Drug resistant diseases are popping up all over the place, partly because we have misused the drugs that we have developed to fight them.
Here’s an example. I’ve known Fred (not his real name) ever since he was a kid, and when it came to taking medication he was a complete idiot. Mind-bogglingly stupid. Whenever he got Strep Throat, his parents would haul him off to the doctor, where he would get an antibiotic which would immediately start making him feel better.
Now, when a doctor gives you an antibiotic he (or she) will say that you should finish all of the antibiotic, even if you feel better. If the doctor gave you a ten day supply, you need to finish all ten days. All of it.
Because if you do stop, the antibiotics will not have killed off all the disease, and the survivors will be better able to defend themselves – to resist. Stopping an antibiotic treatment midway allows surviving bacteria to withstand even better the next time you take antibiotics. Eventually, you will wind up with a disease that can (and maybe wants to) kill you.
My buddy Fred? The idiot would stop his medication when he started to feel okay. Well, after a full childhood of this, they discovered that (as an adult) he was a carrier for Strep Throat, spreading it to his kids and wife. They had to put the guy into the hospital for a month with a steady drip of uber powerful drugs to get the Strep bacteria out of his system.
What does this have to do with Libya?
Well, NATO seems to be fumbling in its attempt to unseat Muammar Gaddafi. Richard Fernandez, writes in his piece, Rope a Dope:
Reuters reports that some NATO countries participating in the Libya operation have punched themselves out, although Khadaffy is still standing. “New U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Monday that some NATO allies operating in Libya could see their forces ‘exhausted’ within 90 days.” European forces are wearing out from the beating they are delivering to the Libyan dictator.
So, after pounding his assets, killing members of his family and undermining his power, NATO is going to go away because it was just too much for them to follow through.
AFP added that the Italians are pulling out their carrier and Norway is pulling out its planes. The Italians have called for a “political solution” in Libya. France is reported to be secretly negotiating with Khadaffy for a settlement, according to Saif Khadaffy, who says talks have been ongoing between a Libyan envoy and the French President. The reality is that Europe’s combat power will soon have to be cut back in Libya unless the US takes up the slack.
And, it looks like the US doesn’t want to take up the slack. And, even if it did, can the US actually drive out Muammar Gaddafi without beginning ground operations? Boots on the ground? That sorta thing?
So, unless we see a change of heart in the US, Muammar Gaddafi is going to remain in power.
What do you think Muammar Gaddafi is going to do as a result of all this? Do you think that he’ll resist the idea of running straight into the arms of anyone who opposes US and European interests?
Of course not!
He’s going to do his best to make the West pay heavily for what he believes has been done to him. As Iran grows in power, guess who he’s going to play footsie with? When Russia realigns itself AWAY from the West, who do you think that Libya is going to align itself with?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I support NATO’s efforts to get rid of Gaddafi. He is a toxic influence on Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He’s an obstacle to the democratization of North Africa. He’s a mass murderer with a long history of perpetuating great evil on the innocent. He really, really needs to go.
But, since we seem to be unwilling to actually finish the prescription for solving the evil of Gaddafi… we are going to be left with a lethal disease in North Africa that will be able to resist any future efforts to eliminate it.
So yes, we now have a drug resistant Libya.
Good job guys.