Weekly Letter to President Obama
Copyright © 2010
ofthisandthat.org. All rights
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
April 8, 2016
Mr. President: Bernie Sanders has done it again. He won the Wisconsin primary by a
whopping margin -- 56.6 to 43.1 percent. Here is something else to think about: a
significant percentage (I forget the exact figure) of people who support Hillary Clinton
do not like her -- unlike those who voted for Candidate Obama, yet disillusion was
their reward when "hope and change" became "more of the same." "Because things
are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are," said Bertolt Brecht.
Surely they can not remain the same. Human Rights Watch has just accused Saudi
Arabia and the U.S. of a war crime. The incident involved the bombing of a market
killing 90 civilians and wounding many more; ten Houthi fighters also died. The U.S. is
found complicit as it usually does the targeting and supplies the means. Yes, Bertolt,
things cannot remain the way they are.
The G-7 Foreign Ministers Meeting scheduled for April 10, will be meeting in
Hiroshima. No surprise there as it is the Japanese member, Fumio Kishida's home
town. One wonders how Secretary of State John Kerry will feel. On the other hand as
has been observed by others, the Japanese are a people highly sensitive to shame;
Americans not quite. Had the Japanese won the war, Hiroshima would have been
remembered as the greatest war crime, killing 290,000 civilians, immediately and
through the effects of radiation. Forget the badly burned, the blinded, the sick and
the mentally and physically scarred survivors and the stigma they have suffered.
One finds it difficult to believe a demonstration would not have sufficed, or the use in
a more remote location instead of a major city. Why choose a time when everyone
was going to work and children going to school, and more susceptible to radiation
than they would be indoors? And why was Nagasaki necessary? Not that the
Japanese army in its rampage across Asia harbored the correctness of the Germans
following the Geneva Convention (despite Hollywood movies). Yes Bertolt, we have to
change for civilization to thrive, even survive.
The nuclear arsenals of India and Pakistan are enough to cause a nuclear winter,
and the new doctrines on the subcontinent are inherently unstable. India has
prepared "cold start". It means Indian forces ready and waiting always, to attack and
invade Pakistan immediately in response to a terror attack. The border is long and
very difficult to defend and the terrorists not within anyone's control. In response,
Pakistan has developed and delivered tactical nuclear weapons to field commanders
for use against the Indian military, a situation very different from strategic weapons
under the control of the civilian government. Lastly, Indian doctrine holds the use of
any nuclear weapon to be reason for a strategic nuclear response. The stage seems
set for disaster.
Yes, Bertolt things must change ... if we are to survive.