Bulletin #41



17 November 2002
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The Grenoble Research Center for the Advanced Study of American
Institutions and Social movements has recently posted several articles and
essays in the various "Ateliers" on its web site :
<www.u-grenoble3.fr/ciesimsa>. We invite you to visit our site and make any
comments which you think might improve our efforts at linking international
scholars, students and social science researchers interested in American
transnational corporations and contemporary social movements.

Below we are sharing with you three items recently received at the Grenoble
Center :

First, our research associate Richard DuBoff sent us an article on
"privitizing war," which we are sharing with you in this letter. [Please
see Item A, below.]

A second item comes from David Peterson, who has sent us many messages from
the United States, this one concerning the current attack on the academic
freedom of Prof. Peter N. Kirstein in the Chicago area. [Item B, below.]

And a third item is a reminder from our Grenoble colleague, Vicki Briault,
to those of us living in the Grenoble region, that M.Garcin Malsa , Mayor
of Sainte-Anne, on the Island of Martinique, will speak next Thursday night
on the devistating effect the "debt trap" has had on his community in the
Caribbean Basin. [Item C, below.]
 

A personal note from Francis Feeley :
Several years ago, while teaching at Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg, a
friend came to visit from Los Angeles. John, a Hollywood playwrite and
poet, had a sister working at a New York law firm. She was "on loan," her
brother told me, to the U.S. government and her assignment was to help
write a "democratic constitution" for Bosnia. As it turned out, being only
human, she was soon repulsed at what she had to witness, which, among other
things, included the spectacle of wealthy young Americans taking a
"vacation" with the new blood sport that was being offered by
mercenary-soldier corporations. It was their opportunity the test the
expensive new weapons they had purchased and in real live-combat situations
--the equivalent, it would seem, to big-game safari hunting during the last
century.

Added to this drama was the fact that although many people knew about the
new sport, including many UN observers in the area, no one was reporting it
or writting about it. John's secondhand account of young CEOs from Houston,
Texas hunting Serbs in 1997, was a unique source, and I filed it away,
waiting for confirmation from other sources. This day has come, it would
seem, from the New York Times, on October 13, 2002 (albeit, burried in
Section 3). Thank you Professor Du Boff for bringing it to our attention.
Below (in item A) is an excerpt from this NYT article, and the entire
article is available on our Research Center's web site, Atelier No.15,
article no.28. [Please visit www.u-grenoble3.fr/ciesimsa/ateliers/a15/].
 

Sincerely,
Francis Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Dirctor of Research
 

===================================================
A.
Date: Monday, 14 Oct 2002
To: "Francis Feeley" <Francis.Feeley@u-grenoble3.fr>
From: "Richard B. Du Boff" <rduboff@brynmawr.edu>
Subject: Privatizing war

New York Times  October 13, 2002 (sec. 3)
America's For-Profit Secret Army. Military Contractors Are Hired To Do the
Pentagon's Bidding Far From Washington's View.

By LESLIE WAYNE
With the war on terror already a year old and the possibility of war
against Iraq growing by the day, a modern version of an ancient practice --
one as old as warfare itself -- is reasserting itself at the Pentagon.
Mercenaries, as they were once known, are thriving -- only this time they
are called private military contractors, and some are even subsidiaries of
Fortune 500 companies.

The Pentagon cannot go to war without them.

Often run by retired military officers, including three- and four-star
generals, private military contractors are the new business face of war.
Blurring the line between military and civilian, they provide stand-ins for
active soldiers in everything from logistical support to battlefield
training and military advice at home and abroad.

Some are helping to conduct training exercises using live ammunition for
American troops in Kuwait, under the code name Desert Spring. One has just
been hired to guard President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, the target of a
recent assassination attempt. Another is helping to write the book on
airport security. Others have employees who don their old uniforms to work
under contract as military recruiters and instructors in ROTC classes,
selecting and training the next generation of soldiers.

In the darker recesses of the world, private contractors go where the
Pentagon would prefer not to be seen, carrying out military exercises for
the American government, far from Washington's view. In the last few years,
they have sent their employees to Bosnia, Nigeria, Macedonia, Colombia and
other global hot spots.

_________________
B.
From: "david peterson" <davidpet@mindspring.com>
Subject: RE: SAINT XAVIER SUSPENDS HISTORY PROFESSOR
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 12:45:55 -0600

( * This is an outrage. The President of Saint Xavier University in Chicago
has "relieved [Prof. Kirstein] of his teaching responsibilities for the
current semester and reassigned [him] to other duties." (See below.) This
respresents a complete, abject surrender and sacrifice of the Professor's
academic freedom in the face of public and governmental/military pressure.)

* Prof. Peter N. Kirstein: kirstein@sxu.edu
* Saint Xavier President Richard Yanikoski: yanikoski@sxu.edu
* The Xavierite (i.e., campus newspaper): TheXavierite@yahoo.com
* http://www.sxu.edu/news/kirstein_statement.htm
Statement regarding Professor Peter N. Kirstein, Ph.D.
Richard A. Yanikoski, Ph.D.
President, Saint Xavier University
November 15, 2002

During recent weeks Saint Xavier University has attracted national
attention because a tenured professor of history sent a young Air Force
Academy cadet some e-mail containing inflammatory, anti-military comments.
Professor Peter N. Kirstein, an avowed pacifist, quickly apologized to the
cadet and to the Air Force Academy for his e-mail message, but in the
meantime thousands of other interested parties have taken offense.

 From the beginning of this incident, Saint Xavier University has worked to
achieve four objectives: (1) to make things right with the cadet and the
Air Force Academy; (2) to respond compassionately to the anger and anguish
aroused in so many quarters; (3) to counsel and discipline Professor
Kirstein in appropriate ways; and (4) to ensure that teaching and learning
at the University will continue unimpeded.

The following actions have been or will be taken to make things right with
the cadet and the Air Force Academy: (1) Professor Kirstein sent a personal
apology to the cadet and to the Air Force Academy. Subsequent
correspondence between them has been open and respectful. (2) The
University extended an official apology to the Academyís Superintendent,
and as president of the University, I have agreed to accept an invitation
to visit the Academy within the coming year. (3) Saint Xavier University
will send a delegation
to the Air Force Academyís upcoming Academic Assembly. (4) Campus officials
have attempted to respond to all cadets, parents, and members of the
Academy staff who telephoned or wrote to the University. Any omissions in
this regard have been unintentional.
To respond compassionately to the large number of men and women who somehow
received copies of Professor Kirsteinís e-mail and thereby came to feel
demeaned by his intemperate criticisms of the military, the University has
done the following: (1) Faculty, staff and administrators throughout the
University have fielded telephone calls during the past two weeks, in each
case listening sensitively to complaints and advice. (2) We answered
hundreds of e-mail messages personally, until the rising volume of
correspondence made individual responses impossible. (3) We cooperated with
the press in an ongoing effort to ensure accurate and responsible coverage.
(4) We used web-page updates to summarize the Universityís response to this
emerging situation. (5) We consistently admitted that Professor Kirsteinís
e-mail message was unwarranted and unbecoming a scholar.

By far the topic of greatest interest to most people has been the
University ís response to Professor Kirstein. After careful eliberation, I
have decided to take the following actions on behalf of the University:

1. Effective on the afternoon of November 11, 2002, Professor Kirstein was
relieved of his teaching responsibilities for the current semester and
reassigned to other duties.
2. An administrative reprimand will be delivered to Professor Kirstein and
placed in his personnel file.
3. While on sabbatical leave during the spring semester of 2003, Professor
Kirstein will submit his teaching, scholarship, professional development,
and service record to peer evaluation within the norms of the Universityís
procedures for periodic review of tenured faculty. Professor Kirstein
volunteered to have this review conducted earlier than it otherwise would
have been.
4. Any future faculty contract(s) extended to Professor Kirstein will
include a binding addendum specifically requiring him to adhere both to
institutional policies and to the norms of the American Association of
University Professors in matters relating to the proper exercise of
academic freedom and extramural activities.

No additional information will be released by the University with respect
to the above actions or other personnel matters concerning Professor Peter
Kirstein. This is in accord with University practice.Professor Kirstein and
the University community deeply regret the incident that began this chain
of events. Saint Xavier University remains committed to the pursuit of
teaching and learning in a campus community where all are treated with
respect, caring and justice and where academic freedom is enjoyed for
purpose of promoting quality teaching, careful research, critical analysis,
thoughtful discussion, and programs of direct service to metropolitan
Chicago and beyond.

_________________________
C.
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 21:14:27 +0100
Subject: Garcin Malsa
From: "V Briault" <vicki.briault@wanadoo.fr>
To: francis feeley <francis.feeley@u-grenoble3.fr>

Le jeudi 21 novembre :

18h30- 19h30 : conférence de Garcin Malsa sur la Dette de l'Esclavage et de
la Traite dans l'Amphi 7 (Entrée Hall Sud aussi) à l'invitation  du
CADTM-Isère.

Garcin Malsa , maire de la commune martiquinaise de Sainte-Anne depuis
1993,  est le président et co-fondateur en 1992, avec les écrivains
Patrick  Chamoiseau et Rafaël Confiant, du MODEMAS (Mouvement des
Démocrates et des Ecologistes pour une Martinique Souveraine).  Il  est
militant  écologiste, anti-colonial  et indépendantiste martiniquais,  et
donc "alter-mondialiste" par excellence. Certains d'entre nous l'avons vu
et entendu au Contre-Sommet G7 à Lyon en juin 1996.  Il  vient de
participer à un colloque international sur les Réparations de la Dette de
l'Esclavage aux Barbades et passe quelques jours  à faire des interventions
sur ce thème en France -  à Paris  puis en Provence.  Quelle aubaine pour
nous!  Il a accepté l'invitation  de Milo  Vouimba de nous honorer d'une
visite et d'intervenir dans le cadre de cette semaine de manifestations
culturelles  antillaises.