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 18, 2016

Mr. President:  Why is the US so enamored of regime change.  From coups, too many
to count, in Latin America to destroying democracy in 1950s Iran to the present.  To
anyone with basic knowledge of this history, what is most galling is the hypocrisy.

We are constantly being told we have brought freedom to women in Afghanistan.  The
truth is they had the freedom under a progressive regime, which happened to lean
towards the Soviet Union.  That was unacceptable to Zbigniew Brzezinski, President
Jimmy Carter's staunchly anti-Soviet adviser.  So they stoked up the religious
extremists and we got the Mujahideen and the fighting warlords, resulting in the

Women in Iraq participated actively in the country's economic life -- Zaha Hadid the
famous architect is an example of those times -- until regime change.  Ditto in Libya
which boasted the highest Human Development Index on the African continent until
another regime change pitting Islamic extremists against a secular government -- as
in Afghanistan in the late 1970s and 1980s -- supported heavily by airpower so the
fight was brief.

Then Syria where proxies of proxies have been used.  We facilitated arms transfers
from Saudi Arabia to the so-called moderate rebels some allied with al-Qaeda.  The
only difference this time ... the army staunchly stood with the regime and Russia said
enough is enough.

These countries have been devastated.  Millions of refugees pouring into Europe are
destabilizing the fragile European Union.

Much used to be made of Assad Sr.'s brutal put down of a rebellion by Islamic
fundamentalists in Homs.  The death toll widely circulated (possibly inflated) was
10,000.  Now that hundreds of thousands are dead, the horror the 10,000
represented appears paltry in comparison.

As toddler's bodies wash up on beaches and little children die of cold in refugee
camps, the White House sends a blurb on the new Supreme Court Associate Justice
nominee's commendable effort as tutor (one hour every two weeks) to school children
in the D.C. public school system.  Can't the teachers teach?

Meanwhile this White House is directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of close
to a half million and the displacement-ruined lives of many millions more.  What a post
script to a Nobel Peace Prize.  Now that is a hypocrisy to cause shudders.

Could Donald Trump do much worse?