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MARCH 2017



the test. I thank Mr. Lawson for sharing

his story with the rest of the Foreign


Ben J. Marin


U.S. Embassy Yerevan

Two Kinds of History

The October

Foreign Service Jour-


carried a story by Ruchir Joshi, a

major opinion maker in India (novelist,

filmmaker and columnist), describing

India’s view of the U.S. election

(“How India Sees U.S. Elec- tions”).

It contained this state-

ment: “Democrat or not,

Lyndon Johnson was viewed

as a mixed bag. The P.L. 480

Food for Peace program

received a huge fillip from

Kennedy, with Johnson

carrying it forward, and

the aid received by India in the

1960s was acknowledged with gratitude.

At the same time, it was U.S.-donated

Patton tanks and Sabre fighter jets that

our military faced in the 1965 war with


There, in one sentence, was what

India remembers about the massive

economic assistance we rendered in the

1960s, which led to the Green Revolu-

tion and Indian agricultural self-suffi-

ciency, the avoidance of massive starva-

tion during the Bihar famine, and a huge

flow of capital and technical assistance

to support industrial development.

I was reminded of the statement that

there are two kinds of history: “dead his-

tory” and “living history.” Dead history

is what is contained in the museums and

libraries. Living history is what people

believe happened.

Then I looked at what the USAID

website says about aid to India during

that period. Here is the entire substan-

tive portion of the statement covering

1951 to 1980:

“USAID’s program has evolved pro-

gressively over the decades from emer-

gency provision of food to infrastructure

development, capacity building of key

Indian institutions, support for the

opening of the Indian economy and

more. ... In 1960, food aid accounted for

92 percent of the annual assistance bud-

get. In the late 1970s, projects included

rural electrification, fertilizer promo-

tion, malaria control, agri-

cultural credit, integrated

health and population pro-

grams, irrigation schemes

and social forestry” (www.

Well, if that is the best face

our own government can put

on those massive efforts, how

can I blame Mr. Joshi?

In my book

, Memoirs of

an Agent for Change in International


, published two years ago,

a speech I delivered in Kanpur in August

1966 is included (Annex 3). It describes,

in bare outline, the then-current aid

program for the year which, in 1966 dol-

lars, came to about $800 million. Surely

some of those efforts deserve recogni-

tion by the agency I served, if not by the

Indian public.

Ludwig Rudel

FS Reserve-2, retired

Bethesda, Maryland

The Dangers of

Senate No. 11

The controversy developing over the

pending bill, Senate No. 11, “Jerusalem

Embassy and Recognition Act,” reprises

an almost annual joust that centers on

relocating the U.S. embassy in Israel to

Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

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