Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blowback . . .

Possibly the worst ever. And it's really disturbing how the corporate media have buried this story -- of course the editors and reporters don't have much judgment about what really matters. Pakistani Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur has announced a ban on polio vaccination in North Waziristan until the CIA aerial drone attacks in the region stop. UNICEF was about to launch a vaccination drive tomorrow.

I've written about this quite a bit here before but just to review, we are very close to eradicating polio from the earth. This would be the second infectious disease of humans, after smallpox, to be eliminated. I'm just old enough to have had a classmate who walked with braces and canes, and a little girl in my neighborhood who couldn't walk at all, because of polio. Even less lucky people were dependent on ventilators, or dead.

Polio still exists in three countries -- Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. If we keep at it, we can wipe it out in a couple more years. But if we fail, we could have a global catastrophe. Most children, in places where there is no exposure liability, are no longer protected against polio. If the disease gets loose on a large scale, we'll have to start vaccinating everybody, everywhere, and in the meantime there will be lot of people paralyzed and killed.

Yes, these attacks kill combatants, but they kill lots of other people too. And they make more enemies than they kill. Now maybe they'll end up killing thousands of children. Way to earn that Nobel Peace Prize.

1 comment:

Tom Spradlin said...

hear hear