That hospital we bombed in Afghanistan in 2015? Not a war crime, Pentagon rules


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Another MSF hospital was bombed today in Syria. Looks like the US is blaming the Assad regime this time, so it’s deemed “appalling.”


#3

Borders Without Doctors.


#4

“Do as I say, not as I do” is a cornerstone of USian paternalism, even to its own people.


#5

Well, it’s gotten better, the Pentagon used to come out with “we fixed that hospital for you, it was bound to fall down anytime soon!”


#6

That hospital we bombed in Afghanistan in 2015? Not a war crime, Pentagon rules.


#7

Their defense is literally “it doesn’t count as a war crime if it’s an act carried out in ignorance!!”


#8

Must be nice to be the judge to your own international crimes and say “My bad, but it’s cool guys. I yelled at some other dude so we’re square now”. I hope we can fold this into the US Judicial system so that criminals can oversee their own cases.


#9

That is a seriously precise airstrike…the aluminum roofing on nearby buildings haven’t even been torn off…and if you look closely, you can see that the two wings to either side of the central building have been evenly, and neatly destroyed, almost as if the payload was pre-built for that specific building.

Normally, with mapping errors for weapon systems you see lots of splash, lots of damage to the surrounding areas because the missile or bomb hits random shit, rather than the perfect killzone of a building, with a perfectly loaded warhead.


#10

Don’t think gravity bombs or guided missiles in this case. Think high calibre machine guns from an AC-130 gunship. 211 shells over 29 minutes. But punching through cement, they arrive pretty much like bombs.


#11

“We’re not evil. . . we’re dumbness!”


#12

I guess I am confused here. I thought the purpose of relatively new concept of war crimes is to punish people who intentionally go outside the agreed upon “rules” in war. Like systematic rape and execution of civilians, using Chemical weapons, executing POWs with out cause, intentionally shooting civilians, etc.

As fucked up as this is, it appears to have been unintentional to bomb the hospital. War sucks and wrong targets are hit. That is the nature of the beast. I haven’t seen anything even suggesting the US bombed the hospital on purpose. Given the fact the military practices the most restrictive ROE probably in the US’s history, and that there is no way they could have possibly bombed it on purpose and NOT have that fact get out, I am don’t have any reason to believe this is anything other than a screw up.

This isn’t to say they weren’t punished, as it states many people were. But at the same time it doesn’t rise to the level of a war crime IMHO.

ETA - The bombing blamed on Assad may have been an accident as well. But at the same time, he has intentionally done some nasty shit in the past. If it was intentional, that would be the big difference.


#13

It’s only a war crime if you lose the war.

Also, it has been brought up that the type of aircraft that conducted this bombing always records everything, including both audio and video. If they wanted anyone other than credulous fools to take their claims that it was an accident seriously, they would release these recordings.


#14

ignorance of the law is a damn fine excuse.


#15

To be fair, they’re not pleading ignorance. They’re pleading “(non)criminal negligence causing death.”


#16

Yeah, really. How is “[failing] to comply with the rules of engagement and the law of armed conflict” not actually considered a “crime”? Isn’t that the definition of a crime? That those particular deaths weren’t intentional seems secondary to the fact that this happened precisely because the rules of engagement and law of armed conflict admittedly weren’t followed. As a defense, this feels like saying, “I thought some guy was going to come after me, so I shot up a house. And OK, that’s against the law, but because it was the wrong house means I’m not guilty of killing the people in it, right?”


#17

sniff now I feel bad for not being fair to the mass-murdering war criminals, darn you.


#18

Same reason that running over someone with a car could be homicide manslaughter or murder. Both are criminal, just different categories of criminal.

Edit: Thanks clevername for pointing out my goof


#19

Homicide refers to any killing of another human regardless of legality or intent. i.e. executions are homicides. So I don’t really know what you are trying to say here. Hitting a person is normally only considered a crime if you are majorly negligent.


#20

That’s to be expected. Perfect aim, at precisely the wrong target.