Note from the Editor

We have known Aleksandra Priestfield for over one year. She's contributed nine times to Swans already, always with little comment and much friendship. Yet, this time, her tenth, the friendship was present as always but the comment was out of the ordinary. She simply stated: Be warned, I am angry and some of the stuff that you can go and see from this page is GRAPHIC. Use your own judgment. Nothing more, nothing less. We went to visit the site she refers to in her piece. We got sick in our stomach, sick in our heart, sick in our mind as we, collectively, are as responsible for our actions (through our armed forces and elected representatives) as the Germans were during WWII -- actually even more so because we are supposed to live in a democracy and we elect our governing "authorities" (at least most of the time).

Depleted uranium presupposes that we can control all matter. The qualificative depleted implies that there is no risk whatsover from the use of uranium in our ecological environment. After all, Americans have long believed they are in control of and direct their destiny as well as all matters on earth and in our galaxy. Guided by faith the armies of believers march on toward an ever redefined glory. Some people are, assuringly unfortunately, left on the sideline. Whether it's three million Vietnamese people, Laotians, Cambodians, Iraqis, Cental Americans, Africans, Serbs, even the allies of the day (whichever day it is, whichever allies they are), and more, those sad statistics should not keep the eyes off the prize. We, in America, are the chosen one. Depleted uranium is nothing more than an inoffensive tool to advance the truth.

Thank you for this reading rendition of Swans. Please form your own opinion.


Depleted Uranium: Is it Good for Your Health?

Aleksandra Priestfield:  Apocalypse Now

The cat is well and truly out of the bag now - the Great&Powerful made a valiant grab for its tail, but missed. It is out, and the pigeons are in full flight.

The full extent of "humanitarian" war is being revealed before our eyes. The word "humanitarian" is being redefined - who are the humans who make up the root of that word? Only the people currently in favour with the people using that word to damn their enemies as subhuman and therefore unworthy of consideration?

How far we have come - from hell to hell, via a road paved with something that was only disguised as good intentions.   More...

Aleksandra Priestfield, a writer and an editor, contributes her regular columns to Swans



Gilles d'Aymery:  Depleted Uranium and Depleted Public Opinion

Two weeks ago we reported about Depleted Uranium: The Balkans Syndrome. European governments whose militaries had taken part in the war against Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999 and are presently posted in Kosovo under the umbrella of KFOR were beginning to ask questions about the possible radioactive effects of Depleted Uranium (DU) on their soldiery. Even the British government, its back against the wall because of an uproar in public opinion, has decided to screen its military while continuing all the same to deny any causality between the Gulf War/Balkans syndrome and DU. New studies are called for, say the European politicians, so new studies have been launched.   More...

Gilles d'Aymery is Swans' publisher and co-editor.



Philip Berrigan:  Compressing the Gap Between Nuclear and Conventional Weapons

The 20th century has been dubbed "the bloodiest of centuries," with over 200 million dead from war. How many more are crippled physically, psychologically, spiritually by war? Four hundred million? How many more victimized and destroyed by the spirit of war--genocides, tortures, disappearances, gulags, pogroms, economic sanctions? Incalculable! How many are alive today who have not been scarred in some way by war? The harvest of death and destruction from war is appalling, stupefying.   More...

Philip Berrigan, a Catholic pacifist, member of Plowshares vs. Depleted Uranium was condemned to 30 months in prison in March 2000 for disarming two A-10 Thunderbolt planes.



David Krieger:  Millennial Message

We are at the beginning of a new century and millennium. If there was ever a time for reflection, this should be it. In the spirit of Ernest Hemingway, who said that he always wrote about the truest things that he knew, I would like to make three points that I believe are true, obvious, and seriously under-appreciated.   More...

David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, an international education and advocacy group on issues of international peace and security.



Simon Weston:  Excerpt of the prologue to Bloody Hell

Sometimes I think I never went to war -- war came to me. It hit, burned, changed, and tempered me. And taught me many things.

Bad people, I learned, don't go to war. It's the young who go to war, the nice lads. And it's the civilians who become the real innocent casualties of war. But the people who actually wage war are so far behind the lines that they don't even get a smell of cordite, let alone hear the shells explode.   More...

Simon Weston fought during the Falklands war. He wrote the prologue of Dan Hallock's book, Bloody Hell



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Created: August 16, 2001