Normalizing violence against civilians?

Sad but true: we are forced to admit the fact that the United States now finds itself embroiled in an increasingly aggressive global conflict, marked by a heightened confrontation with Russia, and ongoing preparations for potential hostilities with Iran and China

This evolving scenario portends a level of violence unprecedented in scale.

And the background for the would be future war, that you may call World War III if you like, is ongoing normalization of violence against civilians. 

Israel’s actions during its “operation in Gaza”, characterized by mass killings and the forced displacement of entire communities, are particularly illustrative in this context.

When Israeli forces entered Al-Shifa hospital and raised the Israeli flag there, after a continuous two-week barrage resulting in the tragic deaths of numerous doctors, patients, and refugees, they actually opened doors to barbaric cruelty which is quite unprecedented in the recent war history.

It is worth reminding that the 1949 First and Second Geneva Conventions expressly state that hospitals and other medical facilities are off-limits for attacks and must be safeguarded consistently. This protection extends to both civilian and military hospitals. And engaging in the assault of hospitals and medical personnel constitutes a war crime according to international criminal law.

Previously the United States had always justified its own repeated attacks on hospitals during the "war on terror" as unintentional. A notable incident occurred in October 2015 when a US airstrike caused the death of at least 22 individuals in a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. At that time, then-US President Barack Obama issued an apology, attributing the strike to a "mistake".

In contrast, the current stance of the United States involves legitimizing attacks on hospitals and other war crimes under the guise of "self-defense". U.S. officials, responding to Israeli actions at hospitals in Gaza, have asserted the absence of "red lines" – Israel is seemingly given a blank cheque for any atrocities it can commit.

Since the initiation of Israel's assault on Gaza, the World Health Organization (WHO) has documented a minimum of 137 attacks on healthcare facilities, leading to more than five hundred fatalities and almost seven hundred injuries, which encompass 16 deaths and 38 injuries of healthcare workers.

And we can be quite assured: this is just the beginning. The assault on hospitals by Israel is a component of a deliberate and organized genocidal strategy. Targeting civilian populations, children, medical professionals, and humanitarian workers is not only commonplace but has been elevated to a guiding principle.

And remarkably these acts of war crimes executed openly, with public declarations of genocidal intent, are quite tolerated, excused and even supported by the officials in the US and its allies, whose overarching objective now seems to be a systematic desensitization of the populace to the grim prospect of widespread casualties, reaching into the hundreds of thousands or even millions.

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