Appeasement Won’t Work in Iran or on Holcombe: Incision and Drainage Might

Appeasement Won’t Work in
Iran or on Holcombe: Incision and Drainage Might


Leonard Zwelling

         For those thinking that the latest broadside by the Houston
Chronicle (“Code Blue”—April 2) will have an effect on the plans of the MD
Anderson leadership—think again.

         Now that Dr. DePinho has successfully manipulated Dr. Chin
out of Houston, it is likely to be full speed ahead on the Moon Shots despite
the call by the local newspaper for his ouster. Why?

         Why not?

         Nothing of significance has changed. Faculty morale is still
dreadful. Dr. DePinho’s personal comportment is still confrontational and mean.
He has still filled his org chart with yes men and few women. There is
absolutely no evidence that he has learned a thing about interpersonal
relationships or common decency since arriving. He doesn’t exactly get Texas
and he hasn’t exactly tried to either.

there was one overriding characteristic of John Mendelsohn, it was his
understanding of the importance of relationships to his success. He also
realized that those relationships would have to be with the faculty, the staff,
the donors and the politicians. Dr. LeMaistre too was a master at
relationships. Dr. DePinho, not so much.

         My guess is that the editorial board of the Chronicle or its
publisher or both have heard enough from the faculty and patients of Anderson
as to the withering quality of the patient care at the venerated institution to
necessitate such an opinion piece. It also may be a way to send a signal to those
in Austin to do the right thing and make the suggested change.

         Nonetheless, I would not count old Ron out just yet.

         I say that because much of the evidence that should have
caused his termination as the MD Anderson President was dismissed as a “boys
will be boys” sort of series of mistakes by the Chronicle. It was only the
faculty’s poor morale that seemed to trigger the call for the DePinho ouster.
If that is the prevailing attitude in Austin, it is hard for me to believe that
anyone there really cares about what the faculty members think or feel.
Furthermore, the faculty itself is not speaking with one voice making a
singular response from the UT System difficult. The response to any response by the Regents in
the press and on the ground would also be unpredictable. Is it likely that Austin
will temporize some more? Yes, it is.

         That brings me to Iran and the newly minted framework agreement
arrived at by Secretary of State John Kerry.

         President Obama has lauded the agreement as being a critical
one for the Middle East and for the world, especially since the Russians,
Chinese, French, British and Germans have all signed off on the framework
agreement. The hope is that the details will be worked out by June. The uproar
against the agreement has emanated from the Middle East itself and in a rare
show of unity, has come from Israel and Sunni Arab states alike. Why? Isn’t
some deal better than no deal?



         While placing the Iranians in a nuclear free box sounds
great, is that really what this deal does? The Iranians keep running over 5000
centrifuges and can continue to do nuclear research. The West has full rights
of inspection, but the West can only inspect what it knows exists. What
prevents the Iranians from developing a secret, underground site in which they
can build a bomb and then deliver it to Washington, D.C. on the ICBMs it has
been allowed to keep?

         I have to agree with Dan Senor on this one. Iran gets to
choose. Either you have a bomb or you have an economy. Rather then this
half-assed deal, the U.S. should press its allies to demand a complete
eradication of all Iranian nuclear capability in exchange for loosening the
current sanctions and not adding more stringent ones. But, I guess Obama wants
to finally earn his Nobel Peace Prize, so we have this less than optimal deal
that is looked upon with such disfavor in Jerusalem and in Riyadh.

         The solution to the Iranian problem is the solution to the
DePinho problem. Incision and drainage.

         Iran is the one country in the region that if the U.S.
invaded and conquered it, there would be people ready to run it and we could
leave—soon after victory.

         Likewise, could anything be worse than the last three years
at Anderson? I doubt it. Now that Dr. Chin has been relegated to the latest
version of Administrative Elba in Austin, her husband needs to follow as the
Chronicle suggested.

         Similarly, the U.S. cannot tolerate as a negotiating partner a theocracy pledged to
the destruction of both the U.S. and Israel that is constantly exporting terrorism to
the world. Iran is an enemy of freedom, tolerance and
democracy and nothing Mr. Kerry can negotiate will change that.

         And nothing Admiral McRaven can do will change the mindset
of Dr. DePinho. I still cannot believe that a military man cannot recognize the
face of a dictator when he sees it, but perhaps the Chronicle has provided the
entire city with a great service in identifying a truly awful lesion in the
Texas Medical Center’s array of excellence.

         Incision and Drainage. Lots of good surgeons in the TMC can

1 thought on “Appeasement Won’t Work in Iran or on Holcombe: Incision and Drainage Might”

  1. The professionals that are salivating … as he says … I don't think np's desire such patients as much as they are perhaps better equipped to care for these patients! I get excited when I get consults on patients that the doctors are asking me to manage because they simply have exhausted their tool box … This is difficult to control symptoms … and difficult families and psychosocial issues … as well as undecided families as far as their goals of care. So … I suppose I salivate at the chance to say — hey this recommendation is what you need!

    I should also say that I like being a consultant. I do not wish to take over the hospitalist or pcp role.
    ALOKA UST-9124

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