The caption from Reuters says, "Newborn babies in al-Shifa hospital are swaddled and laid down seven or eight to a bed in a desperate effort to keep them warm and alive."
But if you want to keep the babies warm without an incubator, you would swaddle all of them - not leave some naked. You would cover their heads with the knit caps some of us are familiar with.Or, ideally, you would find people to hold them - preferably their mothers - and give them skin to skin contact to keep them warm.
You don't just lie them on a bed, some of them without clothes, one of them (who does not look premature or sickly at all) with their face pushed up against the sharp corner of a box.
This is not treating premature babies. This is abusing them for a photo-op.
Another photo of babies from Shifa hospital shows something interesting:
There is equipment and lights in the background that is clearly running on - electricity.
In 1991, Kuwait was trying to get US public opinion to go against Saddam Hussein. And they used the best prop they could find: babies forced out of incubators to die.
In his urgent arguments during the fall and winter of 1990 for military action against Saddam Hussein, President Bush made much of the Iraqi leader's cruelty toward the Kuwaiti people. Mr. Bush's allegations of atrocities by Iraqi forces generally went unchallenged. Mr. Hussein's violent disposal of dissident Iraqis was a matter of record, so few politicians, journalists or human rights investigators were prepared to question the President's campaign to paint his opponent as Adolf Hitler reborn.Some claims were no doubt true, but the most sensational one -- that Iraqi soldiers removed hundreds of Kuwaiti babies from incubators and left them to die on hospital floors -- was shown to be almost certainly false by an ABC reporter, John Martin, in March 1991, directly after the liberation of Kuwait. He interviewed hospital doctors who stayed in Kuwait throughout the occupation.But before the war, the incubator story seriously distorted the American debate about whether to support military action. Amnesty International believed the tale, and its ill-considered validation of the charges likely influenced the seven U.S. Senators who cited the story in speeches supporting the Jan. 12 resolution authorizing war. Since the resolution passed the Senate by only six votes, the question of how the incubator story escaped scrutiny -- when it really mattered -- is all the more important. (Amnesty International later retracted its support of the story.)A little reportorial investigation would have done a great service to the democratic process. Americans would have been interested to know the identity of "Nayirah," the 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl who shocked the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on Oct. 10, 1990, when she tearfully asserted that she had watched 15 infants being taken from incubators in Al-Adan Hospital in Kuwait City by Iraqi soldiers who "left the babies on the cold floor to die." The chairmen of the Congressional group, Tom Lantos, a California Democrat, and John Edward Porter, an Illinois Republican, explained that Nayirah's identify would be kept secret to protect her family from reprisals in occupied Kuwait.There was a better reason to protect her from exposure: Nayirah, her real name, is the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the U.S., Saud Nasir al-Sabah. Such a pertinent fact might have led to impertinent demands for proof of Nayirah's whereabouts in August and September of 1990, when she said she witnessed the atrocities, as well as corroboration of her charges. The Kuwaiti Embassy has rebuffed my efforts to reach Nayirah.
Saddam was no saint, but the story was a hoax. Americans, picturing the cruelty of babies forced out of their incubators to die in the cold, - a story amplified by an American public relations firm - solidly backed the war.
We know that many doctors at Al Shifa are fans of Hamas. Others are afraid of Hamas. We know there was plenty of quite public Hamas activity around Shifa Hospital on October 7 that hospital workers witnessed and stayed silent about. Their testimony and staged photos are not anything to be relied upon.
But the media believed them, and still believes them, no matter how ridiculous their lies are.