Quella volta che anche Buddha “mosse lo sguardo”

da The Times, l’articolo è in prima pagina ora

Avevo in mente un’altro approccio a quest’argomento, ma i commenti sul Times mi hanno raggelato, andate a vederli, ognuno può confrontare la sua emotività: è “istruttivo” (sto facendo del sarcasmo)

Non ho mai visto la guerra: ne ho sentito solo parlare…..queste notizie mi creano sgomento e mi disorientano.

Interessante seguire il succedersi dei commenti

Assad’s snipers target unborn babies

 

A bullet in a full-term foetus’s skull. Such attacks were a hell beyond hell, David Nott said
Syria Relief
  • A foetus with a snipers bullet lodged in its skull

Lucy Bannerman

Last updated at 12:01AM, October 19 2013

Pregnant women in Syria are being picked off by snipers in a sickening war game in which their unborn babies appear to be used for target practice, according to a British surgeon.David Nott, who has just spent five weeks volunteering in a Syrian hospital, said that he and his despairing colleagues started to notice a disturbing pattern among the women and children who were being shot as they ran the daily gauntlet across a divided zone to buy food and supplies in a major city.“One day it would be shots to the groin. The next, it would only be the left chest. The day after, we would see no chest wounds; they were all neck [wounds],” he said in an interview with The Times. “From the first patients that came in in the morning, you could almost tell what you would see for the rest of the day. It was a game. We heard the snipers were winning packets of cigarettes for hitting the correct number of targets.”He said local rumours suggested that the snipers were mercenaries from China and Azerbaijan, working for the Assad regime. This cannot be verified.Mr Nott has been volunteering as an emergency surgeon in war zones in countries such as Bosnia, Libya, Chad, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the past 20 years. However, he said that Syria was the only place in which he had witnessed civilians, and in particular pregnant women, being targeted.On one day, more than half a dozen pregnant women were caught in sniper fire. On another day, two consecutive patients were heavily pregnant women. Both survived but their babies were dead on arrival.In one case, a baby had a bullet in its brain. “The women were all shot through the uterus, so that must have been where they were aiming for. I can’t even begin to tell you how awful it was. Usually, civilians are caught in the crossfire. This is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this. This was deliberate. It was hell beyond hell.”Speaking between operations at his day job as a vascular surgeon at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Mr Nott estimated that up to 90 per cent of the people he treated were civilians. “I saw very few fighters.” The surgeon, who also works at the Royal Marsden and St Mary’s Hospital, London, spends at least a month a year volunteering in a conflict zone.In 2008 he famously performed the successful amputation of a boy’s arm and shoulder in the jungle in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following instructions via text message. He examined the body of Tim Hetherington, the photographer killed in Libya in 2011. Tony Blair is a former patient.This was Mr Nott’s second visit to Syria. He returned to Britain last week from his stint at a Syrian hospital, the location of which cannot be disclosed for security reasons, with grim reports of medical facilities at the point of collapse. Even the most basic supplies have evaporated. He often found himself operating without adequate protection, such as a mask or gown.The few doctors who remain must work in secret, using pseudonyms, for fear of retribution against their families, he said. He knew an anaesthetist, whose two brothers had been arrested. The families of others had been threatened.“I sat with one of the senior doctors the other day. He could barely lift his head up. He said he knew he was suffering from depression, but felt he could not leave his people behind. It was despairing, pitiful and sad.” More than 100,000 people have been killed in the fighting that has ravaged Syria for two and a half years, according to the United Nations.Chemical weapons inspectors said yesterday that they had reached the half-way point in their mission to inspect sites across the country, following a chemical weapons attack near the Syrian capital, Damascus, in August.Atrocities have been committed by both sides, while the international community stalls in its search for a solution.Mr Nott, whose visit was supported by three charities — Syria Relief, Hand in Hand for Syria, and the Syrian British Medical Society — said he saw barely any evidence of aid on the ground.“I did not see one thing from the UK, not a single thing, apart from me. There is nothing there. There is nobody to help. That’s the problem.”According to Dr Mounir Hakimi, co-founder of Syria Relief, and orthopaedic surgeon at Royal Bolton Hospital, there is not a single anaesthetist left in Aleppo, the country’s largest city, and only two orthopaedic surgeons in the third largest, Homs. The absence of a neurosurgeon in Damascus meant that a patient recently died from otherwise treatable bleeding on the brain, he said, while the shortage of vascular surgeons meant that limbs were often amputated because there was no one to repair blood vessels. Mr Nott is calling for the international community to concentrate aid efforts on securing “a humanitarian corridor” to ensure the safe passage of medics like himself into the worst-hit areas.“The big problem was getting in and out,” said the surgeon, who had to run his own gauntlet past checkpoints controlled by Islamic fundamentalists. They are dressed in black, with just two holes for eyes. You are sitting in a van, hiding, knowing that six feet away from you is an Al Qaeda gunman. If he knew you were in the vehicle, you would get hauled out, no doubt about it. It is very dangerous.”Without more international support, he warns, there will be no health workers left. “There needs to be development of a humanitarian corridor, so people can come in, do a job and go out again, without being threatened. If you could change anything in this awfulness, that would be it. The UN need to get off their butts. Rather than talking about it, make it safe for people to help.” He is keen to meet with David Cameron and William Hague.“If I can spend five weeks in difficult conditions, at great personal risk, then they can spend five minutes with me.” Reflecting on the horrors, he said: “There have been wonderful successes and miserable failures.”But even the glow of the successes is short-lived. He saved around 80 to 90 per cent of casualities. However, with 30 hospital beds having to be cleared out every 48 hours, he knows they are simply returning to the same, desperate situation.The other legacy — teaching — is just as bittersweet, he said. He recalled saying goodbye to one of the most promising young surgeons whom he mentored while on the frontline.“He thanked me for all the skills I’d taught him.” Then he said: “I hope I don’t die before I can use them.”

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