Here in Australia the debate was a non-issue, not much intense debate. The crowds just watched the news to see what the oil bully did. The political charade continues while all the other small world network discussions continue.
They (the US. government) have the military, economic, political and social power to dominate the discourse of international politics. The average person doesn't have the capacity to understand the big political issues. They're too busy going to work, burning oil for mobility, feeding the kids, stessing over money, etc. to grasp the implications of American foreign policy, oil depletion, climate change, free trade and the war on terrorism. Does the average person care?
Yet...keep up the good valuable work. It's called hope. You're working towards it, it's a good first step. Next step is political engagement. Maybe this forum could focus on political engangement in the run up to the 2004 US. elections.