Note from the Editor

So much is at stake for the US elites that one has to wonder whether the inexorable march to war can be stopped; but it's not for lack of trying. Check the Lysistrata Project at and Also, Poets Against the War announces an International Day of Poetry Against the War on March 5. A major poetry reading will be held in Washington DC on that evening, and many poems will be subsequently entered into the Congressional Record. On March 15, International ANSWER and other members of the vast anti-war movement organize another imperative event, an "Emergency Convergence on the White House," with parallel actions in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Check their Web site and let your voices be heard! (It won't hurt to keep calling and e-mailing your representatives...) This is not the time to get discouraged.

The Bush Regime and the media have masterfully and relentlessly ratcheted the country's anxieties to the extent that many people 'believe' that once the bad guys, the evildoers, are taken care of everything will be back to normalcy -- the good ol' days. But the list of the bad guys is becoming longer, including our "European adversaries" to use an expression found in The New York Times (March 1, News Analysis, by Patrick E. Tyler, A7). Yesterday, allies; today, adversaries; what about tomorrow? When do we start bombing the nuclear arsenals of France, Russia and China? But you know what? Beyond the 'Great Game' redux, the propaganda and disinformation and the re-mapping of the Middle East, poverty deepens, inequalities widen, water shortages increase, the ozone layer depletion accelerates, global warming intensifies, natural resources are ever more pilfered, species decimated, soil eroded...all in the name of consumerism. Taking out Saddam, waging wars without end over all the continents, will not remedy the slow disintegration of our system. It will only add more suffering to humanity, at best; or accelerate the process, at worst.

Historically, reactionaries have always used fear and 'moral' certitudes to advance their destructive agendas. The whole planet is at risk but they move ahead with chilling clarity, an obscene determination to rid the world of 'evil,' according to long-obsolete philosophical paradigms. When an entire ecosystem is on the verge of collapse the mighty force of the US military becomes futile. People in power are oblivious to that reality. The only one they reckon is power itself -- their power, their privileges. They won't change; they can't reform; for they are fundamentalists at heart.

So here we are, attempting as best we can to keep humanness alive, reason sane and sound, hearts and minds open to a non-violent future, a future based on knowledge and education; and we are offering our collective work with the hope that its modest content will help you in the days ahead, till the next bi-weekly edition.

Enjoy its diversity. See, that at the very least, far from seeking the lowest common denominator, we aim to build, not to destroy. 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

Haider A. Khan:  The Political Economy Of Oil And The War Against Terrorism

It may seem that only intense and irrational religiosity motivated Bin Laden and his criminal cohort. There is some truth to this. They were indeed misguided fanatics. Yet, in the rush to see an apocalyptic clash of civilizations, even many scholars seem to have forgotten that Bin Laden was a successful businessman, an ally of US military and political elites, and a politician himself.   More...


Anthony Judge:  Being There

I was there...

  •  When leaders of democracy and freedom were extremely economical with the truth
  •  When devout Christians sought God's aid to slaughter Muslims they had never met
  •  When special military forces of the North engaged opponents with overwhelming force
  •  When airforce pilots dropped WMD and were rewarded with a medal of honour   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Gilles d'Aymery:  Daily Dose Of Anxiety, Fear And Aggression - Courtesy of The New York Times

To figure out how the Bush Regime gets away with its insane policies, both foreign and domestic, one needs to understand the American state of mind.   More...


Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz:  Remarks to the Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement

These are hard times we are living. In recent months, we have more than once heard scarily words and statements. In his speech to the West Point graduating cadets, on June 1st, 2002, the United States President stated...   More...


Milo Clark:  Adam Smith Is Still On Our Side

Adam Smith understood in context, grokked, says that the moral community, civil society, works best when local resources are converted locally by local people primarily for local use in ways which generate surpluses for local reinvestment.   More...


Solutions Under the Radar Screen

Michael W. Stowell:  Free-Style

As we grow closer to the inevitable demise of capitalism and other hierarchal systems of order, do not underestimate the seriousness of the situation or you will miss seeing the humorous hornpipe of hopelessness and its perpetual exchange of dance partners.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Philip Greenspan:  Making the World Safe for Oilgarchy

- Wha'd'ya say, Benny? Do you believe all the crapola they've been feeding you about why they're gonna go to war?   More...


Humor With a Zest

Jan Baughman:  The Palette Of Fear

Time to enjoy the weekend; untape your windows, go outside and frolic -- spring is in the air and life is safe again! Tom Ridge, after consultation with John Ashcroft, has lowered the terrorist threat alert level to yellow (elevated) from the most recent and frightening orange (high). Whew!   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Tanweer Akram:  Iraq's Economic Problems

Alnasrawi's recent book, Iraq's Burden, is a timely one. His earlier scholarly research (1985, 1991, 1994, and 2001) on oil industry, OPEC, and Iraq's development planning and economic problems gives him a useful perspective on Iraq's economic problems and its origins. This book is a useful addition to the literature.   More...


Irving L. Janis:  Excerpt from Victims of Groupthink

In order to test generalization about the conditions that increase the chances of groupthink, we must operationalize the concept of groupthink by describing the symptoms to which it refers. Eight main symptoms run through the case studies of historic fiascoes.   More...



Kahnupad Haider:  War Sonata II


The great land
Of cognoscenti
Sends out invitations   More...


Letters to the Editor


On work published in the previous edition. From Lou Paulsen's article, to Iraq, the recurring Hitler false correlation, Michael Bérubé, Deck Deckert, and, as the saying goes, more...   More...



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Created: March 10, 2003