S U P P O R T   S W A N S


Note from the Editors

Just two weeks ago, the world was holding its collective breath, waiting for President Barack Obama to drop a punitive/face-saving bomb or two on Syria and launch who-knows-what sort of mayhem on the region and the world, when Vladimir Putin stepped in and put diplomacy to work. Now that we can exhale, at least for the time being, Gilles d'Aymery takes the opportunity to find the answer to the question that's been nagging him of late: Precisely when was Bashar al-Assad, an ophthalmologist in the UK who was summoned back to Syria by his father to become president after his heir-apparent brother died, transformed into a tyrant and a dictator -- a persona non grata in the eyes of the Western powers? The answer is intriguing. The alleged tyrant quickly agreed to surrender his chemical weapons, and Manuel García, Jr., hopes this development will reduce or end the violence of Syria's civil war.

A welcome respite from war and other noises of modern society can be found in the Green Mountains of Vermont with our trail guide, Glenn Reed -- but for the occasional and annoying cell-phone-wielding hikers. We can do a bit of time-travel with Raju Peddada through 1998, a historical find, and New Year's Eve with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and then return to the Sexual Revolution with Michael Barker's Part II on Alfred Kinsey and the Rockefeller Foundation. From guilty sex to guilty satire, we turn to Peter Byrne's review of the Women's Prize for Fiction winner May We Be Forgiven. We close with the poetry of David Francis and Guido Monte on life in the face of war, along with a reader's comments on Syria and the history and forces behind the potential American attack.

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Middle East

Gilles d'Aymery:  Asma and Bashar al-Assad

Gilles d'Aymery investigates exactly when Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, along with his wife Asma, became persona non grata to the Western powers.   More...


Manuel García, Jr.:  Chemical Defanging Of The Syrian Civil War Begins

U.S.A. and Russia agree to cooperate in the chemical disarmament of the Syrian Civil War.   More...


Arts & Culture

Glenn Reed:  The Quiet Of The Mountain Trail

The joys of hiking include the return to a healthy, quiet environment.   More...


Raju Peddada:  The Exit For Exploration - Part II

Part II of the author's travel series passes through 1998, a historical find, and New Year's Eve with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.   More...


Michael Barker:  Kinsey-Sex And The Rockefeller Foundation (Part II of II)

Sexology, philanthropy and the sexual revolution. (Part II of II)   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  Guilty Satire

The satire-aficionado author felt a bit short-changed by May We Be Forgiven, the award-winning novel by A.M. Homes.   More...



David Francis:  The Bar TV

Life, in all its diversity and mundanity, goes on at the neighborhood bar while war wages on TV.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte:  For a bicycle

Another story of death and violence by Guido Monte, translated by Adele Ward.   More...


Letters to the Editor


Thoughts on Gilles d'Aymery's comments on Syria and the history and forces behind the potential American attack.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
URL: http://www.swans.com/library/past_issues/2013/130923.html
Created: September 23, 2013