Jake sent us a link to a Guardian story about the International Committee of the Red Cross giving medical training to Taliban warriors;
The Red Cross in Afghanistan has been teaching the Taliban basic first aid and giving insurgents medical equipment so that fighters wounded during battles with Nato and Afghan government forces can be treated in the field, it was revealed today.
More than 70 members of the “armed opposition” received training in April, the Red Cross said – a move likely to anger the government of Hamid Karzai, which is losing large numbers of police and soldiers in insurgent attacks.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had introduced the classes because pitched battles, landmines and roadblocks stopped people in the most volatile areas from getting to hospital.
Of course, I’m not so callous that I don’t think our enemies don’t deserve decent medical treatment, but, the Taliban should have considered their logistal shortcomings before declaring war on everyone around them. The IRC says that “people” are prevented from getting medical attention, as if the “people” they’re talking about aren’t involved in a war against…well….everyone. The Taliban throw acid on schoolgirls. They behead fathers in front of their families. Does anyone really think they’ll use their medical training on people not involved in the war?
In a Washington Times article, the ICRC is quoted;
Christian Cardon, a Geneva-based spokesman for ICRC, said in a phone interview that a wide range of Taliban fighters, including some senior-level militants, received such training.
Combatants of varying ranks attend these camps, but it is important to have “high-rank people also so they can at least transmit this knowledge to other combatants,” he said.
I think the Red Cross’ time would be better spent reaching out to the people isolated by the war than to hope that they can get trickle down medical attention to noncombatants from the Taliban.