Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Saturday, February 01, 2003  


I've now received two emails about a campaign to mail rice to the President. Has anyone been getting these? The two I received were worded differently, and neither one mentions a sponsoring organization (always a dubious start). On the other hand, I'm always ready to pitch in and help. Are these things legitimate? I'll quote one of the emails here. Proceed as you wish--I don't necessarily endorse this. (Oh yeah, and I received a third email that mentioned that this could as easily backfire if everyone clogs up the mail, particularly with poor packaging. I guess the message is that if you're going to do it, make sure the package is up to USPS standards.)

The email:

There is a grassroots campaign underway to protest war in Iraq in a simple, but potentially powerful way.

Place 1/2 cup uncooked rice in a small plastic bag (a snack-size bag or sandwich bag work fine). Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Wrap it in a piece of paper on which you have written, "If your enemies are hungry, feed them. Romans 12:20. Please send this rice to the people of Iraq; do not attack them."

Place the paper and bag of rice in an envelope (either a letter-sized or padded mailing envelope--both are the same cost to mail) and address them to:

President George Bush White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NWWashington, DC 20500

Attach $1.06 in postage. (Three 37-cent stamps equal $1.11)

Drop ! this in the mail. It is important to act NOW so that President Bush gets the letters ASAP, before the supposed Feb 5 start date.

In order for this protest to be effective, there must be hundreds of thousands of such rice deliveries to the White House. We can do this if you each forward this message to your friends and family.

There is a positive history of this protest!

In the mid 1950's, Communist China was experiencing a dramatic famine. An American peace organization, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, began a campaign for American aid to China. The Fellowship of Reconciliation asked its members to send little bags of rice to the White House, with a request that President Eisenhower send food to China. But food was never sent. And for decades the Fellowship of Reconciliation considered this campaign a failure.

When Eisenhower's papers were ma! de public in the mid-80's, a different story came to l! ight. During that same period in the 50's, the United States was involved in a war in Korea. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, fearful that China would become involved in the conflict, kept urging Eisenhower to drop a nuclear bomb on China. Each time this idea came up, Eisenhower would excuse himself, walk down to the White House mail room, and ask how many bags of rice had come in that day. Then he would return to the meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and say that if a hundred people on that day were asking him to send rice to the Chinese, the United States could not possibly drop a nuclear bomb on China.

I'll give it a shot. A buck ten? Half a cup of rice?

posted by Jeff | 11:11 AM |
Blogroll and Links