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Weekly Letter to President Obama
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INAUGURATION,   January 20, 2009

Drunk in its stale air
For two hundred years.
Fettered in mind and body,
The soul, the safe escape

To let me breathe the cries
Of my heart singing
Tears of mel-an-choly.

The tears flow free today
Washing the stains of blood
And sweat in brotherhood.

Raise the curtain then an'
Let the world look in
On this promised land --
We breathe free today.... almost.

--- Arshad M. Khan
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.
---  Native American proverb
March 13, 2015


Mr. President:  The news cycle has moved from “the speech” (Mr. Netanyahu's) to
“the letter” (Senator Tom Cotton's). Organized by Mr. Cotton and signed by all 46
Republican senators, it was sent to Iran warning the government that an “executive
agreement” with President Obama would be temporary, limited to his tenure. Of
course, it is not true.


American troops left Vietnam under an "executive agreement". Moreover, the Iranian
deal, negotiated together with European countries, would be backed forthwith with a
UN Security Council resolution, bestowing on it the force of international law. Mr.
Cotton's letter is a tempest in a teapot and an unprecedented interference in the
executive prerogative of conducting foreign-policy.


Worse still is Mr. Cotton's personal history. Having received a million dollars for his
campaign from a fund organized by Bill Kristol he is beholden to the neocon
supporters of Netanyahu's right wing Likud party and is following its formulation on
Iran. Both "the speech" and "the letter" were intended to help Mr. Netanyahu's
reelection bid and to thwart an agreement with Iran, raising, however, questions of
gross interference both ways in politics and policy. It used to be said, politics end at
the border. No more.


The nauseating spectacle of these puppets bobbing up and down to the words of a
foreign ringmaster will remain etched forever in our common memory. It is also not
clear how much it actually helped Mr. Netanyahu. Some of the negative publicity
tarnished the luster and his opponent is actually ahead in the polls.


The other news is Hillary Clinton and her e-mails. She has now released them,
retaining or destroying (it is not clear which) about 32,000 out of the 60,000 because
they were personal. Who decides they were personal? Hillary Clinton herself. Can we
trust Hillary?


Not that long ago, she was in trouble for drafting a sham purchase contract as an
attorney – there was a hidden option to buy it back. And the infamous commodity
trading wonder where she parlayed $1000 into $100,000 within a year. Small
potatoes now in her rarefied atmosphere, but at the time her husband was Arkansas'
Attorney General with a salary of around $32,000.


She claimed she used the Wall Street Journal to help her trading. But as anybody
who knows anything about the subject also knows full well the morning's Wall Street
Journal is old news in the very fast-moving and turbulent world of commodity trading,
a world where over eighty percent of novice traders lose their shirt. And then there is
another question:  With such a golden touch, why did she stop?


On the e-mail question: She knew full well that a US Ambassador had paid dearly for
doing the same. Both the security problem and the archival issues raise serious
doubts about such an arrangement. Doctored history is one possible consequence.
The Clintons continue to flout rules and ethical behavior – the latest flap now on
donations to Bill's charitable foundation.


A small discrepancy: Bill claims he never uses e-mail – has sent perhaps two in his
life. Hillary says the withheld e-mails were to Bill and family and so on.