CHOMSKY UPDATE:Before the New Year, David Horowitz and I posted a column in which we detailed Noam Chomsky’s post-Sept. 11 charges that the United States was planning "silent genocide" that would kill millions of innocent Afghanistan civilians. Now, the last edition of The Washington Post for 2001 featured as its lead front-page story the final word about Chomsky’s spurious claims. "Massive Food Delivery Averts Afghan Famine," was the headline in an article by staff writer Marc Kaufman. "There will be no famine in Afghanistan this winter," Catherine Bertini, executive director of the UN World Food Program, told the paper. Indeed, her own agency moved 90,000 tons of wheat into Afghanistan in December alone, "the largest monthly total in the history of the agency."
Kaufman notes that this actual result was far different from that given when the U.S. bombing began, when a three-year drought (due to nature, not to any nation’s policies) combined with the bombing "were said to have put 1.5 million Afghans at risk of starvation." This figure, of course, is itself far lower than the 3 or 4 million Chomsky said "we are trying to murder," or the 7 to 8 million he said were "on the verge of starvation." Indeed, the article points out that "food shipments into Afghanistan picked up in November and swelled" in December "after the Taliban was routed." While they were in power, it noted that the Taliban "banned communications" between the UN World Food Program offices inside Afghanistan and its agencies outside the country, leaving WFP officials unable to function "for three months."
But most important to note is the fact that it is the United States that "supplies [through USAID] more than half of the wheat and money for logistics," and that the US military "air-dropped hundreds of thousands of food packets during the early phases of the war." Now, so much food is in the country that Afghanistan can actually accommodate a substantial return of the four million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and Iran. What accounts for the different situation is nothing less than the success of the military defeat of the Taliban. As a spokesman for the new Afghan government told the Post, food was being distributed better "because the Taliban was no longer present." And that, of course, is due primarily to the US military response to Sept. 11. In addition, the article points out that famine was averted because $320 million was made available to the UN’s World Food Program "through the $320 million supplemental bill promoted by President Bush for humanitarian aid." American foreign economic policy, in other words, dovetailed with military policy in bettering the condition of the Afghan people. And now, we learn, US aid will supply sheep and other livestock, seeds for new crops and funds to repair local irrigation systems.
The record could not be clearer. American action has not only destroyed a dangerous tyranny; it has saved the people of Afghanistan from the horror of starvation. Now, I look forward to Noam Chomsky’s next speech, in which he will undoubtedly - as an academic scholar committed to change his views when confronted with actual facts that prove his previous theories to have been wrong - candidly acknowledge his errors and praise the United States government and the Bush administration for its leadership and good works.
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE: The Bush administration has forged ahead in making it clear that nations protecting terrorists will themselves be legitimate targets in the war against terrorism. There has already been good indication that Iraq, Somalia and Yemen in particular have been given warning that they may be next. And clearly, the United States has let Pakistan know that it must clamp down on its own terrorists who recently carried out the murderous attack on India’s Parliament.
The one major omission, however, is Saudi Arabia. Our special relationship with the Saudis our dependence on Saudi oil has let our policy makers bend over backwards to not alienate the Saudi royal family, even though many of the September 11 hijackers were of Saudi origin and many of the official Muslim mosques in the country are freely given the green light by the Saudi government to preach radical Islamic doctrine and to recruit for Bin Laden’s terrorist organization.
Now, thanks to The Middle East Research Institute in Washington, DC (MEMRI) we have a translation available of the shocking article in the December 28 issue of Al-Watan, the official Saudi government daily newspaper. Titled "The Jewish Sense of Superiority in the World," it purports to be the effort of a think tank called the "American-European Center for Security and International Studies," an organization which does not actually exist. Written by one Abdullah Aal Malhi, it informs readers that "Jewish organizations are implementing their strategic hellish plan to take over the world." The article, truly a Goebbels-like Nazi propaganda screed, tells its Arab readers how Jews took over both the Russian and American governments, in order to "create a Jewish socialist system." Due to their numeric minority in the world, those clever Jews try "by means of their trickery" to weaken the identity of non-Jews, which they achieve by "their control of the media, politics and the economy."
One of their key devices, Mr. Aal Malhi tells us, is to accuse those who criticize Israel of anti-Semitism, which allows the Jewish lobby to obtain "support for the State of Israel." And of course, the big publishing houses, all "at the mercy of the Jews," never write about Jewish racism, publishing only those books which condemn anti-Semitism. As a result, anyone "who does not please the Jews" loses their job, suffers physical harm or is forced to leave politics. Moreover, "the Jewish zealots, with their great monetary, media and political influence, can have them imprisoned." Anyone speaking the truth is put "behind prison bars for many long years." Indeed, those honorable Holocaust deniers - "hundreds" of them, the Saudi readers are instructed, are in prison, all for speaking the truth "about falsified Jewish propaganda." And, of course, those crafty Jews also have infiltrated "and control…the top positions in the American administration." Why else would we have a war against terror?
And so I end with a simple note to the State Department and its new propaganda division, whose chief was recently recruited from the world of advertising agencies. How about a little propaganda in the direction of Saudi Arabia? Or is that too much to ask?