Many thanks to Walter Trkla for his generous financial contribution.


Note from the Editors

We are profoundly saddened that Professor Tony Judt, the director of NYU's Erich Maria Remarque Institute, passed away on August 6, 2010, at the young age of 62. Gratefully, Louis Proyect was able to write on very short notice a thoughtful appreciation in which he traces the principled evolution of this British historian and intellectual from Francophile Cold War liberal and young Zionist to a rigorous critic of Israel, capitalism, and our materialistic culture based on hyper-consumption. Indeed, a remarkable evolution by a remarkable man. Tony Judt will be direly missed and we dedicate this issue to his legacy, beginning with the tragic consequences of our "success" in Iraq: the utter destruction of 6,000 years of culture, completely ignored by the mainstream media but not by Gilles d'Aymery. Traveling to Italy, Fabio De Propris deems that the visionless state of his country can be summarized by the destruction of L'Aquila following the 2009 earthquake and unscrupulous Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's response, while fellow resident Karen Moller wonders why there is so little interest in Italy's scandalous politics (perhaps because its scandalous president owns the media?).

There's one point on which Tony Judt and Bill Clinton agree: "The modern world, for all its blessings, is unequal, unstable, and unsustainable," asserted the latter. Unlike Judt, however, Clinton's response is an imperialism-promoting philanthropy designed to shield the ruling class from critical scrutiny, as Michael Barker explains. We are well served, according to Michael Doliner, by applying scientific theories and experiments to controversial issues such as evolution and global warming, though unfortunately politics usually prevails. For a taste of change we can believe in, Charles Marowitz pens a presidential address that we'll likely never hear... Femi Akomolafe also has some ideas for change, but the Ghanaian parliamentarians would be hard-pressed to relinquish their spoils on behalf of the people -- just see how they responded to criticism by their fellow MP, Kofi Wayo.

Turning the page to culture, Peter Byrne reviews two books on nationalism, the Ottoman Empire, and the destruction of two Aegean cities. Musically speaking, Isidor Saslav celebrates Bard College's Schreker renaissance, bringing back a composer who at the beginning of the 20th century was considered the rival of Puccini and Strauss before being silenced for half a century. The French Corner is très poétique, with a recipe for good living by Simone Alié-Daram, a love poem under spring showers by Christine Spadaccini, and a clever, self-reflective verse by Christian Cottard. In addition, Marie Rennard teaches the history of aphrodisiacs in the language of love. We close with the poetry of Claudine Giovannoni & Guido Monte and your letters, with views from India and Illinois on Peter Byrne's Doing India French, a perspective on the New Republic vs. Arundati Roy, Michael Barker's letter that Global Research ignored, and a correction on cycling wages.

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In Memoriam

Louis Proyect:  Tony Judt: An Appreciation

Louis Proyect reflects on British Historian Tony Judt, a courageous and principled social democratic intellectual who passed away on August 6, 2010.   More...


Middle East

Gilles d'Aymery:  Destruction Accomplished: The Great Success of the Iraq War

As President Obama hails the great success of the Iraq War, Gilles d'Aymery tells the real success story ignored by the mainstream media: the complete and tragic destruction of 6,000 years of culture.   More...


Patterns which Connect

Fabio De Propris:  It's A Berlusconi World: Part I

The visionless state of Italy in 2010 can be summarized by the destruction of the city of L'Aquila following the 2009 earthquake and the unscrupulous Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's response.   More...


Karen Moller:  Why So Much Disinterest In Italian Politics?

Perhaps it is because Silvio Berlusconi controls the media that there is so little interest in Italian politics, marred by Berlusconi's corruption, tax fraud, alleged Mafia ties, unconstitutional immunity, and the like.   More...


Patterns which Connect

Michael Barker:  Bill Clinton's Philanthropic Propaganda

Bill Clinton's charitable work to promote imperialism.   More...


Michael Doliner:  Scientific Theories And Experiments

Michael Doliner considers the application of scientific theories and experiments to controversies such as evolution and global warming.   More...


America: Myths and Realities

Charles Marowitz:  Obama Takes Off The Gloves

Charles Marowitz gives the presidential address that we'll never hear from Barack Obama.   More...



Femi Akomolafe:  And The Parliamentarians Blink First

Ghana's MPs embarked on a war they could never win against politician Kofi Wayo, who dared allege that many of the parliamentarians are criminals.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  Cities Sunny And Tragic

A review of two books on nationalism and the Ottoman Empire in two Aegean cities -- one on the quarter of a century demise of Smyrna and a second on five centuries of Salonica's.   More...


The World of Music

Isidor Saslav:  Der Ferne Klang At Bard

Since Hitler's accession in 1933 and the half-Jewish composer Franz Schreker's death in 1934, not a note of his was to be heard on any operatic stage for half a century until pioneers like Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College and the Music Director of the American Symphony Orchestra, began a Schreker renaissance to bring back a composer who at the beginning of the 20th century was considered the rival of Giacomo Puccini and Richard Strauss.   More...


Le coin français

Simone Alié-Daram:  Recette pour bien vivre

Recette poétique pour la joie de vivre.   More...


Christine Spadaccini:  Collier de pluie

Poème d'amour et pluie de printemps.   More...


Christian Cottard:  Avec toi

Toi et moi, et toi émoi, émoi hais toi ?   More...


Marie Rennard:  Aphrodisiaque

Tout savoir (et apprendre) sur les aphrodisiaques.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Claudine Giovannoni & Guido Monte:  Lacrimae Rerum (tears of things)

Thoughts and citations of Giovannoni and Monte about the "tears of things" of Vergil.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Views from India and Illinois on Peter Byrne's Doing India French, a perspective on the New Republic vs. Arundati Roy, Michael Barker on an article by Andrew Gavin Marshall, and cyclists' pay.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: August 9, 2010