Note from the Editor

According to The New York Times, U.S. and British jets struck air-defense centers in Iraq because we had been provoked ("Provocation Cited," front page, Feb. 17, 2001). This time, the bombing made the News. But three preceding bombings since the Bush II monarchy was anointed never made it (yes, it's only the fourth time we bombed Iraq since Inauguration day on January 18). Officialdom lets us know what we need to know according to what is wanted from us; that is, nod approvingly of the decisions made on our behalf and in our name by "authorities" who don't bother to ask us what we really want. Remember, anointed bureaucratic monarchs know what's best for us all. Little has changed from one administration to the other. We bombed. We bomb. Officialdom tells the story. We buy it and so goes the cycle.

While a coin has two sides it turns out we never hear the other side of the story, whether in Iraq or in Yugoslavia. In regards to Yugoslavia, a new book is coming to your local bookstore this week. TO KILL A NATION, The Attack on Yugoslavia, by Michael Parenti, exposes documented facts that never made the News as Officialdom was too preoccupied with its official line. We are reviewing the book in this rendition. Some have suggested that Swans spends a considerable amount of words and bytes on the Yugoslav issue and that, in doing so, is deterring people from visiting the site. It may be. But the emotions, ours included, are still flaring as the two posts we found on an Internet Newsgroup Forum will demonstrate. We are publishing these two posts, only changing the actual names of the culprits in respect of their privacy. These two posts elicited a piece on the analogy with the Holocaust and the alleged atrocities. Do you remember, Serbs are demons?

As usual, please read this rendition and then form your own opinion.

No poetry corner today. Instead, a piece of humor that in more than one way is directly related to Iraq and Yugoslavia. It comes from a new contributor to Swans, Deck Deckert. Deck may be "new" to Swans' visitors but he is not to us. He is the co-author, with Alma Hromic, of Letters from the Fire, a book we keep recommending again and again (no, there is no financial interest involved) as it brings an historical perspective that is much lacking nowadays. Humor often brings to the fore what "serious" writing cannot. Welcome Deck!


Yugoslavia: The Other Side of the Story

BOOK REVIEW by Gilles d'Aymery:  TO KILL A NATION, The Attack on Yugoslavia, by Michael Parenti

No one knows everything and there are always two sides to a story. These two precepts, often unobserved, have been entirely ignored, utterly discarded by our decision makers and our opinion makers, media pundits and anchors, during the dramatic turmoil that engulfed Yugoslavia for the past decade. The absence of these two most basic rules considerably limits the likelihood that a citizenry can reach an informed opinion.

Social critic and historian Michael Parenti tells the other side of the story and brings to light with great details the knowledge that will allow the readers to form a balanced assessment of what really happened in the Balkans. This is not a book for aficionados of conspiracy theories.   More...

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



Yugoslavia: High Emotions Do Not Abate
by Two Netizens

Micha:  Open Letter to Richard

Silence is often interpreted as assent, so just so as mine won't be interpreted in that way I want to say this for the record and then, as far as Richard is concerned, I *will* withdraw into that silence and consign him to keep company with Zacharia and Pete in my killfile [two other members of the forum]. Not because I think he is right and I am wrong, but because of the fact that he upsets me so badly that the consequences are physical.   More...

Micha is a Netizen of Serbian heritage. This material was found on an Internet Newsgroup Forum Early February 2001.



Richard:  Answer to Micha's Open Letter

A half-century ago, the free world essentially chose to ignore the persecution and killing of Jews by Nazis. The major religious and political powers at the time justified their choice primarily on three things.   More...

Richard is a Netizen of American heritage. This material was found on an Internet Newsgroup Forum Early February 2001.



Gilles d'Aymery:  Kosovo: The "Banality of Evil"

This article is prompted by an exchange of two posts I have recently read on an Internet Newsgroup Forum. Emotions were running high. Micha, a Netizen of Serbian heritage, was expressing her frustrations in an Open Letter to a certain Richard who in turn answered in kind (their real names have been changed to protect their privacy).

The intensity of these emotions caught my attention. I felt that Richard's post should be addressed as it is by and large an exemplary representation of a flawed and misleading argumentation, hopefully founded on ignorance alone, that perversely and insidiously propagates a "story" based on guilt by association (the Holocaust syndrome), unsubstantiated allegations of genocide, and the age-old rhetorical technique of calling into question the integrity and the credibility of an opponent viewed, considered and treated as an adversary, the embodiment of the perfect enemy.   More...

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



Deck Deckert:  Explaining Nukes to a Martian

I was trying to explain nuclear weapons to Yyuran, my friend from Mars (never mind, it's a long story) the other day and he was having a lot of trouble with the concept.

"If it hadn't been for our nuclear weapons," I explained, "the Soviet Union would have taken over the world."

"The Soviet Union doesn't have any nuclear bombs?"   More...

A former copy, wire and news editor, Deck Deckert is a freelance writer. He is the author, with Alma Hromic of Letters from the Fire.



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Created: August 16, 2001