Monday, September 24, 2007
I wasn't going to do a strip about the Petraeus hearings or the MoveOn ad because, frankly, the whole thing bored me. "Bush administration conducts massive PR blitz using four-star general as cover; public-interest group calls BS, and gets falsely accused of hating on the whole military." Whatever. We've been through this before with Colin Powell.
Then the U.S. Senate decided to wade into the matter. In an astonishing swipe at the First Amendment, they sanctimoniously declared Gen. Petraeus to be off-limits to criticism, with 25 craven Democrats -- including my own Jim Webb, for whom I went door-to-door in a trailer park -- voting for the resolution. That did it.
I saw the MoveOn ad the day it appeared in the Times, and while I thought the Petraeus-Betray Us rhyme sounded a little like a snarky blog comment, I was glad to see someone getting out in front of the story and telling it like it is. Because it was already patently obvious to anyone following the news closely that his testimony was part of a highly-coordinated White House media offensive. As TPM noted, according to the Washingtoh Post, Petraeus was plugged directly into the Decider's office:
Another new arrival in the West Wing set up a rapid-response PR unit hard-wired into Petraeus's shop. Ed Gillespie, the new presidential counselor, organized daily conference calls at 7:45 a.m. and again late in the afternoon between the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the U.S. Embassy and military in Baghdad to map out ways of selling the surge.Anyone who thought we were going to get an honest, independent assessment of the war from Petraeus -- and this seems to include much of our media, who should know better -- is gravely lacking the healthy skepticism that has become so vital to understanding our current political landscape. By accepting the partisan role of spin man for the perennially dishonest Bush administration, Petraeus did in fact betray the public trust that is, for better or worse, heaped on soldiers of his stature. Do I like saying that about our current commander in the field? No. But don't blame me, or MoveOn. (Another right-wing talking point twists the meaning of the MoveOn ad to say it's akin to calling Petraeus a "traitor" -- um, no one is accusing him of helping the enemy. Though the war in Iraq has, in fact, made terrorism worse.)
The point of my cartoon, however, is not so much to defend MoveOn, but to illuminate the hypocrisy of Republicans when it comes to respect for members of the military. They're all too eager to trash vets if they're Democrats. And they'll trash active-duty soldiers too, if they don't toe the neocon line. (If you haven't read "The War as We Saw It" yet, you should.) A Montana Republican newsman and former politician recently claimed the soldiers couldn't have written that op-ed themselves, that it had to be a liberal scheme. As the cousin of someone who served in Iraq, I find this faux-pro-military posturing obscene.
Most people won't know it, but the drawing of Petraeus as a farting poodle is a reference to a mini-controversy that erupted on Daryl Cagle's site over a cartoon he drew of Petraeus as Bush's pet dog. I decided to make him fluffier and gassier.
Oh, and August has a good cartoon up today about the Repubs' hypocrisy re: free speech. For people who complain so much about the easily offended, they sure do get easily offended!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Came across this classic animated commercial from 1996 urging Estonians to wear condoms.
And Trojan couldn't get American networks to carry their low-key ad with the pigs! (See cartoon from a few weeks ago)
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
A tip of the pen to Sweva for making me aware of Russia's new "Father of All Bombs."
That the Russians are describing a nuclear-strength bomb that vaporizes everything in its range as "environmentally friendly" struck me as kind of funny. This is not to make light, however, of the hazards of depleted uranium in U.S. bombs dropped on Iraq, something that deserves far more scrutiny than it's getting. I encourage you to read this Campus Progress article written by a former U.S. Army Medic on our own dirty bomb problem.
Some of you have written asking for my opinion on the Cavalier Daily cartoon controversy which has, somewhat strangely, received national news coverage. The C-VILLE Weekly asked its cartoonists (including me) for our commentary, which you can read here.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I was reading a copy of my alma mater's alumni magazine recently when I came across this rather remarkable letter to the editor accusing the magazine of liberal bias (emphasis below is mine):
I had hoped that U.Va. Magazine would not contain the political biases infecting most of the mainstream media, but the Summer 2007 issue destroyed my hopes.So now referring to "the Bush administration's War on Terror" makes you a font of liberal bias? Who knew? It's not like the Bush administration has ever touted their "War on Terror."
Sorry, but making terrorism worse is not my idea of fighting terrorism, so the Bushie approach is in fact uniquely theirs. How are we supposed to refer to the policies of any administration according to this guy?
I find this a rather illuminating example of how the Republican elite have trained their followers to see liberal phantoms everywhere.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Back by popular demand. In case you haven't seen it, here's the first installment, which I drew some four years ago.
To get in the mood for drawing this strip, I wasted an embarrassing amount of time clicking through Vice Magazine's style do's and don'ts, where you'll find many, many entertaining fashion atrocities.
When I was in Dublin I saw some mummified bog people at the National Museum, which provided inspiration for the bog hipster. Apparently the chemical composition of peat bogs in northern Europe preserve bodies very well. Bog people have been found with tattoos and plenty of hair; I threw in the plug-style earring myself, which may or may not be historically accurate.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
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