Note from the Editor

"How did our oil get under their soil?" a speaker sardonically asked at a recent local peace rally. As the global anti-war movement mounts in desperate attempts to stop America's anti-Iraq madness, is it at all possible that a real shift is occurring, that some major newspapers are changing their slant with more frequent commentaries discussing the failure of evidence that Saddam is linked to al Qaeda, debunking the notion that war is the only option and that our aim is humanitarian and just? Or is it just spin? There was certainly no evidence of a shift based on President Bush's State of the Union Address, which left Gilles d'Aymery shaking in his proverbial boots as Bush sneered about destroying "evil" while pontificating about war. Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II....the madness is continuously perpetuated, passed on from generation to generation. Isn't it about time we all start acting FOR HUMANITY? Read Swans' statement, contributed by a Chicago friend, on Richard Barnet's "Roots of War: The Men and Institutions Behind U.S. Foreign Policy" to get a sense of the people leading our bureaucratic system on a march that is reminiscent of Hannah Arendt's banality of evil. Accordingly, our previously published and newly updated rationale for Gulf War I is an urgent must-read to fully understand the State's constant machinations and deception. Finalement, nous offrons à nos lecteurs de langue française une traduction par Michel Charbonnier de "Parallel and Linked Genocides: Iraq and Palestine," par Edward Herman.

Beyond the myths and realities of the State of the Union address, Mac Lawrence poses the question, "what kind of people are we?" With no money for health care yet unlimited reserves for defense and a never-ending cycle of violence Lawrence looks to Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine for answers. Milo Clark struggles to understand the reasons why people who have all the privileges and perquisites this society can imagine want it all for themselves. But that's exactly how America's founding fathers designed the system, says Philip Greenspan; even football is a symbolic competition for resources and control according to the wry analysis of Michael Stowell. Is there a better system on earth? You may not believe where it just might exist -- so read Stowell's piece on Fidel Castro and Cuba.

We are delighted to welcome Louis Proyect to Swans. This is the first of a series of in-depth bimonthly reviews that Proyect will contribute, beginning with the extraordinary fictional work by Communist leader and Marxist theoretician Nikolai Bukharin, How It All Began. In accompaniment, we are publishing Letter Two of Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet, and in the poetry corner, a relevant and touching poem by Sabina Becker on the symbolism of a scarf, from Afghanistan to the Western World.

Please keep in mind the February 15 anti-war demonstrations. The corridors of power must be taking notice of the movement, or why would the New York City police department refuse to issue a permit for the march, while the main media increase their efforts to discredit the organizers? Let our voices be heard!

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


Back to Iraq

Gilles d'Aymery:  Ovation Into A Holocaust

In the introduction of the speech George W. Bush gave on January 28, 2003, he offered his views on the State of the Union. He talked, as is customary, about the dangers and the challenges ahead -- you know, the present is tough but the future is bright, the enemies of liberty are besieging us, threatening the good, hard-working, god-fearing people of this blessed land...   More...


Swans:  "Bureaucratic Homicide" And American Power

Looking back at Richard Barnet's very fine, late-Vietnam-war era book, Roots of War: The Men and Institutions Behind U.S. Foreign Policy, Chapter One was titled, appropriately enough, "Bureaucratic Homicide and Imperial Expansion;" and Chapter Twelve, "A Generation of Peace?" That is a big question mark indeed.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  The 1991 Gulf War Rationale

[Ed. This is a dossier first published in August 2002 and revised to include new information in regard to the Iraqi use of chemical weapons in the 80s as well as the military and strategic help the U.S. provided to Iraq during its war with Iran. It documents the abhorrent deception on the part of the US government that led to Desert Storm.]   More...


Edward S. Herman:  Deux génocides parallèles et liés entre eux : l'Irak et la Palestine

[Ed. French version of Herman's article, Parallel And Linked Genocides: Iraq And Palestine, translated by Marcel Charbonnier.]   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Mac Lawrence:  Looking For Answers At Columbine

Unlimited money for killing, but not enough for health? What kind of people are we? How did we get to this point?   More...


Milo Clark:  A Failure Of Understanding

I am working on understanding what I clearly have difficulty accepting.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  An Unjust Justice System

Those poor peasants who suffered from the cruelties of a despicable ruler were told 'The King Can Do No Wrong.' In fact, whatever the character of the ruler, his subjects were told 'The King Can Do No Wrong.' Translation: the guy who's got the clout is the guy who wins the bout.   More...


Michael W. Stowell:  A Pigskin Post-Game Postulation

It may have been one of those lazy Sunday afternoons I've spent dozing in front of our society's culture cultivator; I'm not sure. In a moment of higher consciousness, sometime near ten years ago, my perspective and perception of that great game we call "football" was forever changed; it was an awakening that fell like gentle rain upon a deep green field of Astroturf.   More...


Solutions Under the Radar Screen

Michael W. Stowell:  Granma And Granpa

The bus ride from Arcata to the demonstration in San Francisco began on Friday, the 17th, as a community event. Our two Veterans For Peace buses were loaded with folks who carried a variety of perspectives and a limited amount of baggage. Cheered by people on streets as we departed, I felt a sobering sense of responsibility; the hearts of many went with us.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Louis Proyect:  Nikolai Bukharin, "How it All Began"

Between the time of his arrest on February 27, 1937 and until his execution on March 15, 1938, Nikolai Bukharin wrote prodigiously and against the ticking clock from within the bowels of Lubyanka Prison.   More...


Rainer Maria Rilke:  Letters to a Young Poet (Letter Two)

You must pardon me, dear Sir, for waiting until today to gratefully remember your letter of February 24: I have been unwell all this time, not really sick, but oppressed by an influenza-like debility, which has made me incapable of doing anything.   More...



Sabina C. Becker:  Shorthand, Written In A Scarf

If scarves could speak,
what tales would they tell?   More...


Letters to the Editor


On work published in the previous edition by Ed Herman, Alma Hromic and Gilles d'Aymery.   More...



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Created: February 5, 2003