Back in early December, I mentioned a story from Gulf-News about afghans deliberately attracting American bombs in order to salvage the shell casings and sell them for scrap. At the time, I said:
Heck, why don't we just drop money? It'd be cheaper to drop a sack full of quarters, and we'd throw the local economy into utter chaos. I mean, more so.
Now Neal Boortz says we're actually doing that (I'm unable to find his source: Can anyone confirm?):
In the latest propaganda move by the US in Afghanistan, C-130 transport planes dropped envelopes over the southern part of the country. Printed on the envelopes was a picture of George W. Bush. Inside the envelopes were two $100 bills...that�s right, two one-hundred dollar bills.
Hundred dollar bills? Back to Bloomberg.com to get the current exchange rate...
Results: 200.00 US DOLLAR (USD) = 950,000.0000 AFGHANISTAN AFGANI (AFA)
Heck, call it a million. Can you imagine the effect this would have? I keep saying that they understand us even less than we understand them. They think that wars are won by the people who yell the loudest. Many of them still don't really comprehend that America is even involved in their country, or that anything we do could possibly matter to them.
And now we're dropping a fortune on them. Well, it's not a fortune to us (I know people who have blown $200 on a single meal), but it is to them. And Mr Boortz thinks this is a bad PR move because there's no message in the envelope? I'd say it's a pretty powerful message.
LATER: The Times of India reports it, crediting the story to Reuters -- but I can't find it at Reuters' web site.
LATER STILL: Who was that anonymous commentor? I don't know, but he left a silver bullet -- that is, a link to Yahoo India News' feed of the same Reuters story.