Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Decimating Osama- A Pyrrhic Victory?

A Pyrrhic Victory


The frail and debilitated body was a tragic caricature of its pre-morbid healthy and strong disposition .Surgical excision of the malignancy ridden parts had taken further toll of the dwindling vitality. Cancer had totally ravaged major portions of the body and rendered it impossible to perform even basic activities of day to day living. The irony of the situation was that the body itself had manufactured this lethal cell producing factory, that gradually destroyed itself.
Modalities like chemo-therapy, or surgery are available, but effect a sort of Pyrrhic victory. Using toxic drugs, or surgical excision are extreme measures, and can never be remedial by any stretch of imagination.
When malignancy strikes, and spreads to different sites, how many extensions can be excised? Delivering toxic drugs does impact the normal tissues as well. How long will the body bear such insults?
Terrorism is like a malignancy. Once a few cells escape the sovereignty of the organism and become autonomous, they continue to multiply, at the cost of the host and wreak havoc till finally the host succumbs. Paradoxical that these cells end up killing the very host that nourished them.
One of the etiological factors that triggers this metamorphosis from normal to malignant cells is chronic irritation. Repeated abuse of the tissues destroys them. The regenerative apparatus ensures periodic repair and replacement of the damaged cells. When a threshold is crossed, the repair mechanism gets deregulated and then goes in a frenzy of producing new cells, which eventually overwhelm the host. Every organism is in essence, a conglomerate of cells functioning with extreme synchronicity and order. The body is a symphony, produced by the orchestra of different systems and organs working in tandem and in an orderly manner. Entropy or disorder is introduced due to repeated abuse and irritation. The body has a great amount of tolerance and innate ability to deal with insult, but when this limit is also transgressed, it is left with no option but to destroy itself. Destroying terrorist organisations or terrorists is like merely excising part of a rapidly spreading cancer. Using force or weapons is analogous to using cyto-toxic drugs. Such measures destroy normal cells also which are in the functional vicinity of the malignant cells. It is a very temporary respite and does nothing in terms of effecting a cure. Ideologies (religious or otherwise) take the form of instruments of irritation and abuse. They spread insidiously and propagate with an absolute conviction of their own virtue. They have scarce regard to the diversity of the host factors. The success of an ideology in one micro-environment does not ratify its universality. Other environs deal with this foreign ideology as an antigen and react violently. This response is not the fault of the host. Its the fault of the antigenic stimulation. The body works on an “all or none” program. It will either not react at all or then react with full throttle. This response transcends all logic and cannot be reversed once put into motion. Not initiating it is far more prudent than attempts to negotiate after triggering it. The transformation of orderly functional cells into an autonomous mass with the potential to destroy the host has to be stopped rather than focussing on means of containing these transformed cells. Once they are transformed, they evolve and become refractory to all modalities deployed to reign them in. The microcosm provides us insights to deal with the macrocosm. Just that we have to be smart enough to observe and learn from these time-tested cues.

Dr. Deepak M. Ranade
(The author is a consultant Neurosurgeon-deepakranade@hotmail.com)

4 comments:

pats said...

GM Deepak...
Nice logical thinking...I hope it will work at some part of the world..and we will be able to overcome the malignancy..............

vvk said...

Good analogy Doc but it is a necessary evil like cancer .Destiny ,I would say as per your previous blog .

Guru said...

Definitely a good analogy Deepak, however... that places the Oncologists on par with the Politicians running the governments, except for the fact that these politicians created and nurtured these Frankeinsteins like Osama, Bhinderwale etc before they grew too big.

kirankharat said...

Lucid thoughts!
As one journalist said, there will be many Osama's ready to takehis place...
It is a never ending fight because of deep ideological differences and a closed mind mentality.
Kiran Kharat