Sunday, November 30, 2008

Genocidal duo's body count comes to light


According to a study published by Harvard University AIDS specialists the surplus deaths caused by the HIV denialist policies of former South African President Thabo Mbeki and his quack doctor and health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang stand at more than 350,000 lives lost. More than 350,000 impoverished South Africans lost their lives because of the genocidal policies Mbeki and Tshabala-Msimang enforced in the country. These policies, driven by the conviction that HIV is not the cause of AIDS, meant that even rape survivors were unable to access postexposure prophylaxis. That in a country were rape is endemic, and where the HIV prevalence stands at about 20 percent or thereabouts. I reviewed the moral implications of these policies here. Medical doctors were forced out of their public sector hospital jobs by ANC ministers, for no other reason than that they provided rape survivors with postexposure prophylaxis, in violation of the monstrous government policies Mbeki and his health prevbention side-kick implemented.

What I can't get my head around is that nobody in South Africa seems to think these days that it might be a good idea to hold both Mbeki and Tshalabala-Msimang personally accountable for these policies, and to prosecute them on genocide charges. Why do politicians seem to get away with murder (that's what their omission to act when they should amounts to)? Even in the USA these days a discussion has begun on whether the Bush administration officials responsible for war crimes (including the torture of enemy combatants) should be prosecuted. Not so in South Africa.

I can't help but wonder whether even black people have got used to the idea that their lives just are not worth enough to bother... How else could one possibly explain the South African people's inaction on this issue? Indeed, how else can one explain that someone with a proven track record in terms of maximising the number of black lives lost to ideological fanaticism remains the official representative of the AU in Zimbabwe. Mbeki, here too, happily goes over the dead bodies of an ever growing number of black people in order to support his fellow lunatic Robert Mugabe.

15 comments:

  1. It looks more like gross homicidal negligence on a truly horrific scale than like the deliberate attempt to exterminate an ethnic or cultural group, which is what most people probably have in mind when they think of "genocide" (irrespective of how the UN might define it).

    But I don't see why this kind of mass homicidal negligence shouldn't itself be considered a crime against humanity. We've entered an era in which it's a very relevant category, and international law doesn't seem to have caught up. Doing something about this would be a more useful job for the international community than such follies as attempting to identify "abuses" of free speech, such as insulting religion - though I suppose that's another story.

    ReplyDelete
  2. But, Udo ... I thought you would be more clued up about us South Africans, seeing you spent some years here. South African leaders are respected and revered by the general population to an extent that leaders of Western democracies can only dream about. No ordinary black South African would think of pointing blaming fingers at Thabo Mbeki - nor even Frankenmanto - for their initial tardiness in rolling out ARVs. Dissenting voices are merely of those termed "neo-liberals", i.e. white opposition supporters, the group most despised by ANC leaders. To haul Thabo Mbeki before some hateful "Western" human rights court would produce howls of outrage from the locals. I bet you think I'm making this up, hey?

    Bestest,
    Clara

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Udo,. I suggest that you also examine the HIV/AIDS debate more closely, and you might understand why noone dares to attempt at holding him -or any of the other so called "denialists" for that matter- accountable:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=nY_Pu2gvI-4

    Actually HIV/AIDS skeptics are eagerly waiting for such a public trial in court. But of course the orthodoxy is afraid of engaging the skeptics, they know that their lack of scientific ethics would be exposed.

    Since you're interested in bioethics this might also interest you: Did you ever hear about the obvious fraud committed by Gallo, the creator of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis?
    http://conself.blogspot.com/2008/09/poof.html

    Why do you think that the media didn't touch it at all? Why do you think that he's today still one of the most respected scientists in the HIV/AIDS field?

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMG... super, a troll from flat earth is visiting my blog! Super. I take it, as a 22 year old media and communications student you've figure something out on HIV that 99.99% of all experts in the field have not noticed. That perhaps is the reason why you side with the 0.01% HIV denialists. Probably a matter of age, one gets less iconoclastic with increasing age (I know, I've been there). In fact, my paper addresses the denialist claim that the mainstream is too afraid to deal with their arguments. In case you have time to read at all - in between posting comments like the above - you might want to check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Which paper? You mean this?:

    "AIDS: Society, Ethics and Law."

    And what exactly makes you so sure that the majority can't be wrong about this? What convinced you that the skeptics are so wrong as to deserve insults?

    For your information, what I did was I paid attention to the arguments of the both sides and became convinced that there are questions needed answering. I didn't really "figure out" anything myself, I just informed myself and that's where my research took me. I wasn't like this 8 months ago for example. Before that I may have reacted a little like you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well, you obviously did not even bother to read my blog post properly. I mentioned the paper in which I addressed the issue in question there, I even linked to it.

    Further, and with all due respect, what makes you think that you're qualified to judge whether or not there are any questions to be answered? It could well be that there are certain matters that you can't get your head around. That could either be the case because you don't know a great deal about the basics of epidemiology, statistics or virology for that matter.

    If you had at all bothered trying to find out who I am, and what my history is with regard to the denialist position, you would not have suggested that without your 8 months of study of denialist literature you'd be where I am today.

    Anyhow, I know how denialists operate, so this will be my last response to you. Feel free to have the last word.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ok, yes, sorry. Chris Noble pointed out your paper to me. I'll check it out.

    "...what makes you think that you're qualified to judge whether or not there are any questions to be answered?"

    There should at least be rational explanations as to why the questions should be considered irrelevant. I couldn't find such explanations, a paper addressing the arguments of the Perth Group for example. Most questions are simply ignored without sufficient explanation.

    The difference between you and me would probably be that you seem to be coming already from the consensus-side of the debate. Even though I also used to be a regular believer, I didn't have any connection to anyone related to this debate beforehand. I just dove in and started exploring.

    The simple fact that you can use a word like denialist demonstrates a lack of objectivity in my opinion. You're just following the trend. I have no reason to deny anything, at worst I may be misinformed and wrong, but that has nothing to do with denial of any sorts. I don't have a tactic or anything, just looking for information.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sadun, before you enjoy another morsel of your own podiatric cuisine, see if you can recognize a name on this list:

    http://www.sidasante.com/contacts/group.htm

    Then read Udo's paper, "Professional responsibilities of biomedical scientists in public discourse."

    http://jme.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/30/1/5

    Then try and reflect on whether your judgment on this subject is likely to be better than people that have been dealing it for longer than you've been alive.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've seen that paper and I got a few things to say about it later. I want to read the whole thing first.

    Your suggestion is too simple-minded, it doesn't consider all the factors in play and is easy to refute.

    ReplyDelete
  10. hey anonymous, thanks for reminding me of this bizarre list of signatories. ever more of the signatories are dead these days (i noticed the other day that frank bouianouckas has since also died). it seems, no matter what, nothing will ever take one's name of that list again. the absurdities denialists engage in to score a fleeting point of sorts know no boundaries. they keep - as evidence of a growing international movement against the mainstream view on AIDS - names of people they know have since changed their mind on their list (people like myself), as well as oodles of people who have since died (quite a few on AIDS, btw). kinda as if nothing at all had happened since 1993... - well, a new generation of denialists has since popped up, asking the same questions, waving their hands as excitedly as we did some 15 years ago. the only thing the 'newbies' seem not to have noticed is that a lot has since changed on the knowledge and treatment front. oh well, history keeps repeating itself.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Have you ever been called a denialist Udo?

    I find it curious that you can say that word so easily. Do you see your former self as a denialist?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sadun,
    There is a vast difference between asking reasonable questions about the benefits of anti-retroviral treatment in 1993 and asking exactly the same questions in 2008.

    The difference between skepticism and denial is the ability to change your mind when you are presented with evidence.

    There are many studies that demonstrate the benefits of HAART beyond all reasonable doubt.

    Start with
    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/338/13/853

    Duesberg's response to this study was to a) lie about it and b) pretend that it demonstrated the reverse that anti-retrovirals cause AIDS. This sort of behaviour can very accurately and precisely be described as Denialism.
    .

    ReplyDelete
  13. Chris,
    I don't know or care much about what Duesberg does. But did you read all of Henry Bauer's recent posts about HAART, in response to Snout? You should leave a few comments if you notice any flaws.

    Even if you didn't read them (or if you read tnem and don't agree and are too unwilling to point out the flaws), the thing would still be that there are also studies demonstrating the benefits of sanitation, nutrition (even just vitamins/antibiotics/probiotics), healthy lifestyles, a healthy psychology and good old placebo. The question is what works best and why does it exactly work. To claim that HAART is definitely as good as it gets is just ridiculous without a proper comparison, and it's utterly unscientific. It's also really dangerous and irresponsible if you consider the "grade 4 events" which take ca. as many lives as "AIDS" does.

    Returning to my questions, assuming Udo won't answer, I suspect the "denialist" label wasn't as popular back then, and Udo was probably never called a denialist. I guess this made it easier for him to join the unscientific attacks to those who ask questions more or less like he used to do. I find it unfortunate, especially for an ethics professor... But I still didn't read the whole paper. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sadunkal,

    I thought I had made clear that I would not comment on any of your continuing missives. Been there, done that, grown up in the meantime. Your 'case' is without merit, but do enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your statement was clear enough, that's why I assumed you won't answer. Even though you deny communicating with me I'll keep communicating with you. It can't really harm I suppose... And who knows, it might even benefit someone.

    ReplyDelete