12 comments on “‘Your turn, doctor’

  1. Good well documented article but comes across as propaganda for one side against the other side. The “weaponization” of health care and medical supplies is not something new; it was reported during the civil war in El Salvador by a US physician who spent a year with the Farabundo Marti — it was difficult to obtain medical supplies on the open market (Charles Clements, Witness To War: An American Doctor in El Salvador). The opening of the article cites an incident in Daraa in 2011 which supports the thesis that the Syrian Civil War is sui generis and is a just uprising against the brutal dictatorship of the Assad regime. I am not disputing that the Assad regime is brutal nor that the initial uprising was local, but that suggestion in the present context grotesquely ignores international involvement before and after, and especially now. Two articles well before 2011 underscore that indisputable fact. All the best. 2006: http://www.counterpunch.org/2006/04/25/is-the-us-waging-israel-s-wars/ 2007: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

    • Thanks George. I use what happened in Dara’a simply as a peg for my argument about violations of medical neutrality – specifically the graffiti on the schoolyard wall (‘Your turn doctor’) – and I do make it clear that the war had multiple origins; my intention wasn’t to focus on that (or to distract attention from it – I’ve written about it extensively elsewhere). In this post, it’s true that I focus on the alliance between Russia and the Assad regime – and for good reason, I think – but in other posts I’ve written at length about US-led airstrikes in Syria (although of course there are many other international actors involved on all sides). And I agree that the weaponisation of medical care is not new – it has an even longer history than the incidents you cite – but I do think that the contemporary radicalisation of that process is indeed new: both in its scale its scale and its systematicity.

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