Opinion | Hamilton: Southern invasion: By migrants or microbes?
During warfare, from ancient times to the present, what is the biggest battlefield killer? Answer: Communicable diseases spread by unsanitary conditions. For example, during the Thirty Years War, both sides threw rotting corpses into water wells. Catapults hurled human feces and dead animals over castle walls. Biological or germ warfare has a long and sordid history.
So, maybe the pundits reflecting on the caravans of people coming up out of Central America have been looking at them in the wrong way. Some opine the migrants are backed by a George Soros/Saul Alinsky-style left-wing cabal, hoping to increase the number of Socialist-Democrat voters. Others say greedy, capitalist Big Business wants the migrants here as a source of cheap labor.
But let’s set political and economic conspiracy theories aside and simply look at the planning and logistics involved in safely moving, say, 7,000 people on foot and sometimes by vehicle across two international borders (Guatemala and Mexico) to the southern border of the United States. For some reason, the left-leaning Mainstream Media (MSM) have been reluctant to do what any cub reporter should know to do and that is consult U.S. Army Field Manual 21-18 “Procedures and Techniques of Foot Marches.”
Per sound and proven military doctrine, the moving of a large number of people is going to require a Reconn Party to reconnoiter the route. And a Quartering Party to identify sources of potable water, to set up Lister Bags filled with potable water, to locate suitable bivouac sites, and identify locations for the digging of slit-trench latrines. Mind you, this is in addition to any problems posed by hostile armed forces. Here we are talking field sanitation and disease prevention — pure and simple.
The March Units or Main Body are next. Within the Main Body are medical personnel prepared to treat the inevitable foot problems that come from hiking mile after mile over often uneven terrain. Extra dry socks are readily available for issue. Potable water is available to refill hydration backpacks.
Those who, for whatever reason, cannot keep up with the March Units are passed back to the Trails Party to ride in vehicles while further medical treatments are applied. Troops diagnosed with communicable diseases are passed back to the Trails Party and quarantined. Inevitably, moving that many people through towns and villages will cause some damage. So, the Trails Party contains staff able to assess damage claims made by local authorities and has the means to pay off minor damage claims. They must also ensure that latrines have been properly closed.
So, the question arises: Are these caravans organized and equipped to pass safely from Central America to the United States? Based on medical reports coming out of the Caravan Camp at Tijuana, Mexico, the answer is: No. Over 2,000 migrants need medical treatment for conditions ranging from typhus-bearing head lice, hepatitis, tuberculosis, measles, HIV, chicken pox, skin infections, influenza, and that big-time disease spreader: Montezuma’s Revenge.
The highest wall, even packed on both sides with razor wire, cannot stop airborne and vermin-borne diseases from crossing into the United States. Maybe it is time to ask: Is this designed as an invasion by migrants or microbes? You decide.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. Hamilton is the author of “The Wit and Wisdom of William Hamilton: the Sage of Sheepdog Hill.”
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Here is this week’s Grand County fishing report.