Weekly Letter to President Obama
Copyright © 2010
ofthisandthat.org. All rights
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
August 30, 2013
Mr. President: Unquestioning and obedient, our press is beating the drums of war.
Undeniable evidence ... intercepted phone conversations. Takes us back to the
days before the Iraq war; to Colin Powell and his now discredited and mocked UN
speech where, irony of ironies, the only person stating the true facts was the Iraq
In Britain, the Prime Minister rules parliament. Yet, despite Mr. Cameron's fervent
rhetoric the past few days, he has been given a resounding defeat. It is a first for a
military intervention issue in modern times. He was unable to provide any evidence of
the Assad government's culpability -- that is what the MPs claim. For them, our
undeniable evidence has been unconvincing and eminently deniable.
Having lost our staunchest ally and with Germany not on board, do we still go on?
That is for you to decide. We will go (if we do) not only with evidence that is likely to
join the "mushroom cloud smoking gun" of the Iraq war in our annals of history, but as
the air force for the al-Qaida jihadists in Iraq.
It is surreal, and one wonders if it is not the result of the stale air and ideas in the
confines of the White House. For example, aside from Syria, how about casting a
wider net for the next Fed Chairman. Lawrence Summers may be an able economist,
but he is most certainly in part responsible for our last financial disaster. Anyone
doubting this has to explain how it could have happened if the Glass-Steagall firewall
between investment and commercial banking had been maintained. They cannot. He
was also a miserable failure as Harvard president. The question is who is best able to
handle the aftermath of trillions of dollars generated/printed to buy up government
and mortgage-backed bonds -- quantitative easing. Necessary perhaps to keep us
afloat, but can the economy pick up the pace after this force-feeding eases. The task
ahead is not easy and a choice based on the power of lobbies for the two candidates
(in the news) could be a bad mistake.
In Berlin, the 2013 Whistleblower of the Year Prize has been awarded by a group of
NGOs .. drumroll please ... to Edward Snowden. As for Bradley Manning accused by
many of having blood on his hands, no one, including the Pentagon's investigating
general, has been able to show that his leaks caused a single death.
When we talk about red lines being crossed and how history will remember our
actions, one cannot help but remember the Iraq-Iran war. When Saddam Hussein
used chemical weapons against Iran, instead of expressing moral outrage, we actually
aided him through spy satellite photos of Iranian troop deployments. How complicit is
a country supplying targeting information?
How hypocritical then is our claim to be arbiters of right and wrong, and how can Colin
Powell possibly be out on news shows calling Assad a pathological liar? He might well
be, but who is doing the name calling? One more question. When did China and
Russia, one and a half billion people, stop being members of the international
When is the killing going to stop? Igniting coups, counter-coups, rebellions,
revolutions in the age of the internet is making the U.S. the most hated country in the
world. Is that what we want?
Meanwhile, Washington has become a kleptocracy as documented by Mark Leibovich
in his latest book, "This Town".