An intresting way of understanding the strategy of guerilla warfare is to compare the stages of guerilla warfare with the stages of Syphilis. It seems absurd at first, but the similarities are startling. Perhaps it is no coincidence. Syphilis is God's punishment on people who practice lust and decadence, guerilla warfare is God's punishment on nations who practice lust and decadence. To sum up the similarities briefly guerilla warfare begins with slowly building the organization. The rebels than build base areas and respond to government assualts. For a while rebels must remain low as the governemnt goes into full gear, once the government is worn down the rebels can begin full-scale conventional warfare. Syphilis initally launches a strong all out assualt on the body that is usually mistaken for another virus. It then suddenly disapear and the host assumes he is well. However during an intermediate period the syphilis builds itself up without causing any trouble. By the time syphilis launches its final all out attack it is so built up that there is no hope for a cure.

Below is more details about stages:

Three-phase Maoist modelEdit

Mao/Giap approachEdit

Maoist theory of people's war divides warfare into three phases. In the first phase, the guerrillas gain the support of the population through attacks on the machinery of government and the distribution of propaganda. In the second phase, escalating attacks are made on the government's military and vital institutions. In the third phase, conventional fighting is used to seize cities, overthrow the government, and take control of the country. Mao's seminal work. On Guerrilla Warfare, [1] has been widely distributed and applied, nowhere more successfully than in Vietnam, under military leader and theorist Vo Nguyen Giap. Giap's "Peoples War, Peoples Army" [2] closely follows the Maoist three-stage approach, but with greater emphasis on flexible shifting between mobile and guerrilla warfare, and opportunities for a spontaneous "General Uprising" of the masses in conjunction with guerrilla forces.

Other variantsEdit

Such a phased approach does not apply to all guerrilla conflicts. In some cases, opposing conventional formations cannot be defeated in battle within any reasonable time scale. Small-scale attacks and sabotage however, can over time create an atmosphere of turmoil and chaos, (the "bloody mayhem" of Irish Leader Michael Collins) that is sufficient to force capitulation or extensive concessions from the opposing side. The Algerian War follows this pattern, as does the guerrilla operations leading to British withdrawal from in Cyprus. [3] Palestinian struggles against Israel seem to also follow this pattern, with a series of attritional attacks and international diplomatic pressure forcing concessions from the Israeli leadership.

Stages of syphilisEdit

Different manifestations occur at each stage of the disease:-

Primary syphilisEdit

File:Penis syphilis.png

Primary syphilis is manifested after an incubation period of 10-90 days (the average is 21 days) with a primary sore. During the initial incubation period, individuals are asymptomatic. The sore, called a chancre, is a firm, painless skin ulceration localized at the point of initial exposure to the bacterium, often on the penis, vagina or rectum. Local lymph node swelling can occur. The primary lesion may persist for 4 to 6 weeks and then heal spontaneously.

Secondary syphilisEdit

File:Vaginal syphilis (disturbing image).jpg

Secondary syphilis is characterized by a skin rash that appears 1-6 months (commonly 6 to 8 weeks) after the primary infection. This is a symmetrical reddish-pink non-itchy rash on the trunk and extremities, which unlike most other kinds of rash involves the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet; in moist areas of the body the rash becomes flat broad whitish lesions called condylomata lata. Mucous patches may also appear on the genitals or in the mouth. A patient with syphilis is most contagious when he or she has secondary syphilis.

Other symptoms common at this stage include fever, sore throat, malaise, weight loss, headache, meningismus, and enlarged lymph nodes. Rare manifestations include an acute meningitis that occurs in about 2% of patients, hepatitis, renal disease, hypertrophic gastritis, patchy proctitis, ulcerative colitis, rectosigmoid mass, arthritis, periostitis, optic neuritis, iritis, and uveitis.

Tertiary syphilisEdit

Tertiary syphilis occurs from as early as one year after the initial infection but can take up to ten years to manifest - though cases have been reported where this stage has occurred fifty years after initial infection. This stage is characterised by gummas, soft, tumor-like growths, readily seen in the skin and mucous membranes, but which can occur almost anywhere in the body, often in the skeleton. Other characteristics of untreated syphilis include Charcot's joints (a degeneration of joint surfaces resulting from loss of proprioception), and Clutton's joints (bilateral knee effusions). The more severe manifestations include neurosyphilis and cardiovascular syphilis.

Neurological complications at this stage include generalized paresis of the insane which results in personality changes, changes in emotional affect, hyperactive reflexes, and Argyll-Robertson pupils, a diagnostic sign in which the small and irregular pupils constrict in response to focusing the eyes, but not to light; Tabes dorsalis, also known as locomotor ataxia, a disorder of the spinal cord, often results in a characteristic shuffling gait.

Cardiovascular complications include syphilitic aortitis, aortic aneurysm, aneurysm of sinus of Valsalva, and aortic regurgitation, and are a frequent cause of death. Syphilitic aortitis can cause de Musset's sign (a bobbing of the head that de Musset first noted in Parisian prostitutes).

Latent syphilisEdit

Latent syphilis is defined as having serologic proof of infection without signs or symptoms of disease. Latent syphilis is further described as either early or late. Early latent syphilis is defined as having syphilis for two years or less from time of initial infection without signs or symptoms of disease. Late latent syphilis, then, is infection for greater than two years but having no clinical evidence of disease. The distinction is important for two reasons, therapy and risk for transmission.

In practice, the time of initial infection is often not known and in this case should then be presumed to be late for the purpose of therapy. Early latent syphilis may be treated with a single IM injection of a long-acting penicillin. Late latent syphilis, however, requires three such injections, each a week apart. For infectiousness, however, late latent syphilis is not considered contagious while early latent is. Thus, if the duration of infection is not known, one should presume the patient is early and contagious.


Neurosyphilis refers to a site of infection involving the neurologic system. As such, neurosyphilis may occur at any stage of syphilis. Neurosyphilis in patients with HIV infection is well described. Reports of neurosyphilis in HIV-infected persons are similar to cases reported before the HIV epidemic. The precise extent and significance of neurologic involvement in HIV-infected patients with syphilis, reflected by either laboratory or clinical criteria, remain incompletely characterized. Furthermore, the alteration of host immunosuppression by ART in recent years has further complicated such characterization.

There are four clinical types.

  • Asymptomatic Neurosyphilis
  • Meningovascular Syphilis
  • Tabes Dorsalis
  • General Paresis [4]

Approximately 35% to 40% of persons with secondary syphilis have asymptomatic CNS involvement, as demonstrated by any of these on CSF examination:-

  • An abnormal cell count, protein level, or glucose level;
  • Demonstrated reactivity to Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) antibody test.

Acute syphilitic meningitis usually occurs within the first 2 years of infection; 10% of cases are diagnosed at the time of the secondary rash. Patients present with headache, meningeal irritation, and cranial nerve abnormalities, typically involving cranial nerves at the base of the brain. Meningovascular syphilis occurs a few months to 10 years (average, 7 years) after the primary infection. Unlike the sudden onset of thrombotic or embolic stroke syndromes, meningovascular syphilis is associated with prodromal symptoms lasting weeks to months before focal deficits of a vascular syndrome are identifiable. Prodromal symptoms include unilateral numbness, paresthesias, extremity weakness, headache, vertigo, insomnia, and psychiatric abnormalities such as personality changes. The focal deficits initially are intermittent or progress slowly over a few days.

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