Note from the Editor

They are here....the Swans' infamous predictions! We aren't you, but if we were, we would pass on them, ignore such abhorrent prophecies and move on to the real stuff included in this first issue of SWANS Commentary for 2002. Of course, the more we tell you not to read them the more you will want to — an old journalistic hat trick! But you've been warned. For we do present you with a fine collection of "serious" (could someone provide us with a definition of the word?) essays.

Steve Gowans pierces holes in the OBL videotapes of so-called evidence and, connecting the patterns, crossing the t's and dotting the i's, he shows the remarkable similarities between the 1997 forgotten events in Moscow and 9-11. Clark digs further into the patterns that connect, from explaining the deeper reasons for our latest war to looking, in very personal terms, at the possible consequences of our sublime arrogance. From reading Michael Stowell and Alma Hromic, you may well conclude that this Xmas was not what it used to be... Jan Baughman demonstrates yet again the inanity, the moronity, the offensive expression of the propaganda disseminated by "Officialdom." We also have a few letters to the editor for your enjoyment.

Here is to a new year... Our deepest wish and hope is that India, home of Mahatma Gandhi, will be wiser than these so-called United States of America. Friends have shared their sense of despondency with us. From Michael Stowell to Rick Rozoff, people of character and immense commitment, have expressed their sense of loss when confronted with the current blasphemy, the vile rape of reason. Others have receded into silence. This is not the time to withdraw. What we have been witnessing for the past decade needs deconstruction with clear voices and construction with fair minds. To all who feel as abdicating the struggle for integrity, reason, justice, and equity, we beg you. NO! Keep your head high, your mind clear, your heart open, your voice limpid....and heard. It is not the time to give up. This is our fervent wish to you all. Please keep thinking for yourselves and never abdicate your right, indeed your obligation, to form your OWN opinion. Then, if you are ever so kind and consider we deserve the privilege, please let your friends (and foes) know about Swans. It's your voice that will make ours grow. Onward to 2002!


Swans' Definite Predictions

2002 Predictions

...It's worth remembering the rule established by Maurice Maréchal, the founder of the satirical French weekly, Le Canard Enchaîné, when the assassin of the great Jean Jaurès was acquitted:

    1- Get indignant.
    2- Laugh: It's more powerful, more effective, more avenging, and funnier.   More...

Swans is a collective, a flock. Its purpose is... You find out. Meantime, best wishes.


Cutting to the Chase

Stephen Gowans:  The Government That Cries Wolf

You're either with us, or you're with our enemies. George W. Bush wasn't the first to utter this bit of nonsense, a favourite of bullies. Nor will he be the last. Absurd as the line is, it's good propaganda and one thing the Bush government knows is propaganda.   More...

Stephen Gowans is a writer, a political activist and a Swans' columnist.


Jan Baughman:  Measuring Life in Scrap Metal

On December 24, 2001, The New York Times reached a new level of propaganda with its piece headed "Ravaged Earth" and entitled "Scavenging The Harvest Where Bombs Have Plowed." This short fable takes us to the farmland village of Gri Khel, outside of Tora Bora, Afghanistan, that is scorched by drought and now devastated by bombings.   More...

Jan Baughman is a Biotech scientist and Swans' co-editor.


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  Why War Now?

Government, education and business are redolent with intelligent, skilled people strongly motivated by professional standards as they understand them and have been taught. There are vast reservoirs of data and statistics coupled with immense information resources. Think tanks abound.   More...


Milo Clark:  War as Punishment Risks Splattering

You asked what impact current events might have on the US-Russia relations, including but not limited to our withdrawal from ABM treaty, the potential for a trans-Afghanistan oil pipeline, etc. What do I think?   More...

Milo Clark is a Swans' founding member, advisor and columnist.


Stephen Gowans:  Russia's Sept. 11

What was the pretext for Russia breaking its 1997 treaty renouncing the use of military force in Chechnya? The export of Islamist secessionism to neighboring Dagestan and the Moscow apartment bombings.   More...

Stephen Gowans is a writer, a political activist and a Swans' columnist.


Xmas Lights in Afghanistan?

Michael W. Stowell:  Ghost of Xmas Past

Die for the cause or watch the world die for lack of it
On a heap of human carcasses
In Nature's graveyard
Die   More...

Michael Stowell is chairperson of the City of Arcata Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Commission, CA, and a Swans' columnist.


Alma A. Hromic:  Who Turned Out The Lights?

A year ago, I was celebrating my first married Christmas in the United States. Right after Thanksgiving, the first signs of Christmas started appearing.   More...

Alma Hromic is an acclaimed poet and novelist, and a Swans' columnist.


Letters to the Editor

On "Un-American, Fly-Shit Melody" and Gilles d'Aymery



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Created: January 7, 2002