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US: Bush foreign policy

Roughly at the time of great unrest in our universities, The Independent Institute was founded in Oakland with the encouragement of the Hoover Institution. I assumed that it was created to offset the wild leftism of the students at neighboring Berkeley. I forgot about it until today, when it sponsored a crowded meeting in San Francisco, s liberal and Democratic stronghold. It became apparent that the Institute is really independent, since the meeting was mostly an attack on the Bush foreign policy. The lead speaker was Lewis Lapham, editor of Harpers and son of a former mayor of San Francisco. He is well-informed, and he complained that the press did not carry significant stories. Another panelist, Jonathan Marshall, author of To Have and Have Not and Drug Wars, also provided information I have not seen elsewhere. The occasion of the meeting was the publication of Lapham's Theater of War. Among his other books are Imperial Masquerade, The Wish for Kings: Democracy at Bay, Money and Class in America: Notes and Observations on Our Civil Religion, and Fortune's Child: A Portrait of the United States as Spendthrift Heir. Lapham is an excellent example of "the public intellectual". His quiet voice should be heard, and the debates on the planned war on Iraq should be conducted on his level, not the more raucous, less literate and informed one we so commonly hear.

Ronald Hilton - 10/7/02