Note from the Editor

It takes more and more effort these days to decipher the real news from the spin. Though Mr. Bush recently admitted his proclivity (not the word he used) to say things repeatedly to catapult his propaganda, he certainly didn't invent the practice that he has perfected. Case in point, the recent anniversary of the Srebrenica "massacre," invoking the repetition of the mythic casualty figures that have been catapulted into reality and are continually used to demonize the Serbs. We'll likely be ostracized for daring to poke holes in the conventional narrative.

Among other myths being bandied about is the White House's rundown of the G-8 Summit ( "The leaders took significant steps to make the world better and safer and improve human life, in contrast to the terrorists who seek to destroy it." Slightly different perspectives on the G-8's noble accomplishments -- as well as those of the Live 8 lovefests -- are presented by Raymond Garcia and Joe Davison.

Sadly, that safer world the Empire has created was rocked by London's July 7 suicide attacks, and a dramatic increase in the intensity of bombings in the last throes of Iraq. Tim Keane reflects somberly on his memories of Tavistock Square, while Deck Deckert's no-holds barred voice returns to Swans, asking "What if terrorism in Iraq were treated the same way as terrorism in London?" One can only hope to live to see the day; in actuality, any similarity in treatment would only occur if the U.S. declared war on the U.K., not if the U.S. started doing body counts in Iraq. As Michael Brooks explains in his must-read article, Iraq is merely the latest chapter in the sordid history of the imperial "corporatocracy" known as America, as she seeks new labor markets and resources to exploit. Just who comprises that cast of empire-building characters is outlined by Philip Greenspan. Milo Clark has his own (short) take on the "people of the lie," and Gerard Donnelly Smith considers the 1798 Sedition Laws, the USA Patriot Act, and the limitation of journalistic freedom to protect those people and their lies.

Finally, Charles Marowitz shares his appreciation of British verse drama playwright Christopher Fry, who died last week at the age of 97; and our editor adds his take on most of the above and, of course, the real news behind the Rovegate spin...

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans.


Patterns Which Connect

Gilles d'Aymery:  Srebrenica, Mon Amour: An Ostracized Narrative

A long-time defender of historical justice in the Balkans recently wrote, "I have become so disillusioned with this whole situation. The media and our politicians have demonized the Serbs so successfully, that I doubt they will ever be able to come back as a people. We didn't even treat the Germans this badly after they lost the war." Indeed, the past week saw its stream of Serb bashing on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the "massacre of Srebrenica."   More...


Raymond Garcia:  Live 8, Gleneagles, And The Fight Against African Poverty

So here we are, 20 years after Live Aid for Africa, the big fundraiser to fight hunger and lovefest for entertainment stars in 1985. Now in 2005 we have Live 8, organized by the same bloke (Sir Bob Geldof, ex Boomtown Rat), designed to "draw attention to" African poverty in preparation for the G-8 (U.S., Japan, Russia, Canada, European Powers) economic summit at Gleneagles, Scotland. This time, fund-raising was not the focus; the impetus was to put pressure on the G-8 countries to address African poverty. Yet two striking similarities between the events are clear: another lovefest for big entertainment stars, and a run on hospitals to treat celebrities for sprained or broken arms from patting themselves on the back.   More...


Joe Davison:  Reflections On The G-8

The 2005 G-8 Summit, held at the luxury Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland from July 6th to July 8th, was notable for many reasons but three that stood out in particular: (i) the failure to come up with anything to alleviate unremitting poverty in Africa other than a pledge to raise aid by a paltry 15 billion dollars by 2010:   More...


Tim Keane:  Heading Home To Tavistock Square

To travel is to feel insecure in differing degrees, which is partly the point of leaving home in the first place. Security is such a humdrum illusion that under its numbing influence we almost forget we're alive.   More...


Deck Deckert:  What if?

What if terrorism in Iraq were treated the same way as terrorism in London? What if every newspaper in the country splashed pictures and stories of the latest suicide bombing in Iraq all across page one, and reported the carnage to the same degree as they have in London?   More...


Michael Brooks:  Imperial Revolutions

The introduction in 1981 of Microsoft's first commercial operating system, MS-DOS®, is a convenient point in time with which to demark the current period of rapid technological change. The design in 1967 of the first computer network, ARPANET, might also be considered for this designation   More...


Philip Greenspan:  An Iconoclast's View How It All Works

There is no disagreement that the U.S. is the only superpower in the world. But who is the real ruler? Is it the US government? Is it the US military? Neither, a powerful, influential and wealthy group calls the shots! The top corporate entities, including banks, the military-industrial complex, multi-national conglomerates, etc., and the super rich -- the upper crust who reside on the Forbes annual wealth hit parade. Also included are the executives and directors of those corporations, partners in prestigious law, accounting, advertising, public relations firms, and major political figures. That cast of characters comprises the elite establishment -- the real rulers not only of the US of A but of most of the world's land mass, the oceans, and outer space besides!   More...


Activism under the Radar Screen

Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Insurgent Word: Sedition

Once pistols at dawn settled the libelous insult published in an opposition newspaper, as honor clashed with highly critical rhetoric. Once again, one-party rule threatens to undo constitutional checks and balances. The Bush administration's current policies have fueled insurgent words as when, for example, Jeffersonian newspapers were highly critical of Secretary of State Hamilton's Federalist-backed system of finance. This finance system, according to Professor of Law Vincent Blasi, "permitted him to consolidate power in the national government in such a way as to overwhelm [James] Madison's carefully designed system of checks and balances."   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Milo Clark:  People Of The Lie

In a previous work, People of the Lie, Scott Peck first confronted, in print, situations of possession and an exorcism. As a scientist these confrontations are as much personal as professional. With Glimpses of the Devil, Peck further confronts both situations and self to conclude, personally and professionally, that there most definitely is a Devil, whether Lucifer or Antichrist.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  An Appreciation Of Christopher Fry: 1907-2005

In the early nineteen sixties when I was a callow youth enrolled in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Christopher Fry was brought in to direct a group of students in a production of his play The Firstborn. He was a slight, mild-mannered chap, always sucking on a curved pipe which never seemed to be lit, and thoroughly unobtrusive as a director.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #23

"Power is much more easily manifested in destroying than in creating."
—Wordsworth, Preface to The Borderers, 1796

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from Western generosity to the disintegration of globalized capitalism, to bombing conspiracies and Roving coverups, with Boonville news and a few blips in between.   More...



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Created: July 25, 2005