By Deb Avery
The world watched in stunned silence as the reports of the bombing of the Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz was repeatedly bombed by US forces on Saturday, October 3, 2015.
This was not only a bombing of innocent people, this was a hospital full of doctors, nurses and staff who have dedicated their lives to helping those in war torn countries all over the world. Doctors, nurses, staff and patients—including children—were horribly killed in what is being considered a war crime.
There are only two factors which allow hospitals to be targeted in war time engagements:
- The fact that there is an active hostile engagement between allies and enemy forces inside the hospital
- The hospital has been warned and allowed time to evacuate.
Both of these conditions must be met.
Neither of these were present when the hospital, staff and patients of the Doctors Without Borders were repeatedly bombed over the period of approximately one hour.
Americans and people from all over the world are asking some serious questions:
Who is to blame for this atrocity?
How does something like this happen in an era of pinpoint accuracy and reliable, instantaneous communications between allies?
The story gets confusing, to say the least.
Initially, before time was given to get stories straight, it was said that the coordinates were relayed by a third country. It was hinted that Afghanistan had called and relayed info to the Saudi Arabian forces, who then informed the US. It was said that the wrong coordinates were given to the US, who carried out the bombing, not knowing that this was a hospital. Why this would happen is not known. But this was stated once, early in the hour or so after the bombing.
There has been no more mention since that one time of this version.
Then, it was said that the Afghan army had said they were under “heavy attack” from inside the hospital itself, and that it was they who had given the wrong coordinates to it’s US allies.
Later, it was said that the US had bombed the hospital despite knowing that it was indeed a hospital—a not so small matter that implies that it was indeed a war crime. The doctors and staff with Doctors Without Borders have stated repeatedly that there was no shooting coming from the hospital. In fact, they have stated that there was no shooting nearby and that no one was in danger from enemy fire.
So how did things go so horribly wrong so fast and how could the US forces and those in command make such a terrible mistake?
In the coming days the truth (or as much as we are to told of it) will come out. And for the sake of those doctors, nurses, staff and patients, I hope it bears resemblance to what really occurred.
But the questions still remain: Why are we still in a war that was fought for all the wrong reasons? Will it ever end? What exactly are we fighting for? There are no easy answers, but there are some hard truths that must be faced by the citizens of America, and the world.
The status quo of fighting hate with hate must stop.
Imagine the good we could have done, the lives that would have been saved, if we had acted with love and hope instead of hate and revenge after 9/11.
What if all the billions of dollars that has been spent on this war had instead been used to help these countries on the fringes where the people are struggling with adequate food, water, medical help and basic life necessities? What if only a fraction of that money had been spent to help educate this part of the world about our humaneness—our oneness—even in horrific circumstances? How many lives could have been saved? How much suffering could we have eliminated?
We Americans must stand together and stop this war among ourselves.
We are more polarized in this country than we have been since the times of the Civil War. Yes, we were polarized after 9/11. But how much of that coming together was in fear and in seeking retaliation? For awhile there was much “neighbor helping neighbor” in NYC and all over the nation. We, as human beings came together and helped one another in tremendous ways during and following that horrible day.
But, we have lost our way. We have closed ranks against our own neighbors: white vs blacks, blacks vs whites, rich vs poor, Christian vs Non-Christian, Muslim, Jews, Buddhists—it goes on and on.
This has to stop.
By concentrating on our differences—by promoting the us vs them mentality—we are bringing about misery not only in our own country, but others as well. The real war is here, right here at home, between those who rule our nation with greed, power and money and we, the American people.
It’s time to wake up from the illusion. We are constantly told what to think, feel and support. The truth is fed to us through the distorted lens of the media who is owned by the very people who are waging a war with us with their greed for money and power.
In the song, “Waiting on the World to Change,” by John Myer, the truth is in black and white and sung with the notes and tempo of our own fears.
“And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got.
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want.”
It’s time to wake up from this illusion of the information age. Time to see the distortions at the edges of our peripheral vision. They are there. You can see them if you try.
Regardless of the truth behind the atrocity of the bombing of the hospital in Kunduz, it will be distorted and bent to fit into whatever view it is that we are supposed to see in order to pit us one against the other, to keep us busy arguing and fighting amongst ourselves, while the same atrocities continue to happen again and again.
After all it’s not happening in our country. It’s in those third world countries, right? Right?
Think again—just think.
Editor: Dana Gornall
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