Letters to the Editor

(February 16, 2004)


Regarding Gilles d'Aymery's Another Friendly Blow To Ralph Nader

To the Editor:

Read this article with interest. I e-mailed Ralph and told him not to run. Reason: American political history demonstrates that third party candidates take votes away from the party they are most like, and Bush is SO dangerous, we need him out even if we get something not too different from him. Maybe next time then for Ralph. Or, why doesn't he run as a Democrat?

Joe Kresse
Redwood City, California, USA - January 20, 2004


To the Editor:

After reading this disjointed, long-winded, unclever barbed rant and ramble, I sit here with a puzzled look on my face. (slack jawed with a grimace and puzzlement). I take it (after some reflection) that the point of the article is to smear those with valid concerns abut [sic] the Republican Provacateur [sic] Nader (fascist is as fascist does, never mind the ultrrrra rrrrrevolutionary rhetoric. The Trotsky fascists taught us this). I can only surmiss [sic] that since the author knows that the people who oppose the candidacy provacateur [sic] Nader have valid issues and the history of the 2000 selection to bolster their beliefs......that the author grasps at anything to smear them and only makes himself look like a hateful schizophrenic trapped alone in a void where he believes innuendo, smears devoid of substance and coherency label the target instead of himself. Do yourself a favor and re-read what you write before you put it on this site. You ruin your credibility.

Some town, some state, USA - January 25, 2004


Regarding Milo Clark's Lies: The Grease Of Politics, Philip Greenspan's A Plethora Of 'Road Maps', Steven Yoder's The Language of Evasion, and Tanweer Akram's Historian And The Distortion of History

To the Editor:

Four of the articles in the 19 January edition of SWANS dealt with some aspect of the defense of the dominant ideology by the secular priesthood, or 'intelligentsia,' who are commentators and academics devoted to serving the interests of power through propaganda. The SWANS authors were Milo Clark ("Lies: The Grease Of Politics"), Philip Greenspan ("A Plethora Of 'Road Maps'"), Steven Yoder ("The Language Of Evasion") and Tanweer Akram ("Historian And The Distortion Of History").

I found it humorous to see Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. being taken to task, and rightly so, by Tanweer Akram, after having read similar drubbings of Schlesinger by Chomsky. It is, in fact, some Chomsky essays I wish to recommend. While one can find many instances in Chomsky's vast political canon that speaks to the issues raised in the four articles I've noted, I think that the beginning of the book Towards A New Cold War, (1982 Pantheon Books, 2003 The New Press) will particularly delight those who enjoyed the articles.

In particular, I am thinking of the essays "Foreign Policy And The Intelligentsia," "Intellectuals And The State," and Chomsky's "Introduction" to the book. Weaving the greasy lies of the language of evasion into 'roadmaps' for public consumption and social control is the source of employment and route to acceptance into the circles of power, for people who have mental facility and a capability with words they wish to parley into lucrative positions, say as managers of official history. It is a help to such career ambitions to have no morals.

I found the essay "Foreign Policy And The Intelligentsia" particularly relevant to the interests of a number of SWANS commentators, and to the political situation of today, with the Iraq War.

The question raised at this point is simply how would we get past this present situation -- lies, bad 'roadmaps,' official evasion, distortion of facts by government and its corporate owners? I suppose the short answer is "the social revolution" with the realization that there is no real short answer.

Perhaps the "next step" would be the creation (expansion) of a continuing progressive literature and constituency, out of which stable institutions (unions? political parties? schools? newspapers & media?) might form, and act as sources of social and political action. "In the beginning was the word..."

I realize it is difficult for any author to easily see solutions to all the problems identified in their essays, but I think it would be good if they reminded themselves to try. Why?, because they may just get such an insight, and positive suggestions -- even if infrequent -- help a portion of the reading public to internalize published critiques, and possibly agree with you. People are depressed by unrelieved complaints, however justified. The other reason I urge authors to try to visualize some solution to the problems they identify, is because it may awaken them to the possibilities offered by others, and could accelerate the coalescence of politically effective ideas and groups.

Manuel García, Jr.
Oakland, California, USA - January 22, 2004


Regarding Gerard Donnelly Smith's Geronimo's Skull (March 2003)

To the Editor:

I just saw the poem Geronimo's Skull at your website.

Are you aware of the fact that Geronimo's grave was robbed in 1918 by Prescott Bush, when he was a soldier at Ft. Sill? The skull was taken back to the "tomb" of the Skull and Bones society at Yale. This was a "tribute" to their "goddess" Eulogia. The story is told in the book Secrets of the Tomb by Yale graduate Alexandra Robbins. Go here for an excerpt:


Prescott, George, and George W. Bush were all members of the S&B society. The same is true of John Kerry and former US Senator David Boren, currently president of the University of Oklahoma. Apaches should be demanding of these men that the skull be returned to its proper burial place.

Michael Wright
Norman, Oklahoma, USA - February 1, 2004


Regarding RESISTANCE: In The Eye Of The American Hegemon, a Special Issue on Iraq with a collection of 19 essays

Dear Gilles,

I've only just begun reading your special Iraq issue. As far as I've read, it appears that this Swans' issue contains the most authoritative and comprehensive analysis of the US invasion of Iraq that's been published to date and could hold that title for a long time to come.

I've added a graphic link to the special issue to the right-hand column of Press Action.

Thanks for all the hard work and bravo on a job well done. Now, I need to get back to reading the issue.

Mark Hand
Press Action,
Arlington, Virginia, USA - February 2, 2004


To the Editor:

I found my way to SWANS this morning, and read Sara Flounders and John Catalinotto fine work entitled "Depleted Uranium: The Pentagon Betrayal Of GIs And Iraqis."

Naturally, as an ecologist and Natural rights activist, this is something I have been outraged by ever since learning of the use of DU by King George I in the first attack on Iraq. Thank you for providing a valuable resource for alerting others to this insane, blatantly criminal violation of morality, human decency and fundamental human rights. After six years living and networking in Europe, exchanging e-mails with NGOs there, in the U.S. and in Latin America, I have relocated back to Seattle, Washington to help oust Bush II and his coterie of alien outlaws, from the White House into "The Big House" where sociopaths belong.

I would like to invite you to the webpage for P.E.A.C.E., an individual global communications effort I began thirteen years ago.


Links at the bottom of the page include sites of photographic beauty and possible interest. In particular I would like to direct your attention to the blog at


which is constructed for legal standing using two Executive Orders signed by President Bill Clinton. No saint, to-be-sure, but President Clinton nevertheless empowered people by issuing these documents which could be employed for legislative effect if enough people become aware of the power of individual complaint, applied to stopping such atrocities as the use of DU and, equally disturbing and destructive, the spraying of glyphosate in Colombia. I'm sure you are aware of the correlation between Round-Up and Fusarium oxysporum, but if not, then see

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=glyphosate+fusarium&b tnG=Google+Search

for several references to this equally apocalyptic disaster-in-process.

The reason I am referring you to this line of thinking is to suggest a course of action which could potentially initiate a process of institutional accountability through consensus. I feel this is the only way to transcend the economic forces which subvert the "self-evident" rights and freedoms to which every creature on this planet is entitled.

I would also like to let you know I will be sending the URL for your work to NGOs all over the world with whom I have been exchanging ideas and strategies for imposing the weight of reason on the entities, whom I feel were best characterized by Jack London in "The Iron Heel."

I happen to believe that a prolonged series of electronically broadcast "global town hall meetings" may be the final recourse for a world under fire from such unconscious behavior, with the non-violent force of coordinated tax-revolt being the economic leverage lacking in serious activism in this country. I hope to find sponsorship to attend the Alternative World Social Forum in Warsaw in April, if you happen to think of where I might inquire.

Thank you for your much-valued time in consideration.

for peace, health, enlightenment,

Paul von Hartmann
Project P.E.A.C.E.
Planet Ecology Advancing Conscious Economics and Between the Dreams Productions
Maui, Hawaii, USA - February 2, 2004


Dear Gilles,

Your book project on Iraq looks excellent. Best wishes with it.

David Theroux
The Independent Institute
Oakland, California, USA - February 2, 2004


Dear Gilles,

I got bogged down with deadlines at my day job and missed my self-imposed Friday deadline for the "PA Hero of the Week" article. But finally, here it is:

Press Action Hero of the Week

It was a pleasure speaking with you (and Jan) last Tuesday. I learned a lot about you and also about the publishing world (and life itself).

I hope you're having a relaxing time in the Anderson Valley. I look forward to working with you in the future.

Mark Hand
Press Action,
Arlington, Virginia, USA - February 7, 2004

Gilles d'Aymery responds:
Dear Mark, Thank you so very much for your phone interview and the very gracious review of my work. As expressed to you, I would have preferred that Tanweer Akram and Jan Baughman be the recipients of your valued nomination and kind words, as well as all the steadfast contributors who collectively make Swans such a worthy project. They deserve the recognition for without their generous cooperation Swans would simply not be -- a fact that goes all the way back to the date of its inception in May 1996. So, on their behalf, THANK YOU!


Dear Gilles,

Congratulations on a super job. Good info, and well presented. I hope you are able to get it out in book form.

Mac Lawrence
Palo Alto, California, USA - February 9, 2004


To The Editor,

Fantastic - congratulations on a stunning issue.

Val Stevenson
London, England - February 13, 2004


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Published February 16, 2004
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