Wed 28 Sep 2005
Sent on 9/21/05 after attending a talk by Bernard Kouchner, co-founder of Doctors Without Borders. The talk was well attended, around 200 people were present. In the question time I brought attention to the case of Dr. Dhafir, hoping that people who support Bernard Kouchner would also speak out for equal justice for Dr. Dhafir. The email is published with permission.
Dear Samuel Gorovitz,
I agree with what you said in your introduction tonight, that “no man is an island” and “when the bell tolls, it tolls for us all”. This is what has motivated my last year of speaking out on behalf of Dr. Dhafir, a man not unlike your honored guest tonight.
Dr. Bernard Kouchner talked tonight about the struggle between “humanitarianism and politics”, between “medicine and politics”, these are concepts that Dr. Dhafir is very familiar with. Dr. Kouchner also talked of the noble concepts of “moral medicine” and “the right to interfere”. When Dr. Dhafir sent food and medicine to starving Iraqis during the brutal US Sanctions, I believe he was practicing the kind of medicine that Dr. Kouchner spoke of. One and a half million people died during the twelve years of sanctions, 500,000 of them children under the age of five. Dr. Dhafir’s charity, Help the Needy, was one of the few charities getting aid through to the Iraqi people.
Dr. Kouchner also talked of Josef Goebbels, in 1933, saying, “Each is the master in his own house. Each is a sovereign state. We are doing what we want to our socialists, our pacifists and our Jews”. Dr. Kouchner described what happened in Germany as “genocide under the camera” and said, “Who reacted? Nobody”. My experience of the last year has shown me that we really have not learned anything at all from history.
I hope you will take the time to read the letters below and to look at my website, and give Dr. Dhafir a chance at a fair hearing that was denied him by the Syracuse Post-Standard. I would ask you to please forward this email to Dr. Bernard Kouchner and to the woman who introduced you (I did not get her name).
Three unpublished letters, from Court Watchers, to the Post-Standard were attached:
“In Defense of Dr. Dhafir” By Linda Bergh
“Response to Richard Lindsay” By Katherine Hughes
“Another response to Richard Lindsay” By Gay Montague