Thursday, October 28, 2010
Anti-American Art: Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out
From an extended set of stamps celebrating the 40th anniversary of Libya's 40-year old "revolution" (most people called it a coup) comes the stamp above marking among the revolution's achievements "the evacuation of American troops from Libyan soil." Wheelus Airbase had been seized from the Italian colonialists occupying Libya by the U.S. during the Second World War. It was a functioning military base on the Mediterranean during the cold war until Colonel Gaddafi demanded the U.S. surrender the base shortly after he overthrew the Libyan monarchy. U.S. forces left in 1970 and the evacuation has been touted as a victory against imperialism by Gaddafi ever since. The base was later used by both the Soviets and the Libyan Airforce; ironically it was among the targets bombed during the 1986 American attack on Libya.
As an aside, each of the forty stamps in this series marks a unique milestone in the "revolution" of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and the one shown below is more than a little ballsy:
Yes the "Return of the Political Hostage A.B. Almagrahi" stamp in this series shows Gaddafi welcoming home the Libyan citizen who had been imprisoned for his alleged role in the Lockerbie bombing. Almagrahi was released from jail in Scotland last year on supposed humanitarian grounds, and offending many, gave him a hero's welcome on his return home. That would be quite a stamp to use on your electric bill.