Saturday, October 09, 2010
Anti-American Art: Collateral Damage
This sheetlet of 16 stamps was issued by Libya -- the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya -- in 1986 to mark the attack earlier that year ordered by U.S. President Reagan against targets in Tripoli and Benghazi. The joined vignettes focus on the toll among Libyan civilians, including, apparently, many children. While dead children are a bonafide propaganda cliche, it is quite remarkable how frequently these tiniest collateral targets get in the way of American (and Israeli) bombs. The presence of enemy tots seems never to have deterred American imperial interests, whether in Libya in 1986 or the Afghan-Pakistan border in 2010. No wonder that world opinion of the U.S. is a complicated matter.
Other gory Libyan stamps marking the U.S. attack of 1986 can be seen here.
Update: I just read the late Howard Zinn's excellent article on the U.S. attack on Libya "Terrorism Over Tripoli." He puts it in excellent perspective: "Even if we assume that Khadafi was behind the discotheque bombing (and there is no evidence for this), and Reagan behind the Tripoli bombing (the evidence for this is absolute), then both are terrorists, but Reagan is capable of killing far more people than Khadafi. And he has.