Views & Reviews The bigger picture

Armies

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39342.483449.59 (Published 20 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:616
  1. Mary E Black, public health physician, Belgrade, Serbia
  1. drmaryblack{at}gmail.com

    I have mixed feelings about armies. In 1970s Belfast, we Catholic children welcomed British soldiers as our saviours till the tide of opinion changed and we were told to ignore them as they passed by on street patrols. In fake military-style justice thousands of young people had brutal punishment beatings from Northern Irish paramilitaries—a big number for a small country. In the Royal Victoria Hospital I patched up a young father, shot through the spine by an 18 year old from an impoverished housing estate in Glasgow; given an army uniform and a gun he had …

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