Note from the Editor

Millions of words have already been spent on the illegal, undeclared, inhuman, shameful war against a country that never, ever attacked, or threatened the United States -- NEVER, EVER! If you want to read more about the daily reporting of "embedded" journalists, the pundits' take, the navel-centered bloggers and Listservs' salon analysts, this issue of Swans will not make the cut. We are not and never will be about killing and destroying in the name of our comfortable, ecosystem-frying so-called civilization. We ask Mr. Bush to support the troops by ordering them to stop this massacre, this murder, and bring them home, thus preventing the Iraqis from dying in vain against the invasion of their country and the US troops from dying in the name of profits. These kids are not responsible for the recurring abominations. They are the instrument of policies masterminded by plutocrats who stay far away from the killing fields, with their siblings, and enrich themselves with the blood of others. Blood is coloring the desert sands. Blood everywhere in the name of our consumerist society... If you truly want to fathom where we stand, Pablo Neruda's words about blood in the streets, in I'm Explaining a Few Things, should resonate loudly and clearly.

Tired and exhausted; that's what we are. Tired of the perpetual demonizing of human beings; exhausted by the failure of intellectuals to stand up for moral principles, the teachings of the Enlightenment, and against the abdiction of universal values. Tired of war as a panacea (when it's only a placebo); tired of self-destruction in the name of the few; tired of being a part of an ongoing human (e.g. Africa) and ecological disaster (our planet, the ozone layer, and all).

No, we will not add to the requiem. Not one word is uttered in this rendition about the 24-hour news-cycle Freedom in Iraq tragedy. One cartoon worth all those gazillion words will do it, courtesy of Jan Baughman, a genuinely patriotic American.

Instead let us look at the abject failure of thought and imagination of our so-called intellectuals and pundits, with a presentation on the immense knowledge of Julien Benda and an extended excerpt of his famous book, La Trahison des Clercs. We then move on to the untangling discourse that helps the plutocrats control our lives to no end with the help of Scott Orlovsky. Philip Greenspan provides a simple, but potent demonstration of what's needed if the consent of the governed is to be heeded. Milo Clark expresses his frustrations and emphasizes yet again the importance of working at the local and community level. We are also re-publishing one of his early works, a parable about the raven, and a follow-up on his last book review on the Fourth Turning. Gerard Donnelly Smith, with much research, digs into the moral obligation to define the use of nuclear weapons, whether in "self-defense" or "pre-emptively," as crimes against humanity. Will this madness, the need to even contemplate their use, ever abate?

Thanks to the generosity of Baffour Ankomah we are also continuing our Zimbabwe series -- Africa, far from the headlines, is dying, do YOU hear? This will not be the last of our reports on the African Holocaust. And then, poetry as always, with a work about the real Americans!

Enjoy, or in these bleak times, take advantage of 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

Jan Baughman:  Operation Iraqi Freedom

[Ed. What's the saying, a picture is worth one thousand words? Well, here are some 70k of them... Be patient. It'll be worth your time.]   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Gilles d'Aymery:  Julien Benda - The Failure of Imagination and Thought

On March 24, 1999, the NATO alliance of 19 countries launched an undeclared and illegal war on Serbia, a small country whose people and politicians had been obstinately demonized for years. The overwhelming majority of the American opinion makers that form the punditocracy was actively advocating and supporting the conflict and regurgitating the crass disinformation fed by the powers that be.   More...


Julien Benda:  Excerpt from The Treason of the Intellectuals
Translated by Richard Aldington

TO SUM UP: If I look at contemporary humanity from the point of view of its moral state as revealed by its political life, I see (a) A mass in whom realist passions in its two chief forms—class passion, national passion—has attained a degree of consciousness and organization hitherto unknown; (b) A body of men who used to be in opposition to the realism of the masses, but who now, not only do not oppose it, but adopt it, proclaim its grandeur and morality; in short, a humanity which has abandoned itself to realism with a unanimity, an absence of reserve, a sanctification of its passion unexampled in history.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Philip Greenspan:  Revolutionary Historical Phenomena Unfold

9/11 ushered in an unprecedented and astonishing phase in world history. Just consider what a truly amazing exploit that dastardly terrorist attack was.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Scott Orlovsky:  How To Understand Language And Ideology?

Firstly, we must discuss the utilization and comprehension of language. Each individual sees the world with their mind through photographic receptors contained in their eyes.   More...


Milo Clark:  Decoyed Yet Again

I've been had, duped, faked out, conned, flim-flammed and f...ed over! For more than two years now, I've let myself be decoyed, diverted, dodged by the Bush coup, then Afghanistan and now Iraq.   More...


Milo Clark:  How Raven Came To Be Black: A telling of a Macah Story

[Ed. This story was originally published in June 1996. We are reposting it in light of our shameful, immoral, illegal, illegitimate massacre in Iraq.]

"Oh, Ohh, Ohhhh!" said Raven. "Please, pleease, pleeease! Don't, oh don't, oh please don't, please don't ask again. I've told you already, told you so many, many times why I can't do that for you. I really can't. I just can't."   More...


Milo Clark:  More On The Fourth Turning

My friends tell me my humor is too dry at times. My enjoyment of Strauss and Howe's ways didn't make it through.   More...


Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Use Of Nuclear Weapons As A Crime Against Humanity

In an age of "frighteningly normal" and mundanely average political leaders who conscientiously do their jobs, we must understand that the distinction between right and wrong, between evil and good, too often becomes a matter of perspective, of political expediency or "national security."   More...


Colonialism, Nationalism and Barbarity

Baffour Ankomah:  Zimbabwe: "The Land Has Come Back"

"The land has come back," a triumphant President Mugabe declared at the ruling Zanu-PF Central Committee meeting in Chinhoyi on 12 December.   More...


Baffour Ankomah:  Zimbabwe: "A Conservative Government Would Never Have Done That"

David Hasluck was the director of the CFU for 18 years -- from 1984 till 20 December 2002 when he finally left office.   More...


New AfricanZimbabwe: The Spark

Over the Christmas period, Claire Short, the British international development minister, led the British government's effort to stop the English cricket team from playing in Zimbabwe "because of the political crisis in the country."   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Geronimo's Skull

Headless, beneath concrete and stone pyramid,
eagle stretching above assembled bones, you do not rest.
Across the prarie, riding in a Model-T,
your headless soul still searches for your skull.   More...



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Created: April 5, 2003