Note from the Editor

In America, we tend to jump from crisis to crisis. A submarine here, a spy plane there, Israel one day, Colombia the other, a missionary plane shot down over Peru, electrical blackouts, school shootings or Iraq bombings. In the news cycle only the stock market, the weather, the 2-minute segment on the President and the ads are a daily constant. Everything else comes and goes. So much comes and goes that we cannot even keep track of much at all. We even forget at times that it even happened and the only opinion we barely have is what we were told in the news. Some issues, however, are worth visiting and revisiting, analysing, pondering time and again. It does foster understanding but most importantly it helps to learn and act accordingly. So, this week we are bringing you four perspectives about international justice and Slobodan Milosevich (also spelled Milosevic), the former president of Yugoslavia. We hope you read them and ponder them; then, as always, please form your own opinion.

Readers who recall the February rendition on the Environment will savor Sandy Lulay's views on Earth Day. Behind all the bells and whistles and beyond the myth, Lulay shows that Earth Day has not worked. It's yet another part of the The Imperial Conservation Crusade.

Milo Clark carries on with his philosophical musing, further delving into the aphorism that "the only way not to play a game is to NOT play." In the poetry corner, a poem by Stephen Vincent Benet with thoughts for an old friend, Lioubomir Mihailovitch.


The World: Yugoslavia, Milosevic, and the IWCT

Aleksandra Priestfield:  Justice

Blaise Pascal knew what he was talking about way back in the mid 1600's when he wrote in one of his famous Lettres Provinciales: "Justice without strength is helpless, strength without justice is tyrannical…unable to make what is just strong, we have made what is strong just."   More...

Aleksandra Priestfield, a writer and an editor, contributes her regular columns to Swans



Michael W. Stowell:  Beneath the Cloaking Device

The International War Crimes Tribunal (IWCT) was founded in 1993 by the United Nations Security Council on the insistence of permanent U.S. representative to the United Nations, Madeline Albright (President of the Tribunal Gabriella Kirk McDonald often refers to Albright as the "mother of the Tribunal"). The normal channel for creating such a court, as the United Nations' Secretary General pointed out at the time, would have been "via an International Treaty established and approved by the Member States permitting them full exercise of their sovereignty." The U.S. undermined the democratic process and imposed an arbitrary interpretation of Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, that permits the Security Council to take "special measures" to restore international peace.   More...

Michael W. Stowell is chairperson of the City of Arcata Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Commission, Humboldt County, CA.



Stevan Konstantinović:  The Economics of Evil:  How much for Milosevic?

By the rules of supply and demand, the international political, media and economic markets have shown that there is one thing above all else that they are interested in on the territories of ex-Yugoslavia, something that could hardly have been called an item easy to manufacture -- atrocities. Few have emerged unscathed from the wars that have been, and are still being, fought on the battleground of the Balkans; both the "victors" and the "vanquished" have been equally tarred with the same brush, if it is indeed at all possible to decide which is which. One might say that the only real losers have been those who have literally lost life or limb. All others strive to find justification for the things they did or did not do. The principle of individual guilt is used by many as an alibi -- many will be able to slip through the loopholes of laws by claming individual innocence in a group guilt, and even more will simply wait it out until time brings oblivion.   More...

Stevan Konstantinović, a member of the Authors' Guild of Vojvodina, is an advisor for culture, education and science in the provincial administration of Vojvodina, Yugoslavia.



Gilles d'Aymery:  The Ritual Murder of Milosevich

Over a decade ago the Euromerican chancelleries spearheaded by Germany, the USA and Britain concocted or hastened the dissolution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia by dousing petrol on the nationalistic fires fueled by economic dislocations in the Balkans. It was a deliberate choice. At the time it was said that to let the fires spread, to actually fuel the fires would open Pandora's Box and would engulf the entire region in chaos. It was argued that the secession of any one republic of the federation would lead to the complete dismemberment of Yugoslavia. The Serbian constituency was particularly alarmed and raised its worried voice in protest. It was not heard and the process began with Slovenia.   More...

Gilles d'Aymery is Swans' publisher and co-editor.


U.S. Society

Sandy Lulay:  EARTH DAY
American Myth?

On April 21, 1970, about 20 million people across the country took part in the first national Earth Day. In 1969 Senator Gaylord Nelson, then the leading environmentalist in the U.S. Congress, created the day for campus teach-ins to help educate young people about the environment.   More...

Sandy Lulay studied Environmental Nutrition with Dr. Annemaria Ballin at the American Academy of Nutrition and has a degree in comprehensive nutrition.


Philosophy and Reflections

Milo Clark:  Project Re-Think Thinking:
Serendipity and Sparks of Genius

It follows from the aphorism, "The only way not to play a game is not to play," that there are alternative processes other than playing mindlessly the myriad games which constitute "being with it."

Adding a second aphorism, "Attempting to solve problems using the tools, techniques and thoughts which create them is silly," gives dimension to possible alternatives.   More...

Milo Clark is a Swans' founding member, advisor and columnist.



Stephen Vincent Benet:  The Quality of Courage

Black trees against an orange sky,
Trees that the wind shook terribly,
Like a harsh spume along the road,
Quavering up like withered arms,
Writhing like streams, like twisted charms
Of hot lead flung in snow. Below
The iron ice stung like a goad,
Slashing the torn shoes from my feet,
And all the air was bitter sleet.   More...

Stephen Vincent Benet [1898-1943] was a poet and author of works of folklore and history.



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Created: August 14, 2001