The Coastal Post - February, 1997

Heroes

Two of my personal heroes died last month, both in their '90s, men who not only influenced my life and practice as a surgeon, but who have changed the lives of millions worldwide. These researchers whose obituaries were printed in The New York Times were professionals in the medical field, one a surgeon and the other a pathologist (i.e., one who studies the changes in tissue wrought by disease). Both exhibited that rare talent, the ability to pursue the solution of a problem throughout a lifetime and not become side-tracked.

Dr. Charles B. Huggins, the surgeon, through years of clinical and laboratory study with both human and animal models, deciphered the intricate physio-chemical relationship between some cancers and the hormone systems which control their growth and replication. His studies have made it possible in many patients, particularly those with either breast of prostate cancer, to retard and sometimes halt the growth of these tumors, thus extending the lives of those affected. Dr. Huggins received Nobel Prize for his achievements in 1966 at the age of 65. The present use of an artificial hormone, Tomoxafin, in breast cancer is one therapy based on his work.

Dr. Oscar Auerbach, the pathologist, both identified and proved that long-sought link between cigarette smoking and cancer of the lungs. Though there had been for years a clearly-defined statistical proof of this relationship, Auerbach's meticulous work both with clinical study and the use of laboratory animals nailed down that relationship. By examining tens of thousands of human tissue specimens under the microscope, Auerbach was able to correlate these findings with the patient's history of cigarette use. He observed those gradual alterations in the cell structure which would eventually produce a cancer cell, proving also that the heaviest smokers had the highest rates of cancer. Perhaps even more significant, Auerbach demonstrated that in those who quit cigarettes, the process leading to malignancy was capable of reversing itself. As part of his research, he was able to get beagles to smoke, and produced actual lung cancer in 12 of these dogs out of a group of 89 exposed to the smoke.

Following the publication of Dr. Huggin's work in the '50s, my surgical chief set me to work surgically removing the adrenal glands from a series of patients suffering from widespread prostate cancer. Called back with the reserves as a battalion surgeon during the Korea War, I was never able to follow these cases, but Huggin's finding will forever influence the treatment of several types of hormone-controlled cancer. As for Auerbach's research, when I finally returned from overseas and read his studies, I quit smoking.

Cheating

BY EDWARD W. MILLER

Over the years there has been increasing American anger at the apparent stranglehold that Jewish money has held, not only over Washington, but over our state elections as well. It has become obvious to many that not only our Middle East foreign policy, but some of our domestic decisions are being thus influenced by those who put the interests of Israel above those of this country.

For a long time it has been apparent that AIPAC, the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee, has in fact been the most powerful lobby for Israel in Washington. Our Federal Elections Commission, the organization Americans depend on to monitor political money, has repeatedly, under Jewish pressure, denied these lobbying activities of AIPAC. Thus the largest pro-Israel group has successfully evaded U.S. election laws, never exposing the details of its over-$12 million annual budget or revealing into which politician's pocket it was putting its money, or even how much.

Hopefully, this is about to change. A complaint against AIPAC filed back in 1988 by seven retired U.S. officials (State and Defense Department) has been working its way through the courts. The group which filed never gave up. Despite many efforts by the FEC to wiggle out of its responsibilities, and despite the group having to refile at least four times, finally on December 6, 1996, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in an eight to two decision that the Federal Election Commission had erred when it declared AIPAC was not a political action committee.

For those who regularly subscribe to The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs , the behavior of AIPAC has long been obvious. This Jewish organization has for years been acting as a lobby for Israel, a foreign power. AIPAC is actually the command center for over 100 different Jewish Political Action Committees (PACs). Not one of these PACs, however, has a name to suggest its Israeli connection, hiding under such titles as the Hudson River PAC or the Tennessee Valley PAC. Thus AIPAC has been able to secretly channel millions of political funds into Washington or into any of the states to either support candidates who had Israel's interests at heart, or defeat candidates whose voting records failed to coincide with Israel's perceived needs. Never in America's history has a foreign power secretly exerted such dangerous political power, not only in Washington, but in our state capitals as well.

It is possible the Appeals Court decision may be challenged by AIPAC, in which case the U.S. Supreme Court will have to review the case. Hopefully for Americans, this December '96 ruling will begin to loosen Israel's long-held stranglehold on U.S. politics.