a historical perspective

Guernica: 75th Anniversary – Back When Bombing Civilians was an Atrocity

James Bovard, April 26, 2012

This is the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Guernica. Indignation about bombing civilians seems like such a historic relic.

Unfortunately, this atrocity seems to have been almost completely forgotten in the United States. Perhaps the last time that the most famous momento of that slaughter got any attention was when Colin Powell was shilling at the United Nations in 2003 to whip up support for bombing Iraq.

Here’s an outtake from Maureen Dowd’s excellent New York Times column (February 5, 2003) on that absurdity:

Powell Without Picasso
When Colin Powell goes to the United Nations today to make his
case for war with Saddam, the U.N. plans to throw a blue cover
over Picasso’s antiwar masterpiece, “Guernica.”

Too much of a mixed message, diplomats say. As final
preparations for the secretary’s presentation were being made
last night, a U.N. spokesman explained, “Tomorrow it will be
covered and we will put the Security Council flags in front of

Mr. Powell can’t very well seduce the world into bombing Iraq
surrounded on camera by shrieking and mutilated women, men,
children, bulls and horses.

Reporters and cameras will stake out the secretary of state at
the entrance of the U.N. Security Council, where the tapestry
reproduction of “Guernica,” contributed by Nelson Rockefeller,

The U.N. began covering the tapestry last week after getting
nervous that Hans Blix’s head would end up on TV next to a
screaming horse head.

Geez, I wonder what they would do that painting if Obama was speaking in that venue. 

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