Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"Hanna's beliefs prevent her from even treating soldiers on American soil."

One of the most reprehensible news stories I've read in a long time comes from Somerville, MA where US Army-trained doctor Mary Hanna is attempting to avoid the military service she agreed to give in exchange for a military-funded medical degree.

Getting out of something that you don't want to do--I get that. It's human nature (would you pay your credit card bills if you didn't have to?) It's the reason she offers that I find so profoundly offensive.

Hanna claims she's recently gone through a religious revival as a Coptic Orthodox Christian and providing care and comfort to an American soldier would violate her religious sensibilities.

This is a woman who, presumably, would provide medical care to rapists, child molesters, even terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. But an American soldier? Unclean. Beneath her. A violation of her principles.

Who wants to explain to her that the freedom to live by these principles comes from the barrel of a gun--a gun carried by an American soldier? Who wants to share with her what would happen in an Islamist country to a woman who wanted to go to medical school, become a doctor and treat (undressed!) soldiers alone in a hospital room?

The charitable argument is that Hanna is just a scam artist trying to get out of her deal to provide medical services to the Army in exchange for a free education. But what a disgusting, insulting argument to make.

Sadly, this anti-soldier, anti-US-military attitude is probably one she encounters on a regular basis as a war opponent in Somerville. It is possible to oppose the war in Iraq without loathing our soldiers.

But more and more liberals aren't even trying.