HEADLINES

Canada: Amid Hospital Bombings – Rules Of War Ring Hollow

By Stephen Cornish, E.D. MSF Canada. First published (February 29, 2016).

Amid hospital bombings rules of war ring hollow MSF Canada s Stephen Cornish on why civilians are NotATarget Doctors Without Borders Canada Médecins Sans Frontières MSF Canada

MSF Canada’s Stephen Cornish on why civilians are Not A Target

By Stephen Cornish, executive director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada

The day was just beginning at the Ma’arat Al Numan health facility in Syria’s Idlib province on February 15 when the hospital suddenly came under attack.ambulance not a target

Two airplanes fired four missiles that destroyed parts of the building and buried patients, staff and caregivers under rubble. Amid the chaos, first responders arrived to pull victims from the destruction. But as they began their work, the attackers fired a second round of missiles — this time with rescuers themselves as the apparent targets.

This “double tap” approach, in which militaries strategically wait to attack a target a second time in order to cause greater carnage, is an appalling tactic — one that is far more brutal than its euphemistic name suggests. Not only does it illegally treat civilians as targets by killing people who are not active participants in war, but it savagely punishes the doctors, nurses and other responders who try to help them. It is also a failure to protect civilians and civilian spaces in conflict, which is a clear violation of the rules of war.

 MSF article published on February 14, 2016. Syria At least seven killed and eight missing in another attack on an MSF supported hospital in Idlib province Doctors Without Borders Canada Médecins Sans Frontières MSF Canada

MSF Statement published on February 14, 2016. (Photo: MSF).

 MSF article published on February 14, 2016.. The hospital in Ma’arat Al Numan was hit by four missiles in two attacks within a few minutes of each other, according to staff from the hospital. Around 15 other houses and structures located in populated zones were struck in the area, including reports of another non-MSF-supported hospital during Monday morning. “The destruction on the MSF supported facility appears to be a deliberate attack on a health structure”, denounces Massimiliano Rebaudengo, MSF’s Head of Mission. Five patients were killed, as well as one caretaker. In addition, a hospital guard was killed and eight members of staff are missing, presumed dead. Other patients are still missing, but their numbers are currently unknown.

The airstrikes in Idlib, which targeted a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), were not the first time that participants in Syria’s civil war, or the international allies who support them, have launched violent assaults on hospital patients and medical staff. They weren’t even the only such attacks that day, which saw other facilities in Ma’arat Al Numan and Azaz come under similar fire.

MSF alone saw 63 of the hospitals and clinics we support in Syria bombed or shelled on 94 separate occasions in 2015, with 12 facilities destroyed and 23 staff members killed — and MSF’s operations account for only a fraction of the health structures targeted in Syria.

An ‘atrocious pattern’

An MSF medical report released last week found that in 70 of our supported medical centres in Syria, between 30 to 40 percent of war-wounded patients were women and children. Clearly, the planes flying over Syria are not just dropping bombs on soldiers or militants, but also on civilians who are just struggling to survive.mothers and children not a target

This is part of an atrocious and emerging pattern that goes beyond Syria.

In Yemen, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and supported by Britain, France and the United States has not only attacked public spaces and facilities with little apparent care for civilian casualties, but has blocked humanitarian aid from entering the country, reducing the people of Yemen to pawns in a military game.

In Afghanistan, U.S. fighter planes bombed MSF’s hospital in Kunduz — the only advanced health facility in the entire region — last October, killing more than 40 patients, staff and caregivers and depriving residents of urgently needed medical care.

Kunduz: MFS Hospital Bombing Deaths Rise To Nine

MSF staff in Kunduz continued to perform emergency surgery on wounded civilians. At least 37 people were seriously injured, 19 of them MSF staff. At least 100 patients were in the hospital. Many patients and staff remain unaccounted for, MSF says. The organisation says that all parties to the conflict, including Kabul and Washington, had been told the precise GPS co-ordinates of the hospital in Kunduz on many occasions.

MSF staff in Kunduz continued to perform emergency surgery on wounded civilians. At least 37 people were seriously injured, 19 of them MSF staff. At least 100 patients were in the hospital. Many patients and staff remain unaccounted for, MSF says. The organisation says that all parties to the conflict, including Kabul and Washington, had been told the precise GPS co-ordinates of the hospital in Kunduz on many occasions. (Photo: courtesy MSF).

Reaching a tipping point

Make no mistake, having worked in conflict zones for more than 40 years, MSF knows that war has never been a humane activity. But we have reached a tipping point.Patients Not A Target

It’s no longer just groups of rebel fighters who are ignoring the Geneva Conventions, but the nation-states who actually signed and vowed to uphold them.

When representatives of the world’s governments came together last century to help codify International Humanitarian Law, it was not a naïve exercise: In the aftermath of the Second World War, there was a collective global will to find ways to mitigate the horrors of conflict, and to spare civilians and the wounded from its brutal violence.

Today, those commitments are hollow. The world’s biggest military powers are using their most advanced weaponry and so-called “smart weapons” with complete recklessness.Civilians Not A Targer

Men, women and children trapped inside of conflict zones are paying for it with their lives, and the infrastructure and services they depend upon for survival are being destroyed.

Parties to wars todayin Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Afghanistan and elsewhere seem to use attacking healthcare workers and structures as part of a combat strategy, instead of keeping vulnerable people out of their cross hairs.

We have also seen the re-emergence of medieval tactics in which civilians are attacked, tortured, brutalized, besieged, starved and killed. All military forces must respect the right to healthcare held by everyone, whether they are civilians, wounded soldiers, friends or foes. We must move beyond condemnation to action.

Stand up to say that hospitals are #NotATarget

Not A Target🍁 If we — as Canadians, as global citizens, as human beings — fail to hold our governments and their allies to account and let them make a mockery of International Humanitarian Law and the fundamental principles it is meant to uphold, then we, too, will be turning our backs on any hope for a world governed by law, justice and an unwillingness to accept needless human suffering.

Hospitals are not targets. Patients are not targets. Doctors are not targets. Schools, bread lines and marketplaces are not targets. In Canada, we consider violence directed against public institutions and the people they serve an unthinkable outrage. We cannot call ourselves humanitarians if we stand by when it happens in other countries.

Targeting civilians is never acceptable. When warring parties kill with impunity and abandon, it is our shared humanity that is at stake.

🔝

MSF: Amid hospital bombings, rules of war ring hollow.

Click Picture for a Popular Article

  • Souhayla, a 16-year-old girl who escaped the Islamic State after three years of captivity, at her uncle’s home in Shariya Camp, Iraq. Credit Alex Potter for The New York Times
  • Iraqi firefighters and civilians carry bodies of victims killed in a car bomb at a commercial area in Karrada neighbourhood, Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016
  • Paramedics rush to the scene at the capital of Faso terrorist attack by Al-Qiada on January 15, 2016. The attack comes less than two months after a terrorist attack at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the Malian capital Bamako on November 20 in which 20 people died including 14 foreigners.
  • The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) will receive $20 million – under the Advanced Manufacturing Fund (AMF) – to establish and operate the Centre for Advanced Therapeutic Cell Technologies. January 13, 2006. (Photo: Adam Scotti). AlistairReignBlog.com
  • Mona Relief Charity on Go Fund Me makes it easy and safe to donate. No amount is too small, or too large.
  • Codepink protesters outside the NRA headquarters, Fairfax, Virginia June 19, 2016. (Photo: CODEPINK).
  • A U.S. Marine Corps recruit with Company F, 2d Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, provides security aboard Edson Range, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 25, 2016. The recruit simulated providing security while the rest of the recruits carried ammo cans to their fighting holes to simulate combat preparation. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps by Lance Cpl. Erick J. ClarosVillalta).
  • Journalist Deniz Yücel, along with four others, have been jailed pending trial on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organisation and inciting the public to violence.
  • Women to be placed on Canadian bank notes. Merna Forster helps prove that the adage is true, one voice can raise the voices of many. Forster is from British Columbia's provincial capital, Victoria, and her petition has brought about recognition to an overlooked wrong that required "righting" - and that she did with an impressive 73,402 signatures.
  • Painted on the side of a building in Bristol, southwest England - home of the celebrated graffiti artist Banksy - the image reprises a 1979 photograph of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German President Erich Honecker kissing, which was later turned into a mural on the Berlin Wall. It was commissioned by pro-EU campaign group "We are Europe" as what they call a warning of things to come if Britons vote to leave the 28-member bloc on June 23, as advocated by both Johnson and Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate in November's U.S. presidential election. Johnson is the "Out" campaign's best-known leader and Trump has said Britain would be "better off without" the EU, which he has blamed for Europe's migration crisis.
  • Mona Relief Delivering Lifesaving Food, clothing, blankets and medicine to villages dying under the siege of Saudi War on Yemen. (Photo: Mona Relief) alistairreignblog.com

Click Picture for a Popular Cartoon

  • I hate Monday
  • Take Our Poll: Come on in and tell us who haunted your nightmares! Which vampire had the most ferocious fangs?
  • Comic Strip: Terror News with Chuck. (Alistair Reign News Blog - Comic Strips: www.AlistairReignBlog.com).
  • The moment Bruce Jenner realized he was a woman
  • Sesame Street - Grouch Apprentice with Donald Grump
  • Paul Ryan Retires
  • Donald Trump and a Cheshire cat have the same smug smile.
  • Donald Trump and I Lama Crazy. alistairreignblog.com
  • Britney Spears Looking Hot in black leather in Toxic music video. who was sexiest? Britney in Toxic or Taylor Swift in Bad Blood

Start a Conversation or Write a Caption This joke.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.