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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
April 14, 2017 (posted April 17, 2017)

Mr. President:  It was Gandhi who said:  "An error does not become truth by reason of
multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it."

A hasty conclusion based on tenuous evidence from the April 4th incident and the
mainstream media, the neocons, the liberal interventionists, all pile on.  Ignore the
fact that Bashar al-Assad had nothing to gain and everything to lose by deploying
chemical weapons in a war he is winning.  Ignore the denials, pooh pooh Russian
claims, fire the Tomahawks to escalate the situation -- perhaps gain a few points or
stop the constant decline in poll ratings.  And send Tillerson to Moscow, after
consultation with NATO allies ... for this is so serious.

This week Dr. Theodore Postol, a Professor Emeritus at MIT and a renowned authority on weapons technology, took it upon himself to investigate the incident and found gaping holes in the
White House report (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/04/addendum-dr-theodore-postols-assessment-white-house-report-syria-chemical-attack.html).  It again looks like a put-up job by
the rebels much like what happened four years ago.  He finds the evidence faked; the men inspecting the site immediately after the incident protected so poorly, they would have died had
sarin gas been around; the photo of the tube container showing a depression in the middle consistent with a small explosive above to push out the gas from the ends -- but not with a device
dropped from a plane
(https://www.scribd.com/document/344995943/Report-by-White-House-Alleging-Proof-of-Syria-as-the-Perpetrator-of-the-Nerve-Agent-Attack-in-Khan-Shaykhun-on-April-4-2017#from_embed).

It made no difference.  After all, the mainstream media still blames Assad for 2013
when the investigation's conclusions pointed to the rebels.  So it was that Secretary of
State Tillerson found himself in Moscow and a frosty reception.  Putin kept him waiting
... and waiting, and Sergei Lavrov wagged a very undiplomatic finger at him with the
warning that if they ever did this again, there would be serious consequences.

Russia is the only country in the world capable of destroying the U.S. in twenty
minutes, which raises the obvious question:  what if another such cavalier
performance by Trump injures or kills Russian personnel and the Russians retaliate
sinking a destroyer, would the U.S. continue to escalate?

After keeping him dangling until just before his flight home, Putin agreed to meet with
Tillerson .  Then in a calculated snub, he refused to allow any pictures of the
meeting.  No doubt Mr. Tillerson received another stern lecture.

In contrast to Candidate Trump, President Trump is best buddies (according to him)
with Chinese President Xi Jinping instead of holding him to account.  And instead of
allying with Russia against ISIS as he repeatedly averred, he now has a profound
disagreement turning President Putin into an adversary.  The establishment seems to
have played Mr. Trump for the bad out-of-tune violin that he was.  He's in concert
now, and the Trump presidency, as he had envisioned, is dead.

Harper's is an old left-of-center American magazine priding itself on its prose.  So it is
unusual to discover in the March issue, British writer Tanya Gold calling the president
'a f******g idiot'.  His other new adversary, Assad is clearly not but the world equally
clearly knows who is.

To confirm the view Trump dropped a $16 million, 21,600 pound bomb on ISIS in
Afghanistan.  As if it that will defeat an insurgency.  A cumbersome device dropped
from a transport plane at relatively low altitude making it vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire,
it was the first time it had been used in the battlefield since its introduction in 2002.  It
also raises the specter of horrendous civilian casualties, and former Afghan president
Hamid Karzai has already condemned
(http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-afghanistan-bomb-idUSKBN17F27U) its use.