December 30, 2002

PATTY MURRAY said that if we did more humanitarian work, like Osama bin Laden did, we’d see less terrorism. That was profoundly dumb on many levels, but here’s another example of why:

Three American humanitarian workers were shot and killed at a hospital in southern Yemen, by a man the authorities described as a fundamentalist extremist. They said that he went into the room where the workers were gathered at about 8:30 a.m. local time.

A fourth was wounded in another room in the attack, which took place at a missionary-run hospital in the town of Jibla, the officials said. This individual was later reported to be undergoing surgery.

The man, whom they said was a suspected Islamist militant, was subsequently arrested. He was believed to be a student at Yemen’s al-Iman university. . . .

The dead staff were identified as the hospital’s administrator, Bill Cane, 60; an obstetrician, Dr. Mersa Miers, and the storage department manager, whose full name was not immediately known.

According to the Yemen Times newspaper, the doctor had spent several years doing humanitarian work in the country.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a humanitarian: you’re still just a target to these people.

Meanwhile, the UPI story contains a bit of editorializing that proves that Patty Murray isn’t the only one who’s profoundly dumb:

Yemen has seen the widespread possession and use of weapons throughout the country, especially in rural areas.

Yeah. As the reader who sent this link notes, “If we could only take away their guns, then they’d have nothing but airliners with which to attack.”