Noam Chomsky, the political theorist and leftwing guru, yesterday gave his reluctant endorsement to the Democratic party's presidential contender, John Kerry, calling him "Bush-lite", but a "fraction" better than his rival.
Professor Chomsky - a linguist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as a renowned chronicler of American foreign policy - said there were "small differences" between Senator Kerry and the Republican president. But, in an interview on the Guardian's politics website, he added that those small differences "can translate into large outcomes".
He describes the choice facing US voters in November as "the choice between two factions of the business party". But the Bush administration was so "cruel and savage", it was important to replace it.
He said: "Kerry is sometimes described as 'Bush-lite', which is not inaccurate. But despite the limited differences both domestically and internationally, there are differences. In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes."
He reserved his especial venom for the Bush administration's plans for the health sector: "The people around Bush are deeply committed to dismantling the achievements of popular struggle through the past century no matter what the cost to the general population."