Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. She's running as a Maine Green Independent Party member and needs to gather 2,000 petition signatures of registered Greens during that period. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

OBAMA FIELD WORKERS RAISE THEIR HANDS

Many of the grassroots Obama team are deeply worried about the possible appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. The "field hands" as they call themselves are reported on by Al Giordano and this morning he has collected many words on his blog from other leading critics of Clinton.

Giordano has been helping to organize the "field hands" to stay active across the country to help Obama push his agenda. In his blog this morning Giordano writes, "Mr. President-elect: You said, on November 7, that in making cabinet appointments you "would not be so rushed that you end up making mistakes.' "

He concluded with, "No Drama, Mr. President-elect, at this hour of the first crisis of your presidency-elect. Ethics matter, even when they do not play to the crowd, especially at those moments when few have the fortitude to consider them important and fight for them."

Not bad I'd say. Good to see this rising up of the Obama team. Clinton is part of the past, part of the problem. She offers no real change.

I have written before of seeing her on the Sunday morning news talk program Faze the Nation while touring Iraq a couple of years ago. She sat before the cameras with Republican conservative Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) saying, "The American people need to relax. We are going to be in Iraq for a long time. We've been in Korea for 50 years." Sen. Graham then said, "You know I don't often agree with Sen. Clinton on much. But on this we agree, we are going to be in Iraq for a long time."

Clinton, like many Democrats in office, supported the Iraq war before she opposed it. Last night while watching the news on TV I saw a message scroll across the bottom of the screen saying, "Henry Kissinger thinks Hillary Clinton would make a great Secretary of State." What more proof would one need to know that she works for the oligarchy?

It should also be remembered that Sen. Graham was a key John McCain supporter who spent much time accompanying the Republican presidential candidate on the campaign trail. Remember the knock on McCain? He said we might be in Iraq for 100 years. 100? 50? What's the difference?

But the bad news is that all the names now being thrown out for Secretary of State are part of the Washington foreign policy consensus team. John Kerry, Bill Richardson, and Hillary Clinton have all earned their stripes over the years supporting U.S. military empire. Picking any of them will signal to me that we can expect more of the same.

I remember being in an American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) office in western Massachusetts just prior to the 2003 shock and awe invasion of Iraq. They were faxing stacks of letters from local citizens to Sen. Kerry requesting a meeting to discuss their opposition to the Iraq attack. Kerry ignored them and the war began. There was never a meeting with peace movement folks and he did nothing to stop it.

But the real good sign is that the Obama team are raising their hands in class. Let's hope that continues.

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