Sunday, January 10, 2010

Anti-American Art: The Shores of Tripoli

Here's a little love shown by the "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya," known to most people as just "Libya." It's another bunch of stamps, these dating from the 1990s, marking an anniversary of the 1986 raid ordered by President Reagan on Tripoli. A botched assassination attempt that killed one of Colonel Ghaddafi's children, among others, the raid was part of a chain of events of terrorist acts committed either by the US, actual Libyan agents, Israel, or parties unknown blamed on Libya including the downing of Libyan airliner in the 1970s, the downing of a US airliner over Scotland in the 1980s, and this attack. The stamps somewhat cartoonishly show the high-tech US F16s, a child crying over a teddy bear, and devastation on the ground. The overall caption: "American Aggression." The eccentric (read: crazy) dictator Ghaddafi and the (now sole superpower) US have, of course, come to some sort of rapprochement in the last few years, though nobody's talking about actual romance in the relationship. Libyan enmity to the US is almost as old as the US itself, dating back to the early 19th century when US marines attacked Tripoli in the war against Barbary Coast pirates. Modern Libyan stamps have marked that also.

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