First They Came for the Professors Part II

Last Friday (scroll to 10/Mar/2006) I talked about the “visit” from the FBI to Pomona College Professor Miguel Tinker Salas. Today on AlterNet is an article by Kelly Hearn, Bringing McCarthyism to a University Near You, that puts the story into the larger context of the White House’s “cold war of words” against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Hearn concludes the article with a very thoughtful and informative interview with Professor Salas. His analysis of the current situation in Venezuela, specifically, and United States policy towards Latin America, in general, is well worth reading.

Reading the interview caused me to add to one of my many “mental lists.” In this case, it was the extremely long list entitled “Differences between FDR and GWB”

Difference Between FDR and GWB # 95
* At the beginning of his presidency, FDR, recognizing that as a governor his knowledge of foreign affairs was limited, looked to expert advisors from America’s colleges and Universities who were dubbed “The Brain Trust.”

* At the beginning of his presidency, GWB, indifferent to his own ignorance of foreign affairs, looked for advice to a cabal of disgruntled journalists, pundits, policy analysts, and politicians from the Reagan era who were dubbed “The Neo-Cons.”
Imagine how different things might have been if GWB had followed FDR’s lead and created his own “Brain Trust” of foreign affairs advisors? Miguel Tinker Salas on Latin America and Juan Cole on the Middle East would have been a good start. But, of course, GWB is not FDR and my mental list of differences grows every day


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