Sunday, October 3, 2010

More Fun In The Third World

As I’m sure you’re all aware, the US Government acknowledged on Friday that it engaged in a little Josef Mengele-esque fun in Guatemala in the late 1940s. It seems we deliberately infected 696 Guatemalan mental patients, prisoners, and hookers with syphilis in order to test the effectiveness of penicillin. In some instances, we had guys actually sleep with infected prostitutes in order to contract the disease. Those less fortunate had it injected straight into their veins. Talk about getting all the grief and none of the gravy. They must have drawn the short straws.

The doctor who headed this experiment, Dr. John Cutler, was also got involved in the Tuskegee study in the 1960s, in which unwitting brown people were again injected with syphilis, this time right here at home. We can’t waste all of our bounty on foreign soil. Here was clearly a man of vision, a man who was totally unwilling to let old-fashioned concepts of morality get in the way of his passion for infecting people with VD. Do you think the Postal Service will give him a stamp? No. They reserve that honor for goody two-shoes types like Jonas Salk, the cowards.

You may be wondering, why didn’t they just test penicillin on willing volunteers who had already contracted syphilis, right? But that’s missing the point. The US just can’t resist screwing over dark-skinned poor people. Ask any Central American, they’ll tell you. If you take that part out of the equation, you take away all the fun. Curing syphilis was the broccoli; fucking with brown people was the ice cream. This kind of thing should be automatic knowledge to any sentient American in 2010. The fact that we have a black president doesn’t change the general principle. See Pakistan, Drone Strikes, Obama Administration, 2010 …

Well, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have dutifully condemned the experiments and apologized. I’m sure it wasn’t difficult. Just another day in the life of an American official. The ability to mouth phony apologies is a necessary prerequisite to high office in this land. It’s just as important as pretending to be happily married or pretending to believe in God. It goes with the job. Besides, the apology is already pre-written. All you have to do is replace “Afghan civilian” and “errant missile strike” with “Guatemalan mental patient” and “syphilis” and you’re half way home. You give a statement, make a phone call or two, promise to conduct a full and thorough investigation, and then it’s off to lunch with Robert Gates to figure out a way to start a war with Iran.

The Guatemalans are already clamoring for compensation, but the US isn’t making any promises. I swear, it’s all about the money with those people. We should stand firm on this one and draw the line. It’s not like we ever did anything really bad to them, like, say, overthrow their government and foist a military dictatorship on them, right?