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Note from the Editors

Just days before America scorned Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule, suspension of Pakistan's constitution, jailing of dissidents, and silencing of the media, her Congress passed with only six opposition votes the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007," reminding us once again that It Can Happen Here (though here the Supreme Court would surely comply...). It's yet another example of why the world views our attempts at exporting "Democracy" for the very hypocrisy that it is, despite all propaganda to the contrary. This week one of the last rats standing quietly jumped ship: Karen Hughes, former Bush counselor and White House Iraq Group member who, after successfully selling the war to the public, left to spend more time with her family. This time around as under secretary of public diplomacy, charged with countering bad news and defending the administration's policies, Hughes declared Mission Accomplished -- and left to spend more time with her family. Despite the fact that the world again loves America, another rat in the form of Donald Rumsfeld had to slip quietly out of Paris as a French judge is considering charging him with authorizing torture...

Yet in light of the above antics and the majority opposed to the Iraq War, why is it that 52% of Americans are in favor of attacking Iran? Gilles d'Aymery examines the psyche underlying this seeming contradiction and the fear tactics that are paving the well-oiled path to the next war. Demonization of the Other, whether Iraqi or Iranian, is at the Heart of Darkness of American imperialism, as Michael Doliner illustrates in a powerful essay. Likewise, dehumanization allows for the acceptance of such euphemistic practices as waterboarding; if upcoming Attorney General Mukasey is still uncertain about this barbaric act, he'd be well served to study Gerard Donnelly Smith's detailed account of its shocking reality and Carol Warner Christen's examination of torture and the corrosion of the Constitution. Meanwhile, numerous countries are facing the potent wrath of ecoterrorism, whether natural or man-made. Charles Marowitz describes the psychic damage wrought by losing one's entire home to wildfire, particularly when at the hands of an arsonist.

On the activist front (yes, it still has a voice!), Martin Murie looks at pioneering women and imagines what marvels could be accomplished with better cooperation between the genders, and Philip Greenspan reviews numerous Hollywood documentaries that explore antiwar topics otherwise taboo in the mainstream media. Segueing to culture, Peter Byrne explores the works of Charles Marowitz spanning from London to Los Angeles, where he took the theatre by storm. Self-described housewife Marie Rennard provides a unique analysis of 'pataphysics, languages, and the novels of Richard Beard. Poetry is provided in prose (Gerard Donnelly Smith) and in multilingual color (Guido Monte & Viviana Fiorentino; picture by Giuseppe Zimmardi); and humor comes in the form of Peter Byrne's dialogue with the existential question: from what TV show should the parrot learn to speak? Finally, we close with your letters, on Boris Vian, FDR, slumbering Americans, Ben Stein, and more.

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.

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Patterns Which Connect

Gilles d'Aymery:  The Inexorable March Into Iran

Understanding the intentions that lead the majority anti-Iraq-war, irresponsible Americans to buy into the march toward war on Iran.   More...


Michael Doliner:  We Hold These Truths

American imperialism is the heart of darkness stripped of the very humanity on which the country was founded.   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Insurgent Word: Waterboarding

Torture redefined in the euphemism of waterboarding is still an illegal act in most courts of civilized nations, so what kind of society has the U.S. become in adopting and condoning its use?   More...


Carol Warner Christen:  Torture Is An Abomination To Humankind

The US power elite have levitated themselves above the rest of humanity to create death as the business of the world -- it is up to we the People to regain control of the Constitution.   More...


America: Myths & Realities

Charles Marowitz:  The Fire Next Time

Contemplating the devastating psychic effects of fire, where great chunks of oneself are blown away amidst the arbitrary destruction of the itinerant arsonist.   More...


Activism Under the Radar Screen

Martin Murie:  Crazy Woman Creek

A look at pioneering women and the power that can be realized when men and women work together in mutual respect and confidence: Review of an anthology of women writing about communities of their own making.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Will Hollywood Films Ride To The Rescue?

A review of antiwar films not touched by the mainstream media, including In the Valley of Elah, Rendition, Stop Loss, and Meeting Resistance.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  The Alarming Exclusion Of Charles Marowitz

To understand the character of theatre director and drama critic Charles Marowitz one must explore his entire body of work spanning from London to Los Angeles.   More...


Arts & Culture

Marie Rennard:  Unauthorized Considerations Of A Housewife About Things She'd Better Not Feel Concerned With

Reflections on 'pataphysics; syntax, humor, and the art of translation; and the novels of Richard Beard.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  The Third Law of Thermodynamics (for Cara)

Part 3 of a prose poem for the author's center of being.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte & Viviana Fiorentino:  Shir Hashirim (Part II)

The second part of a contemporary multilingual version of the Song of Songs, by Monte and Fiorentino, with the help of Chiara Cappello, Costanza Dimitri, Gianvito Mistretta, Giuseppe Zimmardi...and Borges, Eluard, Frost!   More...


Humor with a Zest

Peter Byrne:  Beakspeak

A short play in which the couple debates which television shows their new parrot should be under the influence of, given they'll have to live with the repetitive consequences.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On Boris Vian and Le Déserteur, defending FDR's cynicism and waking up Americans in slumber, questioning whether Ben Stein's more dignified planet includes Iraq, acting out waterboarding to settle the definition of torture, and more.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: November 5, 2007