Sunday, June 01, 2014

Editorial: Hey, John Kerry, who needs to 'man up'?

Last week, NINA spoke with Falluja Teaching Hospital's Dr. Ahmed al-Shami who explains at least 461 civilians have been killed in the last five months and 1466 injured from these bombings:

Al-Shami told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA / that / 461 / civilians, 18% of them children, and 11 % women were killed, adding that the number of wounded reached / 1466 / people, 19% of them children, and 17 % of them women .

Those numbers should be disturbing.  Is there a reason that news outlets outside of Iraq refuse to report them?

Oh, wait.

We just gave the reason:  Those numbers should be disturbing.

So the same press that sold the illegal war is the last place to expect to be forthcoming or honest.

Human Rights Watch did address the issue in "Iraq: Government Attacking Fallujah Hospital:"

Iraqi government forces battling armed groups in the western province of Anbar since January 2014 have repeatedly struck Fallujah General Hospital with mortar shells and other munitions, Human Rights Watch said today. The recurring strikes on the main hospital, including with direct fire weapons, strongly suggest that Iraqi forces have targeted it, which would constitute a serious violation of the laws of war.

Since early May, government forces have also dropped barrel bombs on residential neighborhoods of Fallujah and surrounding areas, part of an intensified campaign against armed opposition groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS). These indiscriminate attacks have caused civilian casualties and forced thousands of residents to flee.

“The government has been firing wildly into Fallujah’s residential neighborhoods for more than four months, and ramped up its attacks in May,” said Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch. “This reckless disregard for civilians is deadly for people caught between government forces and opposition groups.”

The armed groups fighting against government forces in Anbar, including ISIS, say they have executed captured Iraqi soldiers. ISIS has also claimed responsibility for suicide and car bomb attacks against civilian targets in other parts of Iraq in response to the assault on Fallujah. Human Rights Watch has found that ISIS abuses probably amount to crimes against humanity.

In Fallujah, ISIS has planted improvised explosive devices along the main highway and other parts of city, and is operating prisons in Fallujah and elsewhere, Fallujah residents said.

Six witnesses Human Rights Watch interviewed, three of them hospital staff, gave credible accounts of repeated strikes by government forces on Fallujah’s main hospital since January that have severely damaged buildings and injured patients and medical staff. An Iraqi government security officer based in Anbar, who spoke to Human Rights Watch on condition of anonymity, said government forces have targeted the hospital with mortars and artillery on 16 separate occasions.

The three hospital employees said mortar shells and projectiles had at various times struck the emergency room, the intensive care unit, the central air conditioning unit, a trailer that housed Bangladeshi hospital staff, and other parts of the hospital. The attacks injured four Bangladeshi workers, three Iraqi doctors, and an unknown number of patients, they said.

Such accounts of repeated strikes over four months, corroborated by photographs of apparent damage to the hospital, strongly indicate the hospital has been targeted, Human Rights Watch said.

Two witnesses to the hospital attacks, one of them a hospital employee, said that non-ISIS anti-government fighters were guarding the hospital and that wounded fighters were receiving treatment there. The Anbar-based government security official said that, according to information he received through his work and from hospital staff, ISIS has partly taken over the hospital, using the second floor to treat wounded fighters and administrative offices to detain high-level local officials.

All hospitals, whether civilian or military, are specially protected under the laws of war. They may not be targeted, even if being used to treat enemy fighters. Under customary international law applicable to the fighting in Anbar, hospitals remain protected unless they are used to commit hostile acts that are outside their humanitarian function. Even then, they are only subject to attack after a warning has been given setting a reasonable time limit, and after such warning has gone unheeded. Armed groups should not occupy or use medical facilities.

Witnesses and residents of Fallujah also described indiscriminate mortar and rocket attacks that have killed civilians, and damaged or destroyed homes, at least two mosques, and one school that were not being used for military purposes.

Accounts from witnesses, residents and the government security official indicate that, since the beginning of May, these indiscriminate government attacks have included the use of barrel bombs, dropped from helicopters, on populated areas of Fallujah. The Anbar-based security official said the army has been using barrel bombs since about May 2 in Fallujah, as well as in the towns of Garma, Saqlawiyya, Ibrahim Ibn Ali, and surrounding areas. “They started using them [barrel bombs] because they want to cause as much destruction as possible,” he said. “My government … decided to destroy the city instead of trying to invade it.”

And did Nouri cease his bombing of residential neighborhoods after the report came out?


In fact, he also returned to bombing Falluja General Hospital.

He did that because the report came out on Thursday and was widely ignored.

AFP did work it into a report.

Where was everyone else?

Not in the press corps that covers the State Dept.

That group of lovelies refused to even ask about the civilian dead or even mention the Human Rights Watch report.

And what of the State Dept itself?

They can't say a word.

Not about this.

Who needs to "man up"?

Might it be the person over the US mission in Iraq?


The State Dept gets billions to oversee the US mission in Iraq.

John Kerry, is the US mission in Iraq to kill civilians? 

Is that the point of it?

If that's not the point of it, then you need to get off your ass and do your damn job.

That would be the job you're not doing when you're making bitchy little remarks about Ed Snowden or anyone else.

These Iraqis are dying under your watch and you're not saying one damn word.

Not one damn word.

Secretary of State is your ride into the sunset.

There will be nothing to burnish your credentials with afterwards.

It's your final performance.

If you continue to say and do nothing as Iraqi civilians are slaughtered, you better get ready for the reviews filed on you, they will not be glowing.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }