Note from the Editor

First and foremost, please reach out to your representatives and register your opinion -- say NO to war. It may be a futile exercise but if you do not do so you are voting by default with the war party. Jan Baughman provides you with all the details to act. Read the remarks that Senator Robert Byrd delivered on the floor of the Senate on October 2 (republished by permission). He may be a lonely dissenter in the corridors of power but we should all listen to this commanding and eloquent voice. Says Byrd, "I plead with those people out there, I plead with the American people -- let your voice be heard." Heed his plea, please. Let your voice be heard!

While Gilles d'Aymery can at times use a sardonic tone to deliver his message, to the potential discontent of some readers, one should not misinterpret this irony for lack of seriousness. He actually is darn serious expressing his angst and dejection, and intimating that our culture of obscene consumption bears a heavy responsibility for the devastation we keep inflicting all around the world. He asks, "Would it be anti-American, or anti-French, or anti-Western to suggest there is more than meets the eye with Weapons of Mass Destruction, that massive destruction can and is happening right now under the guise of a very different kind of weapons, that, indeed, each of us may well be a mini WMD?" If his rationale meets skepticism then Yyuran, Deck Deckert's Martian friend, will help you see the picture more clearly; a picture that has tragic human consequences as Paul Hursh demonstrates when reminiscing movingly about his brother's journey to agony after Vietnam. Hursh writes that upon leaving Vietnam his brother "had not left hell, [hell] had followed him home." His conclusion too should be heeded. And if you are not convinced yet, you will be thanks to Philip Greenspan's brilliant analysis of the Enron State of Mind and Dubya State of Mind that leads him to conclude that "America has become the Land of the Sheep and the Home of the Knave!"

When will we cast a vote for life instead of death? Yugoslavia and Kosovo are long gone from the radar screen. As Gilles d'Aymery wrote in 1999, we'll move to more grandiose things, on to the Caspian. Afghanistan did just this and now we are heading for the Gulf. Meantime, the fabricated rationale for the war in Kosovo is long forgotten and the obvious outcome widely ignored. Aleksandra Priestfield has a sobering piece on the present situation and the mythology of murder -- not something that you will find in the main media!

It is then up to Michael Stowell, Milo Clark and Sandy Lulay to bring some sanity in the midst of this madness. Stowell looks at the divisiveness and delusion of religion, drugs and the struggle for power and Clark remarks that "people in general and in particular will hold tightly to their conditioning as split entities. I tell myself to just let it go and get on with the wonders of being who I am where I am." Lulay for her part muses on the disintegration of Native American culture under the White Man's rule.

Finally, a few Letters to the Editor and the repost of Randolph Bourne's famous "War Is the Health of the State," which once again is quite timely. 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.


Back to Iraq

Jan Baughman:  A Call To Voices

There is a general disconnect in my day-to-day sphere between the reported overwhelming support for Bush and his war on Iraq, and the actual support for Bush and his war on Iraq. And yet in a matter of weeks he's gone from blowing up Afghanistan in the hunt for evil bin Laden, to preparing to blow up Iraq in the hunt for more evil Saddam Hussein. It's all happening too fast (doesn't leave time for debate), the people in my sphere feel pretty ineffective when it comes to stopping it, and the people with the real power to stop it don't have the will to do so.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Blind And Improvident

Upon posting the last issue to the site two weeks ago I promptly received an E-mail from a reader who subscribes to our distribution list. It read: "I know history so this Ridiculous tripe is Nauseating - Remove me from your list. Have Iraq pay for having themselves bombed because Plutocrats want their oil. Come on! Unpatriotic = not retarded if approving of this despicable ploy is the definition." The reader was referring to the Note from the Editor in which I had suggested tongue-and-cheek that the Iraqis would pick up the tab of the costs associated with the war against Iraq in the form of war reparations with free oil deliveries valued at production costs. Hmm, I felt, my irony, bordering on sarcasm, was once again creating havoc...   More...


Deck Deckert:  It's Just Good Business

"Your nation is planning to attack a small country called Iraq," my Martian friend Yyuran said to me the other day.

"Yes," I said.


Yyuran frequently needs help understanding humans.   More...


Paul V. Hursh:  No Fanfare for the Common Man

On July 24, 2002 I presided over my brother Charlie's funeral. He was 53 years old.

In 1967 at the age of 18 he enlisted in the US Army, went through basic training and was sent to Vietnam. It was at the height of the Tet Offensive and he was stationed in Pleiku, in the Central Highlands.   More...


Robert C. Byrd:  Rush To War Ignores U.S. Constitution

 The great Roman historian, Titus Livius, said, "All things will be clear and distinct to the man who does not hurry; haste is blind and improvident."

 "Blind and improvident," Mr. President. "Blind and improvident."  Congress would be wise to heed those words today, for as sure as the sun rises in the east, we are embarking on a course of action with regard to Iraq that, in its haste, is both blind and improvident.  We are rushing into war without fully discussing why, without thoroughly considering the consequences, or without making any attempt to explore what steps we might take to avert conflict.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Philip Greenspan:  State of Mind Maladies: Enron and Dubya

When the returns of the presidential election came in from the Supreme Court, those nine unelected individuals, had, by a one vote margin 5-4, put Baby Bush in the White House. And with Baby's entry on the scene what I call 'The Enron State of Mind' (ESM) caught the public's attention.

What is ESM? It is an appellation for an elite ideology that enthrones the corporation at the pinnacle of power.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael W. Stowell:  Revival

Ever since humanity fell asleep we've been dreaming one long, tragic nightmare that has become so intense and frightening many of us try to keep it out of our consciousness as much as possible, or just enough to get by. However, we must be careful to know the origins of the phantasm, so we may learn from it. What created the chimera in whose belly we now dwell? Do you recall?   More...


Milo Clark:  Distractions

Two years back, almost exactly, I promised myself to be more myself, to be here now in Ram Dass's classic phrase. Then, year one, we got an appointed president. Year two, we got a terrorist attack. While the president appointed in year one would have us believe that the attack was THE event which changed the world, I sense that his anointment will prove to be more remembered when history is again written.   More...


Buried Deep Under the Radar Screen: Kosovo

Aleksandra Priestfield:  Hit Or Myth? The Mythology Of Murder

In a recent issue of one of the most respected weekly news magazines in Yugoslavia, NIN, appears an article entitled "The Cruelest Cleansings."

It opens with a story of a "mass grave." The site is marked by four gravestones, but they bear no names or any other identifying marks -- and locals are apparently not happy to talk about this matter. One young Albanian man went so far as to volunteer that the graves contained the "burned remains" of the Krasnici family, but immediately distanced himself from the matter by saying, "And that's all I know."   More...



Sandy Lulay:  Rainwater Eyes

Rainwater Eyes sits
Weaving a sky
Of White thunder
Caught in a stitch,
Of salmon reflections
And sand rock cliffs
Caught In a halo of woe.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Randolph Bourne:  War Is the Health of the State

To most Americans of the classes which consider themselves significant the war [World War I] brought a sense of the sanctity of the State which, if they had had time to think about it, would have seemed a sudden and surprising alteration in their habits of thought. In times of peace, we usually ignore the State in favour of partisan political controversies, or personal struggles for office, or the pursuit of party policies. It is the Government rather than the State with which the politically minded are concerned. The State is reduced to a shadowy emblem which comes to consciousness only on occasions of patriotic holiday.   More...


Letters to the Editor

The Black Gold, the Snitch, Hope and Orenda...



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Created: October 14, 2002