Note from the Editor

One month ago, Jeff Lindemeyer wrote about the Iraqi Silent Genocide. Today, in a more extensive and documented analysis, Iraqi Sanctions: Myth and Fact, Lindemeyer debunks the myths propagated by Officialdom to maintain the strangling knot of the economic sanctions around the neck of the Iraqi civilian population. Over 600,000 children have died as a direct consequence of these sanctions. How long will we have to endure this criminal endeavor in our names and to our shame? Please, do not say "I did not know; I am not sure..." Take action instead. Print out his work, mail it to your local paper and e-mail it to the entire list in your e-mail address book. Ask each of the recipients to do alike. Then keep on reading this rendition. Please...

In his short piece, Inhumane Civilization, Stephen Gowans demonstrates how much the fabric of our social system is debased. In a sense it explains why our society could not care less about the conflicts and the destructions we either seed or rage all over the world. As Milo Clark writes in Dirty War, "Who needs people alive?" That barbarity is both norm and normative rather than exception should not excuse nor condone our own. There's always the same apathetic behavior translated into such whines as "I don't know....I am not sure....they all do the same." No, they all do not do the same and for those who want to know more, Stephen Gowans has compiled a collection of Quotes to Ponder that will help to further one's understanding of our social fabric.

Although the 2000 US presidential election was no laughing matter, Deck Deckert reviews some satirical Web sites, in We're Not Getting Over It, that may help ease your Bush pain. Peter Philips, the director of Project Censored, asks whether we can influence corporate media to turn away from sensationalized hype and cover important issues, in Heartless America; and FAIR looks at the media's kid glove treatment of the retiring racist and homophobe, North Carolina Senior Senator Jesse Helms, in Media Downplay Bigotry of Jesse Helms.

The ICTY in The Hague carries on its farcical proceedings, which Pedja Zoric reviews with some anger and sarcasm in Clown Del Ponte, and our Canadian friends will certainly appreciate the poem by David Morgan, Mausoleum of Parliament. Finally, Milo Clark had a bout of existentialism that left him with more Questions than answers.

Enjoy this issue and do not forget to form your own opinion. Please let your friends, relatives, co-workers and colleagues know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.


Barbarity, Here, There, Everywhere

Jeff Lindemyer:  Iraqi Sanctions: Myth and Fact

August 6, 2001 marked 11 years of malnutrition, 132 months of disease, and 4,017 days of undrinkable water. Every few hours another child dies—a child who knew nothing of the "Persian Gulf War," nothing of the oil-for-food program, and nothing of weapons inspections. The child only knew that she wanted to live. How many more parents must weep for their fallen children before we realize what we have been doing?   More...

Jeff Lindemyer is a student at UC Berkeley, California, who is currently in Minnesota where he works as an intern for US Senator Paul Wellstone.



Stephen Gowans:  Inhumane Civilization

Canadian judge Ted Matlow has a point. People who are awaiting trial shouldn't be locked away in prisons. The law says they're presumed innocent, until proved guilty. So how can we justify locking them away?

Matlow, an Ontario Superior Court of Justice, wrote an August 22 Op-ed piece in the Toronto Globe and Mail (Why Jail Innocent People?), deploring the widespread practice in Anglo-American judicial systems of jailing the accused, before they're proven guilty.   More...

Stephen Gowans is a writer and political activist who lives in Ottawa, Canada.



Milo Clark:  Dirty War

History, as Lukacs suggests, is redolent, replete, overrun and overwhelmed by barbarity, savagery and untold perhaps untellable horrors. Barbarity is both norm and normative, therefore, rather than exception. To ignore barbarity is to ignore history.   More...

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


US Politics - Anti-Bushism, the Media, and Ol' Jesse Helms

Deck Deckert:  We're Not Getting Over It

There is a ditty that I first heard when I was a child mumble years ago, and heard again only a few days ago:

The election is now over;
The results are now known;
The will of the people
Has clearly been shown.
Let's forget all our quarrels
And let bitterness pass.
I'll hug your elephant,   More...

A former copy, wire and news editor, Deck Deckert is a freelance writer. He is the author, with Alma Hromic of Letters from the Fire.



Peter Phillips:  Heartless America

Are Americans becoming heartless? Are we less sensitive to others? Is our society really becoming corrupt and degraded?   More...

Peter Phillips is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and Director of Project Censored.



FAIR:  Media Downplay Bigotry of Jesse Helms

News that North Carolina's Jesse Helms will retire from the Senate when his term is up in 2003 received polite coverage in mainstream media. USA Today (8/22/01) described Helms' views as "unabashed and outspoken conservatism." To the Washington Post (8/22/01), Helms is one of the Senate's "most ardent champions of conservative causes...   More...

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), focuses its efforts on media analysis, critiques and news reports. FAIR can be reached at


Political Quotes

Stephen Gowans:  Quotes to Ponder

Solid collection of highly instructive quotes regarding a series of topics such as American Foreign Policy, National Interests, Government Debt, Democracy, Yugoslavia, Macedonia (FYROM), Practical Politics, Rebellion, Korea, Sanctions, Military Spending, Air War, Collapse of Communism, Vietnam, Hiroshima, Afghanistan, and many more.   More...

Stephen Gowans is a writer and political activist who lives in Ottawa, Canada.



Milo Clark:  Questions

I am left with little beyond questions.

       What is a balance for barbarity?   More...

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


The Hague (ICTY) With Pained Humor

Pedja Zoric:  Clown Del Ponte

Has anybody found the transcript from the ICTY hearing against Mr. Slobodan Milosevic on August 30, 2001? All of the headlines in the western media go something like: "Milosevic Facing Genocide Charges."   More...

A friend of Swans, Pedja Zoric is a computer guru who lives in Vancouver, Canada.


Poetry about Yugoslavia and in disbelief

A Poem by David Morgan:  Mausoleum of Parliament

The corridors of Parliament
like passageways of tombs
are heavy with futility
and great emptiness.   More...

David Morgan is the president of VANA, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, Canada.



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Created: September 14, 2001