More than two years have passed since George W Bush declared his "war on terrorism." What has the result been? In Iraq the USA has shown its impotence to control the situation. It has been unable to build up a stable base. It is bogged down in a bloody impasse. But what about the other field of operations – Afghanistan?

Forty years ago, yesterday, Malcolm X stood up at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem (New York) to speak. He was going to speak against the racial segregation all over the US. He was going to appeal to his brothers and sisters to resist and fight back against the “oppression of the white man” when he was gunned down. More than one or two breathed a sigh of relief at the top of the US establishment. One of the loudest voices against injustice had been lost.

In presenting his Administration’s proposed budget, President Bush has shown the real face of his “compassionate conservatism” – guns before butter.