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
May 13, 2016
Mr. President: Here is an interesting fact: Hillary Clinton made more money in one
hour delivering a speech to Goldman Sachs than a billion people on earth individually
make in a lifetime. No wonder it's an angry world. This week she lost yet another
primary to Bernie Sanders, this time West Virginia, where Bernie scored a convincing
double digit 51 to 39 percent win; not much enthusiasm for Hillary the front-runner. In
a new poll, Bernie does better than she does against Trump.
On a related issue: Sadiq Khan the new Muslim mayor of London said he had better
visit the U.S. before November to exchange views with fellow mayors of big cities, by
virtue of the fact that he, as a Muslim, would not be allowed in if Trump becomes
president. And what of the UN in New York with hundreds of Muslim members of
delegations and employees? As should be quite obvious, Mr. Trump's ban was a ploy
for publicity and attention. It worked. Now, of course, he is backpedaling as in his
response to Sadiq Khan's comments: On Fox News, Mr. Trump declared the ban was
"just a suggestion".
The news this week from the White House has been an announcement of a visit to
Hiroshima by a sitting president, followed quickly by a statement that there will not be
any apology. No doubt we can be assured of the usual platitudes, the ultimate aim of
a nuclear weapons-free world while we are busy spending a trillion on upgrading our
own nuclear arsenal. The wealthier nations can inflict almost as much damage with
conventional weapons; it is the small countries faced with powerful hostile neighbors
who are now using the nuclear trump card to defend themselves.
Particular examples are North Korea facing off against South Korea, allied with the
U.S., holding military exercises threatening to the North; and Pakistan now up against
India's 'cold start' program, which purports to have armed forces always at the ready
to invade Pakistan. The latter's response has been tactical battlefield nukes in the
hands of local commanders thereby escalating the danger of a nuclear exchange.
Should not the U.S. be talking to India possessing a larger, more powerful military,
which began the new 'cold start' escalation, instead of trying to push Pakistan to give
up its response. The latest move in this story is of holding up the F-14s scheduled
for delivery, which makes the U.S. even more unpopular.
So what of the Hiroshima visit. Not much as man's inhumanity to man has increased a
zillion fold in the last one hundred years. Picasso's Guernica was painted to describe
the horror of bombing, before the combatants became totally insane in the Second
World War. The annihilation of Dresden and London and Coventry; the firebombing
of Tokyo, then the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and, even less necessary, Nagasaki
... these can not be the acts of humans, which by definition implies humanity. And of
late, the destruction of Libya, its carefully developed water supply, of Iraq and now of
Syria. The world will never be safe until the shelling and bombing of cities is made a