Note from the Editor

Perhaps having forgotten that everything he says publicly is still in the public record, or that his administration's successful propaganda campaign to link Saddam Hussein and 9/11 is what led to overwhelming support for his invasion of Iraq, this week Mr. Bush took great pains to undo the "misperception" that he ever said Saddam ordered the 9/11 attacks. Sponsored, funded, supported, associated with, bred, perhaps; but my goodness gracious, we never uttered the word ordered! Meantime, his propaganda campaign du jour proceeds full tilt in three-part harmony to redefine the nature of the Israel/Hezbollah conflict, link terror with Hezbollah, and Hezbollah with Iran and Syria in preparation for the next democratizing, peace-loving invasion. Milo Clark addresses the misinformation and ongoing peace-is-not-in-our-interest (unless we can bomb it upon you) campaigns, with some follow-up questions on when America ceased to experience the notion of shame. (He could also have referred to you-know-who in the Levant.) Philip Greenspan laments US war profiteering and the class distinctions between those on the ground suffering and those safely reaping the profits. Whether you become the attacker or the attacked comes down to which side of the fence you're born on; Martin Murie poetically relates man and animal to the consequences of borders, territories, and labels. We would be well served to revisit Paris, May 1968, when the student uprisings set into motion the social changes that are reflected in France today. Karen Moller was there and she shares her experiences during those transformative and somewhat nostalgic times.

More tales from Europe come in the form of a Peter Byrne short story set in Bulgaria with flavors of socialist Italy, and Charles Marowitz reports from Cortona on the sounds and wonders of the Tuscan Sun Festival. Peter Byrne also provides a review of Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere and the masterful travel writings and personal journey of James/Jan Morris. In the poetry corner, Gerard Donnelly Smith is pleased to introduce Drift of the Hunt, a collection of poems by his friend and former classmate Craig Paulenich, and Guido Monte shares an experimental poem on Nothing Recalled.

Finally, we close with your letters, with slightly different perspectives on Venice by Alexander Cockburn and Peter Byrne; a strange plea to Swans for assistance promoting god and preparing for the rapture, no less; the continued sorry debate on Israel, Jacob Amir, and the Middle East quagmire, and more.

As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans.


Patterns Which Connect

Milo Clark:  The More I Learn, The Less I Know

Verified several times from several sources, I understand that the spark for Israel smashing Lebanon back to rubble, again -- the capture of two Israeli soldiers -- occurred not in Israel but in Lebanon.   More...


Milo Clark:  Shame

Many, many people on this sad, sad earth know and use shame as a powerful civilizing tool.   More...


Philip Greenspan:  Who Wins, Who Loses

It's surreal! It makes no sense! Why, why, why do overwhelming masses in most countries not just willingly but enthusiastically put their lives, limbs, and well-being on the line when their political leaders embark upon war?   More...


Activism Under the Radar Screen

Martin Murie:  Fenced In

Barbed wire in the mind
I'll call it that.
Four strand fence, barbs sharp
against chest and gut and legs.   More...


Arts & Culture

Karen Moller:  On The Barricades In May 1968

May 1968 started like any other month but after the first week, it was obvious that dramatic changes were in the air.   More...


Peter Byrne:  Fathers

He was in his thirties, running to fat, juvenile, Italian. He had a mother, a dead father, a former wife from home and a new one in Bulgaria. He was working there, well paid in hard currency, a balding prince charming among the threadbare.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  A Place In The Sun

Cortona is a jewel of a town at the outer edge of Tuscany on the cusp of Umbria.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  James And Jan Morris On The Road To Nowhere

With a couple of exceptions the British have taken a drubbing in most departments in the last hundred years. World-beaters they have been only in their encounter with Adolf Hitler and, I would argue, in their peerless travel writing.   More...


9/11 Saga

Deck Deckert:  Conspiracy Nuts And 9/11

I have some friends who are conspiracy nuts.   More...



Gerard Donnelly Smith:  Craig Paulenich's Drift of the Hunt

"With one foot in the Paleolithic and one in the modern" was how Craig explained his approach to the Goat-man poems; the bulk of the poems in Drift of the Hunt develops this pathetic character.   More...


Guido Monte and Vittorio Cozzo:  Nothing Recalled

Painting of a crowd praying before the sun,
a painting hidden inside a little medal
which safeguards the whiteness of centuries
                         in Milan's oldest square—   More...


Letters to the Editor


Venice through Alexander Cockburn's and Peter Byrne's eyes; soliticing Swans' help to give god the recognition god deserves and to prepare for the rapture (!); more debate about Jacob Amir, Israeli policies, and the Middle East quagmire; T.S. Eliot's religiosity and G.B. Shaw's abstinence, and more.   More...



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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: August 30, 2006