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: Bath, Maine, United States

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


The mainstream media was abuzz days ago when Oprah Winfrey traveled to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina for campaign appearances with presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). Obama is closing in on Hillary Clinton in Iowa which will be the first state to vote in the 2008 primary campaign horse race.

There is a media generated perception out there that Obama is an anti-war candidate. This is far from the truth. I heard him with my own ears say in a recent debate that if elected president U.S. troops would still be stationed in Iraq at the end of his first term in 2013. Other leading Democratic Party candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards said the same thing.

About a year ago I was watching C-SPAN one day and saw an interview with a Chicago Tribune reporter who has covered Obama's rise through Illinois politics. The interviewer asked the reporter, "Isn't Obama too radical to be elected president?" The reporter responded, "No, you don't understand. Obama has a very good relationship with the Chicago banking community."

Now that is a very telling statement. To be one of the acceptable candidates of the banking community means that you have passed the smell test. That essentially means you will not challenge the power structure in any real way. It means you will do nothing as a president to interrupt the corporate empires ability to make money from endless war for oil and other diminishing resources.

If you watch Obama closely he does not say much of substance in his speeches. He talks alot about bringing the nation together, the red states and the blue states, and says that things need to change in Washington. All feel good talk for sure.

But he makes little noise about changing the dynamic in America where the rich are getting richer and everyone else is getting poorer. He says little in terms of ending the occupation of Iraq or preventing a new war with Iran. He says nothing about ending the power of the military industrial complex. His health care plan is all about helping the insurance companies have greater access to our wallets. He thinks impeachment is a waste of time.

Obama is a good politician who knows how to play the game. The power structure knows the voters are angry about Iraq, about the declining economy, about the lack of health care. They know they need to put candidates into place that can control the steam valve of American public opinion by appearing to be responding to the people. But these candidates, most importantly, need to remember who their daddy is. In the case of Obama he actually protects the purse of the bankers and big boys that run the show. Thus he is an acceptable candidate.

Glen Ford, director of the Black Agenda Report, recently wrote, "Through his own statements, Barack Obama relentlessly destroys his former anti-war credentials. In an effort to establish himself as a 'statesman' in the eyes of the power structure, Obama now advocates a much larger Army and Marine Corps to allow the U.S. to 'lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good.' Do not expect a 'peace dividend' under a President Barack Obama. The only genuine peace candidate [in the Democratic primaries, along with former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel] is Rep. Dennis Kucinich, of Ohio - which is why the corporate media pretend Kucinich doesn't exist."


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