Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Anti-American Art: Bab al-Azizya
I figured I better feature this rather iconic statue before it's gone. Earlier in my series of Anti-American art images I featured a Libyan stamp showing a similar illustration, but here's the real thing, the statue erected by the Libyan dictator Qaddafi at the site of the American assassination attempt/bombing raid back in 1986 that took the life of his adopted daughter. Showing a hand crushing an American jet, it's located in his expansive Bab al-Azizya compound in Tripoli, and was, as seen below, just overrun by the NATO-backed rebels of the Libyan Transitional National Council.
A particularly noxious NY Times video already makes the not completely off-base comparison between this statue and the ones of Saddam Hussein pulled down by American invaders, so it seems likely that these NATO revolutionaries will shortly pull this iconic symbol of defiance down so as not to offend their new overlords.
It seems likely that Qaddafi's quixotic faux egalitarian faux anti-imperialist regime is now a thing of the past, though the TNC is rife with his former allies. It's also far from clear in any case that the war is at all over or that Libya's future is resolved.
Although before the US/NATO intervention I was all in favor of a real Libyan people's revolution, I have my doubts that this now beholden-to-NATO hitchup of former bureaucrats will bring anything resembling actual democracy to the Libyan people. Beware of NATO bombers bearing gifts. It ought to give all freedom-loving people pause to think that the rebels are now in effect celebrating the high-tech rain of death from the skies that this statue challenges. No doubt the world's future hindsight will be 20-20.
(PS: That earthquake today! Unnerving and momentarily terrifying...but no damage done here in the home of The Cahokian. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.)