PRINT May 1991


War in the Gulf

IT DIDN'T TAKE UNUSUAL POWERS of insight to discern the American public’s mood during the escalating gulf war. As soon as it was clear “we” were going to win without too much loss of American life, a large majority of good citizens started screaming for Iraqi blood. What they got was more like a gigantic human barbecue. The first visual evidence of horribly burned and mutilated Iraqi civilians was beamed into U.S. homes after an American air raid destroyed the Amiriya shelter, a bunker with hundreds of people inside it that was described as either a civilian bomb shelter (Iraqi claim) or a military command center (U.S. claim). Otherwise, we could only imagine what kinds of horrible deaths the people of Baghdad were dying as a result of our bombs, smart and otherwise.

If we had any doubts that “burn, baby, burn” was the unacknowledged American war cry, however, they were dispelled by the

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the discounted rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.