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
November 30, 2012

Mr. President:  Herewith a 24-hour (ending yesterday) record of the violence whether
directly or indirectly related to U.S. policy in the last dozen years.

  Three killed in U.S. drone strikes in northwest Pakistan -- no doubt the targets were
selected in one of the 'Terror Tuesday' meetings at the White House.

  A huge car bomb in a Christian area of Damascus killed 34, wounded hundreds.  It
was the rebels response to Christian support for the government.  The media called it
a 'so-called terrorist act' and soon dropped the subject.  That is what happens when
the perpetrators are "good guys".

  A roadside bomb in Afghanistan killed ten and wounded others.

  Dozens killed in several bombings across Iraq including nine from a car bomb in the
holy city of Kerbala.

Here is a thought:  If the U.S. had not interfered in these countries, these people and
other hundreds of thousands would still be alive, their houses, jobs, way of life would
still be intact as would the countries' infrastructures.

There are now three quarters of a million refugees from Syria, their numbers
increasing, and as the weather turns cold children and infants are dying.  Their
crime?  Being caught in an uprising funded and supported by outside forces beyond
their control  Who in their right mind supports an insurgency resulting in loss of home,
family, way of life, for a change from a secular dictatorship to a religious
fundamentalist one?

The cost of our wars has left a burden of unfunded liabilities dragging us over the
fiscal cliff -- helped in no small measure by the huge transfer by the Fed to the banks
through the purchase of their worthless securities.  These, of course, brought to life
by a flick of the pen -- a change in the accounting rules allowing banks to value them
at purchase price instead of at market.  It has not fooled investors entirely.  Simply
monetizing liabilities will have a cost eventually in the value of the dollar -- helped
temporarily by the Euro's problems.  So gold and silver are up eight to ten times their

While the villains of the story, the ones responsible for jettisoning Glass-Steagall
which had kept us safe for seven decades from just such excesses, are ensconced in
comfortable retirement, ordinary people are being asked to pay for their shenanigans
through taxes and cuts in social programs.  Of course the expenditure on the dud
securities to aid the banks is many times the cost of the social programs, but seldom
deserving of even a footnote in the newspapers.

In a sane world, if only half the money spent on the wars was used to better the lives
of the common people in the countries invaded or attacked, the U.S. would be the
most loved instead of the most hated nation on earth.  And if Congress and the
Executive worked to improve the lives of people it represents instead of placating
lobbying groups, this country would again become the land of milk and honey and a
beacon to the rest of the world -- as indeed it was at the end of the Second World