COLUMN SIXTY-FOUR, OCTOBER 1, 2001
(Copyright © 2001 Al Aronowitz)
GUERNICA LIVERPOOL MANHATTAN
GUERNICA BY PABLO PICASSO
In 1937 the world was stunned
and sickened when Hitler's Condor Legion bombed the defenceless Spanish village
of Guernica, yet the world, by and large, did nothing to punish the aggressors.
On the contrary, the barbarians were 'rewarded' with Austria and the Sudetenland.
That infamous day in Catalonia legitimised the murder of non- combatants of all
sexes and all ages. As someone remarked,
"Evil thrives when good
men stay silent"
In its wake came Nanking,
when the Japanese conquering armies declared that all Chinese women were
prostitutes and fair targets for rape. A quarter of a million died in that
benighted city and the world watched, sighed and did nothing. The Japanese,
encouraged by the lack of retribution plunged Asia into chaos and dragged
America into the war, at a time when many Americans wanted to remain aloof from
the chaos of war.
Hitler and his savage henchmen then declared war on the non-combatant Jews, Poles,
America's thanks for saving the Moslems of Kosovo was an attack by Islamic extremists
Russians, and the civilian
population of Britain and France at about the same time that President Roosevelt
was authorising the Manhattan project which would culminate in the deaths of
hundreds of thousands Japanese non combatants. There followed a sorry litany of
Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo as prayers for the civilian dead were
recited in many languages. Kosovo was, perhaps, the final straw and America with
its allies stepped in to save the lives of a Muslim population.
The thanks America received
for its pains was the second Manhattan project.
Already there are voices
pleading for prudence. They are echoes from 1937 of those who thought that
Hitler could be reasoned with. Can we reason with people who murder infants by
flying them into an inferno of death and destruction? Can we reason where there
exists only unreason?
In the past I have been
guilty of indulging in Schadenfreude as the greatest power on earth
suffered reverses in the arenas of war and even sport. Now it is time I put
aside my petty envy, the same envy which labeled the Americans in 1916 as the
'doughboys', a reference to their relative wealth.
America helped give my city
of Liverpool many things, commerce, jobs, music and, in the wake of their sorrow
after the murder of JFK, when they needed someone to love, they took the Beatles
to their hearts and made my home the most famous town on the planet.
I'm consigning my brickbats
to the bin and while I won't wave American flags neither will I watch one
burned. That has already been done by the unconscionable swine who
systematically slaughtered hundreds of men, women and children to enable them to
kill thousands more, which reveals a mentality to rival Hitler's butchers.
There is a perception about
that these men will stop if America falls in with their political demands in the
Middle East. I don't think so but if you don't believe me ask the villagers of
Lidice if appeasement works.
Even at the lowest point of
American morality, in My Lai, it was an American Captain who stood between the
dying and the aggressors and bravely brought the massacre to a halt. Where are
the captains for America?
Many will claim that the
refugee problems of the Middle East are justification for the murder of
Americans of all races and creeds, yet in a strange way the waves of economic
and political refugees that entered the new world via New York make it the
biggest refugee camp in history.
13th September 2001 ##
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