Monday 23 October 2017

Notebook: A look at the week that was

A house on fire in Aleppo Photo: Doctors Without Borders/AP
A house on fire in Aleppo Photo: Doctors Without Borders/AP

Donal Ryan

I read the weekend papers on a Monday. My Monday mornings are slow these times, they have room, a lovely accommodation. For me, Monday mornings are the best part of being self-employed; they're my weekend. I read a story about a cluster bomb that landed without detonating and rolled down a service ramp into an underground hospital.

A doctor picked it up in a corridor, the rooms at either side of him filled with bleeding people, torn and dying. He examined it; he wasn't sure what it was, this strange elliptical object filled with small metal spheres. I wonder how it would feel to be the manufacturer of that undetonated bomb, reading that story. Would he feel disappointed, worried about the next contract? Would he call a meeting with his engineers and his quality controllers and his line managers? Or would he thank God or the universe or blind random fate that his product malfunctioned that day in that hospital corridor? The hospital had moved underground after it was targeted repeatedly by Russian and regime planes. They cottoned on quickly and pounded the ground above it with bunker-buster bombs until the earth closed around the rooms of  lacerated children and women and men and the doctors and nurses who were trying to stop them dying.

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