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
September 25, 2015
Mr. President: Before the Iraq war, Colin Powell was famously reported to have
quoted the Pottery Barn rule, "You break it, you own it." Well, broken iraq is, as is
Syria, but the rule, too, we have tried to break. Not very successfully it seems as ISIS
draws us back in.
The democracy, which former President Carter has now openly called an oligarchy --
so which controlling oligarchs benefited from Iraq, Libya and Syria? -- has a short
memory ... at least the demos part of it; and a very obedient demos, following like
sheep the calls of the shepherds and the media sheep dogs.
So here we are .. despite scandal, email or whatever else, Hillary Clinton leads --
voting for the Iraq war, leading the charge on Libya and Syria ... nothing makes a
On the Republican side, the leading candidate is Donald Trump who actually opposed
the Iraq war. He claims he will not be beholden to the oligarchs. No, he actually is
one, having been a hefty contributor in the past, and he claims one can buy
politicians, or at least get them to do what one wants.
The rest of the vast motley crew is a reminder of the well-known quip, 'in America
anyone can become president and anyone usually does.'
This week also (in fact today) the lachrymose Mr. Boehner has resigned as Speaker
and will also give up his seat. Although clearly moved by the Pope's address to
Congress, that was not the reason. His job is made untenable by the extremists within
his party who have forgotten (according to him) that their principal job there is to help
govern a country where power is shared with the executive. The crucial question is
funding for the abortions carried out by Planned Parenthood. Religious belief for
them triumphs the Supreme Court and the law of the land, because their mandate is
Among the Republican presidential candidates is a neurosurgeon; the only
Afro-American, he claims he has proof Darwin was wrong. Proof more than likely that
a skilled pair of hands -- a painter like Van Gogh for another example -- does not
translate always to a knowledgeable or even sane brain.
Of course the story grabbing most media space this week has been the Pope's visit.
His message has been simple: compassion ... compassion for our fellow human
beings, the refugees, the migrants. Doesn't everyone seek a better life? In the case
of Syrian refugees it is an escape from bombing and death. He reminded us (as this
page has often repeated) that the refugee numbers are the highest since the Second
He told us to stop selling weapons for they kill. The ancillary question is which
country is directly or indirectly most responsible for these recent wars, a question he
was too polite or politic to ask.