Note from the Editor

The U.S. is currently delaying food assistance to a people in the midst of a famine to achieve political aims... The humanitarian aid to North Korea is tied, as Bush II has confirmed, to the politics of the latest fabricated nuclear crisis in East Asia, and is merely presented in the media as tough diplomacy and dialogue, not a genocidal policy, which it clearly is. The term genocide has been quite efficiently applied to US-defined miscreants -- do you recall how in 1999 the moralizing crowds were pontificating that if the Serb leadership's intent was to kill even one Muslim, that very intent in and by itself was proof of genocide? (Milosevic is in the imperial dock accordingly). It's only the bad people du jour who are genocidists, right? Well, Ed Herman turns the matter upside down on its head and applies the term to the U.S. and its client state in the Middle East. Let's brace ourselves for another volley of flames!

Following the media you would believe that the only real problems faced by the good guys are the "terrorists" (what little we hear of them), Iraq and its blood-thirsty leader, the wicked Palestinians, and the other dictator in the Hermit Kingdom, the Land of Morning Calm, bound to defy the peace and freedom loving people of the world with his mini-nukes (quiz: who last called for using nukes?) but if you follow Gilles d'Aymery you'll see a wider picture of the many predicaments (choking pretzels?) that are piling up on Bush's plate. But then, as Milo Clark explains, it may have to do not with ignorance but with the ignorance of ignorance...

Talking about the media, The New York Times reported that "tens of thousands" of demonstrators had gathered in Washington D.C., San Francisco, and various other cities around the world. Of course, if you keep adding up the tens of thousands you'll get close to 200,000 in San Francisco and 4 or 500,000 in D.C., and that's just two cities among over 30! It won't be reported as such, but the antiwar demonstrations of January 18 were a huge success. How do we know? Simple, Michael Stowell was there! Not only does he present his rationale for participating but in a second piece he offers his live impressions of the moment. Now, go back to the International A.N.S.W.E.R coalition and find out about the next events. Get ready for February 15!

While the masses were demonstrating and celebrating the legend of Martin Luther King Jr., Resident Bush, so as not to be left out of the inspiration mix, declared January 19 to be National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Jan Baughman, in a letter to Mr. Bush, shows the hypocrisy of a government that is chipping away at abortion while diverting funds from health care, education, and just about every social service, to the military and the wealthy. With this suffering economy, William Funke describes the likely disastrous consequences of Bush's faulty tax plan packaged and marketed as an 'economic stimulus plan,' and offers some better alternatives. Philip Greenspan explains the cost in human dividends that a "patriotic" investment in war will impose.

We have two powerful poems to share -- one by Alma Hromic, for the migratory birds facing a loss of protection along with the US wetlands, and one by John Bart Gerald, with a superb and haunting drawing by Julie Maas, for the casualties of a US bombing of a civilian shelter in Baghdad in 1991. Finally, Milo Clark reviews the prophetic and pioneering works of Robert A. Heinlein.

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


Patterns Which Connect

Edward S. Herman:  Parallel And Linked Genocides: Iraq And Palestine

Remember the optimistic forecasts of a dozen years ago that in a post-Soviet world, without the bitter conflict of two competing systems, and with the triumph of the liberal capitalist West, we would soon see the spread of peace, tolerance and prosperity?   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  A World Full Of Choking Pretzels

Presuming that democracy is the ability of order to integrate movement the ever-so-friendly US governing elites (Corpocracy), be they neo-liberals, neo-cons or neo-imperialists, have their work cut out for them as movement seems to get rapidly out of hand, at least from their perspective, even when some is originally triggered by these very elites. Suffice it to look around the 'global village.'   More...


Milo Clark:  Typology Of Ignorance

In Buddhist matters, the Sanskrit word Duhka, Pali Dukka, is commonly translated as "suffering." According to the Four Noble Truths, life's central problem is suffering.   More...


Activism Under the Radar Screen

Michael W. Stowell:  Demonstration

Here it is Wednesday afternoon [January 15] and I haven't even started a column for you. There are so many issues and concerns to write about nowadays that I feel like a child in a huge toy store and, at the same time, like a child in a dentist's chair.   More...


Michael W. Stowell:  The Magical Mystery Tour

The bus ride from Arcata to the demonstration in San Francisco began on Friday, the 17th, as a community event. Our two Veterans For Peace buses were loaded with folks who carried a variety of perspectives and a limited amount of baggage. Cheered by people on streets as we departed, I felt a sobering sense of responsibility; the hearts of many went with us.   More...


Slices of US Society

Jan Baughman:  National Sanctity Of Human Life Day
A Letter to the President

It certainly is a weekend of contradictions, with our anti-war demonstrations, and peace rallies in honor of Martin Luther King's birthday, and your escalating threats to Iraq. Speaking of contradictions...   More...


William Funke:  Bush Economic "Plan" (giggle, snort)

The latest employment numbers show that the U.S. lost over 101,000 jobs in December, and the November number was raised from 40,000 to 88,000. Kmart just announced another 300 store closings with about 20,000 layoffs, and so it goes...   More...


Boss Men Over the Ages

Philip Greenspan:  Dividends From A Patriotic Investment

From time immemorial when Big Daddy decided to play rough and battle some other honcho it was the little guys on both sides who bashed each other to pieces. The net result hasn't changed over all those thousands of years.   More...



Alma A. Hromic:  The Birds

We are the messengers from on high.
The v-shaped passage of your days
across a sweeping autumn sky,
the music a waning year plays,
a soaring soul-deep melody
of open wings and spirits free   More...


John Bart Gerald:  to all those lost 2/13/91 4:30 a.m.
With Drawing by Julie Maas

where does this war begin
who pulled the pin
point bombing which makes truth a lie
so many people die
there's no return from genocide
no place for the poor to hide   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Milo Clark:  Future History
The Work of Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein cut the mold for sci-fi in many ways. His earliest works fit the pulp fiction, quarter a copy, short story genre. He developed a breezy style.   More...


Letters to the Editor


A kind and thoughtful letter to Alma Hromic as well as well as a short poem with apologies to William Shakespeare...   More...



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Created: January 23, 2003