I read your recent article, "Don't blow it, Barack" (Hoppe, Nov. 18-25) with such a distinct sense of sadness. Like you and your friend, I too am concerned that Barack will blow it. You see, I stayed away from politics for over 40 years because I had absolutely no confidence in the promises campaigners make. Year after year the promises are made, but not kept.

The came Barack, articulate, a family man, intelligent and courageous. I thought, "Here is a guy I think I can trust. Someone who will keep his promises." I, along with millions of others, had hope rekindled that someone could actually go into Washington and drain the swamp.

The global financial meltdown has caused me to think that Barack may be drowning in the swamp. Take for example, the Senate Finance hearings. The UAW, GM, Ford and Chrysler were brought in, dressed down, told to sell their corporate jets, freeze executive salaries and bring in a business plan to get a few billion tax payer dollars. These are people who employ millions of people.

The banks, on the other hand, employ only thousands, are at the core of the financial debacle we are in that sucked the life out of the auto industry, accepted trillions of tax payer money, would not loan it, raised their rates, invested the money overseas, refuse to re-negotiate mortgages, etc. Yet, not one BANK has had their feet held to the fire. Not one. Why not? Simple, they control the U.S. government.

Proof? War is profitable — not to you or me or our children that we send into war, but to the military/industrial/corporate/government complex.

Look, connect the dots: we are a capitalistic society where profit is King, we are the largest arms dealer on earth, therefore, we need have no incentive for world PEACE - we need WAR to make a profit.

Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, Panama, Grenada, etc. all countries we invaded. Countries who have done NOTHING to us. Why? War is profitable. Nations go into debt to wage war. He who holds the debt controls everything, including the people, you and I.

Now, Barack is pondering Afganistan, another nation that has done nothing to us despite rumors to the contrary. Most of us know the 9/11 was an inside job. Still, we invade their country, violate their sensitivities and call them 'terrorists', 'corrupt' and 'incompetent'. When the truth is we want to put a natural gas line through their country and control their politics. Will Barack have the courage to pull our troops out of Iraq and Afganistan and replace them with humanitarian assistance? Will he be able to stand up to the Joint Chiefs, the Congress and Wall Street, who all want more WAR, and channel the Billions from war to PEACE? Will he be perceived as 'weak', 'unAmerican' and 'unpatriotic' if he decides to withdraw? Yes!

Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that Barack is now a creature of the system, enveloped by the political/industrial/financial mess left by G.W. and company. He will not be allowed to lead this country out of this mess unless and until he finds a way to make WAR unprofitable and unpopular.

Wesley Barnard

Indianapolis

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