Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, March 2009
Letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton
from Palestinian American Mike Odetalla
ccun.org, March 8, 2009
Dear Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
The last time that I wrote to you, in case you might have forgotten was after your trip to Palestine in November of 2005, and the letter can be read at http://www.hanini.org/Hillary.html . That letter concerned your support for Israel’s Apartheid Wall and the theft of Palestinian lands, BUT that is in the past when you were just another “senator from New York”.
I now write to you of a subject that is infinitely more important. It concerns our national security, and as an American Citizen and Patriot, I feel it is my duty and obligation to write you after listening to and reading the remarks made by Robert Wood on February 25th during a State Department daily press briefing concerning “pasta as a dual use item”.
Although I must admit my ignorance in the dual use of pasta, I am not one to question the wisdom of my democratically elected officials and their vigilance for my safety and the safety of my country, its citizens, and its interests abroad. I felt it was my duty to go out and see who is selling and buying pasta, lentils, and other items, that if gotten in the “wrong hands” (those dastardly Palestinians living in Gaza) can be spell the end of our friend, Israel and who knows, maybe with the proper preparation and quantities, will one day endanger America!
Much to my shock and dismay, my local supermarkets had vast displays of pasta piled high and being sold at one chain that I will, for national security reasons, name only after you contact me personally, at 10 for $10. That’s 10 boxes of pasta for $10 and the manager informed me that he could get me as much as I wanted, possibly truck loads of this stuff (I lied to him and told him that I was planning a spaghetti dinner fund raiser at a local church) .
It blew my mind that the new Obama Administration was nowhere near as vigilant as the prior Bush administration was and that the conservative pundits and talking heads were right all along when they warned us of Obama’s inexperience in these “sensitive” national security matters.
My search for pasta and lentils did not end at the supermarket chains. I decided to expand my search, and disguised as a “Palestinian” (I wore a black and white Kuffyeh around my neck which I learned about while searching on the internet as being the national symbol of the Palestinian struggle) I walked into one of the country’s largest Middle Eastern grocery store, smack in the middle of the largest Middle Eastern community in the country, Dearborn, Michigan.
In the store I found many things that quite honestly concerned me because of the sheer volume of these items, which cannot be found in “American” supermarkets, and therefore can also have “dual usage” if you know what I mean! There in plain sight, and stacked to gills were aisles full of olive oil, olives, cans of humus, rice, and would you believe it, PASTA and LENTILS! I counted hundreds of packages of pasta and lentils on the shelves and some of them had Arabic writing on them which I could not read (obviously they were not meant for us “Americans” to read or understand). I asked one of the clerks if they had any more pasta and or lentils, and he told me that they had an entire WAREHOUSE FULL OF THE STUFF!
Imagine a Middle Eastern community with unfettered access to as much pasta and lentils as they want. The more I thought about it, the more concerned and panicked I became. I managed to buy a box of pasta, lentils, and olive oil, all with Arabic writings on them and stored safely in my garage for you to inspect and use as “evidence”, but to my anger and dismay, my daughter found the box of pasta and made spaghetti for her and her brothers, used the olive oil to make salad dressing, but the lentils are still intact (she didn’t know what to do with them)…
If you wish, I can go back there dressed as a Palestinian and buy all of the pasta, lentils, and olive oil they have, but you will have to send me the money somehow so that I can make this purchase, and of course make sure to send me marked bills so that we have “proof”.
Please contact me ASAP so that we can get these potentially dangerous items off the store shelves and by doing so, save the Jewish State from being wiped off the face of the earth via macaroni, or heaven forbid, death by rigatoni.
Also, I am worried that the Palestinians of Gaza will use lentils, which are also prohibited from entering Gaza, much in the same way that Israel uses cluster bombs by packing them into rockets and firing them at Israel towns and villages (I can imagine the horror and the billions of dollars Israel would need from the US for cleaning up the millions upon millions of tiny lentils, scattered over a vast area and the damage they would cause). No Israeli child would be safe from potentially stepping on one these deadly little kernels which would blend in with the landscape.
We must make sure that the Palestinians of Gaza never get their hands on any significant amount of pasta, lentils, and or other foodstuffs that could endanger the existence of the Jewish State which you said during your failed bid for president that you would use “any and all means to defend”
Keep Israel safe, starve the Palestinians!!!
Mike Odetalla, a “concerned American citizen”!
From State Department Daily Press Briefing
February 25, 2009
QUESTION: But can you imagine any circumstance under which pasta could be considered a dual-use item? Or is there some -- you know, is rigatoni somehow going to be used as a weapon? (Laughter.)
MR. WOOD: I'm not involved in those discussions, so I -
QUESTION: Well, I mean -- I mean, it just seems to be absurd on the face of it, if that's what happening.
MR. WOOD: Well, there are people on the ground who are dealing with these issues. And I think we should leave it --
QUESTION: Dealing with the pasta dual-use issue?
QUESTION: Yeah, can you take a question on the pasta, please?
MR. WOOD: I'm not going to take the question on the pasta --
MR. WOOD: -- because it's -
QUESTION: Well, the United States is obviously pushing it, so obviously it's something --
MR. WOOD: We're trying to get humanitarian supplies in - on the ground to the people in Gaza.
QUESTION: Do you think food is a humanitarian supply?
MR. WOOD: Food certainly is.
QUESTION: All kinds of food?
MR. WOOD: I - I'm not able to tell you from here whether it -
QUESTION: Can you get a - can you take the question of what kind of food that the U.S. thinks is a humanitarian supply?
MR. WOOD: I'm not going to take that question, because I don't think it's a legitimate question.
QUESTION: You don't think it's legitimate that the Palestinians need certain foods and is - should Israel decide what food the Palestinians need?
MR. WOOD: I'm sorry, Elise, I'm not going to - I've spoken on it.
Mike Odetalla..."A seed in the eternal fruit of Palestine"
"Come, I'll tell you about Palestine" www.Hanini.org My Home Town: http://www.beithanina.org/ http://www.palestinecalendar.org/ http://www.palestineonlinestore.com/ http://www.alnakba.org/ http://www.nakbainhebrew.org/ http://www.palestineremembered.com http://www.al-awda.org
Charities for Palestine that I support:
www.pcrf.net/ The Palestine Children's Relief Fund
http://www.irw.org/ Islamic Relief USA
www.anera.org/ American Near East Refugee Aid
“The ink of the scholar is holier more than the blood of the martyr"- Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)
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