Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Rumsfeld immortalized

When the artists start making paintings, poems, plays, sculptures, and/or songs about you, you can be sure that you will be condemned to stand before the bar of history:

Muayad Muhsin was both inspired and enraged by a photo of U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld slumped on an airplane seat with his army boots up in front of him. "It symbolized America's soulless might and arrogance," said Muhsin, whose similar painting of Rumsfeld will be unveiled in an exhibition opening in Baghdad on Monday. The oil-on-canvas, 5-by-3-foot (1.5-by-1-meter) work shows Rumsfeld in a blue jacket, tie, khaki pants and army boots reading from briefing papers. His boots are resting on what appears to be an ancient stone. While Rumsfeld's image is true to life, he sits next to a partially damaged statue of a lion standing over a human - a traditional image of strength during the ancient Babylon civilization. The statue's stone base is ripped open, revealing shelves from which white piece of papers are flying away, later turning into birds soaring high into an ominously gray sky. Muhsin said the symbolism has to do with Washington's repeated assertions in the months before the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that Saddam's regime had weapons of mass destruction, the cornerstone in the Bush administration's argument for going to war.

The Jokerman put it well:
"Even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked. " From "It's All Right, Ma, I'm Only Bleeding."
And so did Ginsberg:
Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments! -Allen Ginsberg, Howl, Part II
You're doomed, Don--you and your pissant little frat-boy mouthpiece boss. All that history will remember of you is the suffering you caused and the arrogance with which you did it. The artists and the historians may not be able to stop you in your genocidal madness but they will always have the last word.

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