That would be “pasta of mass destruction.”

Reader Andrew Jones sent me a link to today’s State Department briefing, in which considerable time was devoted to the question of whether pasta should be considered a “dual use” item.(Israel is allowing rice into Gaza as humanitarian aid, but blockading pasta. You know, because of the danger.)

A sample:

“MR. WOOD: I’m not involved in those discussions, so I –
QUESTION: Well, I mean — I mean, it just seems to be absurd on the face of it, if that’s what’s happening.
MR. WOOD: Well, there are people on the ground who are dealing with these issues. And I think we should leave it —

Um. There are “people on the ground” dealing with pasta dual-use issues?

Is this part of the stimulus package?
*Photo of scary, scary rigatoni via wikipedia.

Amanda Taub


  1. Reading the actual transcript, the reporter was the one who brought up “dual-use,” not the flack. “Not defined as humanitarian aid” does not equal “dual-use”; the reporter was trying to draw out silliness where none existed.

    It’s not that anyone was even suggesting pasta might have military uses, but that Israel was defining “humanitarian aid” food as extremely basic poor-people food (rice) as opposed to restaurant food (pasta), and there are people working on this too-severe definition.

  2. I dunno, from the looks of the photo one could use pasta to make very small tanks…

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