RE: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception

From: Lawrence DeBivort (
Date: Sun Jan 20 2002 - 14:02:06 GMT

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    Subject: RE: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception
    Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2002 09:02:06 -0500
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    US food (and other) aid to Afghanistan went all over the country. I imagine
    some of it ended up with the Pushtans as well.

    USAID has long struggled over the issue of whether or not to keep its
    humanitarian programs independent of the governments political and military
    objectives. The nadir for USAID came when they were used as cover for the
    Phoenix program in VietNam. Even now, the USAID budget is horribly skewed to
    meet political objectives. But in the background, and usually with
    inadequate funding, USAID has managed to maintain a genuine humanitarian
    program in some 70 countries. I believe that this is a tremendously
    important activity for the US -- especially in the light of Sept. 11 -- and
    should be dramatically increased. Last year, we gave $120 million in
    humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, way down from previous years, but
    nonetheless, as you point out, more than anyone else. Bosnia and the
    'war-on-drugs' in Colombia had, among other political objectives, sopped up
    the funds... The US is now pledging a longer term commitment, but has not
    yet announced dollar amounts.


    > >Who is 'conveniently forgetting'?
    > >
    > >> And people conveniently forget that before 9/11, the US was the
    > >> single largest (by a wide margin) provider of food aid to
    > >> Afghanistan, and that this has not just continued, but
    > >> accelerated.
    > >
    > I'm just making the point that the US has saved far more lives
    > than they have taken in that country. The exact reverse can be
    > stated of Al Quaeda and their Taliban harborers.>

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