Gideon Polya, “Picasso, Guernica, Qana”, MWC News, Picasso, Guernica, Qana – 16 September 2006.
For the image of the huge painting “Qana “ (1.3 x 2.9 metres) see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4293063550/ .
Picasso, Guernica, Qana
Western Mainstream media simply ignore the horrendous human cost of US-Israeli state terrorism and, conversely, continue to promote “terror hysteria” and Islamophobia. Now the head of the Catholic Church has threateningly joined the Bush chorus of hatred. My attempts as a humanist scientist to inform the world of the horrendous human cost of the Bush Wars (as of September 2006, 3.2 million avoidable deaths) have largely fallen on deaf ears (except for enlightened journals such as Al-Jazeerah).
When words fail one should not give up - one should just try something else. I am an artist as well as a humanist scientist. Back in the 1960s in New York we saw Pablo Picasso’s huge painting “Guernica” at the Museum of Modern Art. Picasso had painted this huge masterpiece in 1937 in response to the destruction of the Basque town of Guernica by Nazi bombers during the Spanish Civil War. Indeed we had a big “Guernica” poster in our apartment in those Vietnam War days. Years later my mentor as a painter was the Spanish artist Ignacio Marmol who knew Picasso and introduced me to classical geometrical scaffolding in painting. In short, I discovered the mathematical “secret” of Picasso’s “Guernica” (technically, a Double Golden Rectangle) and in September 2006 I painted a huge painting derived conceptually from “Guernica” but based on “Qana”, the Lebanese town destroyed in July 2006 by US-Israeli State Terrorism (USIST). For an image of my painting “Qana” and a detailed analysis see my article “Picasso, Guernica, Qana and the Da Vinci Code” in MWC News: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/9547/26/ .
Lebanon only emerged from 2 decades of partial Israeli occupation 6 years ago. The Lebanon avoidable deaths (excess deaths, deaths that should not have happened) for the period 1982-2000 total about 80,000. However the latest Israeli War has killed over 1,000, wounded some 4,000, rendered 1 million homeless and made much of Southern Lebanon uninhabitable by unexploded bombs, including those deriving from the dropping of 1 million cluster bombs. It is estimated that reduction of Lebanon to a UK-US-occupied Iraq scenario through the destruction of economy and infrastructure would cause 20,000 avoidable deaths annually (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/9547/26/ ). The horrendous Israeli War continues against Palestine, largely ignored by lying, racist Western mainstream media.
Of course the crimes of US-Israeli state terrorism in Lebanon are but one part of its crimes in the Muslim world. Just think for a moment – since 1945 over one hundred countries gained their independence from European colonial rule but in 2006 FIVE (5) substantially Muslim countries were under partial or complete occupation by Western armies, specifically Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. It is asserted that Egypt barely escaped Zionist-inspired nuclear annihilation in 1967 after the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty; Iran is currently under acute threat (the more so now that the Pope is actively promoting Islamophobia); and we have just learned from Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf that in 2001 the US threatened to bomb his country “back to the Stone Age”.
Avoidable mortality is defined as the difference between the actual deaths in a country and the deaths expected for a peaceful, decently-run country with the same demographics (see: http://globalavoidablemortality.blogspot.com/ ). The post-invasion avoidable mortality in the Occupied Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan Territories now totals 0.3, 0.5 and 2.0 million, respectively – 60 % under-5 year old infants and due to Occupier violation of the Geneva Conventions that demand that Occupiers keep their Conquered Subjects ALIVE (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/9357/26/ ). Using precise, non-rounded figures, the total post-invasion avoidable mortality in Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan totals 2.6 million. However the cost of Bush-Blair War on Terror (in reality a cowardly, racist War on Asian Women and Children) is greater still. Thus 100,000 American infants have died avoidably over the last 5 years due to warped Bush priorities (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/7102/26/ ) and since 9/11 0.5 million people have died globally from opiate drug-related reasons (including 50,000 Americans), largely due to US restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry to a present 89% of world market share (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/7102/26/ ) .
The total number of post-9/11 avoidable deaths in the Bush-Blair War on Women and Children now totals 3.2 million (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/7102/26/ ) – 1,000 times greater than the number of Coalition/NATO military deaths and 1,000 times greater than the number of people killed in the 9/11 atrocity. Indeed the number of Western civilians (including Israelis) killed by Muslim-origin non-state terrorism over the last 40 years totals 7,000 (assuming no US or Israeli complicity in 9/11). Nevertheless, lying, racist Mainstream media will simply not report the horrendous civilian deaths in the Bush-Blair Wars in a continuing process of gross holocaust denial. Conversely, the lying, racist Mainstream media actively promote Islamophobia and “terror hysteria” while ignoring the horrendous cost of UK, US and Israeli state terrorism. Even the Pope has now joined in the general Islamophobia which can be seen to relate to UK-US democratic imperialism (democratic tyranny, democratic Nazism) in the same way that anti-Jewish anti-Semitism was employed by German Nazism (see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/9624/42/ ).
Peace is the only way but silence kills and
silence is complicity. We are obliged to inform others about gross abuses of
humanity in any way appropriate to our skills. Shostakovich used music. Picasso
used painting in his masterpiece “Guernica”.
My scientific, statistical skills having largely failed, I have followed
Picasso’s example - perhaps my painting “Qana” can help to mobilize the
civilized world against US-Israeli state terrorism.
See also the following analysis.
For an image of the huge painting “Qana” (1.3 x 2.9 metres) see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4293063550/ .
Gideon Polya, “Guernica 70th Anniversary & Qana. Picasso & Polya Paintings for Peace”, MWC News, 28 April 2007, not cached by Google.
Guernica 70th Anniversary & Qana. Picasso & Polya Paintings for Peace
ON 26 APRIL 1937 Nazi German and Fascist Italian bombers attacked the Basque town of Guernica. They generated a firestorm that destroyed three quarters of the town and caused huge civilian casualties (estimates ranging from 300-1,600 dead). Many believe that this was in part a trial run for the Nazi Luftwaffe. Thus at his post-war Nuremberg trial German Luftwaffe chief Göring stated:
“I urged him [Adolf Hitler] to give support [to Franco] under all circumstances, firstly, in order to prevent the further spread of communism in that theater and, secondly, to test my young Luftwaffe at this opportunity in this or that technical respect ” (see: HERE).
The bombing of Guernica prompted Pablo Picasso to paint his huge painting “Guernica” for the 1937 Paris Exposition (Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne, International Exposition for Art and Technology in Modern Life). Picasso’s “Guernica” masterpiece has become THE iconic anti-war painting – and competes with Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” as THE iconic painting of the 20th century.
On 27 January 2003, just prior to the impending war with Iraq, UN officials SHROUDED of the UN’s copy of “Guernica” in New York. This copy of “Guernica:” was shrouded while US Secretary of State Colin Powell was presenting arguments (later proven to be based on FALSE information) for the Invasion of Iraq. This is, in part, what Australian Labor Party (ALP) Opposition parliamentarian Laurie Brereton said in a speech to the Australian Federal Parliament on 4 February 2003.
“On 26 April 1937, German bombers attacked the town of Guernica in northern Spain. The village was left in ruins with sixteen hundred civilians killed or wounded. This act of terror - the first large scale aerial attack against a civilian population centre - outraged the world. It compelled Picasso, then living in Paris, to begin the work that would become his testament against the horrors of war and one of the greatest artworks of the twentieth century.
I'm told that the UN's Guernica was donated by the philanthropist Nelson A Rockefeller in 1985. Unfortunately, it is now no longer on display. According to press reports, on 27 January this year a large blue curtain was hung to cover it up. Questioned why the painting had been covered, UN press spokesman Fred Eckhard said the blue curtain was a technically better background for the cameras covering statements being made outside the Security Council.
This may be the official explanation, but the same media reports quote unnamed diplomats observing that it would not be appropriate for the US Ambassador at the UN John Negroponte or Secretary of State Colin Powell to talk about war with Iraq against a backdrop depicting images of women and children and animals crying with horror and showing the suffering of war.
Whatever the reasons, there is a profound symbolism in pulling a shroud over this great work of art. For throughout the debate on Iraq, whether at the UN, in the US, or here in Australia, there has been a remarkable degree of obfuscation, evasion and denial, and never more so than when it comes to the grim realities of military action.”
The rest is history. In vain, millions demonstrated around the world against the impending disaster. 150,000 people (including me, friends and family) demonstrated in Melbourne, Australia against the coming invasion of Iraq.
On 20 March 2003 the US, UK and Australia invaded the remote, non-threatening, oil-rich but sanctions-crippled country of Iraq in gross violation of the UN Charter and of International Law. Four years on in Occupied Iraq the post-invasion excess deaths (avoidable deaths, deaths that should not have happened) total 1.0 million; post-invasion under-5 year old infant deaths total 0.5 million; and there are now an estimated 4 million Iraqi refugees out of a population of 27 million (see MWC News).
This now amounts to an Iraqi Holocaust and an Iraqi Genocide (as defined by the UN Genocide Convention) that is being perpetrated by the American Bush Administration with the assistance of Racist Bush-ite (RB) governments around the world (notably those of the UK, Australia and Canada) and the support of the Racist Zionists (RZs) of the Western Israel Lobbies and the Racist Zionists running Apartheid Israel (AI).
The War on Iraq is ONE part of 21st century US or US-backed invasion and occupation of typically weak and impoverished countries around the world, specifically Haiti, Somalia, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The accrual cost (i.e. the long-term committed cost) of just the Iraq and Afghanistan part of the Bush War on Terror has been estimated at $2.5 TRILLION by 2001 Economics Nobel Laureate US Professor Stiglitz (Columbia University ) and Professor Linda Bilmes (Harvard University). The post-invasion excess deaths in the Occupied Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan Territories now (April 2007) total 0.3. 1.0 and 2.4 million, respectively; the post-invasion under-5 infant deaths total 0.2, 0.5 and 1.9 million, respectively; and there are over 4 million Palestinian refugees registered with the UN, 4 million Iraqi refugees and 3.7 million Afghan refugees (see MWC News). We are seeing an ongoing Palestinian Genocide, an Iraqi Genocide and an Afghan Genocide – while the world simply looks on.
Since the invasion of Iraq I have been writing around the world as a humanist scientist (most notably on the ethical and humanitarian MWC News), attempting to inform an unresponsive world about the horrendous consequences of Bush’s War on Terror that has so far been associated with 3.4 million post-invasion deaths in Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan – mostly of Women and Children and mostly due to deliberate US and US Alliance war crimes. Indeed in terms of horrendous actuality, the Bush War on Terror is in reality a cowardly and racist war on Women and Children, a War on Arab Women and Children, a War on Muslim Women and Children, a War on Asian Women and Children and a War on Non-European Women and Children.
The carnage continues. The WORDS of little people such as myself or of great people such as UK Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter have failed to convince an unresponsive world. Inspired by Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” I have a painted a huge painting “Qana” to commemorate the Apartheid Israeli bombing destruction of the Lebanese town of Qana in mid-2006. This painting is based on a “double Golden Rectangle” underlying geometry (as is “Guernica”) but is one third the size of “Guernica” and also differs in being very colourful and deliberately painted so that it will not scare children (see MWC News).
The world in practice ignored the URGENCY and PAIN of Picasso’s masterpiece “Guernica” – it plunged into WW2 with the invasion of Eastern and Western Europe by the Nazis, the 35 million dead in China, 20 million dead in Russia, 6 million dead in Poland, the Jewish Holocaust with 6 million victims, the London Blitz, Coventry, Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Rape of Nanjing – and, albeit RUBBED OUT OF HISTORY, the man-made, WW2 Bengal Famine that killed 4 million Bengalis in British-ruled India.
Similarly, my modest offering of my huge “Qana” painting and the like protests of millions of anti-war demonstrators around the world are ignored by the Racist Bush-ites (RBs) and Racist Zionists (RZs) – the killing continues and there is acute threat of conventional or even nuclear attack on peaceful and remote Iran (population 70 MILLION) by the forces of US-Israeli State Terrorism (USIST).
I have now tried a different tack, painting a huge and colourful painting called “Alhambra Pollock” that conflates pure medieval Islamic Art with the radical, post-war abstract expressionism of American Jackson Pollock – the argument being that if such radical cultural extremes can be unified then there is absolutely NO excuse for the hatred, violence, anti-Arab anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, war and mass murder of so many millions of innocents (see MWC News ).
Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. Tell all your friends about “Guernica”-inspired “Qana” and about the glowing “Alhambra Pollock” painted for Arab-Islam-West amity. Can LOVE and BEAUTY succeed where words and even polemical paintings have failed?