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 20, 2015

Mr. President:  It is so unusual, so uncommon, so rare when a politician spills the
unvarnished truth that it becomes the centerpiece of news across the world.  To bring
back the extreme right-wing vote, Mr. Netanyahu announced, on the day before
Tuesday's Israeli election, that there would never be a Palestinian state while he was
in office.  Why the clamor?  Why the alarm?  Did anyone seriously expect a
Palestinian state during a Netanyahu term or, for that matter, even during the major
opposition's government.  Both have used Gaza as a bloody punching bag when it
suited them; both have obstructed peace for nearly a quarter of a century.

The day after the election, the U.S. President is on Air Force One en route to Israel --
an event obliquely reported in the U.S. media -- for a three-day trip.  Exactly what
does this country hope to gain from this exchange?  So on Thursday, Mr. Netanyahu
reverses himself on the two-state solution, and the veil is drawn carefully over the
truth once again.  Just for a couple of days, the emperor wore no clothes; not any
more.  The lie is both comforting and a shield.  It is to everyone's advantage -- even
Israel's  -- with the exception, of course, of the Palestinians.

But only a rare politician is willing to take up their cause in the face of an Israeli lobby
onslaught in the U.S., Canada, France and Britain; and the guilt card played so
effectively in Germany -- coupled with the threat to their economy by U.S. action.

That is how things stand ... plus ca change ...