Meaningful Distinction:

Patrick S. Lasswell Look outward for something to accomplish, not inward for something to despise.
pslblog at gmail dot com
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Mosquitoes Don’t Kill People, Malaria is Genocidal

Someone over on Totten’s blog woke up and noticed that when a billion people following one religious belief get angry at you, they probably aren’t a serious military threat until their combined Gross Domestic Product gets close to that of California’s. (OK, that’s mostly true if “you” are the United States of America. If “you” are the Lakeview Bowling League, you’ve got a serious problem.) Since that degree of solvency hasn’t happened yet to Islam, the fundamentalist fringe of that religion might not actually be as big a threat as the Axis or the Soviet Union used to be.

My response is that mosquito bites will not kill you, even in Alaska. It is not the bite that gets you; it is the disease. Malaria carried by mosquitoes is responsible for genocidal levels of death each year. Totalitarian brutality and irresponsibility is the cause of untold deaths historically and currently. We are engaged in a fight against the diseases of totalitarianism, the current campaign of which is centered in the Middle East. In exactly the same way we all are lessened by the ravages of disease induced poverty, we are all lessened by the ravages of oppression induced brutality and waste.

This fight has gone on since before I was born and will go on long after I have died. Every day some new charismatic or bureaucratic schmuck gets a new buzz from the power of unchecked authority and goes out seeking their next fix. That phenomenon isn’t going to go away any time soon, and dealing with the excesses of power addiction takes time. For now, we have picked our battles and are doing remarkably well. More to the point, we are fighting and not allowing the cultural toxins of the disease to make us frail.
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