FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Will These Roosting Chickens Have the Flu?

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

Talk about your roosting chickens!

While the U.S. government spends hundreds of billions of dollars on the much ballyhooed “War on Terror”, creating vast secret intelligence networks, organizing a whole new government department, and reassigning resources and personnel from basic police work to anti-terror functions, while Interpol cooks up scare stories about Al Qaeda improbably developing sophisticated biological weapons that would allegedly be able to kill millions of people, nature is handing would be terrorists the ultimate weapon:

Sick chicks.

To cause the collapse of western economies and spread fear and panic among the populations of post-industrial societies-most notably America where the health system, especially for the poor and working poor, is in near collapse- all a terrorist has to do is to smuggle a bunch of flu-infected eggs from Vietnam or Thailand into the target nations, hatch out the chicks, and release them into commercial poultry farms.

The first result of this low-tech gem warfare would be a financial disaster for agricultural economies.

Then would come the inevitable health crisis, as the Asian bird flu first becomes endemic to Europe and North America, and then begins crossing the species barrier to mammals and ultimately to humans, as it is already starting to do in Asia.

The World Health Organization has been monitoring the bird flu crisis in Asia for several years now, watching as, with each new annual outbreak, it jumps more easily from bird to human. Over the past year, the H5N1 virus-based disease, which has a 72 percent fatality rate, has killed 45 people-apparently all of whom contracted the disease directly from exposure to chickens. This is a much higher number than a year ago, indicating that the virus is gradually mutating into forms that can make the jump from bird to mammal more easily. The real danger comes when a mutated version manages to infect a human and then become transmittable from human to human.

Because the bird flu virus is of a type that humans have not developed any immunity to, this development would likely lead to a pandemic, in which millions would die.

The recent corporate fiasco involving the failure to produce adequate flu vaccine for this current flu season should not make people sanguine about the likelihood of a competent response to such a crisis.

Instead of spending all those billions on the nightmare fantasies being hatched in the fevered minds of this administration’s neo-con cabal and their police apparatchiks, the U.S. should be spending whatever it takes to help the poor countries in Asia combat the disease there with medical help, farm development aid, and general economic aid. The U.S. should also be diverting a big chunk of those wasted anti-terror dollars to reviving health care in poor regions and neighborhoods of America, where health clinics, hospital ERs and primary care physicians and pediatricians have all been vanishing, if they ever existed.

The real terrifying thing is that according to the WHO, a bird flu pandemic is likely to strike even without an assist from some egg-toting, globe-trotting extremist. The government’s inattention to this global medical threat makes the country a sitting duck.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 25, 2017
Jennifer Matsui
The Rise of the Alt-Center
Michael Hudson
Another Housing Bubble?
Robert Fisk
Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis
John Laforge
Draft Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Unveiled
Benjamin Dangl
Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor
Alice Donovan
US-Led Air Strikes Killed Record Number of Civilians in Syria
Andrew Moss
The Meaning of Trump’s Wall
Leslie Scott
Trump in the Middle East: New Ideas, Old Politics
George Wuerthner
Environmental Groups as Climate Deniers
Pauline Murphy
The Irish Dead: Fighting Fascism in Spain, 1937
Brian Trautman
Veterans on the March
Eric Sommer
Trumps Attack on Social Spending Escalates Long-term Massive Robbery of American Work
Binoy Kampmark
Twenty-Seven Hours: Donald Trump in Israel
Christian Hillegas
Trump’s Islamophobia: the Persistence of Orientalism in Western Rhetoric and Media
Michael J. Sainato
Russiagate: Clintonites Spread the Weiner Conspiracy
Walter Clemens
What the President Could Learn from Our Shih-Tzu Eddie
May 24, 2017
Paul Street
Beyond Neoliberal Identity Politics
Daniel Read
Powder Keg: Manchester Terror Attack Could Lead to Yet Another Resurgence in Nationalist Hate
Robert Fisk
When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East
Kenneth Surin
The UK’s Epochal Election
Jeff Berg
Lessons From a Modern Greek Tragedy
Steve Cooper
A Concrete Agenda for Progressives
Michael McKinley
Australia-as-Concierge: the Need for a Change of Occupation
William Hawes
Where Are Your Minds? An Open Letter to Thomas de Maiziere and the CDU
Steve Early
“Corporate Free” Candidates Move Up
Fariborz Saremi
Presidential Elections in Iran and the Outcomes
Dan Bacher
The Dark Heart of California’s Water Politics
Alessandra Bajec
Never Ending Injustice for Pinar Selek
Rob Seimetz
Death By Demigod
Jesse Jackson
Venezuela Needs Helping Hand, Not a Hammer Blow 
Binoy Kampmark
Return to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia
Vern Loomis
The NRA: the Dragon in Our Midst
May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail