Note from the Editor

The plan to take out Saddam Hussein and liberate Iraq appears to have been implemented before the plans to rebuild it were in place -- short of awarding contracts to US companies, of course. The chaos we've left behind, absent of a semblance of bureaucracy, leaves the country at risk of returning to a feudal system, as Michael Doliner predicts. But the outcome of Operation Iraqi Freedom remains a success in the eyes of Americans -- many of whom believe we've already found the weapons of mass destruction -- and the media continues to blur the lines between the real and the faux, sustaining an ignorant and supportive populace to which Richard Macintosh pleads, "GET A CLUE!" Deck Deckert's Martian friend Yyuran wonders why Americans aren't mobilizing to impeach George W. Bush for his lies that led to the war in Iraq. There is little momentum to do so in this propagandized and bureaucratized climate, but Milo Clark encourages us to go beyond the beyond to break the quagmire. Scott Orlovsky reviews the patterns which connect, from the 11th century Crusades against the Muslims to the present day war on terrorism, and Philip Greenspan compares and contrasts the key events and the leaders of the World War II era with those of the war on Iraq and the Bush Administration.

If you think you have nothing to do with this mess we're in, read Philip Rockstroh, who shares the experience of being a nobody among nobodies in the culture of unaccountability and unchecked consumerism. But there are finite resources to satisfy our supersized -- should we say übersized -- longings; therefore, the only solution must be.... population control. Alma Hromic questions the motives behind groups such as Negative Population Growth, and a woman's contemplation of whether or not to have children.

Finally, we have a poem by Sabina Becker and Letter Five of Letters to a Young Poet, by Rilke. Most importantly, our thoughts are with Deck Deckert who just suffered a stroke and with Philip Greenspan's wife, Fran, who broke her hip a few weeks ago. See Gilles d'Aymery's report on Deck and Fran.

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


Sad and Unfortunate News

Gilles d'Aymery:  Deck and Fran

Swans' columnist and personal friend Deck Deckert has suffered a debilitating stroke that has caused speech impairment and paralysis on the right side of his body.   More...


Back to Iraq

Michael Doliner:  The Structural Disaster in Iraq

Much maligned when even noticed, the dull bureaucrat is crucial to the functioning of the modern state. Without his colorless but steady performance of duty opportunists would bleed the state's vast power for personal gain, and services would not be delivered.   More...


Richard Macintosh:  The Circus

The Romans had to attend the circus in person in order to witness it. Americans in the 21st Century may attend their "circus events," but there are alternative means to witness them. The circus comes to them, via various media, cleansed and otherwise.   More...


Deck Deckert:  They Impeach Presidents, Don't They?

"When are they going to impeach President Bush?" my Martian friend Yyuran asked me the other day. I stared at him in disbelief, thinking he had to be joking. He is always trying to rattle me.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  Perspectives And Perceptions. . . Again

"In the first place, our people must be delivered from the hopeless fusion of international convictions and educated consciously and systematically to fanatical Nationalism. . . ."   More...


Scott Orlovsky:  Please Listen

After 9/11, George Bush called for a crusade against Muslim terrorists! Please friendly reader, those with open mind and heart, disseminate this to people that you know. We need a new Enlightenment to break through the chains of the ignorance nourished by the corporate state.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Historical Amnesia Perverts Comparisons

The shock of 9/11 presented the media with a unique opportunity to play the fairy godmother.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Phil Rockstroh:  Nobody

It might appear that we've lost all sense of proportion: In that -- how huge and grotesque things have become: Colossal motor vehicles; the portions of food I crave; gaudy, land-devouring McMansions; my own and other American (once) citizen's/(now) consumer's sea-to-shining-sea asses.   More...


Alma A. Hromic:  The Having of Children

There are few topics that will start -- or stop dead in the water -- as many conversations as children. The having of them, the not having of them, the raising of them, the benefits of them and the risks of them.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

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

When I discovered the bitterly sardonic novels of Nathaniel West in the early 1960s, I never would have suspected that he was a Communist. Like most people coming of age during the waning days of the witch-hunt, I assumed that Communism and experimental literature were mutually exclusive.   More...



Sabina C. Becker:  Powers Of A Poet's Body

ow I have powers of a poet's body.
I walk my talk. I march free speech
and peace on streets of blind traffic
and road rage and cellphones and
bad fuel economy. Where I go many go,
though all seem to go in silence and alone.   More...



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Created: June 30, 2003