NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Journalists make their living with words. But sometimes there are no words.

I’m not usually rendered speechless, but the horrifying bombing of the hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, has me grasping for ways to express the revulsion felt by the entire civilized world. 

That civilized world no longer includes Russia, which is not only committing war crimes, but unthinkable ones at that. 

What country, in the 21st century, deems it acceptable to blow up a children’s and maternal hospital? Any kind of hospital should be off limits, of course, but one that caters to pregnant women and babies, who were carried out, bloodied, from the wreckage?

RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE: LIVE UPDATES

This has pricked the conscience of the West in a way that overshadows every other Vladimir Putin atrocity, and it’s a growing list.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy understands this, which is why his scolding of Western leaders – especially after that Polish plane swap was vetoed by the Biden administration–sounds increasingly harsh. 

An injured pregnant woman walks downstairs in the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine.

An injured pregnant woman walks downstairs in the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine.
(Associated Press)

“This is not ping-pong! This is about human lives!” Zelenskyy said in a video. He was pleading.

‘You will bear responsibility’

Separately, Zelenskyy denounced the Russian pundits who defend the Putin regime in what are now totally state-controlled propaganda organs.

WHY THE MEDIA COVERAGE OF UKRAINE’S UGLY WAR HAS SHATTERED EXPECTATIONS

“I want to tell them one thing: You will bear responsibility, just as all those who give orders to bomb civilians. You will definitely be prosecuted for complicity in war crimes. … You will be hated by Russian citizens, everyone whom you have been deceiving constantly for many years in a row.” 

The Kremlin issued a denial that is audacious in its absurdity: first that the hospital was deserted, having been taken over by fictional extremists, and then that the victims were actually actors. That’s beyond insulting, and Putin’s people know full well the outside world doesn’t believe a word. Those explosions didn’t cause themselves. It’s Baghdad Bob territory. 

A medical worker is seen inside the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine

A medical worker is seen inside the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine
(Associated Press)

Every day, Putin’s henchmen issue denials that are contradicted by the evidence before our eyes. Russia says it is not targeting civilian areas when every day we see images of apartment buildings and homes destroyed by its missiles.

Reaching for words

To watch anchors and correspondents cover the hospital story – “the world watched in horror” – is to see them reach for words that match the magnitude of the moment, as I’m doing now, and find that impossible.

Perhaps Putin is trying to send a message that he’ll stop at nothing to get his victory. It is the madman theory of history — If he’ll bomb a children’s hospital, what won’t he do? — designed to break Ukraine’s will by inflicting unspeakable human damage. Maybe that’s why there’s already been a mention of nuclear weapons.

BIDEN BOWS TO DOMESTIC PRESSURE, BANS RUSSIAN OIL AND GAS AFTER DELAY

The U.S. and its NATO allies have done an amazing job of waging economic war against Russia, and trying to aid Poland and other neighboring nations with the endless rivers of Ukrainian refugees. For Russia to have previously shelled the escape routes that it had negotiated for safe passage was the previous low-water mark for these dirty fighters. 

A man carries his child away from the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine

A man carries his child away from the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine
(Associated Press)

SUBSCRIBE TO HOWIE’S MEDIA BUZZMETER PODCAST, A RIFF ON THE DAY’S HOTTEST STORIES

Now I get that war is hell. I know full well the United States doesn’t have a spotless record. There have been times, in our previous wars, when errant missiles or drone strikes have killed civilians, including children. But we have investigated, we have sometimes apologized, and on rare occasions have charged or court-martialed our own soldiers.   

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The clash that our country and the West face now is whether the daily drumbeat of atrocities could be stopped by more aggressive action. A no-fly zone has been ruled out, given the likely confrontation between two nuclear powers, and providing Ukraine enough lethal weapons has proven problematic. So we watch the slaughter continue, in great anguish, at a loss for words.



Source link