The Coastal Post - July, 1998

Chemical Man II

By Edward W. Miller

American's attitude toward mood-altering substances is formed by family, religious teaching, the media, government restrictions and personal experience. As we learn more of the world, our mind-set changes and our tolerance of other peoples and their cultures matures. Organized groups in government, industry and religion are always striving to rearrange our attitudes to accommodate their agendas. The diverse peoples of our tiny planet, through experience, have discovered so many ways to relieve their anxieties, treat boredom, improve interpersonal relationships, soften the abrasions and tedium of manual labor, find solace from the tribulations of everyday living, and better tolerate what Shakespeare called "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune."

As the morning sun hits the tarmac in Yemen's only commercial airport, the daily cargo jet slows to a stop to be surrounded by a fleet of carts and vans whose eager drivers quickly unload those bales of Qat (or Khat) leaves, picked fresh that morning in neighboring Malawi or Uganda, Kenya or Ethiopia. Soon thousands of Yemeni shopkeepers will be chewing the leaves as they work, and later, in the sidewalk cafes as they drink their coffee, patrons with a folded Qat leaf tucked in their cheek will discuss the affairs of the day. Qat acts as a stimulant, with mild sedation following, and has no hangover or other side effects. Ephedrine-like compounds account for its action. Qat for chewing is a $3 million business in Yemen, is legal and its sale is advertised widely. The British years ago, because they couldn't profit from its trade, attempted to erase its use, without success.

Today along a thoroughfare in Taiwan as the weary businessman commutes home, pretty Tai girls in the shortest of skirts wave drivers to the curb offering betelnut, a mild stimulant that stains the lips and tongue bright red and leaves red patches on the street where chewers spit. Sold at $3.50 for a pack of 15, official reports (Associated Press) say 2.4 million or 11 percent of Taiwan's population chew betelnut. This mood-altering snack is the island's fourth biggest farm product after pork, rice and chicken. In a recent crackdown, some stands were dismantled and some 20 "underdressed women" were arrested. Police interference is only spasmodic in Taipei's tolerant atmosphere. Taiwan notes a significant number of betelnut chewers with mouth cancer.

High in the Andes in Bolivia or Peru, peasants toting heavy loads along treacherous mountain trails quietly chew their coca leaves or stop for coca tea. Grown in that region before recorded history, the coca leaf, a gift from the gods, allays hunger and fatigue, relieves aching muscles and, as a topical anesthetic, numbs the nasal passages so the strenuous breathing necessary at 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) can be tolerated. Addiction was never a problem amongst the indigenous Indians until the white man's demand for a concentrated coca paste and cocaine altered the picture. Today, though only 0.5 percent of Bolivians are addicted to the paste or cocaine, this represents a fivefold increase from 1991 to 1996 (The Economist, March 7, 1998). Those governments pressured by the US DEA are paying farmers to raise alternate corps, but with slight success as others pick up what has become a more lucrative crop, increasingly cultivated to serve America's huge and growing habit.

In the USA today, some 250,000 Native Americans, including members of the Native American Church, are again enjoying the healing qualities of the peyote cactus, since Congress in 1994 passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. For the white man, however, this gentle mind-altering or hallucinogenic drug used for centuries by the Indians in religious rites and tribal meetings is still classified as a Schedule I substance.

The American businessman, who starts the day with coffee for the stimulation of caffeine, looks forward to that cocktail with his business lunch and, fighting the commute home, drags on his cigar for the stimulation of nicotine while he fishes in his pocket for that daily Prozac tablet. At home, with TV and the kids, he sips his bourbon while his wife sets the table. Like other good dads, he warns his kids about marijuana, and other "mind-altering drugs."

Both Sides

Todd Miller (Coastal Post Letters, May), who says he lived in Israel for years, admits Israel "has the worst PR." Todd states, "There are many things they [Israelis] do that are ignored or unknown by the rest of the world." Reading between the lines in his letter, one begins to understand why.

First, Todd excuses Israel's torture of political prisoners by saying some Arab states also use torture. He does not mention that Israel is the only country whose supreme court has OK'd this practice, a practice condemned under the Fourth Geneva Convention of which Israel is a co-signer. Todd adds, Israel's "shaking" as a torture is "relatively tame." However, both Amnesty International, and the International Red Cross have recorded several deaths from this ugly practice, which may tear the vertebral arteries in the victim's neck, leading to certain brain death. Todd seems unaware that the amputation of the hand of a criminal which he describes as "torture" is not a means of torture but a punishment assigned under Muslim law by a Muslim court for certain serious crimes. We in the West employ long imprisonment or even the gas chamber for similar offenses.

Todd says "Arab land was never stolen by the Jews. It was purchased." It is true that before, during and even after the British Mandate, Jewish settlers purchased Arab land. In 1837 Sir Moses Montifiore found only 9,000 Jews in Palestine. Their number reached 50,000 by 1900. Baron Rothschild generously supported with his money early Jewish colonists who posed "no threat to the indigenous Arab pollution" (as Alfred Lillienthal notes). But even by November 29th, 1947, when the United Nations voted to partition Palestine, Jewish land ownership was considerably less than Arab ownership. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, over 750,000 Palestinians were pushed off their land and 431 Arab towns and villages destroyed. During the 1967 War, Israel seized the remaining Palestinian land. Today only a few scattered cities on the West Bank plus only 70% of the tiny Gaza Strip have reverted to Palestinian ownership. The peace arrangement pushed by Clinton and resisted by Netanyhu will actually leave the Palestinians with about three percent of the area promised them in the 1947 UN partition.

Todd Miller echoes Israel's Golda Meir's famous statement that "Israel made the desert bloom." He states: "Land sold to the Israelis 'for extremely high prices' was usually mosquito-infested swamp. The Israelis made this swampland bloom." This again is pure baloney. Palestinians in those 432 villages destroyed by the Jews were excellent farmers as well as herdsmen, and their fruit and vegetables, famous for quality, were sold throughout the Middle East. My father, a professor of history who traveled through Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria on horseback in 1891 noted in his diary the extensive farming of the indigenous Palestinians as well as the abundance of their ground water, which has since disappeared as Israel drained the great underground aquifers in the West Bank to supply their illegal settlements, farms and coastal cities. Israel Shahak, author, emeritus professor and survivor of the Belgen concentration camp whom I interviewed for the paper some four years ago, noted in his 1973 report: "The truth about Arab settlements in the area of the State of Israel is one of the most guarded secrets of Israeli life. No publication, book or pamphlet gives either their number of location. This is done on purpose so that the accepted official myth of an "empty country" can be taught in schools and told to visitors."

Finally, Todd states that: Israel would be stupid to give back "high ground" (Golan Heights), from which the enemy attacked them five times."

I would refer Todd to an interview with Moshe Dayan, Israel's famous General and Defense Minister, which was published after he died. Dayan had stated that Israel's seizure of the Golan Heights was a mistake of which he was ashamed, and that he knew the Golan had no strategic military value. Dayan confessed the Heights had been seized by Israel only because of pressure from Jews in the Kibbutzen who coveted that rich Syrian farmland. Those "attacks" to which Todd refers were President Assad's military responses to Jewish farmers who were intruding again and again onto Syrian farmers' land. The New York Times, as expected, had reported these attempts by the Syrians to defend their farmland as "terrorist attacks."

Zionist Jews in this country have consistently lied to their fellow Americans about Israel's actions as well as her dreams of territorial expansion. Todd Miller just contributed to this dangerous situation. Israel, which the US supports both economically and militarily, has so corrupted Washington that Netanyhu now feels free to treat even Clinton with arrogant disdain.

President George Washington in his farewell address to the Continental Congress warned that permitting too close a relationship with any foreign power might set the stage for that country's agents to undermine our own government and corrupt our representatives. This is exactly the on-going scenario in Washington.

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