Revolution #94, July 1, 2007
In the News…and Online at revcom.us
In issue #92, Revolution reported that the immigration bill that was being considered in the Senate hit a major roadblock when its backers failed to close off debate and move to a final vote. It was unclear at the time whether the bill had been stopped for good. (See “Senate Immigration Bill: The Clash in the Halls of Power…and the Real Interests of the People” in issue #92, online at revcom.us.)
Since then, George Bush and the Senate backers of the bill have been pushing hard to “revive” the bill. Immediately after coming back from his European trip (which included attending the G8 summit in Germany of top imperialist powers), Bush met with Republican senators to “lobby” for the bill. Two days later, Senate leaders announced that the bill would come up for consideration again soon.
The Bush White House and the bill’s backers announced a number of changes in the bill that make it even more clear, as we analyzed in our article last issue, that there is nothing good in this bill for the people. A key change is the promise of immediate authorization of $4.4 billion for “border security”—in other words, for increased militarization of the border with more walls, surveillance equipment, armed agents and troops, etc. Read this article at revcom.us.
In the latest outrageous attack on academic freedom, political scientist Norman Finkelstein of DePaul University has been denied tenure. On Friday, June 8, University President Dennis Holtschneider announced that he would uphold the university's tenure and promotion board's ruling against tenure for Finkelstein, even though Finkelstein's department and a college-level personnel committee both voted in favor of tenure.
Finkelstein is an internationally regarded scholar and popular teacher whose criticism of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, and of its supporters in this country, has made him a constant target of U.S. and Israeli apologists such as Harvard law professor and torture advocate Alan Dershowitz.
…The Finkelstein case has attracted considerable national attention and academics and others are discussing it. At one point, the article on CNN's website on the tenure denial was its most emailed. More importantly, there has been a strong and determined response in defense of Finkelstein and academic freedom. Read this article at revcom.us.
The title of this special supplement of Revolution — WARNING: The Nazification of the American University— is not chosen lightly. A deeply intertwined agenda of right-wing political forces and Christian fascists, which finds concentrated expression at this time in the Bush regime, is working to remold the institutions of higher learning and turn them into active partners of empire, repression, and theocracy (a significant degree of rule by religion).
The scope and scale of this wide-ranging and accelerating attack on dissent and critical thinking in the universities is not widely known or understood. Nor is the vision of society and of the university held by those engineering it. But it is already taking a heavy toll, and moving forward with dangerous determination. Read this special supplement at revcom.us.
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