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April 07, 2017

A Sarin Primer

After Assad's most recent gas attack using the nerve agent sarin, moron author Mark Huffman, who is a medical doctor, took to Twitter to put us all some f'n knowledge about how bad it really is. I've condensed his tweet-storm into paragraph form:

I'm an anesthesiologist who uses a Sarin-type medicine daily. I want to stress here how miserably awful Sarin poisoning really is. Sarin is a kind of drug called an anticholinesterase. It stops the enzyme that breaks down a nerve-signaling molecule (acetylcholine) from working, so nerves keep firing all over the body. Clinically, this results in a slow heart rate, plus liquids coming out of every orifice they can: vomit, urine, diarrhea, tears, drool. If Sarin kills you, and it won't always, it does so by asphyxiation.

To be clear: it doesn't cause unconsciousness. You'd be awake as you're peeing, pooping, and slowly suffocating. Your pupils constrict so you can't see. I use neostigmine, same class of drugs, on most patients to reverse paralysis, but ALWAYS along with the antidote.

I know Mark. He's one of my book peeps. A more fundamentally decent, peaceable, moral man would be hard to find. Keep that in mind as you read this conclusion of his tweetstorm:

To knowingly use Sarin on ANYONE, much less kids and babies, is utterly barbaric. I don't know who's responsible. Whoever is needs to be obliterated in such a decisive, total way that nobody will ever dare use Sarin or its analogues again. As a Christian my personal obligation is to pray for everyone involved, including the perpetrators. As a Christian who recognizes that Romans 13 describes the legitimate function of government to bear a sword of justice against evildoers, I implore the US and regional allies to turn whoever is doing this, wherever they are, to ash and rubble. Do it wisely and responsibly, but do it decisively.

I can well appreciate the horns of the dilemma PDT is impaled on. On the one hand, you have a corrupt, brutal, bloodthirsty dictator who thinks using nerve gas is a swell idea. But on the other hand, you have a collection of savage barbarians whose goal is to utterly repudiate the modern world and drag it back into the 7th century. And who, do doubt, are not above using chemicals weapons themselves.

There are no good guys vs. bad guys here. They're all bad guys.

May God guide PDT and give him the wisdom of Solomon. Which is a prayer with which I'm sure Mark would agree.



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posted by OregonMuse at 05:08 PM

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