Burma: Time For Hyper Action

"Thanks for your work. I do appreciate it greatly. Burma's neighbours including India are largely responsible for the prolong dictatorship and repeated the blood shed in Burma."

Nyunt Than
Burmese American Democratic Alliance

This is the lull, the time for reflection before more action. There are lessons to be learned.

Lesson number one is the only thing that will do the trick is mass action. That mass action has to be total, daily and ovewhelming. Nothing else will work.

Mass action alone will not work. The world powers must step in. The peoples of the world must step in. The democracy movement in Burma needs money. Give direct funding.

The Burmese diaspora must get super organized and must make up for the fact that those inside Burma do not have the liberty to organize half as freely. So those who can freely organize must get super organized. The highest forms of sophistication must be achieved.

This is not over yet.

Than Shwe

He has a few options. He could go live in exile for the rest of his days. He could go to Laos, to China. That option should be like a safety valve. If doing that means fewer people get killed in the streets, we do it.

The real effort has to be to depose him and to have him arrested and then to try him for crimes against humanity.

The virus has mutated. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King will not work on this guy. We need to come up with new antibiotics. If the threat of taking him out in an air raid will work, that threat should be tried.

How To Aid Mass Action

Build a stealth organization. Easier said than done. Smuggle cameras into Rangoon. That is where the primary action will take place. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have to be raised to hand over directly to the democracy activists.

Millions of people coming out into the streets risking a few hundred deaths, a few thousand arrests, in every town, every city of Burma, day after day after day, until the military regime collapses. That is the only way out. And the time is now.

The World Is Failing Burma
Burma: Than Shwe Is Going To The Hague
Britain Is Betraying Burma
Burma: Time For All Out Sanctions By All Powers
Burma: Momentum Is Key To Victory
In Solidarity With The Burmese People

Next Stop: Zimbabwe

On The Web

Than Shwe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia He also obtained a seat on the ruling Burma Socialist Programme Party's Central Executive Committee. ...... On 23 April 1992, Saw Maung unexpectedly resigned, citing health reasons, and Than Shwe replaced him as Chairman of the Council, head of state, Secretary of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. ........ The convention for the so called "Discipline Democracy New Constitution" was convened from 9 January 1993 to 3 September 2007, a period of more than 14 years and 8 months. ....... his economic policies have been often criticized as ill-planned. ...... maintains a low profile. He tends to be seen as being sullen and rather withdrawn, a hardliner and an opponent of the democratization of Burma ...... rarely talks to the press ...... in recent years, he has been consolidating his power over the country. When he reached the mandatory retirement age of 60, he simply extended it, which has led to suggestions that he may remain as head of state for the rest of his life. ........ Than Shwe has been linked to the toppling and arrest of Prime Minister Khin Nyunt, which has significantly increased his own power. ....... A 10-minute video of the couple's marriage was posted on Youtube in November to the fury of Burmese people. The ceremony reputedly cost more than three times the state health budget; the tally of gifts, which reportedly include luxury cars and houses, were worth a total of $50m. The bride was dressed opulently, with glittering jewelled clusters in her hair, diamond ear-studs, and "at least six thick strings of what appear to be diamonds" ........ known to be a diabetic .... rumoured to have intestinal cancer. ...... rarely makes public appearances ...... Than Shwe's wife and children fled the country on September 27, 2007, possibly to Laos
Reporters sans frontières - Burma began his career in psychological warfare, which gave him a strong taste for controlling ideas and the media. ....... Dozens of military officers staff the country’s censorship bureau checking the content of all newspapers, books and films before they appear. ...... the new national capital, Naypyidaw, which he has founded in a remote mountain area to guard against a supposed US attack and after consulting an astrologer. ....... is 74, makes very few public appearances and most Burmese have never heard him speak.
Sullen, unresponsive and boring he may be, but Than Shwe is Burma ... In 1993 Than Shwe set up a National Convention to draft a new constitution. The process is still in the works today. When Saw Lwin, head of the National Convention Convening Committee, cracked a about the endless discussions and meetings, mild jokeThan Shwe promptly showed him the door. ....... ‘Whenever he gave a speech, it could go on and on for almost two hours,’ recalls a former aide. ‘But he never really said anything.’ ..... warned: ‘Lessons from history teach us to act with caution – forever.’ ...... 8/8/88 .... Than Shwe, already a junta member, locked up his family at home, complaining that they were ‘scared to death’. ....... in 1990 the deluded junta provided for an election to confirm itself in power ...... began his working life delivering mail. ...... By the age of 50, he was handed command of the Southwest Region. .... His children rode to school in army trucks instead of the luxury sedans used by other generals’ kids. He spent his time reading Time magazine, playing golf or dressing up in traditional Burmese outfits, invariably attended by bodyguards with betel nuts for him to chew. He was, as he remains, sullen and unresponsive. ........ His most dreaded political weapon was his ability to bore everyone else into submission. ........ has proved adept at achieving its only real aim, which is to stay in power ...... done so, in the name of ‘national unity’, by preying genocidally upon the cultural diversity of the country’s 50 million people, reducing them to impoverishment, slave labour, displacement and exile, thereby creating what is arguably the most deranged of all the world’s political regimes. ........ Enriched by oil, gems, narcotics, logging – and by the transnational corporations of one sort or another who deal in them – the junta has managed to evade any effective response from the so-called ‘international community’. ......... India considers the junta an ally in the suppression of the ethnic ‘insurgencies’ which plague both countries along their shared border. China is a generous supplier of weaponry, finance and diplomatic support. The US favours economic sanctions, while the European Union has confined itself to restricting the trade in pineapple juice. ........ banned every kind of freely reported news, including the Burmese death toll from the tsunami. ........... an unknown number of political prisoners – for whom torture is routine ...... 50 foreign journalists blacklisted. ...... Former friends and associates apparently express surprise at the ‘new and different Than Shwe’. Power and paranoia, they say, may have corrupted the once ‘simple and honest soldier’. Others might point, once again, to the banality of evil.
Burmese outraged at lavish junta wedding | Special reports ... the gifts, which reportedly include luxury cars and houses worth a total of $50m (£26m). ...... the rush to buy jewels as presents and decorations pushed up the price of precious stones in the run-up to the wedding. The wedding video appears to have been filmed with the approval of the the married couple and guests. It is unclear how it was leaked on to the internet ....... mindless indulgence - smiling, well-fed guests wrapped in their finest clothing and most expensive jewels ........ the incompetence and brutality of the country’s military leadership ..... Irrawaddy, a Thailand-based magazine, popular among Burmese exiles. ...... “Than Shwe was the one who accused other top leaders of corruption whenever he wanted to remove them. It’s the pot calling the kettle black.” ........ “In the seating arrangement, Than Shwe and his deputy were on one table and all the other junta members were on a very distant table. That tells you a lot about the hierarchy”
Dictator Slays Millions In Last-Minute Push To Be Time's Man Of ...
Than Shwe Burma (Myanmar): The World's Worst Dictators--2007 ... One of the most secretive world leaders ...... Among the numerous “offenses” for which Burmese have been arrested are selling tapes of CNN and BBC coverage of the 2004 tsunami and for “hiding in the dark.”
Profile: Senior General Than Shwe - Telegraph has ruled the country for the last 15 years, during which he has made no concessions to the democracy movement led by Aung San Suu Kyi. ......... firm hardliner and nationalist ...... is said to despise her with such passion that his aides are forbidden to mention her name in his presence. ...... Like many despots, he blames his country’s woes on foreigners .... the junta would “crush, hand-in-hand with the entire people, every danger of internal and external destructive elements obstructing the stability and development of the state” ....... A reclusive individual, he is rarely seen in public or even mentioned by state media, except at official occasions. ....... he has manoeuvred among the factions of the military to give himself a firm grip on power. ....... Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, who was open to talks with Ms Suu Kyi and perceived as a rival centre of authority within the dictatorship, was ruthlessly purged and convicted of corruption, along with many of his supporters.
BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Burma leader's lavish lifestyle aired a rare glimpse into a lavish lifestyle. ..... "It's outrageous, just outrageous, especially when you consider that most Burmese live in extreme poverty," Aung Zaw, the editor of Irrawaddy, a publication run by Burmese journalists in exile, told Reuters news agency. ...... Than Shwe himself is seen in the video, walking stiffly at his daughter's side in traditional Burmese dress - a rare glimpse of him out of military uniform.
Asia Times Online :: Southeast Asia news - The man behind the madness the dictator who rules the country with an iron fist, General Than Shwe, 74, is still obscure, often grimly hidden behind dark sunglasses and a military uniform decorated with medals. ....... the major stumbling block to national reconciliation and the restoration of democracy. ....... his jowls framing a plump, sullen face. ..... widely known to suffer from health problems, for which he frequently seeks medical care in Singapore ....... whether he still has the mental facilities and political judgment ....... recently sent his close family members to Bangkok in case the protests spiral out of control. ...... forced regime change. .... forced labor, torture, systematic rape and the ill-treatment of many of the country's estimated 1,200 political prisoners. ...... Than Shwe could be held directly responsible in an eventual international tribunal. ........ introverted and superstitious leader ...... bizarre decision to move the national capital 400 kilometers north ....... aim of re-establishing the country's long-abolished monarchy as part of a broader political transition where Than Shwe would assume a newly established throne. ....... Than Shwe, a high-school dropout, does not have particularly aristocratic roots ...... his regime's still-frequent warnings that Britain and the United States support subversive elements ......... relentless truth-twisting, severe censorship, endless sloganeering, and rampant jingoism ....... has the credentials for national thought control, based on his work dating back to the 1950s in the army's Psychological Operations Department, when he was involved in churning out nationalistic propaganda. ......... his well-established shoot-to-kill instincts, particularly in counterinsurgency campaigns against minority ethnic-Karen guerrillas in the country's eastern regions, earned him a promotion to captain in 1960. ........ quickly ingratiated himself to the military's top brass by helping General Ne Win seize power in a 1962 military coup, ending the country's short post-independence experiment with democracy. ........ steadily climbed the ranks ...... Than Shwe favors a heavy-handed response over possible negotiations. ....... Ne Win died under house arrest in 2002. ...... whether another ambitious soldier may use the current chaos as pretext to eclipse the ailing Than Shwe and seize power for a new military faction. ..... hosted an unusually lavish wedding for his daughter. ..... the utter disparity in wealth between the military elite and the impoverished general population. ......... Myanmar, along with Somalia, as the most corrupt country in the world in the group's 180-country index for 2007. ....... has been the isolationist counter-force to moderates in the military leadership who have favored more engagement with the outside world and perhaps a more conciliatory approach to the political opposition. ....... known to harbor a personal grudge toward .. Suu Kyi ...... a "notoriously paranoid general" who keeps himself virtually mummified from his own countrymen in the new capital ...... the reclusive general seldom leaves his personal villa and rarely personally addresses the SPDC leadership. ...... "makes very few public appearances, and most Burmese have never heard him speak" ...... "His militaristic speeches, harshly attacking the pro-democracy opposition, are read for him on the government radio and TV, and are given prominence by all government media."

Aung San Suu Kyi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Her father, Aung San, negotiated Burma's independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, and was assassinated by his rivals in the same year. ....... Suu Kyi was educated in English Catholic schools for much of her childhood in Burma. ....... graduating from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi in 1964. ..... She continued her education at St Hugh's College, Oxford, obtaining a B.A. degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in 1969 and a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 1985. ..... In 1972, Aung San Suu Kyi married Dr. Michael Aris, a scholar of Tibetan culture, living abroad in Bhutan. ...... Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988 to take care of her ailing mother. By coincidence, in that year, the long-time leader of the socialist ruling party, General Ne Win, stepped down, leading to mass demonstrations for democratisation on August 8, 1988 (8-8-88, a day seen as favorable), which were violently suppressed. A new military junta took power. ........... Heavily influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence ....... entered politics to work for democratisation, helped found the National League for Democracy on 27 September 1988 ........ She was offered freedom if she would leave the country, but she refused. .......... It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it. ........... used the Nobel Peace Prize's 1.3 million USD prize money to establish a health and education trust for the Burmese people. ...... When her husband, Michael Aris, a British citizen, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997, the Burmese government denied him an entry visa. Aung San Suu Kyi remained in Burma, and never again saw her husband, who died in March 1999. She remains separated from her children, who live in the United Kingdom ......... on 30 May 2003, a government-sponsored mob attacked her caravan in the northern village of Depayin, murdering and wounding many of her supporters. Aung San Suu Kyi fled the scene with the help of her driver, Ko Kyaw Soe Lin, but was arrested upon reaching Ye-U. The government imprisoned her at Insein Prison in Yangon. After she underwent a hysterectomy in September 2003, the government again placed her under house arrest in Yangon. ....... Suu Kyi's house arrest term was set to expire 27 May 2006, but the Burmese government extended it for another year ....... On 9 June 2006, Suu Kyi was hospitalised with severe diarrhea and weakness ...... According to Gambari, Suu Kyi seems in good health but she wishes to meet her doctor more regularly. ....... On 18 January 2007, the state-run paper The New Light of Myanmar accused Suu Kyi of tax evasion for spending her Nobel Prize money outside of the country. ...... On May 16, 2007, 59 world leaders released a letter demanding Myanmar's military government free Suu Kyi and other political prisoners. The signatories include all three surviving former US presidents, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton; the former UK prime minister, Margaret Thatcher; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President of Poland, Lech Wałęsa; as well as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former South Korean president, Kim Dae-jung, amongst many others. ....... On Tuesday 25 September 2007 British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband in a speech to the UK Labour Party Conference 2007 said: "Wasn’t it brilliant to see Aung San Suu Kyi alive and well outside her house last week? It will be a hundred times better when she takes her rightful place as the elected leader of a free and democratic Burma." ........ Suu Kyi's struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. ..... In June of each year, the US Campaign for Burma organizes hundreds of "Arrest Yourself" house parties around the world in support of Aung San Suu Kyi. At these parties, the organizers keep themselves under house arrest for 24 hours, invite their friends, and learn more about Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi - Biography 1964-67: British "parents" are Lord Gore-Booth, former British ambassador to Burma and High Commissioner in India, and his wife, at whose home Suu Kyi meets Michael Aris, student of Tibetan civilisation. ......... 1969-71: She goes to New York for graduate study, staying with family friend Ma Than E, staff member at the United Nations, where U. Thant of Burma is Secretary-General. Postponing studies, Suu Kyi joins U.N. secretariat as Assistant Secretary, Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions. Evenings and weekends volunteers at hospital, helping indigent patients in programs of reading and companionship. ........ 1972: January 1. Marries Michael Aris, joins him in Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, where he tutors royal family and heads Translation Department. She becomes Research Officer in the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ....... 1977: While raising her children, Suu Kyi begins writing, researches for biography of father, and assists Michael in Himalayan studies. ....... 1985: also books on Nepal and Bhutan ...... 1986: On annual visit to grandmother in Rangoon, Alexander and Kim take part in traditional Buddhist ceremony of initiation into monkhood. ........ 1988: August 15. Suu Kyi, in first political action, sends open letter to government, asking for formation of independent consultative committee to prepare multi-party elections. ...... August 26. In first public speech, she addresses several hundred thousand people outside Shwedagon Pagoda, calling for democratic government. Michael and her two sons are there. ........ Parliamentary elections to be held, but in expectation that multiplicity of parties will prevent clear result. ....... September 24. National League for Democracy (NLD) formed, with Suu Kyi general-secretary. Policy of non-violence and civil disobedience. October-December. Defying ban, Suu Kyi makes speech-making tour throughout country to large audiences. December 27. Daw Khin Kyi dies at age of seventy-six. ........ 1989: January-July. Suu Kyi continues campaign despite harassment, arrests and killings by soldiers. ..... February 17. Suu Kyi prohibited from standing for election. .... April 5. Incident in Irawaddy Delta when Suu Kyi courageously walks toward rifles soldiers are aiming at her. ........ 1990: May 27. Despite detention of Suu Kyi, NLD wins election with 82% of parliamentary seats. SLORC refuses to recognise results. ......... 1993: Group of Nobel Peace Laureates, denied entry to Burma, visit Burmese refugees on Thailand border, call for Suu Kyi's release ...... regularly denounced in the government-controlled media, and there is concern for her personal safety. ...... she told that Norway will be the first country she will visit when free to travel. ....... Suu Kyi discourages tourists from visiting Burma and businessmen from investing in the country until it is free. ...... On March 27, 1999, Michael Aris died of prostate cancer in London. He had petitioned the Burmese authorities to allow him to visit Suu Kyi one last time, but they had rejected his request. He had not seen her since a Christmas visit in 1995. The government always urged her to join her family abroad, but she knew that she would not be allowed to return. This separation she regarded as one of the sacrifices she had had to make in order to work for a free Burma.
Aung San Suu Kyi -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia
Aung San Suu Kyi Winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Peace
USCB : Aung San Suu Kyi : Biography was educated in Burma, India, and the United Kingdom. Her father was assassinated when she was only two years old. ....... The military regime responded to the uprising with brute force, shooting and otherwise killing up to 10,000 demonstrators — student, women, children, and others — in a mater of months. Unable to maintain its grip on power, the regime was forced to call for a general election in 1990. ....... Suu Kyi has been in and out of arrest ever since. She was held from 1989-1995, and again from 2000-2002. She was again arrested and placed behind bars in May 2003 after the Depayin massacre, during which up to 100 of her supporters were beaten to death by the regime's cronies. ........ She has called on people around the world to join the struggle for freedom in Burma, saying "Please use your liberty to promote ours."
BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Profile: Aung San Suu Kyi For the Burmese people, Aung San Suu Kyi, 62, represents their best and perhaps sole hope that one day there will be an end to the country's military repression. ........ During these periods of confinement, Aung San Suu Kyi has busied herself studying and exercising. ...... She has meditated, worked on her French and Japanese language skills, and relaxed by playing Bach on the piano. ....... during her early years of detention, Aung San Suu Kyi was often in solitary confinement .... has often said that detention has made her even more resolute to dedicate the rest of her life to represent the average Burmese citizen. ...... UN envoy Razali Ismail has said privately that she is one of the most impressive people he has ever met. ..... In 1960 she went to India with her mother Daw Khin Kyi, who had been appointed Burma's ambassador to Delhi. ........ After stints of living and working in Japan and Bhutan, she settled down to be an English don's housewife and raise their two children, Alexander and Kim. ....... But Burma was never far away from her thoughts. ...... "I could not, as my father's daughter remain indifferent to all that was going on," she said in a speech in Rangoon on 26 August 1988. ...... was soon propelled into leading the revolt against then-dictator General Ne Win. ...... Inspired by the non-violent campaigns of US civil rights leader Martin Luther King and India's Mahatma Gandhi, she organised rallies and travelled around the country, calling for peaceful democratic reform and free elections.

In The News

The Battle Over Burma: What can be done to solve the problem? Foreign Affairs Over the past decade, Burma has gone from being an antidemocratic embarrassment and humanitarian disaster to being a serious threat to its neighbors' security. ....... U.S. policy toward Burma is stuck. .... advocated applying pressure through diplomatic isolation and punitive economic sanctions ....... most Asian states moved to expand trade, aid, and diplomatic engagement with the junta, most notably by granting Burma full membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1997. ...... neither sanctions nor constructive engagement has worked ....... Regimes like the SPDC do not improve with age ........ Since 1996, when the Burmese army launched its "four cuts" strategy against armed rebels -- an effort to cut off their access to food, funds, intelligence, and recruits among the population -- 2,500 villages have been destroyed and over one million people, mostly Karen and Shan minorities, have been displaced. Hundreds of thousands live in hiding or in open exile in Bangladesh, India, China, Thailand, and Malaysia. ........... moved the seat of government .... reportedly on the advice of a soothsayer and for fear of possible U.S. air raids ...... The narcotics trade, human trafficking, and HIV/AIDS are all spreading through Southeast Asia thanks in part to Burmese drug traffickers who regularly distribute heroin with HIV-tainted needles in China, India, and Thailand. ......... Burma accounts for 80 percent of all heroin produced in Southeast Asia ...... the regime has had an interest in following the model of North Korea and achieving military autarky by developing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons ........ Political liberalization in Indonesia and growing activism in Malaysia and the Philippines ....... last January, ASEAN members prepared a new charter for the twenty-first century that champions democracy promotion and human rights as universal values ....... the slowdown in Japan's economic power and the rise in China's ..... an "arc of freedom and prosperity" from the Baltics to the Pacific and touting Tokyo's commitment to human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. ......... In September 2006, Tokyo finally agreed to support a discussion on Burma in the UN Security Council. ...... 43 other former heads of state in an open letter calling on the SPDC to unconditionally release Suu Kyi. ....... Japan's assistance in helping the country throw off British colonial rule in the 1940s ...... China and India could be the greatest obstacles to efforts to induce reform in the country. China has many interests in Burma. ........ billions of dollars in trade and investment and more than a billion dollars' worth of weapons sales ...... access to ports and listening posts, which allow its armed forces to monitor naval and other military activities around the Indian Ocean and the Andaman Sea. ..... preferential deals for access to Burma's oil and gas reserves. ....... funds and materiel to pay off Burmese military elites ..... In early 2007, China and Russia cast their first joint veto in the UN Security Council in 35 years to block a measure that would have sanctioned the SPDC. ....... the recent change in Beijing's approach to another wayward neighbor: North Korea ..... It will also be a challenge getting India on board. ... Suu Kyi continues to cite Mohandas Gandhi as a model for nonviolent resistance. ...... Like China, India is hungry for natural gas and other resources and is eager to build a road network through Burma that would expand its trade with ASEAN. ...... India is now Burma's fourth-largest trading partner. ...... for Washington to lead the five key parties -- ASEAN, China, India, Japan, and the United States -- in developing a coordinated international initiative ........ the Burmese military's traditional paranoia. ....... any process of reform and national reconciliation in Burma will have to begin with the immediate release of Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, including other members of the National League for Democracy and ethnic leaders, and involve their full participation in the institution of democracy. .......... Than Shwe's erratic behavior, his decision to imprison former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt and thousands of Khin Nyunt's military associates, and his efforts to create a Kim Il Sung-like cult of personality are signs of brittleness and division within the junta. ........ China and India, currently the SPDC's greatest enablers ....... Washington could make China's Burma policy another test of its readiness to be a "responsible stakeholder," much as it has already done in regard to Darfur ........ a new coordinated, multilateral approach that neither Beijing nor New Delhi would be able to ignore. ...... U.S. sanctions regarding trade and investment should remain in place ..... The United States will need to reconsider its restrictions on engaging the SPDC; ASEAN, China, and India will need to reevaluate their historical commitment to noninterference; Japan will need to consider whether its economics-based approach to Burma undermines its new commitment to values-based diplomacy. ...... In addition to humanitarian principles, there are strategic grounds for stepping up diplomatic efforts on Burma: it is now the most serious remaining challenge to the security and unity of Southeast Asia. Of course, change will eventually come to Burma. But without the coordinated engagement of the major interested powers today, that change will come at a great cost: to the stability of Southeast Asia, to the conscience of the international community, and, most important, to the long-suffering Burmese people, who languish in the shadows as the rest of the world concentrates its energies elsewhere.

Google syndicates YouTube videos Telegraph.co.uk generating revenues that Google will share with the website owners and creators of the videos. ...... The service will at first only select video from around 100 media companies, such as Expert Village, which produces how-to videos. These will be accompanied by small text and banner advertisements relevant to the content of the video and webpage. It is currently only available for US AdSense partners.
Google knocks Adsense into Youtube VNUNet.com

Obama has got to step on accelerator Seattle Post Intelligencer he draws huge, cheering crowds; Oprah loves him; he symbolizes generational and philosophical change; he was against the war in Iraq before his major rivals were; he has raised giant amounts of campaign cash; younger voters think he is cool. And he's serious about winning. .......... Obama's biggest problem is convincing Democrats that with only two years in the Senate he has the gravitas to be president. No one is in the mood for another greenhorn who needs on-the-job training. ........ to most whites he is a black man, but many blacks wonder if he is "black enough." ....... Concern about his biracial identity irritates Obama and his wife, Michelle ........ Initially, Obama appealed to many by promising a new campaign style -- one that would be based on intellectual discussion rather than crude sloganeering. In his February announcement, he denounced "our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems." .......... Women, once thought to disapprove of her, are also now in her camp -- 62 percent to 34 percent. Obama is still Obama, a very attractive political figure. But if he is to win this race he's got to step on the accelerator. Very soon.
Obama's Wife's Vehicle in Collision The Associated Press None of the campaign staff in the vehicle with Mrs. Obama were hurt. ..... The vehicle was hit by the motorcycle as it attempted a left turn just south of Hampton, where Michelle Obama was due at a rally. ..... She later told the crowd the event would be rescheduled.
Motorcyclist hits Michelle Obama's van on way to rally Chicago Sun-Times The Illinois senator's wife was among five people in a van that was hit by a motorcycle as the van attempted a left turn ....... The motorcyclist, whose name has not been released, was injured and a medical helicopter was at the scene.
Michelle Obama's van involved in Iowa crash Chicago Tribune Timothy Emerson, 41, of Iowa Falls, Iowa, was injured and airlifted to a hospital. ....... Emerson was treated and released. ...... Neither Michelle Obama nor any members of the campaign staff were injured; the minivan was apparently totaled. ..... about 3:35 p.m. on a two-lane road roughly four miles south of Hampton, Iowa ....... the van was driven by David Whichard, 22, of Greenville, N.C. . ...... Michelle Obama suspended her campaign activities for the rest of the day
Clinton's Democratic rivals try to stop momentum CNN "She's looking more inevitable, and the more inevitable she looks, the easier it is to raise money. People want to be with a winner" ..... her strategy of acting like the presumptive nominee ....... On Monday, Obama tried to argue that what many view as one of Clinton's received strengthens -- her Washington experience -- was actually a liability. .......... On Sunday, Edwards argued that Clinton was not committed to ending the war. Clinton has said she would withdraw a "vast majority" of the combat troops from Iraq but would leave some troops to conduct anti-terrorists operations.


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