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
February 27, 2015

Mr. President: Boris Nemtsov was assassinated today in Moscow. No one knows who
killed him so there are numerous theories. The mainstream press here was quick to
blame Mr. Putin, although the charge begs the question, why? Mr. Putin's support is
at an unassailable 85 percent in the polls. Mr. Nemtsov could barely garner five
percent. Itina Khakamada, a Nemstsov ally in the
opposition, said it was clearly not in Mr. Putin's interest, but was aimed at rocking the
situation.  Former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev added the killing was an
attempt to destabilize by ratcheting up tensions between the opposition and the

Since such a scenario benefits the U.S., many in the alternative media are blaming
the CIA. A mass protest march for up to 50,000 people had been planned for Sunday,
and the assassination ahead of the rally can be expected to raise the temperature.

Some believe the U.S., while not able to stage a popular revolt in Russia, is trying to
stage a palace coup by convincing a significant section of the oligarchy and big
business that their financial interests depend on U.S. support in the world economic
arena, and hoping they will garner enough military support.

Why must we always be in conflict? Why this desire to dominate which antagonizes?  
Here is a counter example:

Venezuela has an elected President but is demonized here. The list of sanctions
grows – the latest ratcheting up on February 2.  Of course, China has stepped in with
loans of $48 billion since 2007. The money is being used to diversify the economy
(for when the oil runs out), build and repair infrastructure,
develop technological capability, and clearly for China to reduce the U.S.'s economic
clout. It has succeeded.  Its trade with CELAC (Community of Latin American and
Caribbean States, a counter to OAS the U.S. dominated Organization of American
States) has grown from $15 billion in 2001 to $261
billion in 2012 and China is their third largest export market.  By the way, Hugo
Chavez originated CELAC, which now incorporates 33 countries from Mexico to the
southern tip of Chile.

On the heels of the Chinese workers who come to work on the technological projects
come the shopkeepers and suppliers to provide for their needs (as has happened in
Africa). There are now 50,000 Chinese settled in Venezuela.

The Chinese do not demand neo­liberal policies as a condition for their loans, they
simply trade – projects and technology in exchange for raw materials. What are they
getting?  Well, firstly they are getting their loans repaid – $24 billion so far from
Venezuela – but above all they have become a counterweight to U.S. domination in a
vast region stretching from Mexico down to and including South America.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Maduro the Venezuelan president, announced, in January 2015,
the Chinese will invest another $20 billion in Venezuela. The money will be used for
infrastructure, technology and energy projects, and housing.

China, in its desire for a multi­polar world, has become a major player in the U.S.'s
backyard and an economic force to be reckoned with.  In the quest for multipolarity, it
has Russia's support, and of many countries tired of the economic hit men from the
IMF and the World Bank.