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Rethinking Warfare

       Warfare has always been a part of our lives in America. We were born of a Revolutionary War, preserved by a Civil War, and made safe by a series of wars against our enemies, beginning with the Indians and now with terrorists. Violence is one of the first principles of our nation.

        Our bodies are also periodically involved in warfare. Bacteria and viruses constantly invade us and could cause us to be seriously ill were it not for the immune system in each of us that deals with most of these agents before they can bother us. When we do get signs of an infection we generally rely on antibiotics to help us destroy the invading agents.

        Our economy flourishes during wartime. National debt goes up to support the war economy, whether the war is cold or hot.

        The pharmaceutical and health care industry benefits from a person's illness. But neither our bodies nor our immune systems can go into debt. When we get infected we get sick - and there is a real link between illness and poverty.

        Technology has played a large part in who wins our wars. Rifles won out over the bow and arrow, guided missiles over artillery. The arms race is the attempt to maintain a position of strength with our enemy. But even when the race is over and one side is clearly dominant there is always a way to fight back. One-sided overwhelming technical superiority breeds unconventional warfare as we have seen with guerrilla warfare and terrorism. These methods were effective in our Revolutionary War and they will always be effective when fighting against a dominant power.    

        Our arms race with bacteria reflects our use of antibiotics to kill the infecting agent and the agent developing ways to get around them. This resistance prompts the next generation of more potent antibiotics, and the cycle continues. Beside developing resistance these infecting agents may even fight back. In a 22 year period in the midst of this war the CDC listed 22 previously unknown agents or infectious diseases. Some of these are guerrilla fighters, like the bacteria that causes ulcers and the virus that causes AIDS, that remain camouflaged while they infect us. One is even a suicide bomber - the Ebola virus kills the host so rapidly that the virus doesn't have time to spread to another person.

        When we define an enemy we have to make them evil in order to justify killing them. We did that with the Indians and Hitler did it with the Jews. The enemy must be evil as in the "evil empire" or the "axis of evil". We also brand them as ignorant and not worthy of consideration, like Hitler did with Einstein. But to see the world differently should not necessarily make one evil; and our enemy generally shares the same degree of intelligence that we have.

        We also see bacteria and viruses as evil. We want them all dead. We sell antibacterial soap and bleach our countertops to kill germs that may be there. And they are there. Bacteria are everywhere. Ten percent of our body weight is bacteria and at least fifty percent of our DNA is from bacteria. They, like our macro enemies, are not necessarily evil. Bacteria are totally responsible for creating the balance that allowed life on this world and they are primarily responsible for maintaining that balance. Nor are they ignorant. By releasing chemicals in a process called quorum sensing bacteria are able to communicate with each other and act like a much larger organism. When left alone they make biofilm that is often as elaborate on a bacterial scale as the skyscrapers of New York. They also help each other by sharing genetic information, not only among their own type, but with any bacteria they come in contact with. Not having an interest in intellectual property rights this cooperation is one reason we are always playing catch-up in our arms race with them.

        As a nation we fought a preventive war. When under pressure we always go back to our first principles. But as Lord Acton, who spent his life studying the history and development of freedom, said: "Institutions are destroyed, in the end, by an excess of their first principles." The question is, "Are we as a nation violent to excess?" The average European seems to respond overwhelmingly in the affirmative. The average American appears not to think so.

        Sometimes we fight preventive wars with bacteria by taking antibiotics regularly. We do this when a person has a high chance of being exposed to bacteria that could make them sick. Much of our antibiotics are used in the cattle industry because of the unhealthy conditions in feed-lots. We are finding, however, that the benefit of reduced infections in humans and animals is not worth the cost of the bacterial resistance that comes from the increased exposure to the antibiotic. The most effective way to stop antibiotic resistance is to reduce our reliance on and use of antibiotics. We are not doing too well here; in 1954 we made about one-third of a pound of antibiotics for every 1000 people in the United States and in 1996 we made 142 pounds. Better feed and a cleaner, more natural environment are safer and more effective ways of reducing infections, both in animals and humans.

Other options:

Most tried and tested-

        The most successful means of dealing with infections is immunization. Vaccination has even allowed us to eliminate smallpox from the entire world. When a person is immunized or vaccinated we present a part of the infecting agent to our immune system - we educate our immune system. Our immune system then knows the enemy and builds a defense against them.

        We do the same thing when we educate a person. Education was critical to the successes of the democratic revolutions that flourished for a few years beginning in 1989 after the downfall of our one-time enemy, the Soviet Union. The BBC, CNN and non-governmental organizations functioning in these countries provided independent examples of democratic principles in action that helped the people to identify the principles they wanted and rebel against their opposites.

Sensible and cost effective, but not glamorous-

   Paul Ewald in his book, Evolution of Infectious Disease, states that we can "domesticate [bacteria] so that they can live with us in a less damaging way than they have throughout our history." We can do this by addressing the problem areas that make it easy for the infecting agents to get from one person to another. Ewald argues that we did this with cholera by public health measures that cleaned our water supplies, and that we can do it for HIV with condoms and needle exchanges. These barriers to spread actually change the outlaw agents to types that are less infectious.

        This kind of isolation has never been tried with outlaw nations. Our best efforts have been in economic blockades and sanctions. The economic blockade of Cuba and the sanctions on Iraq have destroyed the infrastructure of these countries, but the regime is the same. If education and a middle class are necessary for the spread of democratic values they have probably done more harm than good. More in line with Ewald's public health measures would be addressing the problems and the inequities that breed the outlaw in the first place.

Simple and reasonable, but uncontrollable and inexpensive-so not even tried

        Nathan Sharon and his colleagues have been arguing for at least twenty years that sugars can be effectively used to prevent infectious disease. Sharon points out that bacteria and viruses attach to specific sugar molecules on the cell surfaces in our bodies. If they can't attach to these sugars they are washed out and don't cause infection. Feeding specific sugars to the bacteria fills up their hungry hands leaving them with no means of attaching; it decreases their adherence to the cells in our bodies. Regular use of such sugars also isolates the infectious agents in Ewald's sense, and selects for bacteria that cause less problems. The sugars in cranberries select for bacteria that don't cause urinary tract infections. Xylitol decreases the adherence of problem causing bacteria in the nose. Bacteria that live in the nose without causing problems, cause sinus, ear, and bronchial infections when they move out of the nose. Feeding these sugars to our bacteria regularly allows our bodies to remove most of the outlaws. The problem with these sugars is that they have to be used every day, even when there is no sign of infection. Women drank cranberry extract every day for 6 months, but they had protection from urinary infections for a year. Our ancestor who first fed the wolf cooked meat had to feed them every day, for a long, long time, before the wolf became dog, and our best friend. Maybe we can do the same with bacteria.

        I live in the Bible Belt in the middle of the Texas panhandle. In our community we take pride in our Christian heritage and that our nation is based on Christian principles. In searching for what it means to be a Christian I keep coming up with the "Sermon on the Mount" where Jesus says, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." This difficult task is, to me, the litmus test of a real Christian. I have been waiting since the tragic events of September, 2001 to hear one of our government leaders, who are so willing to wave the Christian flag when it will get them votes, suggest that we pray for the perpetrators of these events. I'm still waiting. Doing good to our enemies by feeding them worked in the Philippines, where guerrilla fighters were given jobs as they gave up their arms. But most of the time we tend to feed others with armament rather than addressing their basic needs.

The spray described in these pages is not a drug. This means that the people manufacturing this spray cannot advertise what the spray does to prevent disease and illness. The spray only helps to clean your nose. The benefits come from a clean nose. The only way people will learn about this practical and sensible way to help the immune system wash pollutants from the back of the nose is by interested people, like you, sharing this information.

If you have family or friends with any of these problems, they may benefit greatly from your sharing this information with them.

Links in the other sections, referring to a person or study, will take you to a Medline summary, from the National Library of Medicine, of the article in question.

This spray is protected by United States and international patents. While careful reading of these pages will tell you how to mix this spray yourself we request that you do not sell such spray on the open market. Such sales would be prohibited by the above mentioned patents.

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Dr. Jones specifically disclaims any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, that is or may be incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of use or application of any of the information provided on this web site.

A. H. 'Lon' Jones D.O.
812 West 8th St. Suite 2A
Plainview, Texas 79072
Phone (806) 291-0700
Fax (806) 293-8229