Two Viruses And Two Reactions

Editorial

cialis times; font-size: 12pt;”>By Gregory Welborn

drugs times; font-size: 12pt;”>President Obama’s decision to send 3, tadalafil 000 American soldiers to contain and eradicate the Ebola virus before it breaks out is the right decision, and Conservatives should support it without reservation. Given President Obama’s penchant for moving very slowly when committing U.S. troops, he has shown wisdom and courage in reacting to the prospects for the world and the U.S. should Ebola start to spread rapidly. But the same could be, and should be, said for the virus which is Islamic terror, now at least “contained” to one predominant region of the world but seeking to spread far and fast. We need the same swiftness of action and the same, or greater, commitment of U.S. ground troops to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria before the two viruses combine and attack the U.S.

Guinea-ebola

Ebola

Lethal viruses kill, and the amount of people they kill is determined by the combination of how quickly the virus kills and how quickly it spreads. Viruses which kill quickly but take longer to spread tend to burn out on their own; too many of their victims die before they can contaminate others at a compounding rate. This is measured by the “basic reproductive number” – usually shortened to R0. An R0 of less than one means an outbreak will subside. R0s greater than one mean the virus will spread. Recent analysis of the current West African epidemic pegs the R0 at greater than one and further stressed that the virus is mutating. Viruses do that. They try to live and reproduce like all organisms. If Ebola continues to grow and mutate to the point where it could be transmitted through the air (it cannot now), we would see a worldwide epidemic – perhaps even spurred by bio-terrorism.

President Obama is right to send U.S. troops – and lots of them. Only the U.S. has the personnel, stature and efficiency to put up the necessary facilities, isolate and treat those infected and stop this virus. Political dithering would costs lives – thousands of live. The President has been told that and reacted appropriately. Whether he did it for the right reasons or political reasons is irrelevant. This has to be stopped.

ISIS

ISIS

This brings us to the other virus – Islamic terror, now resident in the form of ISIS. It’s not a virus in the medical sense of the world, but it kills with equal dispatch and abandon, seeks to replicate itself worldwide and infects too many who ostensibly claim to belong to a religion of peace. If Islam in the broader sense is a peaceful religion, then it is an appropriate analogy to see the ISIS strain of Islam as a virus infecting that body of believers.

Like other viruses, ISIS’s strategy is not particularly new. Viruses tend to follow predictable paths. While the name is something we hadn’t heard before, ISIS’s goals, methods and strategies for dealing with the United States are similar to what we’ve faced before. Whether it’s been North Korea, Vietnam, the first Gulf War, Al Quada, the Iraq War, Afghanistan or now ISIS, the terrorists practice a similar path of asymmetric warfare. They kill to terrorize a population, they refuse to wear uniforms, they hide among civilian populations and they strike sporadically as guerrilla’s. They also play on the world’s sympathetic media to amplify their claims of a justified cause to excuse their wanton cruelty. Like other viruses, they seek the weakest elements in the cultures they target to convince the innocent and disaffected to die for their advancement. And like all viruses, they seek domination of ever increasing swaths of territory.

Fortunately, the comparisons also apply to how we must deal with them. Ebola must be stamped out. It must be met now with an overpowering counter force which will contain and then eliminate the threat. You can’t creep up on Ebola; you can’t use an incremental strategy. And yes, only the U.S. can supply that overwhelming force. It bears repeating; President Obama got it right in his response to Ebola.

The President must also do the same with ISIS. Before the Obama administration, the last time we practiced an incremental approach to warfare was Vietnam. From that came a quagmire, but also out of that came the Powell Doctrine. General Collin Powell persuasively articulated the need for an overwhelming force when America goes to war. From Vietnam until the current administration, that philosophy guided our successful engagements in the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan. Because of it, we beat back those who would have enslaved nations and whole regions. Obama’s premature removal of troops from Iraq, his communication of a withdrawal timetable for Afghanistan, his dithering on Syria and Libya, and now his open argument with our generals about ground troops have allowed the terrorists to regroup, mutate and emerge in many ways more powerful than they were when we first engaged them. Historians of the future will accurately record this as the seminal weakness of the Obama presidency. Should Ebola mutate to air-borne capabilities and should an Islamic terrorist release that strain in an American city, Obama’s weakness will become America’s disaster.

But there is a chance that future historians will also record a turning point in this presidency if Obama, like several Chief Executives before him, learned from his fatal mistakes and finished well. For President Obama and the nation to finish this chapter successfully, Obama must immediately and resolutely commit the overwhelming force that only boots on the ground can supply to the battle against the virus that is Islamic terrorism.

Gregory J. Welborn is a freelance writer and has spoken to several civic and religious organizations on cultural and moral issues. He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 3 children and is active in the community. He can be reached [email protected]/5l.com

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