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What $1 bought Afghans

December 14, 2001 | Page 2

GEORGE W. BUSH'S appeal to U.S. schoolchildren to contribute $1 to a fund for Afghan children was always an obvious public relations stunt. Just how obvious became clear in December.

According to Salon magazine, the White House is planning to ship 10,000 "relief packages" to Afghan children, funded by the single-dollar donations. What do they contain? Starburst candy, raisins, two lollipops and a fuzzy plastic ball.

This to a country where 63 percent of children were chronically malnourished--before the war.

The U.S. government refused even to pause its bombing of Afghanistan to allow relief agencies to distribute desperately needed food to an estimated 1.5 million Afghans at risk of starvation.

But when it comes to candy and toys, no expense will be spared.

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