Fascism, Communism . . . and Picasso

Yesterday I happened on a book about Picasso’s creation of his Civil War masterpiece GUERNICA. In a series of brutal images etched in black across a huge stark white canvas he expressed the rage he felt at the carpet bombing of a small town in Spain that killed 80 percent of the inhabitants. This, the first time bombing had been aimed at civilians in order to terrorise them – and a precursor to the carpet bombing of Coventry, Liverpool and London by the Nazis, the 1,000 bomber raids of the Allied forces that flattened Dresden and Berlin – the ultimate horrific atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and the American bombings of Hanoi, and the NATO terror bombings of Belgrade.
America and The West wants to spread democracy and freedom, as long as it is the democracy and freedom they want. And if hundreds of thousands of people are killed and maimed in the name of freedom so be it.
How quickly the momentous events of the 20th Century have become history, and how quickly in this age of the triumph of Capitalism have we forgotten the struggle of Communism versus Fascism that dominated the last Century.
The Spanish civil War was a consequence of extreme right wing Monarchists refusing to accept the will of the people in electing (twice) a Socialist government and replacing it with a Fascist dictatorship by force of arms. And this has been replicated in Latin America many times, particularly in Chile, where President Allende was assassinated by the CIA and replaced with the military dictator Pinochet, and in Iran where the legitimate elected government of Mossadeq was replaced by the vainglorious and corrupt Shah – and now in Egypt, where the elected Muslim government of Morsi has been replaced by a military junta.
In my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” I have tried to set in the political context of the 20th Century a series of stories spanning 40 years from the 1960s as The Arabian/Persian Gulf developed rapidly from a sleepy backwater of the British Empire into a fabulously wealthy, and hedonistic arena of international significance fueled by the Western greed for cheap energy supplies. The history of that turbulent period is shown through the stories of archetypal expatriates who washed up in The Gulf, their lives shattered by the blunderings of US (and British) foreign policies in the region.
In particular one story “If You Don’t . . . Someone Else Will” set during the First Gulf War deals with the American massacre of Iraqis fleeing from Kuwait to Baghdad along Highway 80 – an infamous stretch of road littered with burned out trucks, cars and buses, and hundreds of bodies including women and children that came to be called “The Mile of Death”. It sickened the military into telling the politicians “Enough is enough” and brought that war to an end.
You can preview my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” at:
and download it if you have a Kindle.
Or if you prefer a real book you can order the paperback edition from:
The ISBN number is 978-1908147097
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I hope you enjoy it.