The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] The Bush Administration Responds to Art

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Hi, all.  The following is not about sanctions on Iraq, but it freshly
illustrates what those who work for peace in Iraq are up against.  It is
also an encouragement
that our acts of peace, no matter how small, do have an effect.  Best,

23, No. 3, <> , March 2003,
p. 1:

Many of us, as artists, spend a lot of time in considerable anguish over
the fact that art seems to do nothing.  So much thought and feeling and
nobody listens, nobody sees.  Well, consider these three events:

1.      Last year Attorney General Ashcroft spent $8,000 of the
taxpayers' money for a drape to cover the marble breasts of the statue
of justice in his offices.  One must assume that he is so ashamed of his
sexuality, so antagonistic toward women for what they make him feel, so
appalled at the simple and beautiful truth of the human form that he
felt compelled to act.  The truth of art may lie in the acts that it
inspires in response to it.

2.      Just recently Laura Bush cancelled the White House conference on
poetry because many of the poets intended to read anti-war poems.  The
White House!  The symbolic heart of our democracy!  Afraid of free
speech!  The center of United States power, a power that wants all the
world to tremble before its terrible weapons and immoral arrogance, is
afraid of a few lines of poetry!  Art does nothing?  Even if it is not
heard, it exposes.

3.      When Colin Powell made his case for attacking Iraq before the
Security Council at the UN, the US insisted that the UN's copy of
Picasso's great anti-war mural Guernica be covered.  A blue cloth was
draped over it.  The US did not want people exposed to the horrors of
war while it was promoting them.  Or, put another way, the US did not
want truth on display while it was building a case of half-truths,
obfuscations and lies in order to murder thousands of civilians.  Colin
Powell censors Pablo Picasso.  Remember that Picasso painted Guernica in
response to the brutal 1937 bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by
the German Air Force with the help of Mussolini and Franco.  They wanted
to try out their techniques and weapons on this small, defenseless city.
Could it be that Secretary Powell felt some trepidation that there may
be similarities between what the fascists did to Guernica and what the
US intends for Baghdad?

Don't think for a minute that art does nothing.  Immoral power is
terrified of it.  Speak your mind!  Paint from your heart!

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]