September 18, 2001

September 18, 2001

The Council of Biotechnology brings today's commentary to you. Biotechnology Information. Right now -as I prepare these remarks I am in a hotel in Toronto, Canada. The news on TV is about a genetically modified rice just developed in Canada. It protects the rice plant against an insect that does serious damage to rice through out Asia where rice is far and away

their staple of life. Biotechnology may look risky to some, but to the hungry of Asia, they can't wait. For more information visit the Council's website at . And now for today's commentary.

I want to share with you today a commentary that I wrote -- a week before the attack on the World Trade Center and the Penta on. I knew then that the Afghanistan Taliban were bad. I just didn't realize how evil they were.

Remember more than 20 years ago the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, and to demonstrate our objection President Carter imposed the Soviet grain embargo?

American farmers were furious. Eventually the Soviet Union had to pull out. Now the people of Afghanistan have it even worse. The ruthless, oppressive ruling Taliban government must look for ways to inflict misery on their own and offend the rest of the world. Famine, disease and religious fanaticism stalk the land. One quarter of the children die by the age of 5. With draught, 1 million homeless, and 3.6 million refugees they are now biting the hand that feeds them.

24 AID workers have been arrested for allegedly trying to convert some Muslims to Christianity. They are going to trial and could face imprisonment or expulsion. What is the evidence? They found a Bible. But the AID workers are lucky because any Afghan converting to Christianity is executed.

Women are not allowed to work. They can not attend school after age 8. They are not allowed to go any place without a male relative escort. Men that don't pray 5 times a day and grow a long beard are subject to arrest. On top of everything else the Taliban recently destroyed priceless Buddha sculptures and they continue to protect the notorious world terrorist Osama ben Laden. The Soviet Union pulled out. Maybe the AID organization just as well do the same. Obviously they are not welcome.

That's a commentary I wrote before the cowardly attack. Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.