Views From Kennewick

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Is Your Organic Produce Funding Hezbollah? Are Your Tax $s Paying For It?

By Debbie Schlussel

Remember Vladimir Lenin's pronouncement that "The capitalists will sell us the rope on which to hang them"? Well, Hezbollah, it appears, has a new twist on that, using capitalist-inspired trends against us.

Hezbollah may hate us Americans, but that doesn't mean they won't join in on our silly fads in order to make money off of us.


Hidden toward the end of an article in yesterday's Los Angeles Times (about how gourmet restaurants in Beirut are refusing to close amidst Lebanese Army fighting vs. Fatah al Islam), was this gem--Hezbollah is engaged in organic food farming and while American organic farmers are largely on their own, your tax money is funding Lebanese organic farmers. That gourmet Lebanese wine? It's from the Bekaa Valley, a Syrian and Hezbo playground:

The chef and his diners at the small table overflowing with food weaved a conversation in French, English, Arabic and Italian as they sampled Lebanese wines from the Bekaa Valley. . . .

Both Hezbollah, which is on the State Department's list of terrorist groups, and the U.S. Agency for International Development provide financial aid for organic farming in southern Lebanon.

Little is known about Hezbollah's farming program, which is managed by its general reconstruction affiliate, Jihad al Bina, said [Lebanese Agriculture Activist Ami] Zurayk, the agricultural activist, who teaches at the American University of Beirut. . . .

"Like many other things they do, especially in agriculture, little information actually transpires, and whatever is produced does not find its way into the public market," he said.

Uh, how does he know it doesn't make it into the public market? Many flowers grown in the Bekaa Valley make it here. And FYI, USAID money often ends up in Hezbollah's hands, as I've written about time and again on this site (because USAID doesn't track the money much and his no checks on Hezbollah getting it).

So, is your organic produce from Hezbollah? And are your taxes financing it, too?

The answer to question #2 is a likely yes. As for the first question, don't buy organic produce from Lebanon. And try to limit your produce purchases to those grown by America's farmers. That's the only way you can be sure.


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