Gosh, some worried voices are raising the issue of who's going to foot the bill for Gulf War II, a cost estimated at $100 to $200 billion, when, among other burdens, budget deficits are here to stay, health care is spiraling out of control, and the economy is careening ahead toward deflation. Such sentiments, so uncharacteristic of traditional American optimism and ingenuity, almost unpatriotic, saddens us deeply. So, all dressed up in red, white and blue, we, at Swans, would like to offer our contribution to this great battle for freedom and suggest a practical and obvious solution. The Iraqis will pick up the tab in the form of war reparations. It's only fair; after all, aren't we going in to liberate them from their tyrant? They'll reimburse all our expenses and then some, like the bribes paid to Russia, France, Turkey and the like, with free oil deliveries valued at production costs (they should not profit from our generosity, should they?). The fact is that we will by all standard procedures own the oil fields anyway! But, ironically, we are not truly interested in the Iraqi oil fields -- we'll take them as a bonus, for sure -- but, as Gilles d'Aymery demonstrates in "The Black Golden Spigot," we are thinking way ahead, 20 years and more, keeping our eyes on the real prize, Saudi Arabia, and keeping in check China's future appetite. You certainly won't read this researched analysis in the main media!
Actually, the media are blatantly ignoring the true reasons behind the forthcoming naked aggression. Even so-called liberal journalists, such as Christopher Hitchens, have turned coat, transitioning from earlier left politics to apologetics for imperial wars and becoming the spokespersons of the Bush war party, as both Edward Herman -- who focuses his article on Hitchens -- and Michael Stowell explain in their respective works. Guess what, if nations can be bribed so can scoundrels. . . in the name of freedom, of course! Soon enough, the "war on terrorism" will just be a footnote on the resource-based battlefields...
Whoever said that an optimist is someone who doesn't know much or have much information has not read Milo Clark's work! In "Hope," Clark shows that the McDonaldization of the world is not inevitable -- even though the present situation looks rather bleak -- and he recalls how one morning in Prague thousands upon thousands of people peacefully assembled and stretched their arms high clasping keys as the Soviets were releasing their hold on the country and the system was imploding with little violence. Says Clark, "Hope that the Bush monarchy will move on as quietly. Get out your keys. Be ready." Hromic for her part is more pessimistic and takes a futuristic look at artificial intelligence in the form of dolls that see, hear and talk. Are we not only obviating the need for human interaction, but creating a new generation of spies? In light of recent events and the mounting and fabricated paranoia, we won't be excessively surprised to see American neighborhoods form their own spy-watch groups!
Finally, moving from a science fiction future to the powerful memories of a poetic past, we publish the final part of Hromic's 10-part poem, "Going Home," and a timely poem by Rudyard Kipling, "The Ballad of East and West," with its famous verse, Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.
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.
Gilles d'Aymery: The Black Golden Spigot: To Saudi Arabia and China via Iraq
Here, in the room, they come and go talking of..., parroting in front of the cameras, on Sunday news programs, with the same message echoed complacently by the print media. "Regime change, regime change, " they chant in unison. Iraq is a threat to humanity; to us, the US of A, and to our friends and allies. Saddam, a true vampire out of some Transylvanian crypt, a resuscitated Hitler, a reincarnated Attila the Hun, is readying himself to wreak mayhem on the world. He, the "evildoer," the "gasifier," the "ear-eating cannibal," has developed these terrible Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and, worse yet, is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons. This Viagra loaded tin-pot despot is up to no good; never been, never will. "Regime change, regime change," sings the choir. More...
Edward S. Herman: Christopher Hitchens And The Uses Of Demagoguery
In his latest phase as flack for the war party, Christopher Hitchens has taken on some of the qualities of his leader George W. Bush. A notable similarity is in his demagogic statement of the issues "we" face since 9/11--in W's words, an "evil" enemy who hates our freedom, so "you are either with us or against us" in this new and open-ended war of good versus evil. For Hitchens, we face a "demented" enemy (bin Laden) who has made "a sort of promise" to destroy the United States of America, so that "It involves no exaggeration to say that everything depends, and has depended, on proving bin Laden wrong." More...
Michael W. Stowell: The Grand Antithesis
I believe it was shortly after I saw the second airliner fly into the second tower when "Attack On America" became the historical headline that framed the discussion of what and why and how it happened. There seemed to be no other headline, anywhere. I sat stunned, like most people who witnessed the tragedy, but somewhere in the back of my mind I realized that something was very wrong, that the network buzz was not even close to reality. As that knowledge dawned in my conscious mind, I knew I was witnessing the birth of history's greatest deception, the grand antithesis; "The War on Terrorism." More...
Milo Clark: Hope
Hope is one of many magazines I look at. It is a little right of cockeyed optimist and snuggles up with cuddly and cute newage. I have to wipe dew drops off when it comes.
Swanee Hunt was US Ambassador to Austria during the late and still lamented too often violent and barbaric dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. She sat at the tables during related efforts at "Peace Process." More...
Alma A. Hromic: Outsmarted By Artificial Intelligence
Spooky conversation. Man sitting at a table across from a snub-nosed, blonde doll with a half-smile on its face.
Doll: I'm here.
Man: Do you want to play school? More...
T.S. Eliot: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?" More...
Alma A. Hromic: Going Home: x - Going Home
[Ed. last part of a ten-part poem]
And so you take the pilgrim's road
The days that lie between you and the land
where you began are long;
the memories they brought to you are alien
and no longer belong. More...
Rudyard Kipling: The Ballad of East and West
Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends of the earth! More...
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