Saturday, May 31, 2008


Those of us who see Obama as the only hope for real change in the way the United States conducts itself on the world stage fear he will be eliminated. Hillary's remark about assassination was not a moment of distraction but most likely reveals her hopes and perhaps even plans which she will deny having knowledge of if something happens.

Now comes a chorus (a Greek chorus?)insisting that to be credible, Obama must travel to Iraq: a gret place for an assassination whose investigation would be neigh impossible.

However this may crimp Obama's style, close-up protection should be increased and he should wear protection under his clothes, no matter where to goes.

The press has been far too lenient with the Clintons. The media, conveniently, never gets it until it's too late (see Scott McClellan.....).

ROn the Cuba front, McCain demonstated how little he knows about Cuba - specifically, that the Misssile Crisis ended in the eary sixties - warning the Americn people that CUBA poses a threat to US! Barack Obama needs to realize that the exiles, whom he sought to reassure, are the equivalent of those Americans those who think the GI education bill is too expensive. They did not want the majority of Cubans, who were poor, illiterate, without health care, to live better lives. To back any property claims on their behalf would dash any hope of improving relations with Cuba at any time in the foreseeable future.

Obama should lift the travel ban for all Americans so they can evaluate the revolution for themselves. In a tiny country facing a giant enemy, political prisoners are no worse than Guantanamo or renditions, or the more subtle losses of liberties that Americans suffer in the name of far-off enemies that we have provoked. All governments abuse their power in accordance with the cultural environment of their countries and with what they can get away with.

At a time when natural disasters are increasing, we would do well to recognize, among many other achievements, Cuba's ability to cope.

Our CEOs are starting to embrace "corporate social responsibility". Why should we expect Cuba to embrace coboy capitalism? Setting preconditions for a meeting witih Raul Castro perpetuates the image of the U.S. as wanting to dictate to other governments how they should run their countries. I believe Cuba will evolve into a social democracy like the Scandinavian countries, in which case it will be ahead of us.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


The Russian word troika means three of a kind. According to Wikipedia, It entered the vocabulary during the Stalinist era when troikas of judges replaced the normal legal system for quick persecution of dissidents. The word has also been used to describe a tight group of officials consisting of the party leader, head of government, and head of state, where the positions were held by three different people and the party leader was not viewed as sole dictator. The most famous troika was the one that ruled briefly after Stalin’s death in 1953: Malenkov, Beria and Molotov.
Now there is a new troika in Russia, consisting of the figurehead president, Dimitri Medveydev, who appointed his predecessor Vladimir Putin as Prime Minister, and the Russian people, who, through their elected representatives, acquiesced.The reasons are relatively benign: Putin brought order and prosperity, and the constitution forbids him occupying the position of president for more than two consecutive terms. He is widely expected to become president again in 2012.

Should the American election result in John McCain becoming the next president, continuing George Bush’s policies, the American electorate would, like their Russian counterparts, also be guilty of acquiescing, because they have 200 years of democratic practice behind them. It’s difficult to see what great difference there would be.

But what would the third party of the American troika be? It could be any number of entities, but for the sake of a newsworthy argument, let’s say it would be the National Security Council, to which John McCain would probably only make minor changes.

A National Security Council is a relatively recent addition to the organs of democratic government, starting in the United States in 1947. In 1999 Israel established a national security council, and the Palestinian Authority under President Abbas set up one in 2007.
Now the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. is calling for one. However, unlike the voters in the above three nations, Germans are protesting the idea. Since the horrifying behavior of the Nazi Third Reich in the second world war, Germans have massively supported the obligation put upon them when they were defeated not to have war-making capabilities. To quote this week’s Economist: ”The CDU (Merkel’s party) is saying, in essence, grow up.... New threats such as terrorism and climate change (...)have blurred the distinction between domestic and foreign security....” The CDU paper suggests the government should contribute troops to crises without waiting for parliamentary approval and that “a networked homeland security policy also demands that troops sometimes be deployed at home.” This is all but barred by the constitution, but such decisions would be part of a national security council writ.

National security councils, with their sinister connotations, are likely to soon become the norm, while our one available global institution for making military action less necessary, is as weak as are the aggregate many across the globe to control their national destinies.
The UN is only just realizing that its food organizations have to be revamped to cope with the global food crisis, which could have been foreseen; it has been unable to bring relief to the victims of the Myanmar cyclone because the military junta that has been in power since 1962 (almost as long as the Cuban regime, but with vastly different outcomes!) know that aid workers, transported in by the U.S., would becomes so many Trojan horses. Did not our President add to his offer of aid, the desire that the junta’s people also be allowed to choose their leaders?

Not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton vows that if she were president she would “break up OPEC”, instead of telling voters that the oil consortium has to be integrated into the fledgling system of world governance.

Never was ‘the fierce urgency of now” more obvious.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


This morning's headlines: "Talk of a dream team again" are a snake in the grass.

According to Wolf Blitzer already last night, Hillary supporters are broaching the idea of combining Barack and Hillary on the ticket - WITH EITHER ONE ON TOP.

If that happened, we would be in worse trouble than now, because Hilary and Bill would be constantly working behind the scenes to achieve their agenda, which is not our agenda.

You don't need her, Barack! Don't feel you have to be a gentleman, don't hope that you will be able to unite with her. It won't happenm and all your plans will turn to ruin.

Continue to build your movement. That's cement.