Note from the Editor

Yes, we thought there were WMDs, but nonetheless, Saddam was a looming threat that had to go; yes, we torture a bit, but we have to do what it takes to keep Americans safe on our soil; sure, we planted stories in the Iraqi newspapers, but we just needed to get the truth out; and okay, we accepted bribes and kickbacks and stole from the Iraq "reconstruction" funds, but hey, vive les entrepreneurs! It seems the new political strategy is to bombard us with scandals such that nothing shocks us anymore. Not the lies that led us to war, nor the lies that perpetuate it, as Deck Deckert reports. Not the dead soldiers and the countless lives affected, all of whom pay the price, including Milo Clark. Not the price paid by countries that overextend their resources and neglect their citizens -- whether the former USSR, or the still current U.S. of A. -- as Philip Greenspan explains. Yet, the war machine keeps moving. So if amidst the propaganda we've forgotten why war is a bad idea, Robert Wrubel provides a refresher course, which is required reading before we begin the next stage, the destabilization of Iran and its neighbors, a plan that will come as no shock to Ardeshir Ommani. If you're counting on investigative journalists to debunk the lies and refute the propaganda, one need look further than the likes of Bob Woodward, a pure Washington insider whose shocking background is recounted by Louis Proyect.

It would be no surprise then in this propagandist genre in which certain human experience such as witnessing the coffins of our returning war casualties is off limits, that those limits are also applied in arts and culture. Charles Marowitz critiques the movie Capote and its creators' predetermined condemnation of the protagonist. In fact, Charles has his own advice on How To Stage A Play, and his new book of that title (and more) is reviewed and recommended by Ivan Gold.

Human experience is not glossed over by propaganda in the poems by Linda Eve Diamond and Gerard Donnelly Smith, each of whom provides a creation in which a fitting reception awaits their protagonists. Finally, a few words on the distribution of wealth in the U.S. and the dismantling of the Middle East; no-fly zones and influenza profits; and some Boonville news and more round out this edition.

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


Patterns Which Connect

Deck Deckert:  I'm Shocked, Shocked

There is an extraordinary amount of energy being spent on discussing the possibility that the administration lied us into a war with Iraq. I'm shocked, shocked to find that lying is going on in here!   More...


Milo Clark:  Soldier Dead

Since the American Revolutionary War, more than 50 million Americans have been directly affected by war deaths, wounds, or those who have become lost.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Better Dead Than...

Suicide bombings have become an effective low-cost tactic by those who do not possess the hardware to fight against military opponents. Since the 1980s it has turned up in over 25 countries, usually against the interests of the U.S., Israel, and other Western nations.   More...


Robert Wrubel:  Why We Should Never Go To War

America has fought frequent wars, but only one major one on its own soil. Perhaps that is why it is relatively easy for Americans to approve of war: we have not had to face war's reality up close. Wars of the future will be even more impersonal, as soldiers on the ground are replaced with robot fighters and missiles launched from space.   More...


Ardeshir Ommani:  Iran And US Foreign Policy Designs

From the outset, I must say that my opposition to the policies of the U.S. and the Western European powers must not be interpreted as a support for the nature of the government of the Islamic Republic. Iran is a class society and the government is a clerical-led bourgeois nationalist one.   More...


Louis Proyect:  Debunking Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward was the first reporter to be informed that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent. While keeping that a secret, he tried to minimize the importance of Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation on television and in the pages of the Washington Post.   More...


Arts & Culture

Charles Marowitz:  "CAPOTE": How Far Should We Go?

What is interesting in Dan Futterman's film "Capote," directed by Bennett Miller, is the sly and persuasive way it recreates for us the wispy, slightly sordid character of Truman Capote himself.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Ivan Gold:  A Playwright's Guide To Life

...or perhaps that's not your cup of tea. Still, you might read Charles Marowitz's latest book with profit, since it distils the wit and wisdom to be gleaned from the pages of his previous thirty-eight.   More...



Linda Eve Diamond:  Roasting Marshmallows

Money runs the world, in power suits, serving money ministries.
Mass media controls mass thoughts, bantered by the masses.

The madman waits.   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Insurgent Word: Evil

Those who claim death reclaims freedom mostly claim exceptions to the rule.
Those who listen mostly to mediocre men, the mediocre call brilliant.   More...


Tidbits Flying Across the Martian Desk

Gilles d'Aymery:  Blips #30

"Wretches are ungrateful; it is part of their wretchedness."
—Victor Hugo, Tas de Pierres

A few selected issues that landed on the Editor's desk, from distributing the pie to devouring Iraq; chaotic theocracies and insurgent journalists; to no-fly aristocracy and no-flu royalties, with a few blips on Boonville in between.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Hoping for even a failed Bush impeachment; longing for Kevin Spacey as Richard; fondly thinking about naughty bits; and more, from France and the U.K.   More...



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Created: December 5, 2005