Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Artists Against Imperialism. A petulant childlike one-sided view of the world is of course necessary to be admitted to the club.

Artists are bringing their canvases and paints out of their studios to condemn visually Britain, Australia, Spain, Portugal and the U.S., which have now taken on the mantle of world domination from the likes of Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo, and have already destroyed some of the oldest sites of European civilisation in former Yugoslavia and are busy plundering one of the oldest urban civilisations, Iraq.

It is only proper that our contemporary artists should respond to the savage invasion of Iraq by the alliance now yearning to fill the space left behind by the likes of Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler with the same sort of passion that we found in Picasso during the Second World War. One of the first artists to respond was Atul Sinha, a young Indian sculptor who had painted a large acrylic on canvas, `Bombing Baghdad for Christmas' in 1998. The main motif of the painting, a dismembered human being, became the subject of a Christmas card that went all over the world that year.

I wonder if any one of these 'humanitarians' ever created a single sketch or painting that depicted the horrors of life under Saddam Hussein, where the free expression of art would lead to death and torture. No paintings of children in political prisons. No paintings of people living in crawlspaces for 20 or more years to avoid torture and death from Saddam's thugs. No paintings of people looking through bags of belongings at mass graves in search of missing family members or those same family members wailing over the remains once they are identified. No paintings of the lists, which could exceed 300,000, of people who disappeared into Saddam's prisons. No paintings of young women getting raped by Saddam's brood. No paintings of the remains of small children, found still clutching their toys, in mass graves filled by Saddam's killers. No paintings of the torture chambers found in every Ba'athist office. No paintings of downed Saddam statues or images. In fact, there is no mention of Saddam at all. As if he didn't exist, we merely went to war in order to kill bomb and oppress the people of Iraq. Not a single gesture of relief that none of this will happen in Iraq again. Just a blanket hatred and disapproval of America and the West in general. It takes a very special stunted (or lacking) sense of morality.

Overlook any crime, embrace any killer. As long as it affords an opportunity to rail against America and the West. I wonder if any of them have spared a moment of thought about the repression of freedom and art within places like North Korea, Iran and Cuba. Or do they revel in the glow of multi-culturalism represented by killers like Khameini, Kim and Castro? I think I know the answer.

< email | 6/21/2003 09:58:00 PM | link

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