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Your View

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Food for peace

With the prospect of an extended struggle against terrorism by radical groups and the nation-states that support them, many of the "experts" have cataloged their advantages and our disadvantages.

We've all heard them. They include: the difficult terrain of Afghanistan, the single-minded purpose of the fanatics, our dependence on foreign oil and the limits of our strategic petroleum reserves, etc.

Listening to such smart people wring their hands and predict our demise over the national airways, it's not only possible to get depressed, it's difficult not to. We're told we're simply not prepared for a near-medieval conflict with a near-medieval society in which every Afghan male carries a Kalishnikoff rifle or an RPG.

OK, so someone please tell me: "What are they going to eat?"

Perhaps our national leaders should consider a food exchange program. The people of this region are renowned for their bartering. So how about one Kalishnikoff rifle for one unit of food? One Al-Queida lieutenant for multiple units of food. One spoiled rich boy named bin Laden, one banquet for everybody.

Seal off the borders from the air, set up the program using the Northern alliance (and then take the weapons from them) and hunker down. That way the decision can be left up to each individual "holy" war.

We don't have to go into the mountains after them. They will soon come to us. That is, of course, unless they've learned to grow corn in those caves. We can afford to be patient. They can't.

And for those who would shrink from using food as a weapon, well, commercial airliners are not weapons either.

Josh Bill