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
March 16, 2012

Mr. President:  The nascent Afghan peace talks are over before they
started.  Even Mr. Karzai has pulled out.  The Taliban, never really
interested, are packing their bags.  Come to think of it, the last substantial
talks were with a con-artist cobbler claiming to be Taliban, who lived the
good life for a while until he was found out.  The so-called weak, dispirited
Taliban of the military brass, self-serving politicians and compliant media are
preparing for the fighting season as mountain passes shed their snow.

The immediate excuse for the bust-up is the massacre of 16 sleeping
villagers, including nine children, by a berserk U.S. soldier.  This was his
fourth tour of duty.  So we are short of soldiers and require the ones we
have to serve again and again on combat tours of duty.  Worth asking ... how
many senators and congressmen have sons serving in combat battalions?  
Answer ... virtually none.  And in our present culture no white feathers, and
certainly no honor bound sense of service for these stalwarts.

Here is a challenge to every Washington, D.C. politician.  How would you like
to spend a month , just one month, as an embed at a Forward Operating Base
in Afghanistan taking your turn going out on Humvee patrols?  They are
welcome to decline the challenge but then are required to wear a white
feather on their lapel for the course of our "war on terror".

The 'emo' are apparently punk rockers.  But in present day Iraq, it has
become a term symbolizing the non-conformist lifestyle, especially
homosexual.  A recent spate of attacks (by ostensibly government aided
gangs ) have killed 58 young men in the last month.

Women, too, no longer enjoy the freedoms of the past.  Whatever else could
be said (and there was plenty) of the Saddam, and Gaddafi, regimes, their
left-leaning socialist philosophy offered equal rights for women.  And
Saddam did not target gays or pop music fans; his ire was reserved for
regime critics or opponents.  The narrow vision of the replacement regimes
have cast back women's rights at least a a half-century.

Helicopters continue to drop out of the sky in Afghanistan  -- this time killing
twelve Turkish soldiers.  The latter must have the lowest profile of all the
NATO forces for almost no one had heard of them being there.  No doubt, a
month or two later, there will be a brief admission the helicopter came under
enemy fire.  Almost always, there is.