Note from the Editor

No 9/11 retrospective here. Much too much has already been clamored. We'll remember in silence. Let the president deliver another of his unforgettable speeches for the commemoration before forcefully addressing the United Nations the morning after, transfixed by emotions and moral certitudes. The outcome is quite predictable. Just watching the PR choreography of the Administration's top brass on the Sunday news programs told the story (when will people realize that Colin Powell is neither a moderate nor a dove?). Not only are we going for regime change, we are already well advanced in the operation, softening Iraq's belly on a weekly basis through repeated aerial attacks that do not even make the news in the US. Why bother to tell the American people about the 36th bombing of Iraqi installations since the beginning of the year? After all it's just routine. But Milo Clark, Deck Deckert, Philip Greenspan and David Lamb will tell you a few things about Iraq that the main media purposely omits.

Did you hear about the Earth Summit, aka the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa? Another pleasant choreography that stayed pretty much under the radar screen as if it had never taken place. The US is deeply committed to sustainable development....for the remaining of the world, that is; so long as we stabilize or even freeze the percentages of resources and wastes at their present levels. The 4 percent of the world (the US) will be content to keep its 25 percent of the pie, thank you. At least, Colin Powell was booed and jeered when he addressed the Assembly, a small comfort for the ever losing and starving legions around the world -- but again it barely made the news. By and large, it was a great success thanks to the US and the oil producing countries, as Michael Stowell shows! From Jan Baughman's perspective, it's all just a matter of sustainable disparity.

Surprisingly, Gregory Elich's recent article on Zimbabwe received a lot of negative feedback that we are addressing with, among other things, an exceptional report by the Editor of the New African, Baffour Ankomah. Elich responds to the attack on his 'Journalistic Dereliction', and Gilles d'Aymery examines the criticism -- which was, as is often the case, long on rhetoric -- and the actualities researched and reported by Elich.

Finally, poetry by Alma Hromic and Sandy Lulay that will quench your thirst for words and fill your mind with imagery.

Enjoy this rendition and, as always, form your OWN opinion. Then, let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  From Hawaii to Iraq and Islam

Pohakuloa, Hawaii Island. Site of an army training area in the saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. Hawaii's two great mountains. Sacred to Hawaiians. A Cathedral of Hawaii.

[...] Strip away everything to get to core, center, essentials of modern society. Get this point and you get details like Iraq. Where are the guts, the gore and the slimy actualities to be found?

[...] Islam, in common with all religions, is not a monolith (a single rock). The rock on which Peter is alleged to have built the Christian Church has been reduced to rubble if not dust.   More...


Back to Iraq

Deck Deckert:  Oh Say Can You See

Allied troops entering concentration camps at the end of World War II were sickened and appalled at what they found there -- mass graves, uncovered bodies stacked like cord wood, sick and starving living skeletons, most of whom died within hours or days of the camps' liberation.

The allies listened in contemptuous disbelief to the claims of nearby German civilians that they hadn't known what was going on.   More...


David Lamb:  Letter To My US Congressional Representatives Regarding Iraq

I write to ask you to act against an invasion of Iraq by the U.S., and to act in support of the Constitution, international law, internationally-accepted human rights conventions, and the democratic, rule-of-law principles that our country was founded upon.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Democracy Because I Say So

When I see my grandchildren refuse to eat the good nutritious food that is offered them but opt instead for the junk foods, candies and sweets, it reminds me of the days when I was a kid. I was pretty much doing the same thing! Mom was always upset. She knew best but I was too stubborn to listen.   More...


Sustainable Development?

Michael W. Stowell:  Grease Monkeys

Nothing scrambles the political world like reality. Just when we're told 'us against them' means America versus Iraq, or Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or Egypt, or Libya, or any combination thereof, we find those rulers with vested interests in a petroleum-based world economy bobbing their heads in agreement. "Wealth Not Health" is the sign they're showing; forget about the health of the planet and all its inhabitants, the grease monkeys have gas to pump and a killing to make!   More...


Jan Baughman:  Sustainable Disparity

West Nile virus is yet another among all of the threats we're faced with today. You may think of New York when you think of West Nile virus, but particularly hard hit are the sultry Delta states, Louisiana and Mississippi. Louisiana has had 222 cases, with 9 deaths. Mississippi has had 119 cases and 3 deaths. The count for New York is 16 and 2.   More...


Colonialism, Nationalism and Zimbabwe Naysayers

Gilles d'Aymery:  The Anti-Mugabe Brigade

"Surely, journalists must ask themselves: is it not possible to break away from the pack?" once asked John Pilger. "And," he mused on, "do the media courses turning out the next generation examine and analyse such institutional failure (honourable exceptions aside) to keep the record straight? Are media students warned that true journalists must be sceptical of all authority, and that their job is to push back screens and lift rocks...?"   More...


Baffour Ankomah:  Zimbabwe: Life After The Election

Zimbabwe is a strange country. It is beautiful and ugly all at the same time. Its natural aesthetic endowments can win any beauty contest at any time. Yet, its land tenure system is so obscene that it throws out in your face all the ugliness in human greed. In short, it stinks! But let's concentrate on aesthetics for the meantime. The beauty of Zimbabwe demands that any tourist worth his or her salt must see it.   More...


Alex Jay Berman:  Wholly Derelict Journalism (Letter to the Editor)

I am a past contributor to -- and a frequent reader of -- Swans. While I do not always agree with all the views presented therein, it is very rare that an article strikes me as wholly derelict in its journalistic duties. The article by Gregory Elich, Zimbabwe Under Siege, is well-researched, well-documented, and well-written. What it is NOT, however, is "well-done."   More...


Gregory Elich:  My Journalistic Dereliction (Response to Mr. Berman's Letter)

Mr. Berman's letter illustrates the point I made about selective concern in the opening paragraph of my article. His outrage is reserved for the case of Vincent Schultz, a white commercial farmer who owns a 1,400-acre farm. This is approximately 200 times the size of the average black owned farm, and is situated on land far more suitable for agriculture than the barren lands blacks were herded onto during the colonial era.   More...



Alma A. Hromic:  Going Home: ix - The One Place

[Ed. ninth part of a ten-part poem]

Home. The one, the only place
where the true umbilical of your soul
is to a womb of ancient birth attached still, and always.   More...


Sandy Lulay:  Poet In A Dark Room

Cracked mirrors break the sun where cobwebs ride
Upon the haunted concentration of
Soul lines; the poet's breath caught and pressed tight
Between ink and dust.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

D. W. Buffa:  Short Excerpt of Conversation With a Psychiatrist

"There's something I've always wanted to ask."

Yes, he replied carefully.

"You know that old line about if you speak to God, you're ok, but if God speaks to you, you're not?"   More...


Letters to the Editor

Iraq, Lord Kitchener, and more



– If you wish to receive an e-mail regarding each new rendition (twice a month) with the Note from the Editor and the URL to each article, please send an e-mail with "Subscribe Swans" in the subject line. Please also include your first/last name in the body of the message.



« Previous | Current Issue | Next »


Created: September 16, 2002