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, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. @BruceKGagnon

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Obama is picking many people for his cabinet who are directly associated with the Clinton-controlled Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). The DLC has been the conservative rallying place for corporate Democrats to gather and find ways to undercut the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, just appointed by Obama to be his Secretary of Agriculture, is a DLC kind of guy.

According to the Organic Consumers Association, “Obama’s appointment of Vilsack indicates that agri-business will control the Agriculture Department. Vilsack supports genetically engineered pharmaceutical crops, especially pharmaceutical corn. The Biotechnology Industry Organization named him Governor of the Year. He was also the founder and former chair of the Governor's Biotechnology Partnership. When Vilsack created the Iowa Values Fund, his first poster child of economic development potential was Trans Ova and their pursuit of cloning dairy cows.”

“Vilsack was the initiator of the seed pre-emption bill in 2005, which many people in Iowa fought because it took away local government's possibility of ever regulating seeds - where genetically engineered (GE) seeds would be grown, having GE-free buffers, banning pharma corn locally, and the like. Representative Sandy Greiner, the Republican sponsor of the bill, bragged on the House Floor that Vilsack put her up to it right after his state of the state address.”

Vilsack has a reputation as being an errand boy for agribusiness biotech giants like Monsanto. Vilsack often traveled in Monsanto's corporate jet.

Tom Vilsack is an ardent supporter of corn and soy-based biofuels, which use as much or more fossil energy to produce as they generate, while driving up world food prices and literally starving the poor. Listen to the recent cries of peasants in Mexico who can’t afford to make their tortillas because of corn price increases.

Vilsack has been a partner at a lobbying firm that used his “expertise” in agribusiness development and renewable energy. This appears to run counter to Obama’s promise to bar his appointees from working on issues related to their lobbying history for two years.

One organic farming activist said about Vilsack, “Obama has picked someone who is fundamentally undemocratic in the service of destroying organic farming and establishing an economic anti-trust monopoly.”

Another president from Illinois, Abe Lincoln once said, "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

Friday, December 19, 2008


I thought I'd post a few things about some of Obama's cabinet picks in the coming days. Most people don't have alot of time to follow all of these things.

The earlier "economic team" has already been looked at quite closely so I won't do much with them. I've already had a couple blogs on some of the key players on the "national security team" as well. For now though, before moving on the Obama's choice for Secretary of Interior, let me just open with these words from William Greider, national affairs correspondent for The Nation.

"A year ago, when Barack Obama said it was time to turn the page . . . I, for one, failed to foresee Obama would turn the page backward. . . . Virtually all of his leading appointments are restoring the Clinton presidency, only without Mr. Bill. In some important ways, Obama's selections seem designed to sustain the failing policies of George W. Bush."

Then from The Progressive let's hear from columnist Ruth Conniff, "The economic crisis calls for massive, bold action, not pouring money into firms that now have the temerity to pay out the taxpayer-financed bailout money as dividends, which is what they are doing. Tim Geithner [Treasury Secretary designate] and Larry Summers [Chair of Nat'l Economic Council designate], who helped create the lax regulatory environment [during the Clinton administration] that led to this crisis, as well as the bailouts that followed, can't be counted on."

Now for Obama's man at the Interior Department. He is the current Senator from Colorado, and timid mainstream corporate Democrat, Ken Salazar. My friends in Colorado say he is from the rancher class and before becoming a U.S. Senator was the Attorney General in Colorado. Loring Wirbel from Colorado Springs says, "Well, Ken Salazar is a known right-of-centrist guy who was a staunch defender of [Sen. Joe] Lieberman after everyone else dissed him. He has consistently played both sides of the fence on the Pinon Canyon Army-expansion issue, to the point where many ranchers called him a Bushie."

While the Colorado Attorney General Salazar worked hard to ensure that corporate mining, ranching, and agriculture interests prevailed in cases concerning water use, Indian land rights, and the like.

“He is a right-of-center Democrat who often favors industry and big agricultural interests in battles over global warming, fuel efficiency and endangered species,” Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, which tracks endangered species and habitat issues told the New York Times.

Daniel R. Patterson, a former official of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management and now southwest regional director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, described Mr. Salazar as the most controversial of Mr. Obama’s cabinet appointees.

“Salazar has a disturbingly weak conservation record, particularly on energy development, global warming, endangered wildlife and protecting scientific integrity,” said Mr. Patterson, who was elected last month to the Arizona House of Representatives from Tucson and supported Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona [a real progressive] for the Interior Department job. “It’s no surprise oil and gas, mining, agribusiness and other polluting industries that have dominated Interior are supporting rancher Salazar — he’s their friend.”

Much is made of the fact Salazar grew up in rural Colorado without electricity. Less is made of the fact his family has received over $200,000 in farm subsidies over the last 10 years. Not surprisingly, the Salazar family are stout defenders of these agri-business subsidies – a stance seemingly at odds with Obama’s promise to eliminate waste in government.

Don't see any real change here. I'll keep looking.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Our state and nation are at a crossroads. The deepening recession has eroded the financial standing and optimism of a majority of Americans, nearly two-thirds of whom say that they have been hurt by the downturn and that the country has slipped into long-term economic decline. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in recent weeks.

The state of Maine has to cut $140 million from its budget by June 30 and anticipates slashing another $800 million more in the next two years.

Education, health, and human services programs share the bulk of the state budget. As programs are put on the chopping block constituent groups will have to compete for the diminishing piece of the economic pie. It’s time to come together to demand that the federal government reconfigure its budget priorities and help states like Maine during this recession and beyond.

A majority of states in the nation are now in similar fiscal crisis at the very time that we are engaged in two wars costing taxpayers $14 billion per month.

Unless real and dramatic changes occur quickly, the divide between rich and poor will continue to grow. Maintaining tax breaks for the wealthy in addition to the Wall Street corporate bailouts indicate fiscal policy is moving in the wrong direction. Those in power must be held accountable.

The time has come to share the burden. The time has come to connect the dots.

This is the moment to begin mobilizing the public so that we the people can give vision and support to our elected officials so they can make transformative change possible.

We, the undersigned, are calling for a public town hall meeting in early March at USM in Portland that will allow the people to speak out about the issues that concern them.

Our recent election was a turning point and is full of possibilities. We must keep the momentum going so we can manifest our hopes and values. We must always remember that change comes from the people. By sharing our concerns from the heart we educate and inspire others and build community.

We are now inviting organizations throughout the state to join as co-sponsors for this Town Hall Meeting. Please let us know immediately if we can count on your support as we invite our Congressional delegation, the Governor, the State Senate President, and the Speaker of the House to come and listen to the public.

Please respond about co-sponsorship by emailing or by calling 443-9502.

Thank you for your support.

* Organizations listed for identification purposes only

· Peggy Akers, Portland, Nurse Practitioner
· American Friends Service Committee Maine
· Sue Andersen, Portland, Teacher
· John Eric Baugher, Cape Elizabeth, USM Department of Sociology
· John Branson, Portland, Attorney
· Sally Breen, Windham, Action Committee of Peace Action Maine
· Michael Brennan, Portland, Muskie Institute
· Ellen Brown, Belfast, LCSW
· Andy Burt, Damariscotta, Environmental & local foods activist
· Jack Bussell, Portland, Maine Veterans for Peace
· George Caffentzis, Portland, USM Department of Philosophy
· Jonathan Carter, Lexington Township, Forest Ecology Network
· Dr. Bill Clark, Woolwich, Physicians for a National Healthcare Plan
· Susan Cook, Bath, Psychologist
· Paul Cunningham, South Portland, Peace & justice activist
· Michael Cutting, Portland, WMPG’s “This Better Be Good”
· Morgen D'Arc, Portland, Cumberland County Green Independent Party
· Christine DeTroy, Brunswick, WILPF Maine Chapter
· Lynn Ellis, Brunswick, Maine Campaign for a U.S. Dept. of Peace & Nonviolence
· Jamilla El-Shafei, Kennebunk, Kennebunks Peace Department
· Food for Maine's Future
· Bruce Gagnon, Bath, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
· Debra Gordon, Freeport, Maine Campaign to Impeach
· Green Horizon Foundation
· Kate Harris, Belfast, Belfast Co-op
· Dud Hendrick, Deer Isle, Island Peace & Justice
· Eric Hooglund, Portland, Bates College Department of Politics
· Dexter Kamilewicz, Orr’s Island, Military Families Speak Out
· John Kaminski, Freeport, Attorney
· Peter Kellman, North Berwick, President, Southern Maine Labor Council
· Tamsin Kemos, Brunswick, Brunswick Area Obama Supporters
· Bob Lezer, Freeport, Maine Veterans for Peace
· Paul Manoff, Portland, University instructor
· Natasha Mayers, Whitefield, Union of Maine Visual Artists
· Kathleen McGee, Bowdoinham, Maine Toxics Action Coalition
· Midcoast Peace & Justice, Rockland
· Danny Muller, Portland, Peace Action Maine & Meg Perry Center
· Rev. Gerald Oleson, Bangor, Sunny Corner Fuel Assistance, Inc.
· Laura Price, Littleton, MGIP
· Jon Queally, Portland, Common Dreams
· Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine
· PSR Maine
· John Rensenbrink, Topsham, Maine Green Independent Party
· Judy Robbins, Sedgwick, Peninsula Peace & Justice
· Rachel Talbot Ross, Portland, NAACP Portland Branch
· Cullen Ryan, Portland, Community Housing of Maine
· Joan Saxe, Freeport, Environmental activist
· Shelley Schweizer, Portland, Maine Education Association
· Tina Smith, Portland Green Independent Party
· Robert Shetterly, Brooksville, Americans Who Tell the Truth
· Bill Slavick, Portland, Pax Christi Maine
· Wells Staley-Mays, Portland, Maine Haiti Solidarity
· Selma Sternlieb, Brunswick, PeaceWorks
· Bob St. Peter, Sedgwick, Farmer
· Tom Sturtevant, Winthrop, People for Peace
· Mary Beth Sullivan, Bath, Addams-Melman House
· Karen Wainberg, Bath, Cool Communities
· Bob Walter, Kennebunk, Kennebunks Peace Department
· Lynne Williams, Bar Harbor, Maine Chapter National Lawyers Guild
· Peter Woodruff, Arrowsic, BIW worker
· Donna Yellen, Portland, Homeless Voices for Justice

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I've recently read a long but very interesting article by Andrew G. Marshall called Creating an "Arc of Crisis": The Destabilization of the Middle East and Central Asia. I highly recommend it in full.

I'm going to post some excerpts from it below. I think they are good for offering us a sad but historically realistic view of where U.S. foreign policy will be heading in the coming years - even under an Obama administration. We should remember that the oligarchy transcends party and national elections.


So in the early 1990s, Western intelligence maintained its ties to these Islamic terrorist groups. Yugoslavia is a very important case to analyze in relation to current events. The break-up of Yugoslavia was a process undertaken by Anglo-American covert interests with the aim of serving their imperial ambitions in the region. In the early 1980s, the IMF set the stage in Yugoslavia with its Structural Adjustment Programs, which had the effect of creating an economic crisis, which in turn created a political crisis. This exacerbated ethnic rivalries, and in 1991, the CIA supported the Croat move for independence.

In 1992, with the start of the Bosnian War, Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists began operating with the ethnic Bosnian Muslim minority in fighting the Serbs. In turn, these Al-Qaeda affiliated groups were supported with training, arming, and finances by German, Turkish, Iranian and US intelligence agencies; with additional financial support from Saudi Arabia. In 1997, the Kosovo War began, in which the militant-terrorist-drug trafficking Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) began fighting against Serbia, with training, arms and financial support from the US and other NATO countries. The CIA, German intelligence, the DIA, MI6 and British Special Forces (SAS) all provided training and support to the KLA.

The aim was in breaking up Yugoslavia, using ethnic rivalries as the trigger for regional conflict and ultimately war, leading to the dissolution of Yugoslavia into several countries, justifying a permanent US and NATO military presence in the region. [See: Breaking Yugoslavia, by Andrew G. Marshall, Geopolitical Monitor, July 21, 2008]

The CIA developed close ties with the [Pakistan intelligence] ISI in the late 1970s, as the CIA used the ISI as a “go-between” for CIA support of the Afghan Mujahideen. This relationship was also pivotal in supporting the Afghan narcotics trade, which again is rampant. The relationship between the two agencies continued throughout the 1990s, in areas such as Chechnya, Yugoslavia and India. [See: Michel Chossudovsky, Al Qaeda and the "War on Terrorism". Global Research: January 20, 2008]

A week prior to the 9/11 attacks, the head of Pakistan’s ISI was on a visit to Washington, D.C., where he met with several key policy figures, such as Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage; Senator Joseph Biden, who is going to be Obama’s Vice President; and with his counterparts in the CIA and Pentagon, and several other officials. He was in Washington right up to and after the 9/11 attacks, and was engaged in several key consultations with US officials, pledging support for the US War on Terror instantly. However, the very same Chief of the ISI also happened to have previously approved of wiring $100,000 to the lead 9/11 hijacker, Mohammed Atta, which was also confirmed by the FBI. Thus, the ISI suddenly became a financier of the 9/11 attacks. Yet, no action was taken against the ISI or Pakistan, apart from the ISI Chief being fired upon this revelation making it into the media.

Collaboration between the ISI and CIA did not end with these disturbing revelations. In 2007, it was reported that the CIA was arming and funding a terrorist organization named Jundullah, based in Pakistan’s tribal areas, with the goal of “sowing chaos” in Iran. Jundullah not only is funded and armed by the CIA, but has extensive ties to Al-Qaeda, and the ISI, as the CIA’s financial support for the group is funneled through the ISI, so as to make it more difficult to establish a link between the CIA and the terrorist outfit. [See: Andrew G. Marshall, Political Destabilization in South and Central Asia, op cit ]

The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) often create the conditions for political instability, while covert Western intelligence support to disaffected and radical groups creates the means for rebellion; which then becomes the excuse for foreign military intervention; which then secures an imperial military presence in the region, thus gaining control over the particular region’s resources and strategic position. This is the age-old conquest of empire: divide and conquer.

The results of these conditionalities [IFIs and Pakistan] are predictable: Pakistan will lose all subsidies; fuel prices will drastically rise, as will food and other necessary commodity prices. At the same time, a tightening of monetary policy and World Bank/IMF control over Pakistan’s central bank will prevent Pakistan from taking measures to curb inflation, and the cost of living will skyrocket as the currency value plummets. All this is going on while taxes are increased and expanded greatly, and public jobs such as bureaucratic positions, education, etc., are downsized or altogether disbanded. Money will likely continue to flow to the ISI and Army, which will create discontent among Pakistan’s deprived and disillusioned. A military coup would be likely, followed by rebellion en masse, which would in turn pit the various ethnicities against one another. This could lead to either a war against India, ultimately ending with a consolidated national security state to act as a conduit for Anglo-American imperial ambitions, such as in Rwanda; or, it could result in ethnic conflict and wars, ultimately ending up in the break-up of Pakistan into smaller states divided among ethnic lines, such as in Yugoslavia. Or, it could end with a combination of the two, a divided, warring, region engulfed in crisis.

The break up of Pakistan is not a far-fetched idea in terms of Anglo-American strategy. In fact, the plan for the destabilization and ultimately, balkanization of Pakistan has originated in Anglo-American-Israeli military strategic circles. As I previously documented in Divide and Conquer: The Anglo-American Imperial Project [Global Research, July 10, 2008], the destabilization and balkanization of the near-entire Middle East and Central Asia has been a long-held strategy for the Anglo-America-Israeli Axis since the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Anglo-American strategy in the region thus developed and changed at this time [1970's], as “There was this idea that the Islamic forces could be used against the Soviet Union. The theory was, there was an arc of crisis, and so an arc of Islam could be mobilized to contain the Soviets. It was a Brzezinski concept.”[37] Bilderberg member, Bernard Lewis, presented a British-American strategy to the Bilderberg Group during the 1979 meeting, which, “endorsed the radical Muslim Brotherhood movement behind Khomeini, in order to promote balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. Lewis argued that the West should encourage autonomous groups such as the Kurds, Armenians, Lebanese Maronites, Ethiopian Copts, Azerbaijani Turks, and so forth. The chaos would spread in what he termed an ‘Arc of Crisis,’ which would spill over into the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union.”[38] Since the Soviet Union was viewed as a secular and atheist regime, having oppressed religion within its sphere of influence, the rise of radical Islamic influence and governments in the Middle East and Central Asia would ensure that Soviet influence would not enter into the region, as radical Muslims would view the Soviets with more distrust than the Americans. The Anglo-Americans positioned themselves as the lesser of two evils.

Bernard Lewis was a former British intelligence officer and historian who is infamous for explaining Arab discontent towards the West as not being rooted in a reaction toward imperialism, but rather that it is rooted in Islam; in that Islam is incompatible with the West, and that they are destined to clash, using the term, "Clash of Civilizations." For decades, "Lewis played a critical role as professor, mentor, and guru to two generations of Orientalists, academics, U.S. and British intelligence specialists, think tank denizens, and assorted neoconservatives." In the 1980s, Lewis "was hobnobbing with top Department of Defense officials."[39] Lewis wrote a 1992 article in Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, titled, "Rethinking the Middle East." In this article, Lewis raised the prospect of another policy towards the Middle East in the wake of the end of the Cold War and beginnings of the New World Order, "which could even be precipitated by fundamentalism, is what has of late become fashionable to call 'Lebanonization.' Most of the states of the Middle East - Egypt is an obvious exception - are of recent and artificial construction and are vulnerable to such a process. If the central power is sufficiently weakened, there is no real civil society to hold the polity together, no real sense of common national identity or overriding allegiance to the nation-state. The state then disintegrates - as happened in Lebanon - into a chaos of squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions and parties."[40]

It was in this context that in 1979, as Zbigniew Brzezinski later admitted, “According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.” He claimed that, “We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.” What a perfect example of what George Orwell would call “double-speak,” saying that the Americans “didn’t push the Russians to intervene” but rather, “increased the probability that they would.” In other words, they “pushed” them to intervene.[42]

This is when the [Afgan Taliban] Mujahideen were created, and through this, Al-Qaeda, and a variety of other radical Islamic groups which have come to plague global geopolitics since this era. Terrorism cannot be viewed, as it often is, in such a simple manner as “non-state actors” reacting to geopolitics of nations and corporations. In fact, many terrorist groups, particularly the largest, most well organized, extremist and violent ones, are “proxy state actors,” receiving covert support – through arms and training – by various state intelligence agencies. They are not simply “reacting” to geopolitics, but are important players in the geopolitical chessboard. They represent the perfect excuse for foreign militaristic adventurism and war; domestic tyranny in the form of developing police states to control populations, stifle dissent and create a totalitarian base of control.

In 2000, the Project for the New American Century, an American neo-conservative think tank, published a report called Rebuilding America’s Defenses, in which they openly advocated for an American empire in the Middle East, focusing on removing the “threats” of Iraq and Iran.

Shortly after the US invasion of Iraq, prominent members of the Council on Foreign Relations had begun advocating the break-up of Iraq into at least three smaller states [the Joe Biden plan], using Yugoslavia as an example of how to achieve this.

Pakistan is a strategic lynch-point in the region. Pakistan borders Iran, Afghanistan, India and China. It lies directly below the Central Asian republics of the Former Soviet Union, which are rich in natural gas resources. With NATO’s war in Afghanistan, and the Anglo-Americans in Iraq, and American forces in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the occupation of Pakistan would position Western imperial militaries around Iran, the central Middle Eastern target. With the balkanization of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, destabilizing forces would cross the borders into Iran, ultimately creating the conditions for political and social collapse within the country.

A conflict between Pakistan and India would not only have the effect of dismantling Pakistan, but would also greatly deter India’s rapid economic and social development as the world’s largest democracy, and would force it to come under the influence or “protection” of Western military might and International Financial Institutions. The same is likely for China, as destabilization would cross Pakistan’s borders into the most populated country on earth, exacerbating ethnic differences and social disparities.

A large Anglo-American military presence in Pakistan, or, alternatively, a NATO or UN force, combined with the already present NATO force in Afghanistan, would be a massive military strategic position against advancement of China, Russia or India into the region. With China’s massively increasing influence in Africa threatening Anglo-American and European domination of the continent, a massive military presence on the border of China could act as a powerful warning.

[To see the footnotes please click on the original article]

Monday, December 15, 2008


I went to an Obama supporter meet-up in Brunswick last night. There were about 35 folks there who impressively drove from many towns in the region, some from at least an hour away. They had come because the Obama team asked them to gather across the nation and to send him their thinking on what issues were priorities for the new administration.

I wanted to go to listen to what people had to say. I wanted to go so I could get a sense of what the Obama supporters were like, what kind of people they were, how strong were they on the issues? I wanted to go and see if there was common ground on which we could work together in the future.

After the introductions they asked folks to list what issues were important to them: Jobs and economy, health care, green energy, education, financial sector corruption, domestic violence, Maine fisheries, trade agreements (By now I'm wondering, is Iraq and Afghanistan on their minds?), returning veterans, .....on it goes and the list is being written down on paper and hung on walls, several sheets of paper now hung and still wondering......

There were four of us there from the local PeaceWorks group but we were mostly listening and waiting......then the facilitator, who we know and knows what issues we are concerned about, looks at us and says, "I don't see Iraq and Afghanistan on the list and think they should be."

This is our signal so a couple of us peaceniks speak up. When I do I say that I want to mention three things: Just saying health care is too vague, we need to give more direction here, are we in favor of "single-payer health care, Medicare for all" or continuing to leave things to the insurance corporations? The facilitator, to her credit, asks how many people support single-payer and two-thirds raise their hands. But then one talkative woman interrupts and says that single-payer will never happen and she doesn't care what we have as long as we get something. That was that and the group moved on - health care remained vague.

My second and third points were Afghanistan and Iraq. I suggested that we need to look at the larger U.S. policy in the region which is all about controlling oil and pipeline distribution routes and thus we don't intend to leave either country for the next 50-75 years. The facilitator responded by saying, "Obama has a plan to get out of Iraq and will use diplomacy in Afghanistan."

The group felt confused enough about Afghanistan that they decided to ask the Obama team to clarify his policy on that country. A victory of sorts I thought.

It was nearing 7:00 pm and Mary Beth and I had to soon leave to get home for a birthday dinner being held at our house. But just before we left the meeting one local Democratic party town committee person stood up and said, "You have forgotten why we are in Afghanistan. It was because of 9-11 and the Taliban. We have to stay there until we have killed every last Taliban." In the introductions this woman had introduced herself as a Hillary Clinton supporter. She must be pleased that Hillary will now be the Secretary of State.

On the Afghanistan issue two other points were made during the discussion. One was that "We need to put more money in Afghanistan" and the other was "We need nation building" there.

Frankly, trying not to sound judgemental here, I was not impressed. The people were very nice and I'm sure they want change but "change to what" is an important question. I know this is just one sampling of the Obama supporters from this very big country. But it indicates to me a certain reality that I think we will face in the future.

When the Obama forces talk about needing to push him I can't help but ask myself "Push him where?" If you don't have a corporate analysis of our government today then the direction you are pushing very well might be the wrong direction. Do we need to push Obama into more health care by the insurance companies that are only interested in covering those who are healthy and leaving those who are sick to fend for themselves? Do we need to push Obama to "nation build" in Afghanistan when the reality is that our bases are there to ensure that pipelines moving Caspian Sea oil remain in the hands of the U.S./British oil corporations?

I am sad to say that there very well might be a collision in the making here as those in the peace movement will be running headlong into those Democrats inside the Obama camp who for whatever reason are going to stand with their new president on issues like health care, Iraq, and Afghanistan. And these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Just an early observation and warning signal. Time will tell us more I am sure. Keep your eyes on the bouncing ball.

"Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces." - Sigmund Freud