Jewish World Review April 9, 2004 /19 Nissan 5764
Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak
Wrong Military Diagnoses & Treatments
Kerry whines that Bush is doing too much to fight terrorism since 9/11 and
did too little before 9/11. The Republicans snipe back that it is hard to
treat in six months what the Dems couldn't eradicate in eight years. Al
Qaeda, which has metastasized in response to post 9/11 pressure, regards
the whining and sniping as an invitation to influence American domestic
In retrospect, we've made some bad military diagnoses and worse treatments.
Last Easter, people had taken sides on this war. What mattered was less
their position than the reasons for holding it, for there were good,
intelligent, moral reasons to be for it: they were humanitarian and
interventionist. There were good, intelligent, moral reasons against it:
they were all cold realpolitik. There was no natural fit between a
conservative administration and its liberal reasons for waging war.
Post-war planning suffered accordingly.
Says Erin Solaro, a military writer in Virginia, "The issue now is not,
what did we think was the proper foreign policy last winter? The issue now
is, do we wish to see our country defeated?" She argues the very fact that
reporters and photographers survived to report on the massacre of four
Blackwater employees (Blackwater being a top-ranked private military
corporation, or PMC), indicates that the ambush was set up for maximum
media attention. (And it was a deliberate ambush with alternate sites,
RPGs, machine guns, and gas cans.) The insurgent message was brutally
clear: it is more dangerous to be Americans or Iraqis working for
Americans than to kill Americans.
Tragically, Americans were only the means of that message: Iraqis were the
real enduring recipients. For all the horror and fear engendered in
Americans by the murder and mutilation of those contractors, we can leave
Iraq. For Iraqis, Iraq is home. They cannot leave.
In theory, America can leave, despite the amount of military construction
in Iraq and the rest of the region, including the former Soviet Union.
We've left other nations before. Vietnam most famously. But, the fact is,
all talk of a handover of authority to the Iraqis on 30 June is window
dressing. The reality is a prolonged stay in the region allowing free rein
to the crazies, the jihadis and the barbarians who had so much practice on
Iraqis before they got hold of Americans.
There is a way to salvage American policy in Iraq and leave the place
better than we found it, not for a few months, but maybe for generations.
We must accept that we are going to be in Iraq until a generation comes to
power that has known nothing but freedom. This includes women: at home,
at work, and on the streets. You cannot have democracy if half the
population needs their husband's permission to work, can be beaten at home,
and are vulnerable to "honor killings." Real force, must be used to make
the point that law-abiding women and men need no one's leave to live, but
live underneath the law.
We must also face the fact that occupation light, especially in areas like
the Sunni Triangle and the religious militias, has bred not good will, but
increasingly daring resistance in Fallujah and private religious armies.
And while we respect Islam, mosque and state are separate, which means that
clerics too are beneath the law including the occupation authority.
The occupation must no longer be light, but hard and correct. It is time to
deal with those who contest this occupation according to what the US Army
quaintly calls the Law of Armed Conflict.
There is nothing quaint about the Geneva Convention, to which we are a
signatory. It provides for the court martial and execution for those who
fight as partisans, insurgents, guerrillas, or francs-tireur. To fight
without being under the authority of a responsible commander, without
wearing a uniform or brassard recognizable at a distance, or without
carrying arms openly, or to refuse to conduct military operations according
to the laws and customs of war, is to be liable to court martial and
These rules were made to protect unarmed civilians, lest they be
indiscriminately murdered. The deliberate targeting of civilians, as was
seen most recently in Fallujah, is a contravention of the laws of war.
It is a great failing of traditional American policy that we have been
either too tough to bring about reconciliation or too soft to repress.
Returning to the hard civility of the Geneva Convention allows us to eschew
a Left that sees all force and violence as fundamentally inhumane (only the
provocation to more violence)and a Right that would respond to a mob that
murdered four men by leveling a city of 250,000.
More to the point, the Geneva Conventions was created to protect
noncombatants, abiding by their rigor would remind us that it is Iraq we
came to liberate, and Iraqis who deserve our protection from the barbarians
who not only ruled them, but were content that they be so ruled.
Americans must insist, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as citizens
that both the President and his challenger tell us without spin, what they
think we should do, what they think it shall cost and why. Then we need a
serious national conversation and either do the right thing, or pull out,
no games, no half measures. And then we should have the decency to deal
honestly with the Iraqis who have suffered so much. We are a good and great
people. To do less than this is unworthy of us.
In war, as in medicine, the better the diagnoses the better the treatments
Editor's Note: Michael Arnold Glueck wrote this week's column.
Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple award winning writer who comments
on medical-legal issues. Robert J. Cihak, M.D., is a Discovery Institute
Senior Fellow and a past president of the Association of American Physicians
and Surgeons. Both JWR contributors are Harvard trained diagnostic radiologists.
Comment by clicking here.
04/02/04: Radiation monster slain
03/19/04: What Do and Don't Bush and Kerry Plan to do to Your Health Choices
03/15/04: Dear Rush: We Feel Your Pain, So Now Feel the Pain of Others
03/05/04: Fraudulent use of fraud laws by government
02/27/04: Population growth, birth control and increased terrorism?
02/20/04: Doctors fighting against doctors, at the behest of the government and lawyers
02/13/04: Legal Cancer in the White House?
02/06/04: Feds Harass Doctors. Who's Next?
01/30/04: Women, the Military and Medical Misconceptions
01/23/04: Welfare for the Wealthy
01/19/04: New diagnoses and strategies create both short and long term problems for medicine and the military
01/09/04: A new plastic phobia?
01/02/04: Baseball Good Medicine?: International Forkball and Split Finger Rotating Our Way Soon
12/26/03: Medicare Bankrupt: A Possible Palliative
12/19/03: Crossing Fruit Street: Some Movies Like "Stuck on You" Cross the Medical Line
12/12/03: Silver Lining in the Medicare Clouds?
12/05/03: Medicare mop up
12/01/03: The Dirty Radioactive Bomb: Rational Response or Fear Itself?
11/24/03: The Caduceus Conspiracy: How the People Lost Medicine and How We Can Take It Back
11/14/03: Mosquitoes kill us; DDT doesn't
11/07/03: Avoiding the Schiavo Scenario: Readers Speak Out With Life-and-Death Comments
10/31/03: The Terri Schindler-Schiavo Case: Speaking out for those who can't
10/24/03: Want health service go on a diet?
10/15/03: The War on Legal Painkillers: Sen. Kerry owes an apology to the more than 48 million Americans who suffer chronic pain
10/13/03: Medicare defrauds itself
09/19/03: Politics prevents women from learning about abortion/breast cancer risks
09/12/03: Medical mischief
09/05/03: Unholy medicine
08/29/03: The California Tea Party and West Coast Determinism; Voter anger coming your way soon
08/18/03: The outlaw prosecutors: A Justice and Civil Liberties Issue
08/08/03: "Toxic Teeth?"
07/25/03: Resuscitating the Constitution; CPR American Style
07/25/03: Drug reimportation: Bill translates to goodnight, patients
07/11/03: Costly Medicare Changes, Without Real Reform
07/04/03: The Painful DEA II: War on legal drugs ensnares too many doctors and not enough dealers
06/20/03: The Medicare Mess: Will President Bush call Congress' Bluff?
06/13/03: Diagnosis: School Insanity: A suit for sanity and school discipline
06/05/03: Soaring Medical Costs: Rational ignorance or rational enlightenment?
05/30/03: A Tale of Two Admirable Women: Jessica and Annika
05/23/03: Latest medical innovation: Cash
05/09/03: We feel your pain; Physicians have it too no thanks to the DEA
05/02/03: Medical Quarterbacking
04/25/03: CNN the "Conscience-Not Network"
04/21/03: Medical Miranda?
04/11/03: Are childhood vaccines shots in the dark?
04/09/03: The PETA Principle -- The lambshank Redemption
03/28/03: American conscience?
03/21/03: West Wimps or Wings: Treatment for Hollywood Hypocrisy
03/13/03: Worldwide schmaltz shortage looms --- all because of a featherless chicken
03/06/03: Legal metastases are killing us
02/28/03: Outside the Jury Box: Seeking Justice rather than a Lottery in Medical Liability
02/21/03: Workforce temperature rising; employer TLC in demand
02/14/03: Malpractice Insurance: They Reap What They Sue
02/12/03: Hawk, Dove or Groundhog: Diagnosis Critical List; Prognosis Uncertain
02/07/03: How about tax cuts for the "rich" and "poor"?
01/31/03: AIDS Bug Chasers
01/24/03: Libertarian moment or movement?
01/17/03: It's not just 'sue the docs' anymore
01/03/03: A pox on the critics; diagnosis sour grapes
01/03/03: If protesting is good for your health; then at least let's root for the home team
12/20/02: Obesidemic (obesity epidemic) or not?
12/20/02: Time for voluntary informed smallpox vaccinations
12/13/02: The real reason the state opposes homeschooling?
12/06/02: Conscience of a former conservative: Portrait of a political metamorphosis
11/27/02: Thanksgiving dinner hazard?
11/22/02: Time to think outside the box and inside the nucleus
11/15/02: The military should be protected from abusive environmental laws in times of war
11/11/02: Does Kyoto Treaty pose more harm than global warming?
10/31/02: Deep thoughts on Baseball, the World Series and Life: How about them Anaheim Angels?
10/23/02: "Pediatric rule" guinea pigs
10/23/02: Once the World Series ends, we need to create a Donnie Moore Day of Remembrance: Sports and mental health
10/18/02: Congress to senior patients: Do as we say not as we do for ourselves
10/11/02: Using pollution "scare labeling" to political advantage
10/04/02: The Great Asbestos Heist: Did Litigation and Junk Medical Science Helped Bring Down the World Trade Center?
09/27/02: The imminent rise of civic feminism: A far healthier national alternative in war and peace
09/20/02: A Ray A Day" to replace the daily apple?
09/13/02: Beware of celebrities hawking drugs
09/06/02: Avoid 9/11 overdose: Give blood to begin "September of Service," SOS
08/28/02: From Doubleday to strikeday: Baseball's collective anxiety attack
08/23/02: Should she or shouldn't she?: An alternative view on treating menopause with HRT
08/16/02: Cooking up defenses against germ warfare
08/02/02: Medicine, crime and canines
07/26/02: Lies, pathologic lies and the Palestinians
07/19/02: Medicare Drug Follies … as in "now you see it, now you don't"
07/12/02: Anti-Profiling: A New Medically False Belief System
07/08/02: Don't procrastinate, vaccinate!
06/28/02: The scientific advances on the safe and effective deployment of DDT are being ignored, or denied. Why?
06/21/02: Sex and the system: In seeking healthcare men are different from women
06/14/02: The FDA, drug companies and life-saving drugs: Who's the fox and who's the hen now?
06/07/02: Medical Privacy Lost: A hippo on the healthcare back!
05/24/02: To clean up America's game: A (soggy) ground rule
05/10/02: Free speech is good medicine
05/03/02: Medicine's Vietnam
04/26/02: Attack on alternative medicine could lead to alternative lawsuits
04/12/02: Insure the 'crazies'?
04/09/02: No Time for Litmus Tests: In War We Need a Surgeon General and NIH, CDC, and FDA Directors
04/02/02: The scoop on soot: A dirty rotten shame?
03/22/02: Too many beautiful minds to waste: The first annual Caduceus Movie
03/15/02: Terror and transformation: Defense essential for health & state of mind
03/08/02: Diagnosis: Delusional
03/06/02: The great matzah famine
03/01/02: Is new Hippocratic Oath hypocritical?
02/15/02: Why the recent moaning about cloning?
02/08/02: Searching for Dr. Strangelove
01/15/02: Score one for the value of human life
01/04/02: Medical-legal-financial wake-up call
12/28/01: Who's afraid of a 'dirty bomb'?
12/21/01: End of medicine?
12/14/01: More heroes: Docs deserve a little credit after 9/11
11/16/01: Do we need 'Super Smallpox Saturdays'?
11/09/01: Why the post-9-11 health care debate will never be the same
11/01/01: Common sense good for our mental health
10/26/01: Your right to medical privacy --- even in terror time
10/12/01: Failed immigration policy ultimately bad for nation's mental health: Enemy within leads to epidemic of jumpy nerves
09/28/01: Can legal leopards change their spots: A treat instead of a trick
09/21/01: Civil defense again a civic duty
08/30/01: Shut down this government CAFE
08/23/01: School Bells or Jail Cells?
08/15/01: Time to take coaches to the woodshed
08/10/01: Blood, Guts & Glory: The Stem of the Stem Cell controversy