Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Anti-American Art: Babykillers


Another gruesome painting from a museum in North Korea: US GIs shovel dirt over a mass grave of massacred Korean civilians while a still-living baby clutches its mother's scarf. One massacre of South Korean civilians at No Gun Ri in 1950 came to light about ten years ago; hundreds of children, women and men were killed. This and a few other paintings I'll be showing are from the "US War Crimes Museum" in Sinchon, DPRK.

I heard a fascinating report on NPR's program "On the media" in the wake of that Republican congressman yelling out "Babykiller!" during the recent healthcare reform debate. It seems that "Babykiller" has a long history of being one of those sensational accusations that always gets attention. The radio program analyzed several historical uses of the term, including, most fascinating to me, how the term "babykiller" was flung at Saddam Hussein back before the first Gulf War. It plays a tearful excerpt from an alleged nurse recounting how the Iraqis, upon occupying Kuwait, heartlessly threw babies out of incubators so they could take the incubators back to Iraq for spare parts. It turns out the weeping nurse was a shill, a member of the Kuwaiti royal family making up atrocity stories out of whole cloth to gain Western sympathy. A fascinating segment worth a listen. I'm not saying US forces in Korea didn't kill any babies, sadly they surely did. Just sayin', hey, now that's effective propaganda.

2 comments:

  1. Weren't the Huns always marching around with babies skewered on their bayonets? That seems kind of messy and unwieldy to me but when they weren't busy raping innocent maidens they were alleged to have enjoyed advancing with babies on their bayonets.

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  2. I think pretty much everyone has gone around being accused of killing babies! It's such a visceral image.

    I was trying to remember those dead baby jokes of my youth for this post, but I decided that even laughing at imaginary dead babies seems to upset some people to no end.

    Which won't stop me from digging one of those up now, you know, like "What goes red, white, red, white, red, white, piiiiiiiinnnnnkkkkk?" A dead baby in a blender?

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