Note from the Editor

Two weeks ago, we did say that "Milosevic's passing would be in the news for a couple of days at most," didn't we? Zilch, nothing, gone, vanished from the corporate media, and there certainly has not been any coverage from his sham trial at The Hague. But, dear readers, this is Swans... So, here are two pieces that bring some much needed light to what has been so willfully obscured. First, Louis Proyect provides a cogent depiction of the demonization of Milosevic and the ICTY's inability to link him with war crimes, instead keeping him in poor health to avoid an acquittal or lesser charges. Second, an interview by John Catalinotto of Sara Flounders, both of the International Action Center, who have worked and written tirelessly on the realities behind the Yugoslav Wars. Their discussion includes Flounders's meeting with Milosevic in The Hague, exposes the true criminals and real profiteers, and asks keen questions about the circumstances behind his death. At Swans we have never vacillated in our analysis of this political lynching and have constantly refused to demonize the Serbs. It is therefore gratifying to have John, Louis, and Sara choose to be published in these pages on such an historical, muddied issue. Two must-read articles.

Alternatively, one can read the Washington Post travel section, in which outsiders are flocking to the now-peaceful Balkans to "swoon over the stunning landscapes." Next stop: Iraq Adventure Vacations... War? What war? Just a figment of the media's liberal imagination. Yet no matter how it's spun, war is always murder, says Deck Deckert, pointing out the parallels between Vietnam and Iraq. In a similar vein, Philip Greenspan reveals the patterns from conflict to conflict, in which it's always the elite who profit and the ordinary Joes who suffer.

There was little suffering and much joy to be found at San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House recently, where Keith Jarrett gave a solo piano performance extraordinaire and our editors had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend. With a slightly different perspective on 21st century culture, Charles Marowitz reviews Neil LaBute's play, Fat Pig, which captures a picture of the sordid life of our times.

These sordid times include the government-sanctioned poisoning of our food and water, as Jan Baughman illustrates. Perhaps the disappearing notion of "common good" that Julian Edney describes can explain why our government places tuna profits for the few over mercury poisoning for the many. Can we look to the US Supreme Court to adjudicate in the interest of We the People? George Beres has a warning about the dogma therein.

Our hungry man Milo Clark reaches for his favorite weapon, a book -- Summer Snow by William T. Hathaway, and the poetic Gerard Donnelly Smith shares some stanzas on the law of diminishing returns. Finally, no Blips, but we offer our continuing exchange on Israel and Palestine with Dr. Jacob Amir; and myriad letters regarding Mr. Milosevic, Mr. Marowitz, totalitarianism, election fraud, and more.

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


The Balkans & Former Yugoslavia

Louis Proyect:  The Demonization And Death Of Slobodan Milosevic

In the days following the death of Slobodan Milosevic, every newspaper made sure to find him guilty of charges that the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) could not prove in court.   More...


John Catalinotto Interviews Sara Flounders:  The Milosevic Case

John Catalinotto: Sara, you have been active as a writer and political organizer since the breakup of Yugoslavia was first threatened in the early 1990s. What was your reaction when you heard that former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic had died in Scheveningen Prison in The Hague and that the media was claiming he might have committed suicide or purposely taken medications that compromised his health?   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Deck Deckert:  War Is Always Murder

Will the horrors we are inflicting on Iraqi men, women, children, babies ever penetrate the minds of the American public, ever enter their nightmares, ever cause them to weep -- or puke?   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Who's The Enemy?

Over the years the U.S. has been involved in many wars. Were its adversaries -- the Native Americans, British, Mexicans, Spanish, Filipinos, Germans, Japanese, Italians, Koreans, Vietnamese, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, etc. -- really enemies of the American people?   More...


Arts & Culture

Gilles d'Aymery:  Keith Jarrett In San Francisco
War Memorial Opera House, March 19, 2006

The last time Keith Jarrett gave a solo performance in San Francisco was some twelve years ago and we missed it. No way were we going to repeat the blunder. The moment we heard about the forthcoming piano concert, late January, we bought two orchestra tickets and waited impatiently for the occasion.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Fat Pigs And The American Drama

Obesity is the shame of America and escaping it, the national obsession. Dieting, exercise, and body sculpting have become manias, and slimness the unachievable ideal. "Fat" is the inexcusable insult.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Jan Baughman:  Government-Sanctioned Food Poisoning

Sometime in the 1990s, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) learned of the formation of benzene in soft drinks that contain sodium benzoate as a preservative and Vitamin C for our health.   More...


Julian Edney:  Who Stole The Common Good?
The Shadow of Ayn Rand

Ideas run a society. Leaders come and go. Cabinets get shuffled. The sun rises and expires. But there's something you can't turn off and on with a remote. It's the national frame of mind.   More...


George Beres:  US Supreme Court And Catholic Church Dogma

Many citizens have growing concern over an emerging theocracy because of increased influence on the Bush administration by fundamentalist, evangelistic Christians. Among those rightly concerned are Catholics -- but they may need to look into a mirror.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Milo Clark:  William T. Hathaway's Summer Snow

Summer Snow is a relatively simple novel crafted around universal themes: cross-cultural love, first loyalties, governmental duplicities, contemporary lists of nasties, and a chase in search of an errant nuke.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Law Of Diminishing Returns

The more that you bleed, the more sacrifice it takes
and the less valuable the benefits will seem.
For your heart-felt confusion and moral delusions
blame the law of diminshing returns.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Continuing the Israeli-Palestinian discussion between Dr. Jacob Amir and Gilles d'Aymery, with a reader's encouragement; advice for Charles Marowitz; support and admonition for Slobodan Milosevic; and more, from totalitarianism to sayanim, foul play in elections and fowl play in bird flu, with a spew on leftist crap...   More...



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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: March 29, 2006