Is the entire world at large subject to collateral damage at the whims of warmongers?
Hospitals in war zones — and other civilians institutions including churches, mosques and schools — are protected under. Yet if an institution is considered dual purpose, meaning it is also being used to harbor enemy forces, it loses that protection under international law. What Doctors Without Borders must show is that Kunduz hospital had not lost that right of protection due to the fact the Taliban had not infiltrated it. The U.S. military personnel responsible for the attack will have to prove it was a military necessity to strike that hospital, and it doesn’t look like they will. So just what will happen here?
The US Secretary of Defense said, “It is confusing and complicated.” It is appearing that every military venture Obama is making is confusing and complicated. Who is directing him? He can’t seriously be without someone dictating these irrational orders, can he? Either way he is the one in the situation room causing all the blunders. Isn’t it time for the Pentagon to take charge and call him out on all the treasonous maneuvers through the Military Code of Justice?
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and former DePaul University law professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, explained that the motive behind the Kunduz Hospital strike will be crucial. “In order for something to be called a war crime it has to be done intentionally,” he said. But the concept of a war crime under the Geneva Conventions can also include gross misconduct or gross negligence.
Bassiouni said. “You are looking at two things here. One is military necessity and the second is proportionality. Was that really militarily necessary? Were these people really posing the type of threat to the U.S. forces who were there in order to necessitate attacking a hospital, violating the principle of neutrality of the hospital, with the potential injuries that could come out to all of the civilians there?”
Three investigations are underway: an internal military investigation headed by U.S. Brigadier Gen. Richard Kim; an investigation led by the Afghan government; an investigation by, both of which the U.S. is participating in. A fourth, impartial investigation is to be launched by the , an international panel designed to help mediate between conflicting parties. However the parties will have to consent to their investigation in order to proceed.
It appears that although Doctors Without Borders have been hit while no such war activity was taking place upon or within their premises, it is highly unlikely that anything will be done other than some form of compensation and a statement calling the entire fiasco collateral damage.
Below are some excerpts from the Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
Notes: (1) [(1) p.586] The following is the text of the Articles concerned:
I. ‘ Legislative measures. ‘
The High Contracting Parties undertake to incorporate the present Convention as part of their national law, to
ensure the prosecution of any act contrary to its provisions, and to enact provisions for the repression, by
criminal penalties or appropriate disciplinary measures, of any breach of the Convention. Within two years after the ratification of this Convention, the High Contracting Parties undertake to communicate to the Swiss Federal Council, for transmission to all signatory or adhering States, the laws and other measures adopted in pursuance of this Article.
II. ‘ Grave violations. ‘
Without prejudice to the provisions of the foregoing Article, grave breaches of the Convention shall be
punished as crimes against the law of nations by the tribunals of any of the High Contracting Parties or by any
international jurisdiction the competence of which has been recognized by them. Grave breaches shall include in particular those which cause death, great human suffering or serious injury to body or health, those which
constitute a grave denial of personal liberty or a derogation from the dignity due to the person or involve
extensive destruction of property, also breaches which by reason of their nature or persistence show a deliberate disregard of this Convention. Each High Contracting Party shall in conformity with the foregoing Article enact suitable provisions for the extradition of any person accused of a grave breach of
this Convention, whom the said High Contracting Party does not bring before its own tribunals.
III. ‘ Superior orders. ‘
The fact that the accused acted in obedience to the orders of a superior or in pursuance of a law or
regulation shall not constitute a valid defence, if the prosecution can show that in view of the circumstances the
accused had reasonable grounds to assume that he was committing a breach of this Convention. In such a case the punishment may nevertheless be mitigated or remitted, if the circumstances justify. Full responsibility shall attach to the person giving the order, even if in giving it he was acting in his official capacity as a servant of the State.
IV. ‘ Safeguards. ‘
The High Contracting Parties undertake not to subject any person accused of a breach of this Convention,
whatever his nationality, to any tribunal of extraordinary jurisdiction. They also agree that they will not apply any
penalty or repressive measure which is more severe than those which are applied to their own nationals, or which is contrary to the general principles of law and humanity. They shall grant any person accused all rights of defence and appeal recognized by common law. The safeguards of proper trial and defence shall not
in any case be less favourable than those provided by Article 95 and the following Articles of the Convention
relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Safeguards of a similar nature shall apply if the accused is charged before any international jurisdiction;
(2) [(1) p.587] The following is the text of this amendment in the ‘ Final Record of the ‘ Diplomatic Conference of
Geneva of 1949, Vol. III, p. 42:
‘ Article A. ‘ — “The High Contracting Parties, in so far as this Convention cannot be otherwise implemented,
undertake to enact in accordance with their respective Constitutions, legislation to provide effective penalties
for persons committing or ordering to be committed any of the grave breaches defined in the following Article.
Each Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed or to have
ordered to be committed any of the above-mentioned grave breaches and shall, regardless of their nationality, bring before its own courts all persons committing or ordering to be committed such grave breaches, or if it prefers, and provided that a prima facie case has [p.587] been made out by another High Contracting Party concerned, hand them over for trial to such Contracting Party. Each High Contracting Party shall take measures
necessary for the repression of all acts contrary to the provisions of the present Convention other than the
above-mentioned grave breaches.”
‘ Article B. ‘ — “Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of
the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the Convention:
‘ Wounded and Sick Convention. ‘ The wilful killing, torture or maltreatment, including biological experiments,
the wilful causing of great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and the extensive destruction of property,
not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.
Click to read the entire Geneva Convention Documents: https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/ihl/COM/380-600168?OpenDocument
The United States has it’s own Code of Enforcement for war crimes. Listed below are excerpts.
18 U.S. Code § 2441 – War crimes
(c)Definition.—As used in this section the term “war crime” means any conduct—
(d)Common Article 3 Violations.—
(B)Cruel or inhuman treatment.—
(C)Performing biological experiments.—
(E)Mutilation or maiming.—
(F)Intentionally causing serious bodily injury.—