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My Lunch with President-Elect Obama--The Meeting in the Annex

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"You raise a very good point, Harry... if I may call you that? I'm Ed."

"Sure, Ed," he said with a smile and nodded.

"Some politicians will raise hell, but most of the world, with few exceptions, will cheer. We spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined. When Americans are informed of the facts, the money we can save so as to solve our other problems, they'll give thumbs up. That's why we voted for Obama over Matt Dillion. Instead of that, how much better... if all major powers cut all production, research, development, and testing of weapons over three years. Then all democracies and major powers put 10-20% of their military forces into the Blue Helmets. We develop a viable police force on every continent that will keep the peace."

"What keeps this police force from itself becoming a problem?" Harry interjected.

"Good question. Military cliques will be avoided by having all forces composed of a rainbow of battalions, each from a different nation and each battalion reassigned to another continent every year."

He nodded and asked earnestly, "What happens to the other 80% of our military?"

"It's still there... training for duty in the Blue Helmets, keeping our backup weapons in excellent shape since we aren't building more. These state-side GIs will only slowly be reduced as violence subsides around the planet. We were making progress before--" The ringing phone cut me off.

Harry jumped in his chair and grabbed the remote on the table. He turned on the TV screen and activated the video camera, which I noticed on a tripod next to the TV. Harry answered the phone.

"Hello. Yes, Mr. President-Elect, he's here. We were just chatting and I let... I can see you now and... Can you see us?"

He hung up the phone as a double-size Barack Obama, in a suit, answered from the wall.

"I can see all of you fine, and Mr. Cowan, how are you?"

"I'm great, sir, and it is a pleasure to see you... as big as your fame."

He chuckled. "Right. And tell me, Harry... have you explored number one with him?"

"Yes sir. He defends his argument well, but I've still got some questions and doubts." He nodded to me with a wry grin.

"Which are?" I said.

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Ed Cowan attended high school and the University of Texas in Austin, getting his BA in English in 1964. In 1965 he moved to Vermont, became a writer, and spent ten years, most of it on the staff at Montpelier High School after manning a fire tower (more...)
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