Monday, June 9, 2008

Food for love program

" So why is it that in most places, the United States receives little or no credit for its generosity? This is particularly worrisome in Muslim countries, where dislike not just of the U.S. government but of the American people has increased even though U.S. aid has burgeoned. This is partly because of the mixed record of foreign aid programs, which have sometimes done more harm than good. It's also partly because no amount of aid will compensate for dreadful U.S. policies, such as the continued operation of the searingly symbolic detention center in Guantanamo Bay.

Humanitarian aid must be given unconditionally, but at the same time, the U.S. should launch a high-profile food diplomacy initiative planned, funded and executed for the purpose of improving national security through humanitarian means. The program should particularly target Muslims in such strategically important places as South Waziristan, Gaza, Lebanon, Algeria, Jordan and Egypt. Radical Islamist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood have used charity to develop their political leverage for years, and as The Times recently reported, they have found in the food crisis an opportunity to expand their franchise. The United States should make such Islamist aid networks irrelevant by burying them in a landslide of relief for the poor."

What can I say? Does the writer really believe that if the US gives billions of $ in military aid to Israel, plus unconditional support to the oppression of the Palestinian people, this will be forgotten because of a few million $ in food aid? There must be a name for this kind of thinking.

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