Weekly Letter to the President
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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
July 20, 2018 (posted July 22, 2018)
Mr. President: It is the most natural of behaviors for the guilty to lay the blame
elsewhere and to make the most noise. The Democratic Party leadership did the
meddling -- not the Russians -- when it conspired with Hillary Clinton to deny Bernie
Sanders the Democratic nomination. Thus Hillary was an illegitimate candidate to
Then there was the question of emails. Hillary refused to use the secure State
Department server preferring a personal one. Why? Because she would then be
selective in the emails that became public record. And an accurate historic picture of
her tenure as Secretary of State is debatable if 33,000 emails were not surrendered.
She said these were personal and not work related but the FBI later recovered about
17,000 and many of these were work related (para 7 from end of ABC report).
How did the Clintons become so rich? First, if you give commercial banks a license to
gamble with depositors' money, they ought to be grateful. Speaking fees are one
answer, and heaven knows what else. That gambling can also lead to ruin proved
true. Bankrupted, the banks sought help, and were rescued through the public
purse. Turning losses public while bonuses and profits remained private emerged as
a new capitalism for the very rich. The banks crooked schemes included certain risky
mortgage-backed securities sold as safe that caused huge state pension funds
losses, destroying state finances in some cases. People in those states are still
suffering. Any surprise then if Donald Trump's pejorative "crooked Hillary" resonates
to this day.
Second, during Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, there was talk of her
either using the position, or of the position itself leading to favor seekers donating to
the Clinton Foundation. During the 2016 election campaign, Trump said Hillary
Clinton received tens of millions by countries that 'treat women horribly ... and
countries that kill gays'. Politifact says the claim is half-true. He also asked that she
return the $25 million Saudi Arabia gave to the foundation.
The Democrats continue to blame the Russians for the election loss despite their own
meddling -- nothing like shooting the messenger --- and other issues like emails
erupting just before the election. Hence the uproar over the Helsinki summit. Add the
Ukraine and Crimea issue and assorted lobbies, and soon Republicans joined in. But
anger and hysteria are their own catharsis, and after Trump had been accused of
treason and called a traitor, there was little else except to cool off.
When Trump placed the blame for poor relations with Russia on 'many years of US
foolishness and stupidity,' he was being mild. Others might have said worse. Look at
the record. Years of recruiting Eastern bloc countries into NATO after promising not
to; after all, Russia accepted peace and disbanded the Warsaw Pact. Then the
blatant interference in Ukraine, toppling an elected government and dismembering
the country leaving a trail of blood.
The fact is, one either supports peace or one does not. In the US unfortunately,
there are plenty of supporters for war. Otherwise, why would we get Libya, Somalia,
Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan (17 years and continuing), etc., etc., etc. And the
Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama delivering the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual
Lecture. A supreme irony because the old man himself refused to meet Obama after
what he had done to his friend Gaddafi. One has to be reminded, Gaddafi provide
financial support to the ANC independence movement when no one else cared or
dared. At the time in the West, Mandela was a terrorist. Gaddafi also helped the
IRA. And what do we have in Libya now? A descent from a secular country
supporting women's rights and leading Africa in the Human Development Index to a
disaster spawning fundamentalist extremists as far south as Nigeria. How soon the
One may criticize Trump for much of his agenda -- and I do often enough -- but he
has kept us mostly out of war. With Hillary the Hawk, we would have been mired in
Syria up to our necks, in serious danger of a major conflagration with Russia. Let's
support peace irrespective of who nurtures that gentle dove.