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The Therapy Sessions
Monday, August 02, 2004
 

Doctors Without Borders blames US, wants Taliban back


Chrenkoff at his best:
Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors Without Frontiers), the well known international humanitarian organisation, is pulling out of Afghanistan and - you guessed it - blaming the Americans. The lead paragraph in the London "Independent" will give you some idea of the left's glee:

"It survived Soviet occupation, civil war, the Taliban and US-led invasion. But after 24 years of aid work, Médecins sans Frontières has been forced by the American military to flee Afghanistan."

Forget for the moment the not-so-subliminal message that the American military is worse than the Red Army and the Taliban; simply ask yourself how did they Yanks manage to chase MSF out of the country?

"US military tactics have made it too dangerous to operate there... MSF claimed the American military had endangered the lives of humanitarian volunteers by blurring the distinction between soldiers and aid workers. Five MSF workers were killed last month."

No, they weren't killed by the American soldiers, but by the parties unknown; either Taliban remnants or opium growers. But the US is to blame because as Kenny Gluck, MSF's operations director, says:

"The US-backed coalition has consistently sought to co-opt humanitarian assistance to build support for its own military and political ambitions... MSF denounces attempts to use humanitarian aid to win hearts and minds. That jeopardises the aid to people in need and endangers the lives of humanitarian aid workers ... These soldiers are often out of uniform. It's hard to know what nationality they are."

In other words, no one knows who killed the MSF personnel or why they were killed - but they must have been obviously targeted because they were mistaken for American soldiers doing humanitarian work. But the article gets even worse:

"Aid groups' concerns centre on the actions of combat troops trying to win over villagers in areas afflicted by guerrilla warfare. Despite years of work by organisations such as MSF in the country, many villagers now confuse aid workers and soldiers, Mr Gluck claimed. 'We have seen military people with weapons and in white cars providing health care. How can you expect Afghans to distinguish?'

"Aid workers particularly criticise US special forces teams who sometimes operate clinics to win over local populations or distribute sweets and toys to village children."

Those damned American soldiers doing their humanitarian work! How dare they!

Of course, it's another no-win situation for the US; if they don't do anything but simply engage in military operations, the critics will accuse them of losing "hearts and minds"; if they do try to win "hearts and minds", the critics will accuse them of ulterior motives and undermining "genuine" humanitarian efforts.


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