treating them for war wounds!


Mars rules means the warriors write the script and use their bullying powers to drown out any alternatives to it.


Yunzer I typed out a long personal post about the 'burgh and the other cities you mentioned in which I have lived and worked. Though I felt like sharing all of that with you it was very off-topic to the serious and terrible subject of this article. Got a brother on the north shore and a sister in an old neighborhood in Philly, but I’m just not a city person.


Wanton killing for the sake of killing is sickening. This conjures the ghosts of My Lai for heinous atrocity.

Powerful post, jrp1900. Powerful indictment of the President, US military, and all citizens who allow atrocities like this to continue.

US media is largely dismissing this news story or reporting that there is uncertainty who bombed the hospital. It gets swept under the rug.


The evil that is obomber, and his fellow mass murderers; bush/cheney, the long list; boggles the darkness of the mind!
When the empire falls will these war criminals still be alive to face trial for their crimes against humanity?
Time will tell…


Every word that the mass murderer in chief spews is venomous poison on the World!


How can Raytheon sell more bombs if their customers don’t use the ones they have in stock?


“What IS it about wedding parties that U.S. and allied bombers keep hitting them?”

Perhaps it is because weddings can result in the birth in 9 months time of a male with the potential to bear arms?

As for the Afghan war-it did not start 14 years ago. It was started by Carter and Breiznzki in 1979, 36 years ago, when they funded fundamentalist muhajideen terrorists to de-stabilise and hopefully overthrow the then USSR-friendly Afghan government. What we face now in the Middle East and the Russians face in Chechnaya is the growth of the very forces unleashed by Carter and Brezinszki.


To Phyllis Bennis. Was the CIA involved in the instigation of the Syrian civil war?


This on the face of it a tangent rumination - but relevant to perspectives on medicine. I’m reminded of the pharmaceutical industry “price gouging” on biologics and its clawing away on every front possible to construct an impermeable petri dish for its ‘culture’.

DN this morning on TPP et al. looking at the “pioneering” biological pharmaceuticals - also in many cases built on denial of intellectual property rights based on citing the value as being only of the final product, which also maintains the delusional dissociation from natural ecological/social value of conceptual origins are with indigenous medicines and entire ecological systems.

The “governments” cum corporations are either in denial of cannibalizing their own roots, or believe some sort of god-like “right” that all of nature and humanity is to be twisted into whatever ‘externalized cost’ of dissociative metrics of predatory capitalism.

Interesting to note the etymology of “pioneer”. 1520s, “foot soldier who prepares the way for the army,” from Middle French pionnier “foot-soldier, pioneer,” from Old French paonier “foot-soldier” (11c.), from peon (see pawn (n.2)). Figurative sense of “person who goes first or does something first” is from c. 1600. Related: Pioneers.


Obama should be more interested in bomb control, drone control, war control instead of gun control.


That is the corporate media. They spend hours and hours on the Oregon shooter but only a minute or two of the tragedy in Afghanistan. Even then they all ape the same phrase that they have to wait until investigations are completed. Who is going to do the investigating? The US military?

The US corporate media is interviewing every distant relative, bystander, neighbor what they thought about the shooting and how they feel about it. Why not interview the relatives of the dead in Afghanistan? Well they cannot do that since the military already designated them as collateral damage and one does not interview collateral damage.


At some point, we have to stop condemning the world class criminals who are in positions of power in our government and start presenting an alternative vision Their crimes are much greater than bombing a hospital, they are misleading our country into being accomplices to their murder. They are traitors to humanity.

Wikipedia lists the CIA World Factbook as one of the sources for their list of the world’s largest oil and natural gas reserves. The five largest oil reserves are in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran, UAE, and Iraq, in that order. The five largest gas reserves are in Russia, Iran, Qatar, Turkmenistan, and the U.S. Notice anything about these countries? If you give corporations the deal they want, you are a friend of the U.S. government. If you try to utilize your resources for the benefit of your own people, you are an enemy.

In fact, if you are Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, the U.S. government and media will even cover for you while you support the Taliban and kill U.S. soldiers, most of whom, I think, actually believe that they are fighting for the greater good. I know I believed that when I was in Vietnam. As Smedley Butler admitted, it’s posible to be in the military and never have a thought of your own. Real men don’t think, they just follow orders.

John McCain is a living example of how we have been misled. The NY Times, in a fairly glowing tribute, said that on Sept. 11, 2001, McCain booked himself onto every TV and radio show he could to pass on his message. He said retaliation had to go beyond Afghanistan. “Mr. McCain recited a short list of other countries said to support terrorism, invariably including Iraq, Iran, and Syria.” (“Response to 9/11 Offers Outline of McCain Doctrine”, by David D. Kirkpatrick, NY Times, Aug. 17, 2008.) The next day on “Hardball with Chris Matthews”, McCain added “perhaps North Korea, Libya and others” to his list. (“McCain’s record on Iraq: eager to attack”, by Alexander Lane, Politifact, Aug, 21, 2008.) Trivial, unrelated, coincidental fact: the CIA World Factbook lists Libya as having the 9th largest oil reserves in the world.

On Sept. 11, there were only three countries that gave diplomatic recognition and aid to the Taliban: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Pakistan. The three countries giving the most aid to the opposition to the Taliban (the United Front or Northern Alliance) were Iran, India, and Russia. McCain’s list turned the world upside down. It just shows that if you follow the corporate rules you can get away with mass murder.

John McCain is not so stupid that he doesn’t know all this. Neither are John Bolton, Barack Obama, John Kerry (oh John, when you were in VVAW some of us thought you were an honorable man), or Dick Cheney. All of them are guilty of killing children and bombing hospitals in order to serve their greedy friends. They send our sisters and brothers in the military to die for a hidden corporate agenda. They spend trillions of dollars of our tax money to give their friends a few billion dollars in ill-gotten gains. They are traitors.

We in the peace community are witnesses to a country with a murderous military leadership and their political and media accomplices, all at the service of power and profit. What should we do?

I am a member of Veterans For Peace. I’ve taken a vow of change through non-violence. I believe our only chance to change this is to tell our co-citizens the truth. It’s not enough to talk to each other. Our only chance is to broaden the peace movement; to talk to new people. I firmly believe that a large majority of the American people have peace in their hearts but many are misled into hating people they know nothing about. We have to counteract that through creative methods of peace education. We have to learn to talk to people. Otherwise, we can continue to complain to each other, but that won’t bring peace.