Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Remember M*A*S*H ????

Remember how doctors and hospitals used to be, for the most part - respected in a war zone? On both sides? Well, as I've previously mentioned , those days are apparently gone for good. More evidence that the U.S. is targetting those "evildoers", aka "doctors" - who try to tell the truth about the casualties they treat (via slate). And what's so amazing is, we don't even try to hide it. But nobody is picking it up in the mainstream media. So apparently, this is just ducky with your average American? We get outraged that a training flight in New Jersey strafed a grade school with live ammunition in practice, but this behavior doesn't raise an eyebrow??:

Snip: "The first major operation by US marines and Iraqi soldiers was to storm Falluja general hospital, arresting doctors and placing the facility under military control. The New York Times reported that "the hospital was selected as an early target because the American military believed that it was the source of rumours about heavy casual ties", noting that "this time around, the American military intends to fight its own information war, countering or squelching what has been one of the insurgents' most potent weapons". The Los Angeles Times quoted a doctor as saying that the soldiers "stole the mobile phones" at the hospital - preventing doctors from communicating with the outside world.

But this was not the worst of the attacks on health workers. Two days earlier, a crucial emergency health clinic was bombed to rubble, as well as a medical supplies dispensary next door. Dr Sami al-Jumaili, who was working in the clinic, says the bombs took the lives of 15 medics, four nurses and 35 patients. The Los Angeles Times reported that the manager of Falluja general hospital "had told a US general the location of the downtown makeshift medical centre" before it was hit. "

I guess it's one of those things where different rules of morality apply depending on your GPS location. You know what I'd like to see.... American doctors and healthcare workers getting pissed and standing up for their foreign comrades. Even if you don't believe in the Golden Rule from an enlightened moral point of view, most folks with any hint of common sense should recognize the reality of "what goes around, comes around". You don't want your medics and field hospitals targetted, don't target those of the enemy. And you sure as hell don't target those that are by all accounts, neutral. Where's the outrage & formal complaints from the U.S. military medical corps? Where are the protests from the U.S. civillian healthcare professionals?

I just do not get it. We're practically inviting the terrorists to come bomb the Mayo Clinic or Walter Reed with this kind of callous disregard for basic tenets of human civility. And I'm not hearing a peep from the Red Cross. But then, after Abu Ghraib that shouldn't surprise me.

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