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 21, 2014

Mr. President:  To add perspective to the Ukraine crises, it is worth noting the steady
march of NATO towards Russia in the last two decades.  Despite original assurances
to Gorbachev, NATO has moved into Eastern Europe and missiles are being installed
with ridiculous justifications:  among the laughable being the missile defense system
in Poland ostensibly to defend against Iranian missiles.

But the Russians have drawn a line at neighbors.  When Bush proposed NATO
membership for Georgia and Ukraine, Russian troops entered Georgia slicing off a
section as buffer.  Ukraine then left alone has now suffered a coup supplanting a
democratic government favoring Moscow with an unelected one aligning itself with the
EU and America.  Barring evidence, commonsense alone points to Western
culpability.  Why the unceasing pressure on Russia is hard to fathom when it
proffered a face-saving disengagement from Syria in the form of Assad relinquishing
chemical weapons not so long ago and serious economic warfare would crash a
fragile western economic recovery.

The Russians as a consequence to the coup have annexed Crimea to protect their
Black Sea fleet.  What's next only Putin knows, although his preference seems to be
to avoid any military involvement that would alienate the Ukrainians.  Trying to
incorporate Ukraine into NATO is clearly not acceptable to Russia, and therefore we
should ensure a clear understanding among all parties that Ukraine should remain a
buffer state.  The clear impression of our involvement in the coup through intercepted
phone calls and other evidence does not bolster trust among the Russians.  The real
question is whether this country will ever get past the cold war.