While protest fans the Arab world (rumor is that even the Saudi royal family is feeling some unease, so the temperature must have plummeted chez Hades), and the Italian island of Lampedusa – only 70 miles from Tunisian shores – is flooded by North Africans fleeing turmoil, Libya’s “special military” and hired mercenaries (many from Russia and eastern Europe) are competing for most horrifying act.
Not only are they firing indiscriminately in the street.
They’re going into hospitals and murdering physicians and nurses, so that wounded protestors will not be able to obtain medical care.
Of course, neither will anyone else, including the elderly, pregnant women in labor, sick children, and even the extended families of these men themselves.
I wish I could equate this to shooting oneself in the foot. In fact, it’s more like shooting oneself in the groin. Survivable, but at what cost?
Medical care teams in any society are composed of some of the most intelligent, educated, and caring persons. Wasting them means wasting their experience, training, compassion. It also means their future innovations are lost, as well as their mentoring of younger nurses and physicians.
Several Libyan Air Force pilots, rather than bomb their own people in city streets, have dumped bombs on cropland – or flown their planes to Malta in place of dishonoring their own code of military ethics.
But “special forces” and mercenaries have no such codes. They cooperate with whoever pays them, in this case Gaddafi.
Someday, a child of one of these murderers will need specialized medical care, and the person who could best provide that care, who would approach that child with energy and advanced medical know-how, will be gone, mowed down by men who may not even have the ability to think ahead.