Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Anti-American Art: UN Dismembership

This stamp was issued by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1983. It shows a sword with the icon of the Islamic Republic dismembering a hand labelled "Veto" emerging from the United Nations building in New York. Each finger of the clawed hand is named with a country on the Security Council: UK, USA, USSR, France and China. Iran was then defending itself against an invasion by Saddam Hussein's Iraq in a conflict that took hundreds of thousands of lives.

I was unable to figure out which security council veto of which UN resolution this stamp is protesting; the UN security council passed several resolutions urging cessation of hostilities. But I did discover that all the security council nations were involved in arming Iraq, including the United States under President Reagan. It might come as a surprise to anyone naive enough to actually believe the U.S. was twenty years later attacking Iraq for suspected WMD, but the U.S. vetoed numerous resolutions attempting to curb development and use of chemical and nuclear weapons. (The US also vetoed a resolution in 1981 that "Affirms the right of every state to choose its economic and social system in accord with the will of its people, without outside interference in whatever form it takes." Ouch!)

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