Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Where Are the Enraged Botero's Paintings on Saddam's Crimes, China's Prison System, Russia's Gulag?…

Investigators discover several mass graves in southern Iraq that are believed to contain bodies of people killed by Saddam Hussein's government; one near Basra appears to contain about 5,000 bodies of Iraqi soldiers who joined failed uprising after 1991 war; another near Samawa holds some 2,000 members of Kurdish clan of Massoud Barzani. (Robert F Worth in the New York Times)
Where are the indignant Botero's paintings on Iraq's killing fields?

That's right, there aren't any.

Shandong No. 2 is part of a vast penal system in China that is separate from the judicial system. … Locked inside more than 300 special prisons are an estimated 300,000 prostitutes, drug users, petty criminals and other political prisoners who have been stripped of any legal rights. … In interviews in China, five Falun Gong followers traveled hundreds of miles to avoid government security agents and described their experiences in labor re-education camps. Mr. Li arrived in 2000 after spending 10 days in a police holding cell. His family was not notified until he had begun serving a two-year sentence. He said guards often jolted inmates with electric cattle prods to get them to renounce Falun Gong. "The pain was indescribable," he said. "My body jumped in the air." Two female inmates described repeated humiliations. Menstruating women were shackled standing against a board and then prevented from sleeping or going to the bathroom for several days. (Jim Yardley in the New York Times)
Where are the incensed Botero's paintings on China's prison system?

That's right, there aren't any.

The Nazis had come after the Soviets. Then the Russians returned. A third of Latvia's population perished — executed, starved or devoured by the Gulag — a loss rate comparable to the ravages of the Black Death. Latvian men were beaten or shot for the crime of wearing eyeglasses — intellectuals were dangerous. Rape was used to break the people's will. The secret police settled in, imposing bureaucratic order on oppression. By the time I arrived, no Latvian wanted to speak Russian to me, preferring to stumble along in English or even German. (Ralph Peters in the New York Post)
Where are the enraged Botero's paintings on the Russian gulag?

Oh, that's right, there aren't any.

The Colombian artist has been too busy painting the abuses at Abu Ghraib, that "great crime" of modern times…

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