Thursday, July 17, 2014

Russia, BRICS and Disease

A Malaysian airliner carrying 295 people has crashed in east Ukraine on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, amid allegations it was shot down.--BBC News
Now comes the real question, if it was shot down then who did it? According to the BBC, the likely suspects are the pro-Russian separatists. However, it could just as easily have been the Ukrainians attempting to discredit Moscow.

While the US turned its myopic eyes to Iraq, the situation in Ukraine continued to escalate despite Mr. Obama's reliance on economic sanctions. Russia may no longer care about sanctions because of recent energy deal with China as well as the news about BRICS;

"The leaders of the Brics countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have signed a treaty in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza to launch a Brics development bank.

The bank will rival the US- and European-led World Bank and its private lending affiliate, the International Finance Corporation, which have dominated development finance since the second world war. The Brics bank is positioned as a financial institution that will provide developing countries with alternative funding minus the punishing strings attached to World Bank lending, which strip recipient countries of the power to make their own policies. It also promises to make lending processes for developing countries faster, simpler and cheaper."--The Guardian

Russia has solidly partnered with China and though the other BRICS members may be small, Russia might be able to stem the effects of US imposed economic sanctions.  At least until a new US President gets elected.

News isn't looking much better elsewhere for Team Obama.  Reports are coming in that the US advisors in Iraq haven't really been able to do much and the violence there continues. Less we forget, the same thing is happening in Nigeria were many of the school girls that were kidnapped are still missing. US advisors have discovered that the Nigerians really don't have a system for receiving and disseminating intelligence that might help locate the missing girls.

And of course matters are really getting our of hand in the Gaza Strip. Many experts now see a ground war breaking out.

Finally there was the news that Assad was re-elected for another 7-year term even though there is much evidence that he used chemical weapons on his own troops.  So much for infamous "red-line".

But Mr. Obama may not have to worry too much about matters overseas as there is a major catastrophe brewing right here in the US.  Unlike the situations abroad, this one is silent yet has the potential of wiping out ten of thousands of Americans.

The illegal immigrants that have been flooding the southwest border from Central America and Mexico are all being housed tightly together, many on US military bases.  As fans of "The Walking Dead" already know, when you house a large group of strangers together (who are already suffering malnutrition, stress and undiagnosed illnesses) you run the risk of an epidemic.

The number of immigrants (mostly young kids) crossing the border is overwhelming the medical personnel's ability to screen the incoming.  Children are showing up and being housed before medical personnel get to see them, allowing the potential for communicable diseases to be introduced into the general population.  In turn, staff and visitors will also face exposure.  The diseases run the gamut antibiotic resistant TB to the more mundane (but equally deadly) flu.  As an example, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 3-5 percent of the world's population.

What makes the situation on the border so dangerous is the huge population.  Any outbreak would spread faster than medical personnel could diagnose and treat.  Anyone coming into contact with an infectious person, especially one that has not been diagnosed, could spread the disease beyond just the immigrant population.  We also need to think about all of the children that are being sent back.  What diseases had they been exposed to?  Will we create a pandemic back in their home country?

Events are overwhelming Team Obama and are happening faster than they can spin the story.  War is going to break out somewhere, be it Ukraine and Russia or Israel and Hamas and there is nothing this White House can do about it.  They may not even have any troops to send if a pandemic occurs.  Our military may be too sick to fight.

Update:  After I posted this the Twitter-verse was reporting that Israeli ground troops had been sent into Gaza.  And just for good measure, the White House was locked down due to a suspicious package.

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