Weekly Letter to the President
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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 30, 2018 (posted April 2, 2018)
Mr. President: Kim Jong Un and his sister conclude their visit to China continuing a
relationship once described by Chairman Mao as closer than 'lips and teeth'.
Whatever conclusions political gurus might draw, one thing is certain: President Xi
made public his support of China's long-term ally.
Trump seeing the odds of success at the meeting with Kim lengthen is twisting the
South Korean President's arm. Mr. Moon is now told Trump may delay
implementation of the South Korea trade deal which, among other things, grants
exemptions against aluminum and steel tariffs. So President Moon better get cracking
on Trump's North Korea deal. A tall order, for how can anyone seriously believe Kim
is going to give up his country's exclusive new status as ICBM fortified and nuclear
armed. Meanwhile, Russia's latest Sarmet RS-28 (or Satan 2) underwent a second
launch test on Thursday. With hypersonic MIRVs up to 16 (depending on size)
warheads, it is reputed to be invincible. Such is the world we live in when there was a
time during Reagan-Gorbachev when there was hope we would no longer live under
this cloud. Not to be, the U.S. started enlarging NATO and chipping away at the
border countries, some even part of the USSR.
If ever matters can get worse, one can trust Trump to make them. Following the
removal of General H.R. MacMaster as National Security Adviser, the grown-ups are
almost gone. Replacing him is the Malvolio of the foreign policy establishment.
Hated for good reason by Democrats and Republicans -- the latter refused to confirm
John Bolton as George Bush's ambassador to the UN -- he is a confirmed liar and
warmonger. For example, he claimed Fidel Castro was developing chemical and
On the PBS Newshour, former President Carter called him 'the worst mistake' made
by Donald Trump. He is against the Iran nuclear deal and has called for a preemptive
strike against North Korea. A certain lack of imagination is self-evident for Seoul is
within its artillery range, not to mention the 35,000 American troops at the border. He
still defends the disastrous Iraq war despite the horrendous aftermath, and which
Trump himself considers a monumental error.
He is also associated with Pamela Geller, the notorious Islamophobe, and the virulent
Muslim-hating Robert Spencer. Bolton obliged them by writing a forward to their book
in 2010. The two were quoted 174 times by Anders Brevik in his racist manifesto
targeting Muslims. When he killed 77 people in Norway's worst terrorist attack, he
declared they were aiding the Islamization of Europe. They were young adults at a
Labor Party youth camp.
John Bolton is also chairman of the Gatestone Institute, which often purveys
anti-Muslim fearmongering. The latest is 'Why Christians Need Self-Rule in Iraq'.
Citing killings of Christians, it conveniently omits the killings of Muslims by IS.
Trump has long expressed dissatisfaction with the Iran nuclear deal. With allies in
Bolton and the new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he may decide to pull out of the
deal despite the opposition of the other five signatory countries. If not all-out war, it
surely sets the stage for turmoil in the region.
The country has become a ship being steered on to shoals, relying on some merciful
deity to see it through; perhaps one which through the ages has calmly observed the
demise of Pharaohs, Caesars and Mughal Emperors. What then are the odds on a