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Foreign Body, a Social Commentary and Poem

John is passionate about human and animal rights, social justice, equality, and the environment, and likes to convey that in his writing.



When we look at the world today and the constant fear of terrorism and hence a fear of allowing refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants (or whatever we choose to call them) into our community it bears remarkable similarities to how our body rejects foreign bodies introduced to it.

Our fear of allowing others into our country is understandable due to the amount of terrorist activity around the world which heightened greatly following 9/11, but our governments and media have often used our fear as a tool for their own agendas.

Before jumping to the conclusion that all foreigners, or those of a certain race or religion are bad, we need to look inwards and we will soon see that much more of the evil and crime is cause by our very own fellow countrymen.

I am not deliberately focusing this on the USA but due to the easy availability of information and statistics and that most of my readers are from there I have used it as the example.

Foreign Body Rejection

Our immune systems fight off harmful substances as they enter our bodies. People who are allergic to cats, for example, may experience sneezing, itching, and watery eyes after petting a cat. The immune system recognizes those harmful substances and produces an immune response. Foreign body rejection, or FBR, works in a similar way.

When a foreign object is placed in the body, the immune system recognizes it as not only foreign, but possibly harmful. Because the foreign object remains, the immune system continues to produce an immune response. As a result, white blood cells begin to attack the object, causing complications such as infection, bowel obstruction etc in an attempt to reject it. These natural responses often result in causing more serious complications than posed by the actual foreign body. (

The foreign body is not always something that may otherwise harm the body like splinters, thorns, cancer cells etc. It can be such things as artificial hips, breast implants, hernia mesh and the like that are used to repair or enhance.

The same can be said from foreign bodies who seek (for whatever reason) to enter or society or country. But fear and uncertainty often lead us, or our leaders, to reject or try to blame these so called infiltrators for all of our society's woes. Most governments are experts at blame shifting and turning our focus away from things that they are doing that they would rather us not notice. Instilling fear is one good way of doing that.

Foreign Body, a Poem

We often fear what we don't know,

There're monsters in the dark.

It's east to believe the hype,

But, the bite's worse than the bark.

Our governments use smoke screens

To disguise domestic woes,

To hide their shady business deals

And screwed financial flows.

They paint Muslims as evil,

Play the terrorism card

To take the focus off themselves

And the media plays their part.

Good and bad are everywhere

But we all have basic needs.

No matter where we live on Earth,

We all want to be free.

So, extend the hand of friendship

To those from other lands.

Welcome them with open arms,

Against bigotry take a stand.

Don't be frightened by their looks,

Their culture or beliefs,

They'll usually keep to themselves

And won't cause any grief.

Just like a foreign body

That your white blood cells reject

They're more useful than dangerous,

So, treat them with respect.

Real terrorism starts within,

Much closer to our home,

So don't let racist media

Become a bugging drone.


White American Men Are the Biggest Domestic Terrorist Threat

When President Donald Trump signed his (since-revised) executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, he claimed it was to protect Americans from “radical Islamic terrorists.”

“We don’t want ‘em here,” Trump told reporters at the Pentagon, where he signed the order in January, 2017.

But in the time since Trump took office, more Americans have been killed in attacks by white American men with no connection to Islam than by Muslim terrorists or foreigners.

Radical Islamic terrorists inspired or directed by groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda do pose a clear threat to the US. There is no question about that. And ISIS-linked militants have killed or injured dozens of people in countries like England, France, Canada, and Australia.

But, in the United States, the bigger threat has come from a very different kind of attacker, one with no ties to religion generally or Islamist extremism specifically.The white American male.

A Brief Summary and Some Examples of Home-grown Terrorism

I will not go into the Gun Debate here, and a number of these incidents did not even involve guns, but these are just a few of the attacks that occurred within the first eight months of President Trump taking office.

  • October 2017, a 64-year-old white man from Nevada opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas, killing more than 50 and wounding more than 200.
  • August 2017, a 20-year-old white Nazi sympathizer from Ohio sped his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a woman and injuring at least 19 others.
  • June 2017, a 66-year-old white man from Illinois shot at Republican Congress members during an early morning baseball practice, severely wounding several people including Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House of Representatives Majority Whip.
  • May 2017, a 35-year-old white man from Oregon named Jeremy Joseph Christian began harassing Muslim teenagers on a train in Portland, telling them “We need Americans here!” Two men interceded; Christian then stabbed and killed them both.
  • March 2017, a 28-year-old white man from Baltimore traveled to New York City with the explicit aim of killing black men. He stabbed 66-year-old Timothy Caughman to death and was charged with terrorism by New York state authorities.

During 2017, the U.S. in fact saw a total of 346 mass shootings.

Another 307 mass shootings had occurred around the country by October 27, 2018, In the vast majority of these the perpetrator/s were white American males.

*mass shooting/killing is generally when four or more people are killed by a single person (occasionally two)

Another interesting statistic is that also, according to a study by New America, between 9/11, 2001 and 2015, more Americans were killed by homegrown right-wing extremists than by Islamist terrorists. (sources: abc Action News; Wahington Post)

Off the Shelf

The book title I chose as inspiration from my shelves this time was "Foreign Body" by Robin Cook.

I must admit that Robin Cook is one of my favourite authors. I have so many books written by him I have lost count. Being a qualified doctor, he is to the Medical Thriller genre what John Grisham is to Courtroom Drama, and a number of his books have been made into movies. These include "Coma" starring Michael Douglas.

"Jennifer Hernandez is a fourth-year medical student of UCLA ....whose world is shattered during a break in an otherwise ordinary day. While relaxing in the surgical lounge of LA's Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, she half-listens to a news report on medical tourism, about First world citizens travelling to Third World countries for surgery.But when she hears her beloved grandmother's name mentioned her heart nearly stops: the CNN reporter says Maria Suarez- Hernandez has died a day after undergoing a hip replacement in New Delhi's Queen Victoria Hospital."

Husband and wife New York City medical examiners Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton rush to India to help the UCLA student investigate her grandmother's death and in the process uncover a sinister global conspiracy.

Foreign Body by Robin Cook

Foreign Body by Robin Cook

© 2019 John Hansen