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Eric, thank you for sharing this open letter.
I think it is one of the role (beside teaching and researching) of academics to go - sometime - in the political arena. In that case, it is more than necessary. Beyond all the political aspects (Irak, Ben Laden and so on...) that we reproach to this pity president, I find it great that a person like Merton takes the risk to criticize the American government. But the risk is not so high: what a terrible economic situation for the US budget. Hopefully China will pay for the deficits!
Who can make such criticisms in France? Elie Cohen? Alain Cotta? I don't know...but the situation is different and less crystal clear in France.

Cheers from Copenhagen!

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