Note from the Editor

This entire rendition is dedicated to the world crisis that is escalating dramatically and has yet to reach a crescendo. A friend from upstate New York called after returning from a drive to New York City to visit an ailing uncle. His description of the city was as banal as it was troubling. He called it Fort New York. Another friend had his car extensively searched at our local airport, and Jan Baughman reports that on a flight to Seattle last week, the pilot announced that they had "completed the FBI background check on the passengers and we're good to go." People, in their ratcheted emotions, have forgotten the words of a former president, "All we have to fear is fear itself." What comes to mind are the prophetic words of Wilhem Reich, prior to WWII, "Reactionary concepts plus revolutionary emotion result in fascist mentality."

There are too many articles, essays, and poems, sixteen in total (and NO ads!), to introduce them all in these short notes. We've received many "unhappy" e-mails in relation to our last rendition and decided to address them in an editorial. Alma Hromic finds the right words, les mots justes, in a poem in memory of the victims. Antony Black and Stephen Gowans offer more pertinent analysis of their own. Dr. Andreas Toupadakis, the nuclear scientist who resigned from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in protest against the further development of nuclear weapons, brings his convictions to the fore. Hromic, Stowell, Priestfield and many more share their opinions with you. We also call for actions through the words of, among others, Helen Mader and FAIR.

You'll find some unusual publications, namely the transcripts of anonymous posts on various fora (or forums); and we'd like to bring to your attention Mark Twain's "War Prayer." In many senses, the current situation, or atmosphere if you will, looks very much like "Déjà vu all over again!"

There is much to ponder within this rendition. We hope you will appreciate its wide diversity – a diversity of opinions you will not find in the corporate-owned media, "Officialdom." Please form your own opinion and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that makes ours grow.


Editorial: On My Mind

Gilles d'Aymery:  Freedom of Speech and Swans

I've received an unusually high amount of e-mails following the publication of our September 17 issue of Swans. Beside the customary basket of hate mail that leaves me unfazed and that I ignore and delete from my computer's hard drive (haters, you are wasting your time and your bandwidth), a substantial number of readers felt offended by...   More...

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


"Let my memorial be justice, and not shame"

Alma A. Hromic:  Memorial

It doesn't matter what I was. The essence of me
has fled into the empty sky, dust to the dust
of the steel-and-glass wreckage when the towers fell.   More...

Alma Hromic is an acclaimed novelist and a poet who was born in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. She is the co-author with R. A. Deckert of Letters from the Fire


We do feel and we do think....and we do analyze

Stephen Gowans:  For Washington, A Lining Of Black Gold In This Dark Cloud?

Did George W. Bush act quickly to take advantage of the September 11th attacks? Are future attacks something he might not be altogether displeased with?   More...

Stephen Gowans is a writer and political activist who lives in Ottawa, Canada.



Alma A. Hromic:  Anarchy Is Loosed Upon The World

Things reach out and grab you by the throat, sometimes. You don't even have to be in the same room with those things, in the same city, in the same country, even in the same decade; some things are powerful enough to transcend time and space and affect you through sheer power of word and image. They will affect you just as powerfully...   More...

Alma Hromic is an acclaimed novelist and a poet who was born in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. She is the co-author with R. A. Deckert of Letters from the Fire



Antony C. Black:  The Enduring Reign of the Shruggers

It is often said that the first casualty of any war is the truth. Nowhere is this more evident than in the new War on Terrorism initiated by the United States and supported now by a whole host of countries either sympathetic to the cause, prudent as to their economic interests, or simply frightened out of their wits at being blown to smithereens.   More...

Antony Black is a Canadian teacher and political activist who contributes his columns to Swans.



Andreas Toupadakis:  Soldier, Can You Hear?

You were dreaming last night of your wife and your little daughter and you felt a great desire to hold them in your arms and tell them how much they meant for your life and happiness. You finally called them and told them "I will be back soon, in just a few weeks, until we finish the job, then I will see you and we will have a good time." You hung up the phone...   More...

A former nuclear scientist, Dr. Andreas Toupadakis is a professor and lecturer on peace and environmental issues at many universities and colleges.



Michael W. Stowell:  Can We Change?

Envision this: It's November 23rd and the Christmas shopping season officially opens. Americans are encouraged to do their patriotic duty and shop, shop, shop to prop up the stagnant economy. Meanwhile, two million refugees are starving to death in Afghanistan and Pakistan.   More...

Michael W. Stowell is chairperson of the City of Arcata Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Commission, Humboldt County, CA.


To be active is not an un-American trait

Eli Beckerman:  Remember What Makes Us Great

The United States of America -- melting pot, democratic nation, superpower -- is about to embark on a mission which became hazily defined on Tuesday, September the 11th, 2001.

Faced with countless charges of arrogance and selfishness from the international community...   More...

Eli Beckerman is an astrophysicist and computer specialist at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.



Helen L. H. Mader:  My Letter To Government Officials

[Here is the] text of a letter which I have written and am faxing to President Bush, U.S. Senators for CA, and my Congresswoman (sample below is the one to Sen. Feinstein). I think it is very important at this time to let our government officials know what we are thinking.   More...

Helen Mader is a community activist and a friend of Swans



Andreas Toupadakis:  Questions and Answers on Achieving Peace

An overwhelming number of governments have sent their condolences to the US government for the horrendous tragedy that struck the United States on September 11, 2001. At the same time, a few of those governments are keeping thousands of weapons of mass destruction on hair trigger alert...   More...

A former nuclear scientist, Dr. Andreas Toupadakis is a professor and lecturer on peace and environmental issues at many universities and colleges.



FAIR:  Media Pundits Advocate Civilian Targets

As the news media prepare for war, some prominent journalists have been advocating military strategies that violate the laws of war and mirror the strategies of terrorists.   More...

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) is an organization that focuses its efforts on media analysis, critiques and news reports.


Web anonymity at a glance

Anonymous posters on a military forum:  Bring Back Napalm

Highly disturbing, troubling, dangerous and scary posts on a Web forum.   More...

A glance at one of the many fora on



Anonymous posters on a military forum:  Arguments for using Strategic Weapons (Nuclear)...

Next stop, Apocalypse... The first post (and the only one of interest) is a chilling rationalization of the use of nuclear weapons.   More...

A glance at one of the many fora on



Anonymous posters on a community forum:  The Armagheddon Game

A collection of anonymous posts debating the consequences of retaliation in the aftermath of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on September 11, 2001.   More...

Anonymous posts from a large online community,


The consequences: Is this what we are all about?

Aleksandra Priestfield:  If Dr. Seuss Was On This Plane...

Just go now!
We do not want you on the plane,
We do not want you in our lane,
We don't want you on a bus,
We do not want you near us!   More...

Aleksandra Priestfield is a writer and an editor who contributes her regular columns to Swans.


Déjà vu all over again?

Mark Twain:  The War Prayer

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly...   More...

Beside being the famous author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain was a vice president of the Anti-Imperialist League.



« Previous | Current Issue | Next »


Created: October 13, 2001