Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Nice, Healthy Taliban

I received a good question from Lady N today. Here is the news story that contains that very question:

"The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) raised eyebrows on Tuesday when it announced it was giving first aid training and medical kits directly to the Taliban insurgency. The move is part of a wider Red Cross effort to save lives in Afghanistan. The agency is teaching local doctors and Afghan security forces how to deal with weapon-related wounds. But in April it also provided basic first aid training and emergency medical kits to "over 70 members of the armed opposition," the ICRC said."  - Richard Foot, Canwest News Service 

I say everyone should have access to the information/health care that
helps to save lives. However, if we (the royal we) have a limited
amount of resources we should spend those resources where
they do the greatest good. This is clearly ambiguous, but it is also
easy to see that saving the lives of people who wouldn't think twice
about killing other people is not very efficient (and therefore not
the greatest).  Although the efficiency argument is cold, I think it
fits this context of the moral dilemma quite nicely.

If we had unlimited health resources, or even a glut of localized and
immovable resources in taliban areas, I would argue that helping them
out is a good idea. A child in this part of the world who loses a
family member mostly or partly because health care is withheld is more
likely to grow to resent foreign organizations of any sort. (I think
this stands whether or not people are aware of intentional
restriction.) Anything perceived by locals as a positive influence
from foreign organizations is a good thing.

What do you think?

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