Why we fight – Malaria.

If you write, there’s this magical thing that happens once in a while. A story or a character takes on a life of their own and begins to write itself. You’re relegated to just being the typist. It’s automatic writing. The first time it happens, you try to rein it in and plough on with the plan and end up with a complete mess.

That monster you’ve created isn’t having any of it.

You soon learn you’ve got a tiger by the tail in that situation, so you just hang on, hope for the best and let it take you where it will. The results are usually good, very good, so you learn to just go with the flow. Mostly, writing anything decent is plain hard work and you soon begin to appreciate such happy events.

The reverse applies too. Sometimes you can’t get into a piece for some reason. Usually, it’s because it’s an arid idea and after a few attempts, you realise that and walk away from it. Sometimes though, when writing non-fiction, it’s because you just can’t help getting angry as you write it, and angry writing quickly degenerates into an unstructured rant.

Over the years, I’ve tried writing this piece several times and ended up walking off down into my garden with a bottle of Irish whiskey, a shot glass and a jug of iced water, to sit under a tree and get quietly drunk. I die a bit and know I’ve failed them yet again and know I should be so much better. I deal with failing people very badly, and I’m not good company at such times.

I’ve done my research, I know all the details, I know all the numbers, I have it all at my fingertips but the anger always rises up, rages and overwhelms me and my silly heart, so I’m writing this prologue to discipline and shame myself into finally finishing it for once and trying to speak well for the dead. This time I will finish it because after so many attempts it’s finally sucked all emotion out of me, and then I will walk down into my garden, sit on the ground with my back against a tree I planted thirty years ago and get very drunk.

Take a breath, here goes.

When it comes to deaths, people are bad with big numbers. We can all handle three, seven, ten or even fifteen deaths but beyond that, it all gets a bit off scale; it somehow bounces off us emotionally. I sometimes think it’s to do with running out of fingers and toes. Such is life or us I suppose, so I’m going to consider this topic in a local fashion and hoping the scaled down tragedy will give some idea of the megadeaths involved.

There’s an island off the southern tip of India which is called Sri Lanka nowadays, rather than Ceylon. They, like everyone else in the world, had come to terms with living, or more accurately, dying of Malaria. Their batting average was about three million cases a year and in a good year, only about eight thousand dead. There’s nothing particularly cursed about living on that island, everyone else around the entire world had long ago got used to dealing with that ailment that has killed more of us than anything else in the entire history of the world.

Shakespeare called it the ague, thousands died of it in the 1920’s in Murmansk (yes, that’s the Murmansk on the northern coast of Russia) and there’s a school of thought that a visit from it took out the Clovis people well before that shipwreck landing on Plymouth Rock.

The colonial administration of the time decided to try out this wonder stuff called DDT that had been so successful during WWII. They really gave it a good go, puffing the whole island with the stuff. By 1963, malarial cases had dropped from three million to just seventeen and not a single death. Hallelujah, hallelujah but wait a minute, the times they were a changing.

A woman called Rachael Carson, who would go on to become the greatest mass murder of the twentieth century, wrote a book called Silent Spring that predicted the end of humanity unless we banned DDT. She was dying herself, which no doubt boosted the book sales but the bitch has taken a lot of people with her into the darkness as company.

The second greatest mass murderer of the twentieth century was in charge of a small innocuous bureaucratic thing called the Environmental Protection Agency, but he was also a member of something called the Environmental Defence Fund. William Ruckelshaus overruled the advice of a judge and his own experts and declared DDT to be a dangerous chemical.

This is where damn Yankee clout and their big dollars kicks in. There wasn’t as such a ban on DDT but you weren’t allowed to manufacture the vile stuff, and if you persisted in using it, your relief funds had a habit of evaporating. When you’re poor and desperate, you get really good at taking a hint, especially when it’s from a benefactor.

Sri Lanka stopped using DDT.

Within five years, malaria cases zoomed back up to half a million and by the end of the decade three million. How many deaths? Christ, your guess would be as good as mine.

It’s all a bit Keystone Cops isn’t it? They get blown about by the vicissitudes of our fashion memes. They run one way and save a few million lives, we change our mind, so they run the other way and a few million go prematurely into the trash can of history. In this wonderful bitter world of environmental neo-colonialism, they don’t matter. We want to preserve them, like primitive unspoilt versions of us before we became iPod dependent.

We haven’t had a major outbreak of malaria in the developed world for half a century because we DDT’d the butt off the mosquito that had been killing us for centuries but we’re determined all those black-arsed people will receive the benefits of being killed by a disease we consigned to the dustbin of history half a century ago.

The casualties are huge, the numbers are huge beyond any meaningful comprehension and despite my best effort to convey a sense of the ongoing tragedy, I’ve failed again. Something like half a billion people a year suffer from it and a million or so die from it, mainly children. Nobody actually knows the true numbers because the truth to be told, nobody wants to know. They’re undocumented people. Once you acknowledge your part in such an unnecessary genocide, you become complicit.

I know. I’m at end of day just avalanching you with numbers. It’s how to make them human beings you can find some love in your heart for is the problem. They’re not family, not kin, not people we know. They’re invisible.

They’re just numbers, numbers, imaginary numbers. Dead imaginary numbers. The square roots of negative numbers we are obliged to invent a comfortable contrivance for, so we don’t have to think too much more deeply about them. But each one of them had a way about them that was uniquely theirs; their own smile, a way of walking, a certain look, a tilt of the head that was theirs alone, they loved and were loved by someone and now they’re dead and gone and will be forgotten.

They were people like us. Real actual people.

They were somebody’s child or someone’s man or someone’s woman or someone’s lover or simply just a friend. They were your baby with that magic eye contact and their milky side of the mouth leakage smile you automatically tidied away without a thought. It is needless, preventable, human waste on an industrial, genocidal and unimaginable scale. It shouldn’t ever be happening in the twenty-first century. God forgive us all.

Every year, in the good months, a pair of robins appear whenever I sit out in the garden. I’m never sure if they’re the same ones as last year’s or perhaps their offspring. I’m fortunate to have a big garden and I leave parts of it to nature, which is to say, I let it go wild, so creatures move in and I don’t intrude or disturb them. I have my bits of turf and they have theirs.

There are rules and conventions to be observed though. They perch and watch me with a mouthful of food for their young and wait for me to look away so I don’t notice them nipping into their nest artfully concealed in my vines or apple trees. I look away for a respectable interval and they do the necessary nip. Peaceful coexistence. We always get to know one another. In some ways, I get on well with wild creatures and would probably be burnt at the stake if this was the middle ages. You connect with each other or you don’t.

There is definitely something about the look from a robin.

If I’m digging, one of them waits and watches until I dig on a couple of feet and they nip in and grab the worms I’ve just unearthed for their young. One year, a particularly friendly one used to wait so close to me that out of idle curiosity, I picked up a worm myself and putting it in my outstretched palm, offered it to them. After an eternity of seconds of thinking, it swooped off the handle of the fork it had been perched on considering the situation. It barely touched my hand but with the lightest gossamer touch of its wings on my palm, the worm was gone.

I thought about that and resolved never to do anything like it ever again, because I know there are some people in the world, who might close their hand on a tiny wild creature that I’d taught to trust one of us. I don’t know much about birds but I do know robins are one of the few who don’t migrate for the winter. They stay through sometimes brutal northern hemisphere winters, when everyone else bugs out southwards to warmer climates. Tough little buggers. When you look at them up close, they’re such small delicate creatures and every year, totally focused on gathering food for their offspring. I have an affection for them and have occasionally thought it’d be nice to live in a robin’s uncomplicated world.

But the thing about a robin is, they don’t care about other robins in other gardens. It can never occur to them to think about the providence in the fall of another robin, never mind a sparrow. We do, and dearly though I love them, that’s what makes us so much better than robins.

I’d rather be a human being, even with that extra pain, than a robin, which is why though I hate this war, I will fight it right down to the bitter end.


Related articles by Pointman:

The big green killing machine: They sit with God in paradise.

The big green killing machine: What is VAD?

Click for all articles in the Big Green Killing Machine series.

Click for a list of other articles.

22 Responses to “Why we fight – Malaria.”
  1. Rolf Mack says:

    Wow, this post is very timely. My wife and I are currently working (with other volunteers) to help publicise a documentary called “3 Billion And Counting”, which is on the very subject of malaria and the ban on DDT. The movie was made by Dr Rutledge Taylor, a young American doctor who funded the whole project himself (I say this to head off the “he’s bought and paid for by XYZ” mud that often gets flung), prompted by a question from one of his patients that led him to talk to one of his professors, J Gordon Edwards. Edwards told Rutledge that malaria was the greatest genocide of all time, and that DDT was the cure. Rutledge said that everyone knew DDT was a horrible toxin. Edwards told Rutledge not to take other people’s word for things and go find out for himself. And so he did. Using his own money he, a cameraman and an assistant travelled through Africa and Asia, interviewing government officials, health care professionals, NGO staffers and ordinary people. Without wanting to make this a total spoiler, he came to a remarkable conclusion. When he got back to the States he tried to interview various Government departments, but they wouldn’t talk to him, although he did find and copy the massive report on DDT that had been buried in the national archives for decades.

    The film is currently available to view on-line for free, as part of an independent film festival called Culture Unplugged. The link is: http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/53748/3-Billion-and-Counting—

    Please watch the documentary and give us your feedback.

    Many thanks.


    • Blackswan says:

      Rolf – I managed to watch about 30 minutes of the film before my crappy wi-fi connection gave up the ghost altogether, but I saw enough to get your point and can see why you and your wife are working in support of this project. It’s an heroic effort by all concerned.


    • hillbilly33 says:

      Thank you Rolf and Pointy, for one of the most powerful and convincing documentaries I’ve ever been privileged to see. It’s a must see for everyone, particularly in our educational institutions. One problem – our current politicians and eco-nuts would do everything they possibly could to prevent it. A real Inconvenient Truth for too many people with too much money invested in various environmental “religions”, and too many reputations it would trash.

      I’ll send a link to “our” ABC in Australia with a suggestion they do a “4-Corners” investigation. It will probably fry their Green “groupthink” brains!


    • Pointman says:

      Rolf – thank you for the link to what is devastating piece of citizen journalism. If you people reading ever wondered why I call it the big green killing machine, just watch the documentary.

      The more plays it gets, the more publicity, so I’d ask folks out there to paste the link to whatever sites you like to visit, including social media.

      My thanks again to Rolf and all the project’s volunteers.



      • Rolf Mack says:

        Thanks for the thanks, but the real hero is of course Rutledge Taylor, with huge credit to the late J Gordon Edwards, who was wise enough to know how to kick Rutledge just hard enough in the rear end to get him all fired up.

        What amazes me is that totally unrelated people like Pointy, Rutledge and others have all found the same information and all come to the same conclusion independently (we even came across a college student called Tijo K Jose who, several years ago, posted a short video on YouTube that covers exactly the same ground as 3BAC). That’s got to mean something, hasn’t it? It’s like with global warming — despite the billions from government and big business, there are little guys out there jumping up and down from time to time shouting, “Yes, but …”. Can we get to 3%? I don’t know if clicking on the link and watching the film will help, but it certainly can’t do any harm.


  2. 1957chev says:

    Between Government-induced climaphobia, eco-terrorism, and chemophobia, our world has been regressing badly, and promises to get much worse. I hope there are enough people aware of the scams, and the reason behind them, to fight back. We are losing the progress we fought so hard to make, because of well-orchestrated campaigns from fear mongers.


  3. Blackswan says:


    There’s a sad truth lurking between every line of this article, and that is that Malaria has become the preferred weapon-of-choice of modern Eugenicists.

    War? That’s way too expensive, besides being very messy and politically inconvenient.
    HIV? Not spreading and working fast enough to have the desired impact on targeted people.
    Starvation? Too many aid agencies distributing sustenance to impoverished populations.

    No, Malaria ticks all the boxes.

    Why spend billions on weapons of war to cull superfluous populations when a humble mosquito can rid the planet of its excess people for free? Better still that children should die before they grow old enough to breed and create even more of a problem depleting resources. The only people of any use to Eugenicists are those who can work; those who can grow cash crops or mine gems, precious metals and rare earth minerals – people who can justify their existence in filling the coffers of the wealthy Ruling Classes.

    Better still, in ‘civilised societies’ populations are viewed as Units of Consumerism, the true powerhouse engines of Economies as they work their whole lives indebted to Banksters, paying endless taxes, and have been convinced that they are free because they live in Democracies. Not so for the impoverished hordes of Africa and Asia; millions are really ‘superfluous to needs’ and Malaria is taking care of them on a daily basis.

    Who’d have thought that the humble mozzie would prove to be such a boon in population engineering? For all of those reasons no politician of any stripe (least of all Green ones) will ever take a stand to eradicate such mosquito plagues and the parasites and viruses they carry.

    Meanwhile, the Ruling Classes can stand back and rake in their profits assured that their hands are seen to be ‘clean’. After all, they stopped the harmful use of a “dangerous chemical toxin” in DDT didn’t they?


  4. Brenda-Lee says:

    Thank you for the link to Dr Rutledge film, starting watching it & could not stop or take my
    eyes off the screen. Heroic effort, you can say that again. Truly moving & motivation.Hope more people get to see it.


    • Rolf Mack says:

      It’s so gratifying to get feedback on the film — thankyou so much. Rutledge put five years of his life into making it, along with all his savings. He says that once he started he knew he couldn’t stop, even though it consumed his whole existence for all that time.

      Malaria is not only genocide, but Big Pharma have (yet again) worked out how to use a disastrous illness to siphon money endlessly out of the pockets of the public. They come up with ineffective treatment after ineffective treatment, always promising that the real treatment is just around the corner if you just give us more money, meanwhile quietly making sure that THE treatment, that’s been known about for 70+ years, is denied to those who need it. Keep the genocide going but make billions while you’re doing it. And the irony is that they are doing it hand-in-glove with their arch-enemy, the Big Green Killing Machine (as Pointy so accurately christened it). What can we do about it? I fear Blackswan may be right in his cynicism, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying. How about starting with a bit of sunlight? By sharing links to this article and to “3BAC” (the more views it gets in Culture Unplugged the more publicity it will get) it might get a few more people thinking, and maybe some of them would do some investigating of their own and with a bit of luck the numbers might grow. I heard somewhere that it only takes 3% of the population to start a revolution. Maybe …


      • Blackswan says:

        Rolf – I got to see the whole film later in the day, and was even more disturbed than I expected to be. When I posted that cynical comment above, I thought maybe I was going a bit ‘over the top’ but it was really a shock to see those comments endorsed by the participants towards the end of the documentary.

        You’re right – just maybe …


  5. Truthseeker says:

    I have to say that I have not been able to finish this article yet. I can feel the anger rising and have to leave it …


  6. Selwyn H. says:

    Having worked as an expatriate on construction projects in Papua New Guinea off and on from 1970 to 1995 I saw at first hand the nasty effects of malaria on the local people. After independence from Australia in 1975 spraying with DDT was not kept up and now malaria is endemic in every province including those that were once malaria free.

    When I first arrived on Bougainville Island in 1970 we heard that overuse of DDT by the American Army during the 2nd World War was causing many birth defects in children on Guadalcanal Island. With few statistics available from before the war it is very likely that these birth defects were not unusual because of poor diet and hygiene but after Rachel Carson’s book was published in 1962 DDT was given the blame.

    The similarity with blaming increasing CO2 for global warming and climate change is strangely familiar. Cause and effect are so often misdiagnosed that you despair at times about the misuse of the scientific method.

    I religiously always took my chloroquine and meloprim tablets while in PNG and never caught the disease but many others didn’t and are still affected here in Australia.


  7. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:

    What can a person say.


  8. durango12 says:

    Not to worry. NetsForLife is on the problem http://www.netsforlifeafrica.org/malaria/malaria-statistics


    • Blackswan says:

      And nowhere on that link does it disclose that the people are charged $5 each for those nets, a monumental sum for a family at subsistence level. For those who scrape and save their pennies for a net, usually only one per family, what then? Do the parents and all the children sleep in the one bed? Of course not, that’s why only 5% of such children sleep under nets, as to provide for the whole family would cost maybe $20…. and all must dive under the nets at nightfall, and stay there!

      I’m sure the parents’ rationale is that they must preserve their own health first in order to take care of their children otherwise they’d starve – much like an airline’s advice for parents to put an oxygen mask on themselves first in order to then help their children.

      Meanwhile a British Airways hostess dies of malaria (the second in 6 years) and BA claims they protect all their staff with appropriate medication.


      However, read the comments on that article and BA employees deny this claim.

      The more one reads on this subject, the more ludicrous and indefensible it becomes.


  9. Arul says:



  10. Rastech says:

    “there’s a school of thought that a visit from it took out the Clovis people”

    The people that arrived in America from Asia, butchered them on the grand scale. It was such a huge slaughter, that they finally woke up, sickened at what they were doing, and stopped (why there were still some white ‘American Indian’ tribes on the Eastern side. American Indian tribes still remember it, and still acknowledge it.

    With Malaria and so many other things (such as the death toll from Beta Blockers – in a recent 5 year period, just across Europe, the numbers killed by them look to be in the range of 800,000 – those are Rwanda Massacre numbers, and nobody seems to be paying attention to what is being done to us, or the damage from Statins, Valium, Barbiturates, Amphetamines, the stuff rammed down children’s throats for the sin of being ‘children’, and even the switch to dangerous Paracetamol from less dangerous pain killers, and so many etceteras), there’s just too many coincidences that result in huge casualties, for it to be any accident.

    This is deliberate, cold blooded murder.

    I am way beyond angry, and anger doesn’t even begin to describe it. This is an Ocean of cold, seething fury, and there are more of us swimming in it every day. When this Tsunami hits the malevolent, Psychopathic, Sociopathic, criminally insane scum behind this slaughter, they aren’t going to know what hit them.

    “Hello boys and girls! My name is Payback, and I’m a REAL bitch!”

    Tick tock, tick tock . . . . . . .


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