Bulletin N° 96

24 October 2003
Grenoble, France

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The political triumvirate of imperialist expansion, from Roman times and before, has been the Military, Religion, and Capital Investments.

In the Americas, it was the Spanish who introduced these three ponies of the apocalypse to an unsuspecting population at the end of the 15th Century. We are all familiar with the history of this  European vist to America: the result was GENOCIDE.

Today we see the same old dog-and-pony show opening its gates, to the same old music. [Please visit our research center web site and read Professor James Stevenson's account of how America hijacked the British Empire at the end of the Second World War, Article N° 18 in Atelier N° 1 at : http://www.u-grenoble3.fr/ciesimsa/ateliers/a1/art1-18.html

It was the American humorist Lenny Bruce, I believe, who criticized American political culture by insisting: " We need new and better clichés ! ! ! " The 21st-century "Frontier Thesis" put forth by the zionist clique which controls Washington, D.C. today (please visit the web site on Zion's Christian Soldiers : http://wcbs880.com/rooney/sixtyminutes_story_159195311.html )
is unconvincing. The mail our research center has received recently reflects this scepticism and speaks to the possiblity of powerful social movements converging in the United States today, which might successfully challenge the currently crumbling politicial economy and the powers-that-be.

So stay tuned. . . .

In item A. below, Stephen Shalom reminds us of the early imperialist adventures of the United States,at the time of the Spanish-American War (1898-1902). A model for the future? Something seems to be missing in Bush's "Philippine Model," according to Shalom.

In item B, sent to us by Professor Ed Herman, Fred Kaplan, investigative reporter for SLATE Magazine, examins the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's gigantic "slush fund," designed to grease the wheels of "progress" on the new American "frontier" in the Middle East.

In item C, Michael Albert of ZNet again forwarded us an article, this time on the religious ideology of American policy makers, an ideology which predictable serves to justify future wars in the oil-rich zones of the planet, of course.

And finally, in item D, Professor Richard Du Boff sent us a much-neglected account of apparent ruling-class divisions in America. Is it possible a pragmatic Papa Bush has allied himself with the liberal multi-millionaire Ed Kennedy to oppose his extremist son's imperialist war campaign in the interests of continued bi-lateral trade agreements? Could common sense
prevail, or is the contemporary capitalist crisis going to see our planet squeezed to the last drop for maximum private profits?

So, again, stay tuned. . . .

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research

From Michael Albert :
copyright ZNet

The Philippine Model
by Stephen R. Shalom

Addressing a joint session of the Philippine Congress on Saturday,
President Bush said to skeptical critics of his Iraq policy, "Some say the
culture of the Middle East will not sustain the institutions of democracy.
The same doubts were once expressed about the culture of Asia. These doubts
were proven wrong nearly six decades ago, when the Republic of the
Philippines became the first democratic nation in Asia." Much in Bush's
speech was utter nonsense -- such as his claim that the war in Iraq had
resulted in the closing down of a terrorist sanctuary, when in fact the
U.S. "has taken a country that was not a terrorist threat and turned it
into one," in the words of terrorism expert Jessica Stern. But Bush was
right when he suggested that looking at the U.S. record in the Philippines
can help to illuminate what is in store for Iraq.

What does the historical record tell us about the U.S. commitment to
promoting democracy?

A hundred years ago, the United States defeated the Spanish colonizers of
the Philippines only to take over the islands for itself. (In Bush's speech
on Saturday this was summarized as "Together our soldiers
liberated the Philippines from colonial rule." And in the words of
presidential press secretary Scott McClellan, national hero Jose Rizal's
martyrdom in 1896 inspired the Philippines: "And later, revolution broke
out and Asia soon had its first independent republic." Well, yes, but that
independent republic was promptly conquered by the United States.)

When critics of the U.S. annexation of the Philippines charged that
Washington had not obtained the consent of the inhabitants, Senator Henry
Cabot Ledge replied that if consent of the inhabitants were necessary "then
our whole past record of expansion is a crime."

What did Filipinos want back in 1898? What was their democratic wish?
According to a U.S. general testifying before the U.S. Senate, Filipinos
had so little notion of what independence meant that they probably
thought it was something to eat. "They have no more idea of what it means
than a shepherd dog," he explained. But shortly afterwards in his
testimony, the general stated that the Filipinos "want to get rid of the
Americans." "They do?" asked a confused Senator. "Yes, sir," replied the
general. "They want us driven out, so that they can have this independence,
but they do not know what it is."

This U.S. inability to understand the real meaning of self-determination
was not just a turn-of-the-century myopia. Consider the following scene
from the 1945 motion picture "Back to Bataan." In a 1941 Philippine
schoolhouse, an American teacher asks the students what the United States
gave to the Philippines. "Soda pop!" "Hot dogs!" "Movies!" "Radio!"
"Baseball!" scream the pupils. But, the teacher and the principal correct
the erring youngsters by explaining that the real American contribution was
teaching the Filipinos freedom. At first, however, says the teacher with a
straight face, the Filipinos did not appreciate freedom for they "resisted
the American occupation."Indeed they did. And many thousands of Filipinos
-- combatants and
non-combatants -- were slaughtered by U.S. military forces to teach
Filipinos the U.S. meaning of freedom.

In 1946, after nearly half a century, U.S. colonial rule in the Philippines
came to an end. But U.S. domination continued and Philippine democracy
remained thwarted. This was not the first instance where a colony was given
independence and colonialism was replaced with neocolonialism. To take one
example at random, Britain gave Iraq independence in 1932, but not before
it had signed a 25-year treaty granting London access to Iraqi military
bases and western oil companies had attained a lock on Iraqi oil.

The pattern in the Philippines was similar: Washington retained two huge
military bases and many smaller ones on a 99-year, rent-free lease. The
Philippine city of Olongapo became, in the words of a 1959 account in Time
magazine, "the only foreign city run lock, stock and barrel by the U.S.
Navy." The terms of the bases agreement were revised several times over the
next few decades, but as U.S. officials acknowledged even in
the 1970s nowhere did the United States have more extensive and more
unhindered base rights than in the Philippines. These bases served for
years as the logistic hub for U.S. interventions from Vietnam to the
Persian Gulf; Washington, not Manila, decided how these bases would be used
and against whom, and the Philippine people were not informed of the
presence of nuclear weapons on their soil.

The independent Philippines was also subordinated to the United States
economically. The Philippine government was prohibited from changing the
value of its currency without the approval of the U.S. president and U.S.
investors were given special investment rights in the Philippines. U.S.
officials insisted that Filipinos democratically accepted the special
investment rights, but in fact, the enabling legislation passed the
Philippine Congress only after dissenting legislators were improperly
suspended, and Filipinos ratified the investment rights in a referendum
only because Washington made rehabilitation aid to the war-ravaged
Philippines dependent upon Filipinos voting yes.

 From 1946 to 1972, the Philippines was a formal democracy in the sense of
having contested elections. But it was a political system in which two
coalitions of the wealthy elite, indistinguishable by ideology or program,
competed for power, with a major determinant of success being the overt or
covert backing of the U.S. government. It is true that there was an issue
separating the candidates in 1965 when Ferdinand
Marcos ran on a pledge not to send Philippine civic action troops to
Vietnam, but since Marcos violated his campaign promise as soon as he won
the election, this is hardly a meaningful exception. This may have
been another instance of U.S. political tutelage of the Filipinos -- recall
that during the 1964 U.S. presidential campaign Lyndon Johnson had pledged
"No Wider War" and then promptly escalated U.S. military
involvement -- but more likely Marcos's reversal was swayed by the U.S.
funds secretly sent his way.

By 1972, despite the best efforts of the Philippine elite and their U.S.
allies, Philippine democracy was finally beginning to express itself.
Politicians were finding that their usual vote-buying no longer worked
("They take money but vote for the man they think is qualified," complained
one politician.) Peasants, students, and workers were increasingly
challenging the status quo. Reacting to the popular pressures, the Congress
and even the Supreme Court were moving in a more and more nationalistic
direction, threatening U.S. interests. And so when Marcos, approaching the
end of his second and final term as president, declared martial law, there
were no denunciations emanating from Washington. On the contrary, as Marcos
closed down Congress and the press and arrested his political opponents,
Washington stepped up its military and economic aid. As a U.S. Senate staff
report summarized the U.S. reaction, "military bases and a familiar
government in the Philippines are more important than the preservation of
democratic institutions which were imperfect at best."

For the more than decade-long dictatorial rule of Ferdinand Marcos, he was
backed by the United States government. When he cosmetically lifted martial
law in 1981, but retained all his martial law powers intact, the
U.S. vice president George H. W. Bush visited Manila and raised a toast to
Marcos: "We love your adherence to democratic principle and to the
democratic processes."

In 1986, the Philippine people, showing that they, unlike their leaders or
those in Washington, really understood democracy, ousted Marcos, while the
Reagan administration hung on to him until the last possible moment.

Corazon Aquino replaced Marcos and initially she had several progressives
in her government and announced a program of social reform as the way to
deal with the country's long-running insurgency problem.
But under pressure from the United States and the Philippine armed forces,
the progressives were removed and Aquino's agenda became one of military
action instead of social reform.

Despite Aquino's best efforts, the new post-Marcos constitution stated that
"foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the
Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate."
Nationalist sentiment was strong enough in the country that in 1991 the
Philippine Senate voted against extending the U.S.-Philippines Military
Bases Agreement. But almost as soon as the vote was taken, the
U.S. tried with the help of cooperative Philippine officials to get around
the constitution.

In 1999, an agreement was concluded giving the U.S. "access" to Philippine
bases and in 2002 hundreds of U.S. troops were sent to the Philippines to
help fight the Abu Sayyef guerrillas. Today, according to an Agence France
Presse report, "the Pentagon is working to maintain on the islands what US
Pacific Command head Admiral Thomas Fargo called 'critical tactical
mobility platforms,' including UH-1H helicopters, C-130 transport aircraft,
heavy trucks and patrol boats that could be used in case of major U.S.
military operations in the region."

Of course, these U.S. troops and equipment need not violate the Philippine
constitution if only President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would submit the
appropriate treaty to the Senate. But suspecting that such a
treaty would be voted down, the Arroyo administration and its U.S.
counterpart have chosen to simply ignore the constitution. This is the
hallmark not of democracy but of neocolonialism.

In Iraq today, there is plainly no democracy: the U.S. runs the show. As an
adviser to one of the members of the U.S. appointed Iraq Governing Council
put it, "The population of Iraq perceives correctly that it is the
occupiers who are running things. Everybody else is there in some secondary
or subservient role." But even if and when elections are held, and an Iraqi
government formally takes over, one can expect a neocolonial relationship,
one where the U.S. helps make sure that the Iraqis in charge support U.S.

Already we see indications of U.S. goals. The New York Times reported on
April 29, 2003, "The United States is planning a long-term military
relationship with the emerging government of Iraq, one that would grant
the Pentagon access to military bases and project American influence into
the heart of the unsettled region, senior Bush administration officials
say." One senior administration official stated that "There will be some
kind of a long-term defense relationship with a new Iraq, similar to
Afghanistan. The scope of that has yet to be defined -- whether it will be
full-up operational bases, smaller forward operating bases or just plain
access." Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld denied the story, but five months
later (9/21/03) another Times story indicated that Bush administration
officials "say the future Iraqi government will decide . . . whether to
allow the United States to establish permanent bases here, should the
Pentagon seek them."

In terms of economic policy, the Independent commented (9/22/03), "Iraq was
in effect put up for sale yesterday when the American-appointed
administration announced it was opening up all sectors of the economy to
foreign investors. . . . The initiative bore all the hallmarks of
Washington's ascendant neoconservative lobby, complete with tax cuts and
trade tariff rollbacks. It will apply to everything from industry to health
and water, although not oil." And as for oil, the U.S.-appointed chair of
the U.S.-established "advisory" committee for the Iraqi oil industry,
Philip J. Carroll, former head of Shell Oil, has said that the
one near-certainty is that the future expansion of Iraq's oil industry will
be driven in part by foreign capital.

In his speech to the Philippine Congress, George W. Bush thanked "the
citizens of Manila who lined the streets today for their warm and gracious
welcome." He may not have seen the thousands of Filipinos
protesting his visit. Bush's motorcade was delayed for an hour while the
Secret Service worried about his security and U.S. and Philippine
authorities (there's that democratic tutelage again) kept the demonstrators
-- and real democracy -- penned behind traffic barriers and blockades of
military vehicles.

From Ed Herman :
October 17, 2003

Jim Naureckas, Editor
The Magazine of FAIR

Rumsfeld's $9 Billion Slush Fund
by Fred Kaplan

For all the debate over President Bush's $87 billion supplemental request
for military operations and economic reconstruction in Afghanistan and
Iraq, no one seems to have noticed that the sum includes a slush fund of at
least $9.3 billion, which Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld can spend
pretty much as he pleases.

Last week, the congressional armed services committees-and this week the
House Appropriations Committee-marked up the supplemental, excising a few
hundred million that Bush had requested for new
hospitals, housing, and sanitation. But the committees didn't touch a
nickel of the slush fund-and there's a cravenly wink-and-nudge reason why
they didn't.

Most of the supplemental request is fairly straightforward: $32 billion to
maintain the tempo of military operations, $18 billion for military
personnel, $5.1 billion for security and a new Iraqi army, $5.7 billion for
electrical power, and so forth.

But deep within, the document,
al_9_17_03.pdf>document > proposes the following allowance :

Not less than $1.4 billion, to remain available until expended, may be
used, notwithstanding any other provision of law, for payments to reimburse
Pakistan, Jordan, and other key cooperating nations, for
logistics, military and other support provided, or to be provided, to
United States military operations.

First, look closely at those first three words: Not less than. In other
words, Rumsfeld could transfer more than $1.4 billion for this purpose-how
much more, who can say? The section goes on to say that Rumsfeld must
notify the appropriate congressional committees whenever he uses any of
this money, and that the payments must be made with the concurrence of the
secretary of state. But otherwise, the bill emphasizes that he alone
determines how to spend this money "and such determination is final and

Another section, subtitled the "Iraq Freedom Fund," states that the
secretary of defense can transfer $1,988,600,000 from one part of the
overall $87 billion supplemental to any other part, again, as long as
he notifies the committees when he does this. (As with the previous
allowance, the committees appear to have no power to disapprove these

Still another section reads:
Upon his determination that such action is necessary in the national
interest, the Secretary of Defense may transfer between appropriations up
to $5 billion of the funds made available in this title.

Again, he "shall notify the Congress promptly of each transfer."Another
section gives Rumsfeld authority to "transfer not more than $500 million of
the funds appropriated in this title to the contingency construction
account © to carry out military construction projects not otherwise
authorized by law." So much for pulling in the reins on Halliburton and

Then there is this section:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, from funds available to the
Department of Defense for Operations and Maintenance in fiscal year 2004,
not to exceed $200 million may be used by the Secretary of Defense, with
the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to provide assistance to
military forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other friendly nearby regional
nations to enhance their capability to combat terrorism and to support U.S.
military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Egregious syntax makes this one a little hard to follow, but maybe that's
because the leeway it allows is quite a bit broader than in the other
sections. It gives Rumsfeld the power not merely to transfer funds within
the $87 billion, but to transfer up to $200 million from the Pentagon's
entire operations and maintenance
budget-in other words, from programs that have nothing to do with Iraq,
Afghanistan, or terrorism.

Finally, the president has a little slush fund, too. One section notes that
he may transfer "any appropriation made available in this title," as long
as it does "not exceed $200 million."Add them all up: $9.3 billion-11
percent of the entire, already-controversial sum (and that doesn't include
the expandable
loophole provided by the "not less than" clause).

There is no overlap or double-counting in this calculation. Each of these
separate sections explicitly notes, "The transfer authority provided in
this section is in addition to any other transfer authority available to
the Department of Defense" (italics added), or words to that effect.

In the supplemental document, the Pentagon offered explanations for these
loopholes. Transfer accounts are "necessary due to the dynamic nature of
these operaions," or "to provide the flexibility needed to
allocate funding to those components that are actually incurring costs," or
"to help the Department address the unpredictable scope, duration, and
intensity of these military operations."

Certainly postwar Iraq and Afghanistan are a lot more unpredictable than,
well, the Pentagon predicted. Much of life is unpredictable. That's why
budgets have supplementals. The entire $87 billion request is officially
designated "an emergency requirement." Yet much of it is broken down into
specific line-items or at least general categories of spending. Is the
situation really so unpredictable that more than $9 billion of that sum-and
possibly much more (the "not less than" clause)-might need to be spent in
ways so quickly, and so
differently from what is currently imagined, that Rumsfeld must be given
the authority to move it around, from one account to another, without prior
congressional approval? If the circumstances do warrant it, couldn't he
simply put forth another supplemental? The present supplemental didn't run
into many obstacles, despite growing criticism of the whole operation;
there's no reason to fear that a subsequent one would, either.

So why have three committees of Congress essentially abrogated such a
sizable chunk of their oversight powers? Mainly because they wanted to. The
lawmakers can play populist politics, tossing out hundreds of
millions of dollars for new Iraqi hospitals, housing, garbage trucks, and
business subsidies. They can thunder that their constituents-the American
people-don't get federal money for such niceties, so why should Iraqis?
Meanwhile, they know that Rumsfeld can use some of the slush-fund money-the
"transfer funds"-to put them back in the budget, very low key, notifying
the committees but not needing their permission. Responsibility is thus
eluded, electoral-politics points are gained.

The trick lets legislators avoid a few hundred million dollars' worth of
potential outrage from the constituents. The price they pay, though, is
that Rumsfeld gets several billion dollars of walking-around money for
whatever projects in the region he may want to enrich.

Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column for Slate.
Article URL: <http://slate.msn.com/id/2089674/

From Michael Albert
23 October 2003
copyright ZNet

by Robert Jensen

                               "I am not anti-Islam or any other religion.
                               I support the free exercise of all religions.
                               For those who have been offended by my
                               statements, I offer a sincere apology."

Those were Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin's responses to criticisms of his
recent fundamentalist theological commentary. The latter two seem
honest; there's no reason to doubt that he believes in religious freedom
or doubt that he is sorry for the offense his remarks caused.

But based on Boykin's public statements, there are many reasons to doubt
that the first statement is genuine. It seems pretty clear that Boykin
is anti-Islam and anti-any-religion-other-than-Christianity, just as are
many evangelical Christians who claim a "literalist" view of the Bible.
Such folks agree that everyone should be free to practice any religion,
but they also believe those religions are nothing more than cults.
That's what Boykin meant when he said of the Muslim warlord in Somalia
he was fighting, "I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an

Idols are false gods, not real ones. To such Christians, who sometimes
refer to themselves as "biblical Christians," there is only one religion
-- Christianity, which is truth. All others are cults. The general can
believe in freedom of religion and feel bad when he offends a person
with another religion, yet still be convinced that all those other
religions are, in fact, false.

Check out the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association web site and you'll
see it spelled out: "A cult is any group which teaches doctrines or
beliefs that deviate from the biblical message of the Christian faith."
Or, read Franklin Graham, president of the international relief
organization Samaritan's Purse and CEO of that association named after
his father: "[W]hile I respect the rights of all people to adopt their
own beliefs, I would respectfully disagree with any religion that
teaches people to put their faith in other gods."

There's no ambiguity there. If you believe in Christ, your faith will
save you. If you believe anything else, you are in a cult -- and you're
in trouble when it comes to eternity.

Graham and Boykin, of course, are free to believe what they like. In
Graham's case, one might say it's in his job description. Boykin's
situation is trickier, given that his new job as the Pentagon's deputy
undersecretary for intelligence requires him to deal with a number of
predominantly Muslim countries.

But this is important beyond the question of Boykin's fitness to serve
in a high-level position. It points out that the crucial gap in the
culture over faith is not between those who are religious and those who
aren't, but between those who are 100-percent convinced their religion
is the only way to salvation and those who are willing to live with a
little less certainty.

On the question of which religion is "true," I don't have a dog in that
fight. I've been a secular person for as long as I can remember and have
never felt the need for a faith-based belief system. I find all
religions about equally interesting, and baffling.

But I do have a stake in the question of certainty: I think absolute
certainty is dangerous. I have moral and political convictions and
respect others who do, but I think people should be open to the
possibility that their belief system could be just a bit off -- or maybe
all wrong. That's something that philosophers and scientists (at least
the good ones) agree on.

I know many religious people who don't shrink from their own
convictions, yet take seriously the limits we humans face in trying to
understand the complexity of the world. Even though we have different
theological views, I can talk -- and have talked -- across those
differences with such folks, often working with them in movements for
social justice. I think everyone benefits from that kind of discussion
and interaction.

Conversations with people like Franklin Graham and Lt. Gen. Boykin are
more difficult -- not because I don't want to talk but because often
there isn't anyone really listening on the other end. Whatever one's
religious convictions, that's bad for public discourse in a pluralist

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and a founding member of the Nowar Collective,
www.nowarcollective.com. He is the author of the forthcoming "Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity (City Lights Books). He can be reached at rjensen@uts.cc.utexas.edu.

From Richard B. Du Boff :
21 October 2003

Surprising, to say the least--and this article appeared four days ago. No
mention of it anywhere else I know of--not the NewPimp Times, not the
Philadelphia Stinquirer . . .

 From Geyer of course we get stuff like this (and Bush I's Middle East
even-handedness was limited to one move against Israel--revoking the US
guarantee of Israeli bonds, although that's infinitely more than anything
we've had since...): "The father lived his life in the service of moderate
and intelligent internationalism. His manners were always meticulously
courteous, as he wooed even critics overseas to see the American position.
He was even-handed in the Middle East and thus brought the area to the
verge of peace for the first time in history; he was capable of using force
but preferred to do it supported by coalitions of friendly states, thus
cementing international cooperation..."


Chicago Tribune, October 17, 2003

Father Bush delivers a nuanced message by granting a treasured award to Democrat Sen. Edward Kennedy
by Georgie Anne Geyer

WASHINGTON. It's not as though Osama Bin Laden gave a Jihad Award to Ariel
Sharon, or Donald Rumsfeld gave his Good Pal Award to Condoleezza Rice.
It's not even as though Dick Cheney gave his Favorite Foreigners Citation
to the French.

But the news from College Station, Texas, this week--that the First Father,
former President George H.W. Bush, has given his own most treasured award
to Sen. Edward Kennedy--is nearly as astonishing.

When it was announced (with amazingly little fanfare) that the pugnaciously
anti-Iraq war Democrat Kennedy had been awarded the 2003 George Bush Award
for Excellence in Public Service, so many jaws dropped all over Washington
that usually voluble politicians were only heard swallowing their real

Since the current President Bush veered away from the real war against
terrorism in Afghanistan and went a'venturing in Iraq, much to his father's
dismay, just about everybody close to Washington politics has known of the
policy schism between father and son.

It was politically and philosophically obvious. But people around Father
Bush, a coterie of traditional internationalist conservatives who protect
him like a wolf mother does her cubs, would heatedly deny any family
rift--and nobody spoke publicly about it.

Now it's all out. Father Bush has done it in his own preferred nuanced
way--the way Establishment gentlemen operate--but he has revealed the depth
of his disagreement with his impetuously uninformed son.

And won't it be interesting to analyze the speeches citing Teddy, who is
surely one of W's primary political nemeses, for his public service and
principles at the Bush Library Center on the Texas A&M campus on Nov. 7?
One can bet they will be subtle--but also very clear.

The ideological rift between father and son has been growing ever since
George W. began focusing on Iraq and, with that obsession, proposed
"theories" of unilateralism (America needs room in the world) and
pre-emption (kill even your perceived enemy before he kills you). But while
family friends say Father Bush has made his disagreements known to his son,
they clearly have not found fertile soil in this White House.

More curious, and in many ways depressing, is the fact that this President
Bush has embarked upon a policy designed to counter, or even to wipe out,
his father's entire political legacy.

The father lived his life in the service of moderate and intelligent
internationalism. His manners were always meticulously courteous, as he
wooed even critics overseas to see the American position. He was
even-handed in the Middle East and thus brought the area to the verge of
peace for the first time in history; he was capable of using force but
preferred to do it supported by coalitions of friendly states, thus
cementing international cooperation.

The son seems to have made posturing against his father's accomplishments
and beliefs his life's work. W has given way to a radical right that abhors
international coalitions and manners; he mocks the world and denies any
need for its help. He has led the Middle East to the nadir of its hope and
possibilities, and he has led the United States to a moment in history in
which we face asymmetric warfare from one end of the globe to another. And
above all, he has replaced his father's courtesy and good graces with an
almost proud rudeness and scorn for others.

Why? I'll leave the question of "killing the father" to the psychiatric
thinkers. Meanwhile, the tension between these two men reveals itself daily.

Nov. 7 will give us a chance to see how this tension, which is crucial to
the public and political lives of all Americans, plays out. In the Bush
Library announcement of the award to Teddy Kennedy, the spokesman praised
the liberal senator as a man who "consistently and courageously fought for
his principles," and as an "inspiration to all Americans."

You know what I wish (besides being able to read the president's mind)? I
wish Father Bush would drop his polite reticence and tell us what he and
the team of his presidency really think about what is happening in America
today. I think, as responsible citizens, we deserve that.


Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research at CEIMSA
Center for the Advanced Study of American
Institutions and Social Movements
University of Grenoble-3