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FEATURES Eyewitness in East Timor by Gail Rothe 7 Austinite Gail Rothe watched the East Timorese vote for independence, and then the gathering Indonesian storm. The U.S. Roots of the East Timor Slaughter 9 by Noam Chomsky From the beginning, U.S. relations with Indonesia have produced a brutal occupation for the people of East Timor. U.S. Complicity by Allan Nairn 11 Pursued by Jakarta, journalist Allan Nairn reports on the U.S. military’s malign indifference to the Indonesian assault. Wheel of Misfortune by Debbie Nathan 12 If you get arrested in Texas, you’d better have your own lawyer on call. What happens to those who don’t is just criminal. THIS ISSUE DEPARTMENTS Dialogue 2 Editorial 3 Political Gunplay by Louis Dubose Left Field 5 Flying Pigs, Having a Cow in Fort Hood & The Bush Beat Political Intelligence 16 Molly Ivins 22 The Political Follies Jim Hightower 23 Ambulance Choosers, Export Hijinks & Consumer Screwing EDITORIAL Observations 24 Ronnie Dugger on the Life of Lady Bird Johnson BOOKS AND THE CULTURE The Land of Metal 27 Poetry by Robin Scofield The Ins and Outs of Kenneth McDuff 28 Book Review by Mary Willis Walker Afterword 30 Playing Monopoly by Jim Wright The Back Page 32 A Simple Plan for Peace by Allan Nairn Cover Art by Michael Krone Wave of Evil One of the signature characteristics of the Bush presidential candidacy is its lack of programmatic solu tions to problems government might solve or at least attempt to solve. So it’s no surprise that when seven people are killed by a gunman in a Fort Worth church, Bush is adrift in platitudes. The shootings were caused by a “wave of evil” sweeping the country. It was a “terrible tragedy made worse by the fact it took place in a house of hope and love.” When reporters asked what gun controls he would propose, the Governor responded with his tired line about the futility of looking to legislation to put “love in people’s hearts.” No one familiar with George Bush’s record in Texas expected him to propose any solution to the national handgun violence crisis. It is a crisis. If September 15 was an average day, fifty-six other Ameri cans were shot to death by handguns along with the eight who died at Wedgwood Baptist Church. Bush is part of the problem. It is not just that he doesn’t believe in “activist government.” He owes his candidacy to handguns and Bob Bullock. As is often the case in Texas politics during the past ten years, there’s a Bullock backstory. In 1993, the “right to carry” legislative caucus led by Republican Jerry Patterson in the Senate and Democrat Ron Wilson in the House was blocked by the Lieutenant Governor. The pragmatic Bullock told Patterson and a group of senators the gun bill wasn’t going to make it to the Senate floor. Ann Richards had said it was bad public policy and that she intended to veto it. One of Bullock’s unwritten rules of procedure was that the Senate only worked on bills it could pass. If the Governor intended to veto the right-to-carry bill, it was a waste of the Senate’s time to consider it. A few days after declaring the measure dead, Bullock resurrected it. According to Stuart Eskenazi of the Houston Press, Bullock called Patterson. “The Senate should pass it,” Bullock said, “and we don’t care what Richards wants to do.” The Senate passed the bill in the form of a voter referendum. Richards vetoed it, as she had promised. The veto provided Bush the wedge issue he needed to persuade East Texas Democrats to vote for him instead of Richards. And Richards lost the election. Patterson told Eskenazi THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3 OCTOBER 1, 1999