Note from the Editor

Whether Islamophobic caricatures one day or plain anti-Arab racism against a port operator from Dubai the other -- the "savages" according to Ann Coulter -- we sure do not miss an occasion to stir the pot of the Arab and Muslim world with humiliating and degrading comments; and those are just side dishes to accompany the plat de résistance generously served by the best military in the world with the resulting slaughter Deck Deckert relates in scornful details. Barbarism in defense of freedom... Perhaps Karl Rove et al. have gone too far, for their own good, with the use of fear to subvert the political process. Even the Republicans are running scared, as David Bordelon posits, while Philip Greenspan laments the runaway fiscal irresponsibility that is driving this once superpower into Third World status. Our fighting chance, according to Charles Marowitz, is that we the people opt back into the political process, turn that gloom and despair into constructive energy, and find a new consciousness. To ignore the problems and do nothing is to condone them -- Milo Clark reminds us of the Hawaii voting irregularities in the 2004 elections, which may have been mere practice for 2006 and 2008. Meanwhile, the likes of John Negroponte and George Tenet are honored for their service to democracy, much to the dismay of fellow Greek-American George Beres.

What do we make of all this barbarity, and how can we find a new consciousness and have an impact on change? One good start would be to step back and gain a true understanding of the forces at work behind America's empire by seeing Eugene Jarecki's masterful documentary, Why We Fight, reviewed by Jan Baughman. A journey through the history of science with Cliff Conner's book, A People's History of Science, tells of the humble people behind the scientific revolution, while capitalism threatens the world -- see Louis Proyect's excellent review that is a tribute to the power of the common man. We have the inspiration of poetry such as Laura Madeline Wiseman's to remind us we are indeed alive and we must take care of nature. And there's nothing like some good discourse to clarify our positions and find common ground. This edition's letters are full of just that: on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; an upcoming March to New Orleans on behalf of the gulfs ravaged by war and hurricanes; on Truthdig, Marc Cooper, David Lodge, and more.

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


Patterns Which Connect

Deck Deckert:  The Meaning Of Chutzpah

The U.S. has warned that it might cut aid to the Iraqis if they don't shape up. The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, has warned that Washington might cut off aid if the new government includes sectarian politicians. I'm not quite sure what aid he is talking about, but he did mention that we have spent billions of dollars "building up the police and the army." Let me get this straight:   More...


David Bordelon:  The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is . . . Karl Rove

At the recent winter meeting of the Republican National Committee, President Bush's Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, made it clear that the Republican Party will focus on terrorism and 9/11 in the next election.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Philip Greenspan:  Eat, Drink And Be Merry, For Tomorrow . . .

The sole superpower's economic condition continues to deteriorate to levels that can only presage major problems ahead. The once number one creditor has now descended to the number one debtor.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Wanted: A New Consciousness

In his New York Times column of February 6, 2006, Paul Krugman castigated the Bush administration for gross, even deadly, inefficiencies citing specifically the disasters of the Iraqi offensive and the calamities perpetrated by FEMA.   More...


Milo Clark:  To Ignore Is To Participate

f we begin with that premise, to ignore is to participate, perhaps we can understand better why the alleged excesses of the Bush Republicans as yet remain operative and inadequately challenged if, in actuality, challenged at all.   More...


George Beres:  False Pride For Greek-Americans

I was a longtime resident of suburban Chicago. I also happen to be of Greek derivation, with parents who were early 20th century immigrants to the United States from Greece. I've always taken pride in that heritage. But recent developments suggest ethnic concerns.   More...


Arts & Culture

Jan Baughman:  Eugene Jarecki's Why We Fight

"Why do we fight?" is a question posed throughout this movie to people of all ages and walks of life; the responses vary from a confidently repeated "freedom" to "it's necessary and right," to the clearly unsure yet prescient young boy's conclusion, "it's the people who start the war who know what they're fighting about."   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Louis Proyect:  Cliff Conner's A People's History of Science

Cliff Conner's A People's History of Science: Miners, Midwives and 'Low Mechanicks' does for science what Howard Zinn did for American history. It is an altogether winning attempt to tell the story of the ordinary working person or peasant's contribution to our knowledge of the natural world.   More...



Laura Madeline Wiseman:  Wormshead

You took me to the sea
but I'd been there before
even with you once.
The sea is too big for me.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Veterans and Katrina survivors march to New Orleans in protest of both gulf war zones; Dr. Jacob Amir and Philip Greenspan's debate on Israel (with the Editor's 2 cents); Robert Wrubel on David Lodge and Truthdig; Martin Murie on Marc Cooper and swans (the birds); how to make a donation the old fashion way, and more.   More...



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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: March 2, 2006