Note from the Editor

For months, due to the success of the anti-war demonstrations, the main media -- particularly the folks at The Nation, paragon of the "Institutionalized Left" -- have conducted a smear campaign to discredit some of the movement's organizers. In their effort to divide they've directed their slanders against the International ANSWER coalition, alleging that it was a front for the Workers World Party (WWP) which is always presented like an extremist, radical, Stalinist, sectarian outfit -- just the perfect invectives to scare the masses! The latest smear occurred last week and is known as the "Lerner Affair." But we anticipate... What better way to expose these machinations, how they work and are launched relentlessly, than ask one of these often vilified organizers -- and why not a member of the WWP at that? So, we contacted Lou Paulsen of Chicago on very short notice (Friday) and asked him if he could consider writing a piece for Swans, exposing the techniques used to attempt to split the anti-war movement. By Friday night, 11.00 pm his time, Lou still had, in his words, "to a) put some signs on sticks, b) write a leaflet about a meeting in two weeks, and c) get it printed," but he assured that he would try... We received with much appreciation his work the next morning. And what a piece of work it is! Read it and see how smear campaigns get set up and learn about some truly devious characters. But you know, in light of this weekend's demonstrations in the U.S. and all over the world, their efforts keep failing for, as Lou eloquently shows, the movement is quite diverse, united, and highly respectful of its many components and causes. As to sectarianism, well here you have it: a member of the WWP contributes to Swans!

The anti-war movement is strong and growing. Yet Condi Rice reaffirmed that Bush won't back down, and that the "the coalition of the willing is preparing." What of the coalition of the 'unwilling' and the growing rift between the U.S. and the countries that aren't playing our game, particularly France? Read Gilles d'Aymery's article, Accessories to Assassination, the title of which encapsulates his view of the situation. Ed Herman details with accuracy the U.S. manipulation of the UN and the media propaganda in preparation for war, or more aptly, massacre, a word that Deck Deckert expands upon in his powerful column. Senator Robert Byrd, a voice of reason and one of our favorite orators, gave a compelling speech on the seriousness of war on the floor of the Senate; we republish it.

What about the sheer hypocrisy of the Bush administration? Eli Beckerman illustrates it through the failed War on Drugs (illegal drugs that is -- prescriptions like those which Noelle Bush can't stay away from are okay...). For his part, Philip Greenspan reports that slavery is alive and well as corporations and countries barter cheap labor as a commodity. The masses are being drained and manipulated in the name of profits and under the guise of patriotism, a counter to which, posits Milo Clark, "smaller is better," and sustainability depends on the local, not global, society.

In these stressful times, let's keep in mind the power of creativity and imagination. Gregory Elich reviews a masterpiece of contemporary classical music, Pierre Boulez's Pli Selon Pli. (This is our very first music review on Swans!) Michael Stowell comments on Daniel Quinn's book oft quoted in these pages, Beyond Civilization. This rendition also includes Letter Three in the series of Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke; and in the poetry corner, Jan Baughman offers words and thoughts to those struggling for an alternative to war, as does e.e. cummings in his poem about Olaf, the conscientious objector.

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.


Back to Iraq

Lou Paulsen:  The Real Movement And The Media Movement: A Touch Of Lerneritis

The U.S. anti-war movement that appears in the headlines and feature stories of the corporate media is not the same thing as the U.S. anti-war movement that actually exists in real life.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Accessories To Assassination

A friend suggested that I -- a Frenchman in the U.S. -- should write an article about the present rift between the U.S. and its European 'allies,' and the Euro-bashing, particularly the hysteric francophobia in the main media and the corridors of power. How does this latest uproar strike me? It makes no difference. We are all a bunch of assassins.   More...


Edward S. Herman:  Using The "UN Process" To Help Organize A Massacre

The U.S. leadership and public never seem embarrassed at beating up very tiny countries, some about the size of Columbus, Ohio (Grenada), or using high tech weaponry against defenseless people.   More...


Deck Deckert:  A Massacre By Any Other Name

I have read thousands of anti-war sentiments on various Internet web sites and alternative news sources in the past year. Or, more precisely, I have read parts of such reports and essays.   More...


Senator Robert C. Byrd:  Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences

[ed. Remarks delivered on the floor of the US Senate, on February 12, 2003.]   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Eli Beckerman:  A Heartbreaking Presidency Of Staggering Hypocrisy

George W. Bush's Presidency has been tragic in many respects. It began with deep failures in, and blatant manipulations of, our supposed democracy -- all before George was ever anointed king.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  The Evolution Of Slavery

"I owe my soul to the company store," says a lyric from a popular song of the '40s. It summarizes the plight of the lowly coal miner whose existence epitomized a form of slavery that persisted long after slavery was legally abolished.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  Size Matters

If Leopold Kohr is correct, and I believe he is, the problem, put simply, is one of size. He says that everything has its right limits. If those limits are exceeded, it gets bad.   More...


Music Review

Gregory Elich:  PLI SELON PLI  A Modern Masterpiece

This is the latest of three recordings of Pierre Boulez conducting his own music in Deutsche Grammophon's 20/21 series, devoted to contemporary classical music.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Michael W. Stowell:  Look Deep Beyond Civilization

Daniel Quinn's first book, "Ishmael," was a fictional tale of intriguing possibilities for human evolution as seen by a caged gorilla possessed with an intellect and understanding far beyond conventional human acumen.   More...


Rainer Maria Rilke:  Letters to a Young Poet (Letter Three)

You gave me much pleasure, dear Sir, with your Easter letter; for it brought much good news of you, and the way you spoke about Jacobsen's great and beloved art showed me that I was not wrong to guide your life and its many questions to this abundance.   More...



Jan Baughman:  At The Banquet Of Humanity

Off guard we were plunged into ice-cold soup
on September 11
A few of us drowned
the rest flailed and choked   More...


e. e. cummings:  i sing of Olaf glad and big

i sing of Olaf glad and big
whose warmest heart recoiled at war:
a conscientious object-or   More...


Letters to the Editor


On work published in the previous edition as well as about a fabricated Abraham Lincoln's quote.   More...



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Created: February 22, 2003