SECTION FOUR

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COLUMN SIXTY-FOUR, OCTOBER 1, 2001
(Copyright 2001 Al Aronowitz)

GUERNICA LIVERPOOL MANHATTAN


GUERNICA BY PABLO PICASSO

As if discovering a new, truth Tony Blair, in the aftermath of the recent holocaust in New York, asserted that we are all targets now. He was, of course, referring to non-combatants being in the line of fire. Yet this crime has a long and ignominious history that preceded the mass murder in Manhattan by almost 70 years.

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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