One People, One Planet, HON!

French Connection

2003, Political Commentary Originally Designed for the Hieronimus & Co. Journal,
watercolor and pen and ink, 20¾” x 26¾”

“The French Connection” is a companion piece to “The Oil Angle” and was also born out of Hieronimus’s frustration at the corporate media propagandizing the people to accept a new war in the Persian Gulf under the pretense that it was not about oil. When it was revealed that French President Jacques Chirac had found a way to send arms to Saddam Hussein in exchange for oil, Hieronimus picked up his pens. Once again, his map of the region, this time including Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Africa, used the flags of these nations to identify them. France’s symbol of the fleur-de-lis doubles as a symbol of a bomb, and we see a series of them flying from France to land in a defensive mode around the borders of Iraq. Notice that the map of France is stylized to resemble a face literally vomiting out the bombs. In return there flows a series of words, “OIL” spelled backward, emanating from Iraq to the capital of France, or the eye of the face.

Over the 10 years of this unlawful trafficking of arms and nuclear technology, most turned a blind eye. In the lead up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, however, Judicial Watch, a public interest group which investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, filed formal complaints against the French President and senior officials of other governments and corporations. ( They lodged a series of complaints against the unlawful proliferation of nuclear technology, the unlawful trafficking of arms and military technology, the violation of United Nations trade sanctions imposed after the 1991 Gulf War, as well as additional U.N. sanctions relating to the so-called “oil for food” program. Even Saddam Hussein talked openly about his relationship with corrupt French politicians in the 1991 book, Notre Allies Saddam, when he said: “As for financiers, industrialists and above all those responsible for military industry, the question must be put to French politicians: Who did not benefit from these business contracts and relationships with Iraq? ... With respect to the politicians, one need only refer back to the declarations of all the political parties of France, Right and Left. All were happy to brag about their friendship with Iraq and to refer to common interests.”

While diverging from the usual themes in Hieronimus’s catalogue, what this series of political commentary designs share in common with them is the passion to stand up and speak out when something popular is going wrong. He urges all his fellow artists to use their talents to contribute to the betterment of their society through the powerful tools they possess