A review of Gaither Stewart’s new novel, Lily Pad Roll
Gaither Stewart is a shatterer of myths. In The Trojan Spy, volume one of the Europe Trilogy, he shattered the myth that the USA is fighting terrorism and showed instead how our government works in a symbiotic relationship with the so-called terrorists. Now in Lily Pad Roll, volume two of the trilogy, he shatters the myth that America is invading countries and building foreign bases in order to defend the homeland and secure oil supplies. Continue reading →
by Gaither Stewart
Featured Writer Dandelion Salad
Oct. 29, 2012
Hidden away somewhere within the labyrinth of the Pentagon there must be a top secret euphemism department engaged in the invention of the Orwellian surrogate words that have crept surreptitiously into the American English vocabulary and from there translated into many other languages. In my mind I see a unit of studiously serious executives, coffee mugs in their hands and their neckties awry, devising senseless terms for terrible things and used unthinkingly by people today from New York to California, from Maine to Texas. The goal of my imaginary secret unit is to render ugly terms meaningless or to transform them into their opposite. To quote the perceptive Scottish writer, Candia McWilliam, “plain words are always under threat.” There are words that don’t say what they mean and there are words that say what they don’t mean.
Lily Pad Roll: Journey to the Outposts of the Empire
by Gaither Stewart
Trepper & Katz Impact Books, 344 pp, $12.45 (Paper)
Also available in electronic format at $6.99
I just finished a second reading of Gaither Stewart’s explosive and highly disturbing new novel, Lily Pad Roll, volume two of the Europe Trilogy.
At the end of such a novel I like to sit in silence, in semi-obscurity if possible, and let the atmosphere sweep over me in order to feel the sum effect of my reading and the residue and the mood I know I will feel come over me each time I think of the work in the future.
The Rome Radical Left daily, Il Manifesto, recently headed a recent article about European politics (which I have summarized here) with the name of Emile Roemer. The 50-year old Roemer is the leader of Holland’s leftwing Socialist Party (SP), a man almost unknown in much of Europe even though today he is the most popular politician in The Netherlands and favored to win national elections on September 12. A Socialist victory there would represent a major electoral turn-about in The Netherlands. The sudden rise in popularity of the leftwing Socialists in Holland is attributed to the left’s opposition to the rightwing government’s proposal for austerity policies calling for a 13 billion euro budget cut in order to reduce the national deficit to less than 3% of the GDP, as per the Fiscal Compact decided and imposed on European Union members by the non-elected technocrats of the EU in nearby Brussels…
Gaither Stewart‘s The Trojan Spy takes the thriller genre an important step forward, advancing it from the work of his predecessors John le Carré and Robert Ludlum. Le Carré and Ludlum rebelled against the conventions of the classic spy thrillers, which assumed that we’re the good guys who are under attack by bad guys so evil that we’re justified in bending the rules to save ourselves from them. In that world, lies, deceit, sabotage, and even murder are sometimes necessary to defend peace, justice, and the American (or Western) Way against (pick one, depending on when the book was written) Nazis, communists, or terrorists.
Symbol of the Crisis of the European Union or Paradigm of Europe’s Salvation
It is an ironic twist of history that Greece, the cradle of Western culture, today, 2500 years after the acme of Hellenic glory, appears on the stage of history in the best of cases as victim, and in the worst, as the symbol of the threat to the collapse of the West European society.
SYRIZA, an acronym signifying “Coalition of the Radical Left”, is favored to win upcoming re-elections following the inconclusive elections held last May 6. Today’s ungovernable and crisis-ridden Greece is shaking the foundation of the European Union. Continue reading →
ARCHIVES: In Remembrance of the Algerian Struggle for Independence
Editors Note: With the US and its NATO accomplices once again bent on “repackaging” the Arab Maghreb and the Gulf region via overt and covert bloody interventions in Iraq, Libya, Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, and other nations, apparently a new age of colonialism has arrived.
Of course, chiefly for the benefit of the perennially bamboozled American public, the pretense that we’re doing this to secure peace, freedom, and democracy in the region will likely continue indefinitely. Continue reading →
It’s an accumulative kind of thing, the demise of capitalism worldwide: at first the waning and the dwindling, now the rapid corkscrew-like downwards spiraling, of greedy, vicious, cannibalistic capitalism busily devouring itself. Today, one can only conclude the imminence of its just demise.
(ROME-BELGRADE) NATO seems to find Serbia’s autonomy outrageous, its semi-neutrality unacceptable, its modernity anomalous and above all its path to progress dangerous. For North Atlantic Treaty planners and schemers, Serbia—maverick, outsider, rebel—is an infectious disease to be eradicated. Serbia must be chained, normalized and integrated with the rest of Europe as are most southeastern European lands. Serbia’s neutral existence is an affront, an obstacle to a final solution of the thorny Balkan conundrum.
“And thusly we end up with pseudo leaders for a pseudo democracy, albeit one rammed down the throat of nations around the world with the benedictions of tens of millions of well-meaning but thoroughly brainwashed Americans.”
(ROME) Standard dictionary definitions of the word of ancient Greek origin, mimesis,relate the word to imitation, representation, mimicry, similarity, the act of resembling and of expression. Today, mimesis has more to do with literary and societal functions.
The sting of satire can often underscore certain truths that straight prose rarely manages to touch.
(Roma) A cold wind was blowing down Mussolini’s showpiece avenue. The Via dei Fori Imperiali is the site of victory parades. The victory over the duplicitous Ethiopians. The victory over the ambitious Libyans of East and West. The victory over the ferocious Albanians. It was about 3 p.m. Rain was in the air. The Roman Forum alongside the great avenue was relatively empty this last day of March. As each time I pass I stopped to observe the tourists looking at the ancient Roman ruins of numerous basilicas and arches and statues extending from the Campidoglio to the Colosseum.
(Rome) Last Saturday night I saw the Supermoon. The same March 19 night that Operation “Odyssey Dawn” was launched against the Libya of Muammar Gadaffi, the earth’s star in all its glory passed its nearest point to planet Earth as it does every 19 years. This time it was a full moon. It hovered over my house. At midnight the yellow Supermoon illuminated my front yard almost as a winter sun does at midday. That same night the same moon shone also over Tripoli, 600 miles the south, illuminating all of Libya as it did my front yard.
Many (with ample reason) doubt claims of a spontaneous uprising of Libyan people, poorly armed and disorganized. Many suspect the usual hidden roles of foreign powers and that the Libyan crisis was created artificially, something like Iraq and Kosovo.
Of all the uprisings in the Maghreb, the case of Libya is perhaps the most opaque. Is the country a locus of true spontaneous insurrection or simply the target of an opportunistic maneuver by the West?
(Rome) Does colonialism pay off for anyone? In the long run, definitely not. There is always a payback. The events today in the North Africa reflect this story. The situation today is the living and the dying proof of the payback. An atrocious, insufferable payback. The English in Egypt, the French in Algeria, the Italians in Libya. But especially the occupied Arab peoples of Egypt, Algeria and Libya, have all paid and continue to pay the price of colonialism.
Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via Flickr
(Rome). Rubygate it’s called. The final act of the Berlusconi saga. Over fifteen years of comedy for the outside world. A comedy played out against a background of non-government and misery for many Italians. For years now, each new scandal, each new act of corruption, is identified with the suffix “gate”. Deriving from the original Watergate, even though the latter was not actually a “gate” as used today to pinpoint scandalous behavior and the resultant cover-up. During these last stages of the Berlusconi era there has been Noemi Gate, named for another of Sultan Silvio’s teenage favorites. Then, the Bunga Bunga Gate, in reference to the sex games and “orgies” in the Sultan’s luxurious private residences in Milan and Rome. In Italy, in Commedia dell’Arte fashion, the gate suffix means scandal, speculation and gossip.
(Rome) When as a young man I moved to Italy it was an act of love for this Mediterranean land where lemon trees bloom. The original attraction for me however was not only the Bel Paese, as Italians like to call this truly beautiful peninsula jutting out southwards into the Mediterranean Sea and nearly reaching Tunisia. I also wanted the whole Mar Nostrum, the sea around which our Western civilization developed; I set for myself the secret goal of knowing all the lands surrounding the great sea. The attraction I felt was perhaps the same allure for the succession of peoples and civilizations, which have sought to both control and unite this beautiful and unique world. Though my original love for Italy has faded and waned in the vulgarity of contemporary Italy, not so the magical lure of the Mediterranean World as such.