Col. Ann Wright's speech to the Bartlett Democratic Luncheon today was interesting. And well attended. There were over 70 people in attendance, over-filling the meeting room at the Bragaw Denney's.
She spoke about some of the difficulties the Obama administration is facing as it seeks to change the directions of several United States foreign policy and military policies and campaigns.
Although Wright is optimistic about Obama's chances of being a force for good, she catalogued many systemic problems the current presidential administration inherited from George Bush, and the dilemmas facing Obama's policy chiefs as they seek to deal with both the expectations of Obama supporters, and the realities of the depth of penetration into our national affairs by people and organizations who seek to take the apparatus of government into their own directions, not his.
This talk is one that Wright gave in Fairbanks yesterday, Anchorage today, and will give in other Alaska cities through the week and weekend. She will also be addressing her recent and upcoming trips to Gaza in these communities, but didn't talk about that issue in her speech. The 2007-2008 Gaza War did come up, though, in the audience questions.
Wright, in her fielding of questions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, demonstrated how clearly she saw the awful and devastating damage Israel's recent Gaza campaign did to civilian infrastructure there.
I asked her if she would be so kind as to invite Alaska Senator Mark Begich to take part, soon, in a trip to Gaza and the Occupied West Bank. She emphatically urged him to do so. She described the recent trip to Gaza by a few members of Congress, including Sen. John Kerry.
Col. Wright will be speaking again this evening, at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
At 7:00, at Rasmusson Hall, she will give a talk called, "Heart-to-Heart Conversation: Gaza-Iraq-Afghanistan-Iran."
Her appearances in Alaska are being coordinated by Alaskans For Peace and Justice.
Update - Friday 1:00 p.m. - on Col. Wright's Thursday evening UAA talk, from Tom Macchia:
There were about 40 people there several members of the Palestinian community but no media. We did get Ann's talk on video done by Katie Parrish.
We sold out her books.
There were good questions and a sense of more interest in getting involved due to disappointment in the direction of the administration. It may be that some more folks waking up
image - Diane Benson and Ann Wright