Note from the Editor

Our humanitarian wars of the 90s get little coverage these days -- they are already "old" history. No pundit ever wonders why Slobodan Milosevic, under trial at The Hague, has been defeating his prosecutors for over two years (and counting). The Balkans is an issue that has confounded many people on the supposed Left; quite a few sided with this remarkable "humanitarian achievement." Call this phenomenon Balkan Blackout. To his credit, Edward Herman has never wavered and has kept focusing with great expertise on this issue. Here is the fourth installment of his Cruise Missile Left series in which he sharply deconstructs a few humanitarian do-gooders who gathered at a recent Nation Magazine forum.

These do-gooders who want to internationalize the Iraqi quagmire and dispatch more troops there (they are not the Bring-Them-Home type) would also gladly take over other "failed countries;" Cuba or Zimbabwe, for instance. In this context, we are deeply indebted to Baffour Ankomah, the Editor of New African, for sharing an historical and must-read interview of Pres. Robert Mugabe. To many, the words, "no remote control ever again" take a particularly strong significance in light of the renewed interest in neo-colonialism based on sheer, open, arrogant racism, as Baffour Ankomah demonstrates in his "Dr. Livingstone" piece. Racism, arrogance and meanness are also reviewed by Robert Macintosh and Philip Greenspan, from the Issei and Nisei (first- and second-generation Japanese Americans) to the Native Americans. Just imagine how immigrants or Muslim and Arab Americans feel...

The pressures on the Green Party not to run a ticket in next year's US presidential election continue unabated and are provoking a few strong words -- to say the least! -- from Deck Deckert. The ongoing debate within some progressive quarters about jumping on the Anyone-But-Bush bandwagon is rather disquieting and we raise a few legitimate questions about strategies proposed by the likes of Ted Glick, Norman Solomon and Michael Albert. We can only hope that the debate is not a foregone conclusion... Suffices to read Phil Rockstrow's "United States of Entropy," or Anthony Judge's introduction to his thorough paper, to appreciate how much change is needed more than ever.

Finally, poetry with Scott Orlovsky and a couple of humorous goodies but oldies. We're also reposting the excerpt of Diana Johnstone's Fool's Crusade, for Ed Herman cites it several times in his excellent piece. This is one of the very best books on the Yugoslav tragedy.

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


America: Myths and Realities

Edward S. Herman:  The Cruise Missile Left, Part 4
The Nation Magazine's Forum on "Humanitarian Intervention,"

In its issue of July 14, 2003, The Nation Magazine ran a "forum" on "humanitarian intervention," in which "twelve leading thinkers from around the world" were invited to discuss that subject. The character and limits of the selection of participants by the editors, and the associated assumptions, omissions, mythical history, and pro-imperialist biases of a fair number of these leading thinkers, are a regrettable indication of the sorry state of liberal-left critical thought in this country.   More...


Africa - Historical Interview

Interview by Baffour Ankomah:  Mugabe: 'No remote control ever again'

Zimbabwe celebrated 22 years of independence on 18 April [2002]. Because of the severe drought affecting the whole of Southern Africa and causing food shortages in the region, including Zimbabwe, the ZANU-PF politburo decided to have a low-key independence celebration and instead use the money to import more maize (the staple food) to feed the people. Before the celebration, President Robert Mugabe granted a wide ranging, world exclusive, interview to the New African editor.   More...


Racism, Arrogance, Meanness

Baffour Ankomah:  Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?

There is nothing so harrowing as to see a Western writer consumed by nostalgia parodying himself because these days the "natives" of Africa have "ideas above their station", and will no longer carry Western explorers in hammocks to go and discover many a lake, a mountain, a river, a waterfall, even a people, somewhere on this "beautiful continent" of ours.   More...


Richard Macintosh:  Mean

We live in violent, fearful, mean times. I remember another mean time, 1942, as America entered World War II. Under pressure from West Coast politicians, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 966, which removed people of Japanese descent, whether they were citizens or not, from the coastal states.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  A Genocide Museum For The U.S.

Genocide -- the ultimate in state criminal activity -- is an abomination that should never, never, never recur. The holocaust was genocide committed by the German state against the Jews but encompassed many other groups it despised, including Communists, labor leaders, political opponents, homosexuals, Gypsies and Slavic prisoners of war.   More...


Countdown to November 2004

Deck Deckert:  It's All Nader's Fault, And Other Fairy Tales

Here we go again. George Bush is all Ralph Nader's fault, Democrats are muttering. He cost Al Gore the election.   More...


Gilles d'Aymery:  Disquieting Green Politics

A wrenching debate is taking place among various segments of the American fractured left. Should the Greens field a candidate to the 2004 US presidential election? Many progressives are wrestling with the question and there is no easy answer, as the Greens are in a bind.   More...


Patterns which Connect

Phil Rockstroh:  The United States Of Entropy

Ours lungs burn like the last remaining rainforests, our livers are damaged like the flagging filtration system of the shrinking wetlands, Our brains are showing signs of a vast diminishment of bio-diversity, our tongues now ceaselessly babble the intoxicated nonsense of the mass media.   More...


Anthony Judge:  Introduction To Future Challenge of Faith-based Governance

This paper is an attempt to address the possible consequences of faith-based governance implemented worldwide as a consequence of the aspirations of the Christian-inspired Coalition of the Willing to impose a global American hegemony.   More...



Scott Orlovsky:  Till what end?

Parliament rejoiced
brought them millions
machines ate cotton
shit out underpants
for the
colonial burdens
children lost fingers
for the
queen's jewels.   More...


Oldies but Goodies

Gilles d'Aymery:  Naked Jan, or How to Get Read on the Web
(Originally published on August 24, 1997)

he other evening we had dinner with a famous media consultant friend of ours. We had called him earlier to relate our concern about the relatively low readership of Swans and the difficulties we were encountering to attract contributing writers.   More...


Jan Baughman:  Marriage Mutatis Mutandis
(Originally published on May 15, 1996)

As a child my religious education was scanty (though sufficient enough to allow me to come to my own conclusion). More recently; however, I received a rather unexpected edification: I experienced an annulment.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Diana Johnstone:  FOOLS' CRUSADE: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions

At the end of November 1999, an important new movement against "globalization" emerged in massive protests against the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle. Strangely enough, only months earlier, when NATO launched its first aggressive war by bombing Yugoslavia, there had been remarkably little protest.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On Gilles d'Aymery's article about US Establishment Bipartisan Strategy and on Milo Clarks's essay on Hawaii, Iraq and Islam.   More...



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Created: September 15, 2003