Note from the Editor

In his essay on savage violence, Two Epiphanies, Milo Clark tells that Peter the Great of Russia, another deeply-committed Humanitarian in his time, "turned the world upside down by ordering maps to show north at the bottom and south at the top." With W's White House down in the Texan dust we felt that Swans, too, should get an upside-down look.

So, we'll start by kindly asking you to read and then, as always here, to form your own opinion. With this in mind, we are privileged to bring to you a song of innocence, a compelling and moving poem by John Bart Gerald accompanied by an etching by artist Julie Maas. Swans rarely uses graphics but the combination of the poem and the etching is quite provoking.

In addition to his essay on savagery, Clark provides a bibliography for those of you who may be further interested in Central Asia and history, and he disserts on the Silk Road in Irrelevant Precision. Irrelevant precision, by the way, "is a final form of fact evasion that helps mightily when the need comes to perpetuate the activity trap."

One factor in the destruction of the Yugoslav Federation that has not made the front (or back) pages of the main media is religion; a touchy issue that has been obscured by the so-called inter-ethnic factor as the source of the conflicts. Ethnicity....the humanitarian baloney of the famed "International Community," that bunch of 19 countries bent on imposing their will on the world through NATO! David Jovanovic, in Religion and War in Yugoslavia, and Alma Hromic in her Afterword, The Confusion of Language, Ethnicity and Religion, beg to differ with the pre-packaged explanations of the carving of their country as disseminated by Officialdom. Jovanovic's analysis is extensively researched and documented.

Finally, let's ask a question. What comes to mind when one thinks of International Justice? A kangaroo court here? Another there? Why not be more proactive, as Michael Stowell thoughfully advocates in Proactivism at The Hague? Isn't it about time?

Upside-down or downside-up, one way or the other, or the other way around, enjoy this rendition!


Poetry and Art

John Bart Gerald:  a song of innocence
With an Etching by Julie Maas

they sing in chile
in an empty stadium
seventy thousand more
sing in el salvador
they sing in peru
brazil guatemala a song for you   More...

John Bart Gerald's poems have appeared internationally and rarely since the Sixties.


Historical Reflections

Milo Clark:  Two Epiphanies, From the Aegean Sea to the Bering Straits

Historian John Lukacs set me off some months ago. He speculated that much of contemporary historical writings were both unhistorical and ahistorical. He was suggesting that out of some liberal bias, blinders may be more like it, history as written neglects a core of human behavior, namely, barbarity.   More...

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



Milo Clark:  Bibliography

Here is a list of books that relates to Milo Clark's essay, Two Epiphanies, From the Aegean Sea to the Bering Straits.   More...

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



Milo Clark:  Irrelevant Precision

Now and then a book jumps on me, bangs me silly and trips off much more than its words suggest. Jan Myrdal with photographs by his wife, Gun Kessle, comes out of Sweden by way of who knows how many previous incarnations as Chinese. Add in a lot of time in this life spent in remote corners of China during the crucial years bracketing WWII.   More...

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


The World - Yugoslavia and Religion

David Jovanovic:  Religion and War in Yugoslavia

The 1990s wars in Yugoslavia have often been called, in literature and in the media, an ethnic conflict; endless newspaper articles and television broadcasts have analysed results of "ethnic" hatred in the former Yugoslav republics. However, the media sources of information on the Yugoslav conflict failed to mention that over 80% of population of the former Yugoslav federation (20 million out of 22 million total) spoke the same language, Serbo-Croat, as their mother tongue. The ethnic sameness of these people was obvious to anyone who spent any time in the region during the wars. Still, both TV reporters and foreign policy makers failed to comment on the simple fact that the conflict in Yugoslavia was an intra-ethnic rather than an inter-ethnic one.   More...

David Jovanovic is a Montenegro-born journalist who lives in Toronto, Canada.



Alma A. Hromic:  The Confusion of Language, Ethnicity and Religion

The confusion of language, ethnicity and religion has nowhere been as pronounced as in the country once known as Yugoslavia, now no more than a squabbling patchwork quilt of Cross-versus-Crescent conflicts which range from acrimony to particularly inventive and shudder-worthy bloodbaths which seem to be rooted (much like the conflict itself) in the Dark Ages.   More...

Alma Hromic is an acclaimed novelist and a poet who was born in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. She is the co-author with R. A. Deckert of Letters from the Fire


International Law

Michael W. Stowell:  Proactivism at The Hague

Of late, much to-do about the International War Crimes Tribunal (IWCT) and its cover-up of NATO war crimes and kidnapping of Milosevic has inundated many activist list-servers and internet magazines. Myself and others who write for Swans have spent considerable time and effort researching, writing and agonizing over and about the deteriorating situation in the Balkans and the disgusting activities of the IWCT and certain members of NATO. Let's consider a different approach.   More...

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



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Created: August 31, 2001