Weekly Letter to the President
Custom Search
Copyright © 2017
ofthisandthat.org.  All rights
Questions and Comments
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
August 25, 2017

Mr. President:  Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. is known for its regular polls.  
It asked voters what words came to mind when they thought of President Donald J.
Trump.  Different adjectives ascribed to him were subsequently ranked:  "Smart"
came in at number 28, but "idiot" was number one.

In Mr. Trump's home town, New York City, the public library reports fully 20 percent of
child card holders can not use them due to unpaid fines.  And while Mr. Trump rages
and riles against Obamacare, a scheme of particular help to the poorest, it is
precisely because healthcare has been lacking for the financially disadvantaged that
76 countries in the world have lower maternal death rates than the U.S. (Institute for
Health Metrics and Evaluation, Seattle).  The path to 'making America great again'
appears arduous.

If  the public knowingly voted for an idiot, it had no alternative.  Trump promised
change.  He has been hampered and hamstrung, obstructed and nearly reversed on
his major initiative aiming at better Russian relations.  Obama promising change was
also elected ... twice; he changed instead.  Such are the facts of life in the
Washington morass.

Obama's military interventions hang like a pall.  But then Democrats and Republicans
have been interfering militarily in other countries for as long as one can remember
and earlier:  Reagan (Afghanistan, Grenada, Libya, Nicaragua), Bush I (Iraq,
Afghanistan), Clinton (Afghanistan, Iraq sanctions and no-fly zone, Somalia), Bush II
(Afghanistan, and Iraq invasions), Obama (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria,
Yemen).  The list is by no means complete.

Obama's dark legacy is particularly egregious.  The world expected better from a
Nobel Peace Laureate.  Ukraine and Libya lie bleeding.  Syria is dismembered.  
Afghanistan is a wreck despite a troop surge to over 100,000 before giving up and

Obama, the man with a Muslim father and name, was the first to restrict travel to the
U.S. from seven Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and
Yemen), signing a bill into law after the San Bernardino attack.  Coincidentally with
9/11, the attackers had a connection to Saudi Arabia, not the seven countries.

If Trump wants a wall on the Mexican border, then Obama, so far, has trumped him on
the issue:  He deported 2.5 million undocumented i.e. illegal migrants.  That is more
than all previous U.S. presidents combined, almost certainly up to the Mexican war.

If you see photos of drowned children on beaches, weekly reports of dilapidated
boats crammed with migrants foundering in the Mediterranean, you have to think of
Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton -- the latter gloating at the vile killing
of Gaddafi, "We came, we saw, he died."  Sick of it all, the American public chose

And, he has just delivered a speech to the American public.  Not from the White
House, but from Fort Myer Army Base in Virginia with regimental flags arrayed behind
him .  A rambling, self-contradictory bit of nonsense, he is going to kill terrorists in
Afghanistan, and yes, he wants the Taliban in a future Afghan government, but no, he
does not want Taliban leaders to be sheltered in Pakistan!  Last week it was North
Korea, this week Afghanistan, next week heaven knows ...  Something might occur to
him at 2 a.m. to tweet about.

It turns out he is sending 4,000 troops to Afghanistan, plus undoubtedly his secret
sauce for victory.  Truth be told, he probably wants the generals off his back for a