Lawmakers Probe Anti-US Sentiment

U.S. politicians such as Congressman Tom Lantos are trying to understand why "the white venom of hate is oozing" from countries like Indonesia to Pakistan, "two nations that we have helped enormously since they gained independence.'' The solution, they think, might be better public relations, such as a new international advertising campaign now being planned by Charlotte Beers, the new U.S. Undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs. If he wants to know why the PR isn't working, however, Lantos should review a little history. In Indonesia, the United States supported what the CIA itself has called "one of the worst mass murders of the twentieth century." And in Pakistan, according to an October 2, 2001 report in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. support to the mujahedeen during the 1980s included support for madrasahs (Islamic seminaries) where students were indoctrinated in the culture of violent jihad: "The Agency for International Development paid the University of Nebraska $50 million over eight years, from 1986 to 1994, to produce educational materials for Afghan primary- and secondary-school students. But texts on a range of subjects were highly politicized and often had a militaristic overtone. ... Some questions prodded students to tackle basic math by counting dead Russians and Kalashnikov rifles."