For the second time in less than a year, a hospital staffed by Doctors Without Borders has fallen prey to an aerial bombing attack.
This time the hospital hit was in Syria, just which country’s planes were responsible for the attack is, as yet, unknown.
From the Washington Post:
Airstrikes on rebel-held areas in the Syrian city of Aleppo destroyed a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders, the aid group said Thursday, killing at least 14 patients and staff in the latest attacks that have all but unraveled a cease-fire accord.
The overnight raids — including a direct hit on Aleppo’s al-Quds hospital — killed at least 27 people, rights monitors and rescue volunteers said. At least 14 patients and medical staffers were killed at the hospital, Doctors Without Borders said on its Twitter account.
The group, also known by the French name Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF, said at least three doctors, including one of the last pediatricians in the city, were among the dead.
But in an attack on another hospital staffed by Doctors Without Borders nine months earlier, the identity of the attackers is known.
The bombs and the planes carrying them were American.
But if you expect those responsible to be jailed for their killing 42 innocent people, like, say a reckless driver who fatally struck another motorist on an American city street, well, fuggedaboudit.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The Pentagon has disciplined 16 service members for mistakes that led to the deadly airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in northern Afghanistan last fall, but no one will face criminal charges, The Times has learned.
The punishments follow a six-month Pentagon investigation into the disastrous Oct. 3 attack, which killed 42 medical staff, patients and other Afghans, and wounded dozens more at the international humanitarian aid group’s trauma center in Kunduz.
The 16 found at fault include a two-star general, the crew of an Air Force AC-130 attack aircraft, and Army special forces personnel, according to U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the internal investigation.
One officer was suspended from command and ordered out of Afghanistan. The other 15 were given lesser punishments: Six were sent to counseling, seven were issued letters of reprimand, and two were ordered to retraining courses.
Reckless driving? A crime, and you got to jail, losing your job and a whole lot more.
Reckless bombing? Hey, no jail time and you get to keep drawing the old paycheck.
By way of contrast, from a 4 September 2015 NBC News Los Angeles story:
A Southern California woman who was texting and chatting on her cellphone before she slammed her Toyota Prius into the back of an idling car on an Orange County freeway, killing the 23-year-old driver, was sentenced Friday to six years in prison.
Jorene Ypano Nicolas, of San Diego, tearfully apologized to Deanna Mauer’s family.
“The thought of you not being with your daughter is absolutely killing me every day,” she said. “From the bottom of my heart, from the bottom of my pain, I’m sorry you can’t physically be with your daughter anymore.”
Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Bromberg wasn’t swayed by the apology. He imposed the maximum term under the law on the 32-year-old defendant, saying that her lack of remorse was “deafening.”