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Priggee Dad’s Day cartoon offends many

Priggee Father's Day Cartoon

A Father’s Day cartoon drawn by Milt Priggee has garnered a strong reaction from military folks. The cartoon depicts a dead soldier with what may appear a blown off skull and leg, with a note lying next to him with the words, “We love you Dad.”

Reader reactions and Milt’s reactions have been posted on Daryl Cagle’s blog.

One military man wrote: “Sir let me say that I am all about freedom of the press and freedom of speech, but the cartoon [is] very careless…. You could have brought your point across by being just a little more subtle. We will continue to read your cartoon but I feel that we should receive some sort of apology for this particular cartoon.”

Priggee replied: “This cartoon was not drawn to lift any spirits but to show the public how and what military families have to deal with. This cartoon was drawn to make people mad, mad enough to demand some accountability from their elected officials for not supporting our fellow citizens who volunteered to protect our country.

Community Comments

#1 Dawn Douglass
@ 4:00 pm

As a Marine Mom whose son saw lots of combat, I think this cartoon is disgusting and that Milt’s response (Hi Milt), is absurd. (sorry)

“not supporting our fellow citizens who volunteered to protect our country.”

??? What the heck does that mean? Is the government supposed to guarantee that Marines and soldiers aren’t going to get killed?

This is just more of the same “they just wanted the education and didn’t know they could see combat” and “they’re just a bunch of poor and/or stupid people who didn’t have any better opportunities.” It’s insulting, it’s wrong, and to use a happy day that is intended to honor dads for anti-war mongering that will greatly hurt the very families that Milt CLAIMS to want supported is revolting.

#2 Matt Bors
@ 4:06 pm

Anti-war mongering. I like that term. Do people die from that practice?

Dawn, when you say “Is the government supposed to guarantee that Marines and soldiers arenâ??t going to get killed?” I don’t think anyone thinks that….they just don’t think the government should put them in harms way for a war that doesn’t need to be fought.

#3 Dawn Douglass
@ 4:48 pm

“Doesn’t need to be fought” is your opinion, Matt. My son was there and has a very different opinion. And he and all the other guys like him and their families don’t need to be told on Fathers Day that they are stooges, that you know more about their lives than they do, and that all they have scarificed and all the friends they saw die mean nothing because the war itself is meaningless.

#4 Chris Evans
@ 5:11 pm

When you’re outraged as a person, when you want to get people mad (because you think they should be mad as hell, like you are), when you want to really stir things up, when you want to hold something ugly and horrible up & make it impossible for the viewer to look away…it is easy to become vindictive.

#5 Dawn Douglass
@ 6:46 pm

You’re right, Chris, and it seems to me that’s when the reasonable voice inside you should say no, you’re going over the line.

Can you imagine the outcry if a pro-life cartoonist had depicted a dead fetus with it’s skull crushed and it’s brain sucked out like they do for late term abortions, and it said “Happy Mother’s Day.” That would be vile and I expect Milt would understand that it would be vile.

Well, so is this cartoon.

#6 Matt Bors
@ 6:48 pm

I think that would be a fitting cartoon for a pro-lifer since they see abortion as an atrocity.

Both that cartoon and Milt’s view their subject matter as the outrage–not the cartoon itself.

#7 Dawn Douglass
@ 6:59 pm

Matt, what are the chances that ANY American newspaper would print the cartoon I described?

A big fat 0%, that’s what.

#8 Matt Bors
@ 7:00 pm

Unfortunately, you are right. I wish people weren’t so easily offended.

#9 Malc McGookin
@ 9:41 pm

Naturally no newspaper would print this image, it’s shocking and designed to be so.
I’d go so far as to say that it’s too shocking, and that inhibits its message.

Priggee may not have had the guts to draw this a few years back when the disgusting flagwavers and religious hypocrites held the ascendancy. The American press will be held culpable throughout history for the craven way they hunkered down and refused to criticize this awful administration and the crimes they have committed.

However, late as it is, and over-the-top as it is, I’m tremendously encouraged that this image was drawn by an angry American. There are a lot of Iraqi fathers who will never again see their children as well as American fathers who won’t be coming home.

#10 Monty Rohde
@ 10:14 pm

“This is just more of the same â??they just wanted the education and didnâ??t know they could see combatâ? and â??theyâ??re just a bunch of poor and/or stupid people who didnâ??t have any better opportunities.â?

The cartoon is heavy on the shock value which is going to cause offense no matter what audience it is targeted at. It’s ironic in a way that is very inflammatory. There’s a lot of things you can say about it and you are entitled to your opinion. However in the heat of the moment I think you rolled in a few general personal grievences which aren’t related to the cartoon, but share the same level of outrage.

As for the anti-abortion cartoon you purpose I’m pretty sure that’s been done before. That idea is to easy it’s impossible to miss.

#11 Monty Rohde
@ 10:45 pm

Or if you’re referring to Milt’s comment, which you likely are, I’m still not sure he holds those views you find patronizing. I can’t explain what was going on in his head.

At large the American public tries to hide from or willfully ignores graphic imagery. (Try find a picture of what an IED attack looks like, it ain’t easy.) Forget the ham fisted irony the drawing alone would be enough to stir an outrage.

#12 Mike Lester
@ 6:36 am

It’s a “snuff cartoon”.

#13 John Cole
@ 8:10 am

Multiple choice:

Upon seeing this cartoon, the reader will vent his or her rage at …

A) The Bush Administration.

B) The war.

C) Greeting-card companies.

D) The cartoonist.

It’s safe to say the answer in almost every instance, the answer will be “D,” which is not the aim of a pointed and persuasive editorial cartoon.

#14 John Cole
@ 8:14 am

Ugh. Forgive the grammatic goof in the last graf. Going for coffee, now.

#15 Bill Hinds
@ 9:53 am

I’m guessing Milt Priggee is among those who complain about what a horribly suppressive country this is.

I remember someone said in a speech at one of the Ohio Festivals that If George Bush was reelected, American cartoonists would soon be thrown in jail.

There’s less than a year to go. Any bets on who will be wearing the stripes first?

My bet is, no one.

#16 lefitte
@ 10:08 am

This is a powerful image.

I hate that 0% of American newspapers would run this.

And I could see where some people think it’s over the line, but it’s provocative and starts a dialogue.

I read a newspaper now and it’s all PC and watered-down to not offend anyone. In the processs, no stance is taken and nobody cares. Then … guess what? Nobody reads.

Give me a product that stirs me emotionally and I’ll show you a product I’ll read.

#17 Dawn Douglass
@ 10:30 am

>Give me a product that stirs me emotionally and I’ll show you a product I’ll read.

Then you’re the exception to the rule, lefitte.

I quit reading my local paper because it’s so one-sided. When that happens in our almost 50-50 polarized nation, you’re asking for half you’re readers to leave.

Now if papers would print BOTH this cartoon and the abortion cartoon, then maybe it would increase circulation. But you can’t be one-sided. Newspapers no longer have the clout to tell Americans what we need to think. If editors quit choosing sides for us, I think newspapers would be much healthier.

In fact, if newspapers would pay for TWO editorial cartoonists — one that leans left and one that leans right — they’d likely have the money to afford both, instead of not being able to afford one.

#18 Malc McGookin
@ 10:48 am

Bill, like you said -you’re guessing.
There’s every chance that Priggee is a lover of his country and doesn’t feel suppressed any more than any other cartoonist, he just wants US troops out of Iraq.

Maybe he’s a loyal patriot with the safety of his fellow Americans at heart, and he’ll draw almost any image if it makes an impact.

The real stories of Iraq are yet to be told, the real culprits, the liars, the thieves and the traitors yet to be identified.
When that day comes, the picture painted of Iraq will be a very different one, and I think Priggee’s comment could go on to be the most print-published web cartoon ever.

@ 11:06 am

We need, and have needed, many more cartoons like this that illustrate the graphic reality of war. This is only a depiction. The media blackout has been almost total. Even showing coffins caused an uproar.
( The most popular cartoon on my website is “The Surge”, where there are hundreds of stacked flag covered coffins waiting to be loaded onto a C-130 transport )
If the destruction, injuries, and dead bodies received any media currency; this adventure for profits would have been cut short years ago.

I applaud Milt Priggee for this provocative image.
Those offended by it truly have their reward.

#20 Bill Hinds
@ 11:07 am

Good point about Milt, Malc.

I’m sure he does love America.
And I’m sure he hates war.
That was well-expressed in his cartoon.

My guesses are often proved wrong.

#21 Dawn Douglass
@ 11:33 am

Nobody hates war more than the ones who fight in them and their loved ones.

Matt you said: Anti-war mongering. I like that term. Do people die from that practice?

I guess we’ll see one way or the other if Obama gets in and takes us back to pre-9/11 when you can’t do anything until after they strike — just like people have been dying for decades because the police can’t do anything till the threatening person actually commits a crime.

#22 Matt Bors
@ 11:56 am

“just like people have been dying for decades because the police canâ??t do anything till the threatening person actually commits a crime.”

I know. I wish they would have arrested George Bush before he launched the war. So many lives would have been saved.

We need some kind of “Minority Report” system to prevent terrorists and world leaders from killing.

#23 John Sandford
@ 12:57 pm

This is political cartooning the old fashioned, pre-politically-correct way. It’s not meant for a giggle, not meant to be safe, and not meant as entertainment. It’s political cartooning as it’s meant – as a weapon – a cudgel, an ax. The people commenting here have reacted as they should: they are angry (for their own reasons) and they are communicating and discussing the issues.
Mauldin, Fischetti and Nast are drinking to Priggee right now. Political cartooning is a dying art, and it stays alive with practitioners like Priggee. Love him or hate him, we need him and this discourse.

#24 Chris Evans
@ 1:24 pm

It is an ugly, repulsive cartoon. But War is ugly, and repulsive, too. There are innumerable horrible, ugly, repulsive things in the world. As an artist, I try to be careful, and check my motivation closely when I choose to reproduce the miseries of this life. I don’t want to be just repeating the blasphemies like a copy machine and adding to the ugliness of it all — of how ugly and hopeless it can be. It is easy to be ugly. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do ugly work, or show despicable things. And as others have commented, sometimes you absolutely must because of the direction of history. Send out a scream, get people’s attention. As long as you can stand by what you do, put your line in the sand, know what you drew and why you drew it, then it is what it is. To you, and hopefully many others who are like you (and not like you), you’ve created a bold statement. To others, it will be seen as tripe, or heartlessness, or whatever. Images are seductive, powerful, “good” or “bad”. In my own case, I try to be optimistic. I mostly succeed.

#25 Rick Stromoski
@ 3:00 pm

>>> just like people have been dying for decades because the police canâ??t do anything till the threatening person actually commits a crime.

I’m actually glad that I live in a country where the police aren’t allowed to arrest you because they may think you’ll commit a crime.

#26 Rick Stromoski
@ 3:11 pm

>>>I guess weâ??ll see one way or the other if Obama gets in and takes us back to pre-9/11 when you canâ??t do anything until after they strike

You mean like how the Bush administration ignored intelligence of direct threats and did nothing even when given national security reports that Al Qaeda was determined to strike within the U.S. using airplanes as weapons? And then when he did act, attacked a country that had nothing to do with it and allowed the culprits responsible get away and are free to this day ?

I think it won’t take much for a President Obama to improve on that track record.

#27 Ted Rall
@ 3:13 pm

Wow. Fantastic cartoon, Milt.

“…he and all the other guys like him and their families donâ??t need to be told on Fathers Day that they are stooges, that you know more about their lives than they do, and that all they have scarificed and all the friends they saw die mean nothing because the war itself is meaningless.”

Why shouldn’t our troops be told that their sacrifice and the deaths of their comrades in Iraq was meaningless? It’s true.

#28 Rod McKie
@ 4:15 pm

It’s a difficult area, but it’s a brave cartoon. There is a new, improved double-speak and double-think going on at the moment as the goverments’ on both sides of the pond try to roll up WWI and WWII with the farce in Iraq and Afghanistan and celebrate ‘all conflicts equally’.

That bufon-headed twat Des Brown turned up on TV today after the recent British deaths in Afghanistan to say ‘this will not deter us’. To translate that double-speak it means ‘no matter how many of you shmucks die, we will keep sending you over there’.

Everytime someone falls into the trap of saying ‘the brave soldiers are only doing their job’ they do the work of the spin doctors. It isn’t about that, it never was.

Henceforth there should be a rule that if a politician votes for war, he/she should send his children or his grandchildren to fight in it, and if he/she has none he should serve on the front line herself or himself.
I guarantee you’ll see a lot more detante.

#29 Dawn Douglass
@ 4:17 pm

Ted, have you ever been to Iraq? Why don’t you go over there and do some cartooning from the field and find out firsthand if our troops have died for nothing.

@ 4:28 pm

Leave it to Dawn to throw ANOTHER strawman into the mix! Sheeesh!

@ 4:37 pm

In reply to Rod McKie ( #28 ): in 1916, an amendment to the Constitution was rejected.
It would have required that all acts of war be put to a national vote. Anyone voting “yes” would then be susequently obligated to register for service in the United States Army.

I would be for reintroducing and enacting this amendment.

#32 Dawn Douglass
@ 5:21 pm

Strawman?? I was totally sincere. Why shouldn’t editorial cartoonists take a look firsthand? Ever hear of Bill Mauldin?

I think we’d get a lot better editorial cartoons if at least a few of you actually worked in the field like they did back in the day, instead of just spinning what you hear from other people. I think that’s actually a big problem with editorial cartoons these days. By the time you see one, you’ve already been hearing about whatever it is, usually countless times. Who wants old news, esp. when it’s so secondhand.

I actually feel so strongly about this, it’s a part of my business plan. That’s hardly throwing out a strawman.

#33 Jeff Vella
@ 5:27 pm

“Ted, have you ever been to Iraq? Why donâ??t you go over there and do some cartooning from the field”

Really Dawn? You don’t HAVE to be there to draw a cartoon about it. I’ve never been to the White House, but I still drawing about it and it’s current resident.

Editorial cartoons are NOT like regular comic strips. They don’t always have to be funny. I like to think that the best editorial cartoons are the ones that make you think about and discuss the issues, and not just ment to make you laugh.

#34 Phil Wohlrab
@ 5:35 pm

Removal of Saddam = good
troops in Iraq for 6 years= bad

This cartoon is powerful, I’m sure I disagree with this guys politics but this cartoon is good non-the-less. Fathers have died in Iraq and Afganistan, and this cartoon punches you in the face with that fact.

Ted, soldiers in Iraq are shaping a new nation.
you draw pictures.

you may not get your head blown off doing it, but in terms of a meaningful occupation, I think they’ve got one up on you.

#35 Wiley Miller
@ 5:42 pm

â??Ted, have you ever been to Iraq? Why donâ??t you go over there and do some cartooning from the fieldâ?

Actually, Ted has been to Afghanistan, Dawn. I believe it was before the invasion of Iraq, and I think he’s been there a couple of times. When I saw him at the Reuben’s, he told me he was planning to go again soon. So he has been on the lines and came pretty close to buying the farm.

As for any of us going to Iraq, that’s probably a very difficult thing to do, unless you enlist in the army.

#36 Malc McGookin
@ 5:54 pm

There are plenty of people in Iraq sending back reports of what’s really happening, but there’s a massive, docile section of US (and UK) society which simply won’t read.

They get their information from CNN and FOX, and even those news services not in the pocket of the Bush administration will not dare to speak the truth.
The moronic Bill O’Reilly passes for a pundit in the US, a crushing indictment of the US approach to news and current affairs.
Gerald had to stage a virtual fist fight with O’Reilly on air to try to cloak himself in some tattered integrity. The whole thing was worthy of WWE, it was sheer sports entertainment for the bubbas, not journalism.

Those who advocate that others should go to Iraq to see things “first hand” don’t get it.

The fact is we shouldn’t be in Iraq at ALL, never mind asking others to go there too.

#37 Malc McGookin
@ 5:56 pm

“Gerald” should read “Geraldo”

#38 Anne Hambrock
@ 6:10 pm

This cartoon reminds me of the vietnam “napalm girl” photo. I grew up being told that one of the things that made the Vietnam war different was the way the horrors of war were brought straight to the American public via unvarnished photo imagry and television coverage. The shock of it was a tremendous catalyst to end the war. That and the practice of sending a non-volunteer draftee army.

We are now exposed to so many “napalm girl” photos every day that they have lost their value to make us think and question the propaganda we have been raised with. Perhaps at this point a cartoon can make more of a statement than a photo.

#39 Rick Stromoski
@ 6:17 pm

>>>Ted, soldiers in Iraq are shaping a new nation.

Is that what invasion is called now?

#40 Malc McGookin
@ 6:42 pm

Maybe “shaping a new nation” means changing Iraq from a country which assassinates its rulers and in which power is handed down from father to son through a never-changing ruling elite where your next President could be a former head of your secret service, to er…ok…. forget I said anything.

#41 Dawn Douglass
@ 6:49 pm

Wiley: “As for any of us going to Iraq, thatâ??s probably a very difficult thing to do, unless you enlist in the army.”

Why is that? Are editorial editorial cartoonists not considered journalists? There was a journalist with my son’s squad when he was wounded. I know they aren’t as many there now as there were, but the military does accommodate journalists.

I’m not being snide…are cartoonists not “real journalists”???

#42 Bill Kellogg
@ 6:50 pm

Whether or not you like this particular cartoon, the very nature of editorial cartoons (especially political ones) means half of the audience is going to hate it. It seems to be an effective one though. Look at what is going on here.

@ 7:10 pm

The “OCCCUPATION” of Iraq, or any sovereign state that has NOT attacked the U.S. is an ongoing war crime. It violates the Geneva Conventions. The rest of the World knows this, but their protests are muted by the presence of 30,000 nuclear warheads at the idiot bush’s fingertips.
We now live in a virtual dictatorship, with few lone voices of protest. The cartoonists that have dared to take a stand are roundly ostracized, or worse.

I have NO sympathy for those that have no comprehension of geo-political dynamics. They commit themselves to doomed philosophies. They are the dead-enders that limit themselves ( and would like to do the same with ALL OTHERS! )
The reactionaries would like to silence Priggee and other critics.
I say we need MORE freedom of speech, not less!

#44 Wiley Miller
@ 7:36 pm

“are cartoonists not â??real journalistsâ????”

No, they’re not, Dawn. They’re cartoonists. They have no more business being sent to Iraq than a copy desk editor. I seriously doubt that any newspaper is going to go through the hassle and red tape to get clearance from the state department, not to mention the expense, to send a cartoonist to Iraq.

#45 Mllt Priggee
@ 10:20 pm

THANKS for the feed back everybody.
I agree with ALL of you….it was a pretty good cartoon.

I draw editorial cartoons that provoke debate, debate is democracy.

Interestingly- this cartoon will NEVER see the light of day in print, mainly because newspapers were never big fans of democracy…..newspapers are a dictatorship. They don’t want anybody or anything rockin’ the boat or pestering their cash cow that they’re trying to milk.
This is the reason staff editorial cartoonists are being eliminated from the print world. OK, they can’t afford cartoonists but that’s only because newspapers are ethically bankrupt.

Newspapers don’t want to make money, they just don’t want to lose what they think they have. Anytime you play- not to lose that’s exactly what happens.

Strangely- this cartoon is currently appearing on a newspaper blog…the very newspaper that dumped me from the print world.

This cartoon will go into my growing Cagle Father’s Day cartoon file…and he’ll repost them again but next year I’ll have to reply to the hate mail that these cartoons were drawn while the idiot was still in office.

FYI- Even though I’ve never served personally, I was born on an AFB while my Dad was in the Army.

#46 Jeff Hawley
@ 11:54 pm

Milt, congrats on a powerful cartoon. It seems to offend those who prefer not to confront the realities of war…and of Bush’s war in particular. I am moved by your cartoon and applaud it. If this cartoon keeps one kid from making the error of becoming a soldier in Junior Bush’s Unholy Crusade, you’ll have done a service to humanity. Thank you for your courage in ripping away the veil, at least for an instant, from war and its tragic consequences.

Yours truly,
Jeff Hawley
Cartoonist, and Conscientious Objector during the Vietnam War.

#47 Dawn Douglass
@ 5:55 am

Well, Wiley, that’s too bad. That’s going to have to change, IMO. Joe Sacco is a cartoon journalist. We need lots more of them for cartooning to be truly impactful when it comes to news.

In other parts of the world cartoonists are actual journalists. Many get jailed, some have even been killed.

Maybe the next generation of cartoonists will be more hands-on. I think they’ll have to be to achieve credibility and keep up with the first-hand expectations of generations X and Y.

#48 Wiley Miller
@ 6:50 am

“In other parts of the world cartoonists are actual journalists. Many get jailed, some have even been killed.”

No, they aren’t journalists, Dawn. They’re cartoonists who are commenting on issues that journalists report. They’re not doing anything differently than cartoonists here. The difference is the government in the country they work, where they don’t have anything like the First Amendment.

The problem in our country is that editors are so scared and weak that they won’t allow cartoonists to do powerful cartoons. They just want to pacify and not challenge readers. Unfortunately, the vast majority of editorial cartoonists today are all too willing to go along with that just to hold on to a job.

#49 Ted Rall
@ 7:18 am

Wiley is right, Dawn. Cartoonists, especially political cartoonists, are pundits. Not journalists.

That said, the fact that you chose to call me out on not going to face the frontline fun–of all cartoonists!–speaks of your ignorance of my work and of this profession.

Among other conflicts (the Afghan civil war, the Kargil Conflict (aka the Third Kashmir War, a couple of border skirmishes in Central Asia, et al.), I covered the US invasion of Afghanistan (in the north, at the Battle of Kunduz) in November-December 2001. I’ve written and drawn three books as a result. As Wiley says, things got hairy.

Afghanistan, remember, is the “good war”–the place Obama and other Democrats think we should be bombing instead of Iraq. Well, more than Iraq. The truth is the opposite: Afghanistan is even less winnable, less legally justifiable and more damaging to America’s foreign relations than Iraq. But that’s for another time.

Dawn, you’re welcome to your belief that the Iraq War is a noble endeavor (even if it has killed more than one million people for no reason whatsoever). But I could send you hundreds of letters from Iraq War vets who said they hated me before they went over there. Now that they’re back, they’re chastising me for not criticizing the war enough.

It all depends on your point of view.

#50 Phil Wohlrab
@ 7:24 am

There you have it Dawn. Afganistan is an illegal war, and Iraq, apparently now more justifiable. That should settle the debate for you.

#51 Mike Lester
@ 8:34 am

O.K. I’ll be the fart on the elevator. Right or wrong, no wmd’s, , war criminals, all about oil, soldiers are dupes, 9-11 was inside job, W’s a moron and he killed Tim Russert w/ a candelabra in the conservatory…

The irony is that the dead soldier in Priggee’s dead soldier cartoon died so that one day there will exist a middle eastern cartoonist who has the right to draw a dead soldier cartoon.

Semper Fidelis

#52 Wiley Miller
@ 9:15 am

“The irony is that the dead soldier in Priggeeâ??s dead soldier cartoon died so that one day there will exist a middle eastern cartoonist who has the right to draw a dead soldier cartoon.”

Oh, please… spare us the sanctimonious spin.
Here’s the real reason our soldiers were sacrificed in Iraq:

#53 Rod McKie
@ 9:16 am

Actually Mike, it’s a drawing, nobody died. And it’ll be a cold day in hell when a cartoonist in the countries in the Middle East the Bush Administration supports isn’t watching his back. Maybe a short trip to PEN’s website will clear the smell from your elevator.

#54 Phil Wohlrab
@ 9:31 am

I don’t think Mike was trying to provoke anyone with that post.

#55 Alan Gardner
@ 9:32 am

As a reminder. Please keep the conversation relevant to the cartoon and not personal views of the war.


#56 Jeff Darcy
@ 11:02 am

My first Editor here at the P.D. thought of me as a Journalist. I saw his point, but I also understand Wiley’s and Teds. Milt, I think what would keep that cartoon out of most papers is the graphic horror of the soldiers head blown apart. Not the idea of soldiers not being home for fathers day. I and I’m sure many others have done fathers day cartoons on that. It’s a powerfull image, which is what I always thought classic editorial cartooning was supposed to be about. Perhaps if you reattached his skull and had him in a surge protected baghdad cafe reading the card along with newspaper stories of more page and employee cutbacks at american newspapers… Oh and don’t forget the lapel flag pin

#57 Milt Priggee
@ 11:43 am

Thank you Jeff and I agree with you that the graphic horror is what would keep this cartoon from being reprinted in any newspaper in America. I also agree with you that editorial cartooning is supposed to be about powerful images.

About watering down what I drew just to get it into print, I respectfully reply.

A ship is safe in port but that’s not what ships were built for.

#58 Wiley Miller
@ 12:21 pm

How dare you take people out of their comfort zone, Mr. Priggee (if that’s your REAL name)! What’s next… making people think?

@ 12:28 pm

Milt, I totally agree with you.
When I first viewed your cartoon, it reminded me of this by Robert Mino:

I did one that never saw newsprint, too. There were very few photographs even making it into Western media after the invasion in 2003. I did a depiction from a photo of a man, probably the father, carrying a dead girl with limbs missing and part of the head gone.
Yes, graphic horror and true.
I was going to caption it “Modern Pieta”, but instead went with “Noble Cause”.
My editor at the time was moved by it, but put the kibosh on it as he felt the paper would be firebombed, and I understood his point.

#60 Dawn Douglass
@ 12:45 pm

Ted: “That said, the fact that you chose to call me out on not going to face the frontline funâ??of all cartoonists!â??speaks of your ignorance of my work and of this profession.”

GADS! I asked you a legimate question. You’ve been to other places, I was wondering if you’ve been to Iraq and suggested you go and get firsthand information. Why is that so hostile/absurd/ignorant proposition to everybody here?!

I don’t understand how you can say cartoonists are just pundits, not meant to be journalists, and then talk about covering places in the field. Why were you there at all, risking your life, if you didn’t see any value in it?

Yes, “of all cartoonists!” Geez, you’d think you’d take it as a compliment.

Believe it or not, I do know something about the profession and this is not the way it used to be and it’s not the way it will soon become. Editorial cartoonists didn’t always rely on the blogosphere, or even editors and reporters. They used to go out and use their own eyes, ears and noses.

Yes, I know that the purpose of editorial cartooning is to give opinion based on facts, but when *nobody* seems to want to be a journalist anymore (not even journalists), and contradictory “facts” are all over the place, what then?

People don’t care about anybody’s opinion unless they are confident that there is something substantial behind that opinion. The public is increasingly demanding firsthand knowledge, because everybody is getting very tired of the endless “he said/she said” and all the infinite spinning.

Seems to me that cartoonists are going to have to move more in the direction of being journalists. Those who do should do well.

But if you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. There’s no reason to get hostile about it. You express your opinions, so can I.

#61 Matt Bors
@ 1:18 pm

On the journalist question, there’s the potential for reporting to be done in comics–it has been done (Sacco, cartoonists who cover conventions, etc.) but clearly we are mostly pundits. We are not in the field, but at our tables, reading the news that journalists report and commenting on it.

Also, one doesn’t have to go anywhere to be qualified to comment on it. Soldiers in the field are not more informed than a seasoned pundit or news junkie by virtue of them being in theater.

#62 Ted Rall
@ 1:19 pm


Your previous post (which asked if I’d ever put my butt on the line by going to Iraq) implied that I was sitting on said tuckus here at home instead of going to check things out for myself. I’m no Bill Mauldin (who is?), but I was surprised at that, given that I’ve been to more wars than 99 percent of cartoonists.

I agree that it’s nice, when possible, for cartoonists to base their opinions on facts they’ve gathered for themselves. But it’s not always easy. For instance, I’ve repeatedly pitched The Village Voice (which received plaudits for my Afghanistan work) to send me to Iraq as an independent (non-embedded, i.e. actual) reporter. Since being acquired by the New Times Corporation, however, the Voice has all but eliminated its international and national news coverage. I have met similar resistance from other media outlets, not least due to the extreme expense of war reportage ($10,000 per week is a low-budget undertaking).

Last year I spent my own money to cover the looming crisis of Lake Sarez, the giant earthquake-created high-altitude lake that threatens to release a flood that could kill as many as five million people in Asia. Fortunately, I sold a feature story to Men’s Journal after the fact. But no one paid much attention because, frankly, Americans don’t care about five million dead Muslims any more than they care about a million in Iraq. I’m disinclined to front my own money in the future.

Perhaps if deep-pocketed publications like the New York Times Sunday Magazine were willing to bankroll some serious, high-quality cartoon journalism instead of squandering space on boring and aimless art comix, there would be some incentive for cartoonists to get off their duffs and check out more stuff for themselves.

#63 Wiley Miller
@ 1:24 pm

First, you can’t just hop on a plane and fly to Iraq. You have to get special clearance, and that’s not easy to do.

Second, I don’t think you have a clear idea of just what a journalist is. If I was a reporter, I would be greatly offended to have a cartoonist be called a journalist. The same goes for columnists and all the television pundits.

Cartoonists are satirists. We don’t go out and and gather news and report it. That requires objectivity and sticking to the facts. As cartoonists, we break every rule of journalism, as we deal in hyperbole and metaphor to get our point across. We take in the reports that journalists work so hard to gather and satirize it. We don’t deal in gathering facts, we make fun of the facts.

So perhaps the term “journalist” isn’t what you really mean. Advocate, perhaps? Every editorial cartoonist I know would love to be able to do more serious work, but editors won’t allow it.

#64 Dawn Douglass
@ 2:21 pm

Wiley, I’ve got a minor in journalism. And I do understand what you’re saying. Probably “editorial cartoonist” and “cartoon journalist” will have to be two separate categories, but they will inevitably overlap.

And I’m not just talking about going to Iraq. What about going to the local City Hall meeting and making a satirical cartoon about what happened there right in front of you? Wouldn’t that be a combination of both editorial cartooning and journalism?

I know there isn’t budgets for this right now, but what if there were? Wouldn’t it be great if cartoonists could be sent to conventions and grand-openings and such as that, like they used to be a long time ago.

Wiley, you did comics from the floor of one or two election party conventions years back, didn’t you? Wasn’t that a kind of cartoon journalism? I mean, if you didn’t go in there with the preconceived determination to make this party look good and that party look bad, but just found the humor that was there in front of you, no matter which side it offends, seems to me that it could count as unbiased as any journalism we get these days.

#65 Dawn Douglass
@ 2:23 pm

Ted, I’d say I wish I had the money to send you to Iraq, but I’d be afraid of how you’d take that. Ha! ;)

#66 Dawn Douglass
@ 2:36 pm

“Soldiers in the field are not more informed than a seasoned pundit or news junkie by virtue of them being in theater.”

Baloney, Matt. It depends on what you’re talking about.

Did you ever hear anybody in the media talking about how the insurgents who were left in Fallujah to fight us while their leaders ran away were taking drugs? My son said they always knew they were getting close when they found drug paraphernalia. Or did you know that the vast majority of those insurgents, who were reported as patriotic freedom fighters by the Left, weren’t Iraqis? Or that our guys found rape and torture rooms and the remains of families, including children, who had been gutting or beheaded?

“Seasoned pundits” and “news junkies” know more than anybody else. Yeah, right.

#67 Wiley Miller
@ 2:46 pm

Ok, now I see what you’re talking about. Yes, that sort of thing has been done in the past, back when newspapers were a viable medium and would devote space for it. And it’s something that readers really enjoy.

So, yes, it SHOULD be done, but like so many other things that bounce off the foreheads of editors, it won’t be done. They just won’t give cartoonists the credibility, nor the space to do it.

#68 Matt Bors
@ 3:00 pm

I didn’t say they “know more than anybody else.” I said soldiers, merely because they are there, are not by default the most informed qualified people to talk about a conflict–other than their personal experience. A poll a few years ago found over half thought Saddam was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks. I guess they are too busy to read a paper. Anyone wanting to know all angles would welcome a soldier’s perspective but I don’t call them while eating breakfast for the latest news. Another voice that is lost is from the millions of Iraqis, who far outnumber US Soldiers. I never see them on the networks. The living ones aren’t interviewed and the dead ones aren’t given a passing though by most Americans.

#69 Matt Bors
@ 3:03 pm

Jack Ohman was given some space in the Oregonian recently to do quarter page comics about his experiences at campaign events by McCain, Obama, and Hillary. He tells me they will be doing more of this in the future.

I’ve done what you described a few times myself, Dawn–going to events and doing some “comic reporting” on it. I’d love to do more, but Wiley’s right. For the most part, it won’t happen.

#70 Dawn Douglass
@ 3:17 pm

Fox interviews Iraqis often. Maybe the networks just don’t want to show how the Iraqis want us to stay, want us to win, and are increasingly cooperating with our efforts:

I acknowledge the bad things about the war, but I also acknowledge the good, which is something anti-war mongers who are invested in our defeat won’t do. For example, the people over there are learning that we are not the bad guys. My son’s squad found an old man in a house. He thought they were going to torture and kill him. Instead they gave him food and cleaned his wounds. He cried and kissed them. That’s the kind of thing that will last for generations. Extremists can’t get away with lying about us, anymore. People are starting to see extremists for what they are, the people who killed most of those million folks that Ted mentioned.

Of course, Malcolm or somebody will talk about those tiny few Americans who have done bad things and discount everything I’ve said, so what’s the use? I’ve got to focus one my own work, so bye.

#71 Stacy Curtis
@ 3:24 pm

There are a few newspaper editors out there who know the value of their cartoonist.

Look at what David Horsey has done for his newspaper:

And if you’ve never seen Jim Borgman’s “Mood of America” book of the journey he took with Jame McCarty, you’ve got to see it. They don’t make editors who let cartoonists and reporters do things like that anymore. That is one of my favorite books of all time. Great reading, great artwork over their tour of America towards the Statue of Liberty.

I’m sure there are a handful of others that have had uncommonly bright editors who have allowed them to roam outside the newspaper building with their sketchbooks.

Most newspaper editors have a golden opportunity sitting right there in their newspaper offices and the only thoughts the editors have is how to get rid of them.

Then they wonder what they’re doing wrong, why they’re having to have lay-offs left and right.


#72 Abell Smith
@ 3:47 pm

“Anti-war monger”… that’s hilarious. I can’t get enough of that. Dawn should be careful giving that kind of material to a bunch of satirists…

#73 Malc McGookin
@ 3:52 pm

“Of course, Malcolm or somebody will talk about those tiny few Americans who have done bad things and discount everything Iâ??ve said, so whatâ??s the use?”

Dawn, why even mention me at all? You’ve been soundly debated by high profile US cartoonists who don’t happen to agree with you on this issue.

Back to the cartoon:
It’s an image that would not be available to us except through the internet. Interesting that some who praise and promote the freedom and independence that the web offers also condemn the images thrown up by that freedom as “vile”.

Abortion crept into this debate too, and I’m pretty sure a graphic cartoon of an aborted baby would be welcome by those for whom abortion is a sin. In that case the end would justify the means, I’m sure.
Well, on the WWW what’s sauce for the goose is surely sauce for anyone who’s having a gander.

#74 Chris Evans
@ 4:41 pm

I’m willing to take in just about anything provocative, or controversial, as long as I don’t sense the creator is jumping up and down the the background yelling, “Look at what I can do! I can make people upset!” And in my opinion, I think Milt has communicated he’s not doing that.

#75 Carl Moore
@ 7:34 pm

â??Look at what I can do! I can make people upset!â? And in my opinion, I think Milt has communicated heâ??s not doing that.

Chris, you’re wrong. That’s exactly what Priggee is doing.

This easily thought of cartoon would have resonated back in 2006 when the war looked hopeless. But today, it sags. The Iraq war is turning around and the liberals can’t stand it. Horror of horrors, Iraq might, just might, become a more or less representative democracy with a freely elected government, an army able to defend the country internally as well as externally and an example of what can be accomplished if a Muslim people turn away from the murdering extremists and settle disputes with words rather than bullets. Could prosperity soon follow? Could this be, not what the liberals deeply wished for – a Bush faliure, but an American and Iraqi success? Oh, woe unto the liberal mindset if turns out to be so. How painful it will be.

#76 Malc McGookin
@ 8:01 pm

You’re right, Carl, this cartoon shows that pantywaist liberals just don’t WANT success in Iraq, they can’t see that bludgeoning an innocent populace into US-style democracy is the only way they’ll see sense.
Bush is a misunderstood genius, and Rumsfeld didn’t con the US into this war. Saddam has WMD we just haven’t found them yet, Big Oil has no interest in exploiting the conflict, Blackwater aren’t a sinister private army using the regular army as cover, I’m a 32 inch waist and the little man who lives in my radiator says I’m the spitting image of George Clooney.

#77 Chris Evans
@ 8:12 pm

Sheesh! Now every time I see one of Malc’s posts, I’m going to think of George Clooney, typing away. Arrrgh! Make it stop!

#78 Abell Smith
@ 8:16 pm

No, no… keep it coming Carl. I’m getting all kinds of cartoon ideas from this conversation. I can see it now… coming soon to Sadr City: TGI Friday’s and Hooters on every corner! Free Lincoln Navigators for all! I’m betting the Fallujah Costco will be freakin’ HUGE…

#79 Phil Wohlrab
@ 10:02 pm

Carl It looks like the Iraq war might actually be won with a whimper. Who knows. You can’t know if a building will stand until you take away the supports. you’ll know Iraq is a success when they start saying that the war effort was a failure because Iraqis don’t have universal health care, paid family leave or an adequate minumum wage.

#80 Carl Moore
@ 11:13 pm

“…they canâ??t see that bludgeoning an innocent populace into US-style democracy…”

Hey, Malc, where’ve you been? Didn’t you see those Iraqi voters holding up their ink-stained fingers in those elections? Were those elections free and fair? Absolutely. Were they dupes of the Americans? Not a chance.

Bludgeoning? Who has been doing the bludgeioning in Iraq? The Americans or the murderous suicide bombers and Islamic fanatics? Clearly the innocent blood spilled in Iraq is by far due to Muslim killers, not Americans. That’s one of the things that has recently changed – the Iraqi people are realizing it’s not the Americans who are killing and destroying, but Al Qaeda, thugs, and extremists Muslim groups bent on establishing a Taliban-style Iraq and, guess what, they don’t want it.

The Iraqi people are no different than anyone else – they are adults and as adults they want a say in who their leaders will be. And is there any doubt that the same phenomena of proud Iraqi voters going to the polls will occur once again in October when provincial elections are held?

Again, I realize it’s painful for you libs to hear, but Iraq is morphing from a humiliating Bush failure to an historic Muslim success story.

#81 Malc McGookin
@ 12:21 am

Carl, without trying to be deliberately unkind or rude to you personally, I have to say you have a second-grader’s grasp of the situation in Iraq, and a Republican second- grader at that.

I’ve made it a point over the last fifteen years or so to study the Middle East, its disparate cultures and its history. I don’t tout myself as an expert, but anyone with any grasp of the region’s problems would have told Bush that he stands NO chance of grafting and growing a successful western democracy (or ANY democracy) into an Arab country.

I believe bush WAS told this. I’m not one of those who thinks that the White House is chock full of cretins. Bush was advised that defeating thousands of years of tribal and factional rivalry in Iraq was tantamount to tilting at windmills, so he went in for an entirely different reason, one which others manufactured for him, and which he still does not understand. Bush nevertheless insists on explaining it all away by using the word “freedom”.
The Iraqi people do not want “freedom” as Americans would understand it. Beyond broad Dick and Jane outlines, I don’t think I could explain the situation in Iraq to you. Not that you cannot see, just that you will not.

#82 Rich Diesslin
@ 1:24 am

This is one that shouldn’t see the light of day – imo. Not all sick, twisted, offensive rot is a good cartoon just because it provokes people. I say good judgment by the editors who did not print this one.

#83 Rich Diesslin
@ 1:31 am

BTW – I wouldn’t be in favor of the abortion cartoon either, even though I would agree with the message. While it may make a point to those that haven’t made that choice, it is incredibly cruel to those that have and regretted it. FYI

#84 Milt Priggee
@ 2:34 am

Sorry Rich, this is NOT a killed cartoon. I didn’t draw it for an editor or a newspaper, I drew it for myself and the Internet.
It is a good cartoon because it provokes…. debate.

It provokes debate by sarcastically and graphically reminding readers what the Bush administration has worked so hard to hide from the country…..the true cost of his lies.

Freedom of speech belongs to those who are not controlled by those who own a press.

#85 Rick Stromoski
@ 6:07 am

>>Again, I realize itâ??s painful for you libs to hear, but Iraq is morphing from a humiliating Bush failure to an historic Muslim success story.

Who let Sean Hannity in here?

#86 Ted Rall
@ 7:18 am

To build on Matt’s comment and Dawn’s response about the troops knowing more than U.S.-based journalists about what’s going on, I’m reminded of my own experiences in Kashmir and Afghanistan.

When I managed to get a satellite phone connection, interviewers back in the States invariably asked me what was going on. Where was the front? Who was winning? How many people had been killed? Of course, I only knew what I saw around me. These are places where there is no electricity, no paved roads, no telephones, no media of any type (print or electronic). More often than not, the people I was talking to back in the U.S. had a better idea of what was happening than I did. What I was able to do was proffer my personal observations about people and things in a small place, or in one small place at a time. Flavor is what a local reporter offers, not factoids.

I always laugh when I see Fox or whoever ask a war correspondent for an update.

#87 Ted Rall
@ 7:26 am

I love the argument that there are both good things and bad things (from a US standpoint) happening in Iraq.

This is, like so much Republican doublethink, true and utterly beside the point.

It’s true: US troops in Iraq are often treated with kindness by the locals. They often do good things, like rebuild damaged infrastructure. But none of it matters.

For one thing, that was true about the Nazi occupation of France. The Germans had many positive moments with the French. Some even married local girls. But overall, they were hated and reviled as are all invaders.

I was surprised, in Afghanistan, to see how well my Russian journalist colleagues were treated by Afghans of various tribal and political leanings. When I asked Afghans about this, they explained that they loved Russians, that Russia understands Afghan culture, that the Soviets had been the only ones to have built big public works like dams and tunnels and highways in Afghanistan, and that Russian troops were fondly remembered as friendly and helpful.

I pointed out that they had slaughtered the Russians, even when they were withdrawing. To which they replied, “Of course! It wasn’t personal. They were invaders. All invaders had to be killed to a man.”

What about Americans? I asked. Remember, this was late 2001.

“Of course, Americans too,” they would reply. “We will kill you all. But then, after you leave, you may come back as tourists and we will welcome you as friends.”

Of course, I would feel the same way if another country, no matter how benevolent, were to invade the U.S. I would kill them all.

#88 Malc McGookin
@ 8:47 am

“Of course, I would feel the same way if another country, no matter how benevolent, were to invade the U.S. I would kill them all.”
And I would back you. I would kill anyone who invaded my homeland and I would send them back in pieces as a warning to their compatriots. I’m not a pacifist.

So why do the right wingers expect Iraqis (or Afghans) to be any different?

#89 Phil Wohlrab
@ 9:06 am

If the Iraqi’s (or Afgans) were an introspective people they would think to themselves: Wow, our people commited 911, our people bombed Spain, and London, our people fire rockets into Israel, our people continue to plot attacks against places in America like JFK airport, Fort Dix, NJ, financial centers in NY & Newark NJ,
Our people behave arrogantly on flights to scare the crap out of passengers. Could it be that our people are continually provoking the world with perpetual violence? Could it be we deserve what is coming to us?

but of course that’s if they were an introspective people, which they aren’t

#90 Rod McKie
@ 9:52 am

Okay Phil, you are clearly out of your depth here and you’re just embarassing yourself now. Let’s see how ‘introspective’ you can be after you read this:

There were no Iraqis or Afghanis involved in any of those events. None. The 9/11 attacks were conducted by fifteen (15) men from Saudi Arabia, two (2) were from the United Arab Emirates, one was from Egypt, and one from Lebanon.

The London 7/11 bombers were ‘cleanskins’ from Leeds and West Yorkshire, which are places in England, which is in Britain – or as you know it, probably ‘not USA’.

Spain has jailed a number of people for the train bombings including Emilio Trashorras, a Spaniard, and Jamal Zougam and Othman el-Gnaoui, both Moroccans, who recieved sentences of nearly 40,000 years each (of course under Spanish law they can only serve a maximum of 40 years). Not one of the Spanish bombers was from Iraq or Afghanistan.

The onle ‘cell’ you should worry about Phil is that lonesome little brain cell of yours. Set it free.

#91 Phil Wohlrab
@ 10:28 am

Saudi Arabia,United Arab Emirates,Egypt.Lebanon,Lebanon,
Yea I see a trend here.
I was talking about the muslim people as a whole. Afganistan harbored Bin Ladin, and i understand the point of contention with regard to the Iraq invasion. thanks for not being condescending

#92 Wiley Miller
@ 10:56 am


Let’s see what incisive cartoon talk is going on today at the Daily Cartoonist… Oh, goody… unapologetic racist right wing rant.

Lookin’ sharp in that Klan outfit, Phil! Thanks for upholding the global image of all Americans. Well done, sir.


#93 Dawn Douglass
@ 11:28 am

It’s interesting to me that you editorial cartoonists claim to want to inspire conversation, that’s it part of our democracy, etc. etc, but whenever people don’t think like you do, you pounce, sneer, ridicule, and otherwise work hard to shut them up.

#94 Wiley Miller
@ 11:37 am

So, racist hate speech is perfectly acceptable as discussion?
Alrighty then… by all means, rant away.

#95 Dawn Douglass
@ 11:44 am

>So, racist hate speech is perfectly acceptable as discussion?

You can’t have it both ways, Wiley. You can’t applaud a cartoon that offends a lot of people and then say that something that offends you needs to be banned.

Is it “anything goes” or isn’t it?

#96 Jeff Darcy
@ 11:47 am

Now see,Alan, if this blog was Animated and interactive visitors could be warming there hands by a nice warm on-line cross burning right now.

#97 Norm Feuti
@ 12:04 pm

I think there’s a big difference between arguing whether a war is worthwhile and saying ALL muslims lack the ability to be introspective.

If you think this war was a good idea, that’s your opinion. If you think an entire race of people deserves whatever they get because they’re inherently violent, that’s just ignorant.

#98 Matt Bors
@ 12:18 pm

Dawn, criticism goes both ways. If racists like Phil want to spout off, they’ll be rebutted. I don’t think anyone called for legal action against his words, they are just revolted by his comments.

Essentially, he is a white supremacist. He thinks that other races aren’t mentally developed enough for introspection and thus are savages. This dehumanizing of billions enables him to rationalize the slaughter of civilians.

He’s sick.

#99 Wiley Miller
@ 12:22 pm

“You canâ??t have it both ways, Wiley. You canâ??t applaud a cartoon that offends a lot of people and then say that something that offends you needs to be banned.”

Who said anything about banning? Racists have every right to say what they want and I encourage them to do so.

So why are you trying to shut me up? Don’t I have the right to respond to such idiotic hate speech?

#100 Phil Wohlrab
@ 12:28 pm

“saying ALL muslims lack the ability to be introspective.”

No not all, no. Many, yes, but not all. I know there are muslim groups, in fact, that were to air a special on PBS condemning terrorism, and the like. and i have still yet to see the kite runner ,..still need to buy that at star bucks. But the problem is not localized, making it that much harder to pin down. in defense of myself i treat every one how i would like 2 be treated in my own personal life.

i think those that would condemn it are silenced by fear. slowly, hopefully their voices will grow louder

#101 Chris Evans
@ 12:28 pm

Back to the cartoon — I have a question — if Milt still is with us. I find it interesting that you didn’t include in the cartoon the ubiquitous M16 rifle. We do have a knife, or bayonet, off to the side. Any intentional reason not to have any rifle, or side arm, in the cartoon?

#102 Wiley Miller
@ 12:41 pm

“in defense of myself i treat every one how i would like 2 be treated in my own personal life.”

Despite your bigotry, eh?
Not much of a defense in light of your words.

#103 Ted Rall
@ 1:06 pm

“Itâ??s interesting to me that you editorial cartoonists claim to want to inspire conversation, thatâ??s it part of our democracy, etc. etc, but whenever people donâ??t think like you do, you pounce, sneer, ridicule, and otherwise work hard to shut them up.”

Maybe that’s because so many right-wingers show up to political debates without knowledge of the basic facts.

Phil, for example, asserts that Iraq and Afghanistan had something to do with 9/11. They didn’t. That’s not The Nation saying so–it’s the CIA.

Similarly, he says that Afghanistan “harbored” Bin Laden. While it is true that UBL lived in Afghanistan during the late 1990s, it is far more pertinent to note that he was already in Pakistan on 9/11. So if the US had been interested in apprehending him, they would have invaded that country instead.

There are good, solid conservative arguments in favor of staying in Iraq and Afghanistan: ensuring access to energy reserves, flexing military muscle as a superpower, enriching the Administration’s corporate allies, trying out new weapons.

Because those arguments aren’t popular with the public, conservatives are reduced to using stupid ones instead. Which is fine. But don’t be surprised when people point out that you’re talking stupid.

#104 Ted Rall
@ 1:08 pm

Oh, and it’s Afghans, not Afghanis. Afghanis are Afghanistan’s national currency. Afghans are its citizens.

#105 Abell Smith
@ 1:14 pm

“but whenever people donâ??t think like you do, you pounce, sneer, ridicule, and otherwise work hard to shut them up.”

Who exactly do you think you’re talking to here? This sounds to me like a quite concise description of the JOB of an editorial cartoonist/political satirist. If Hannity or O’Reilly were to shut the hell up as a result of my work, I’d consider it a job well done…

#106 Ted Rall
@ 1:15 pm

To paraphrase Phil:

“If the American’s (or Euros) were an introspective people they would think to themselves: Wow, our people commited sanctions that murdered 100,000 Iraqi children during the 90s, our people bombed Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, and Hanoi, and Tripoli, our people fire rockets into Baghdad, our people continue to plot attacks against places in Asia like Iran.
Our TSA people behave arrogantly before flights to scare the crap out of passengers. Could it be that our people are continually provoking the world with perpetual violence? Could it be we deserve what is coming to us?”

#107 Phil Wohlrab
@ 1:28 pm

Ted, you have made my point, thank you. If Americans have to feel guilt for the mistakes and awful things that we have done, then so should they. I see a lot of introspection and hand wringing here in America, and I’m not feeling a whole lot of it on their end. Perhaps it’s just going unreported, or we’re not hearing about it. That’s all I was trying to say.

And getting back to the cartoon, I think a black M 16 gun would have detracted from the central focus if he forced into the composition.

#108 Guy Endore-Kaiser
@ 1:32 pm


I think that fetus cartoon sounds hilarious.

Have you used it yet?

If not, I would love to get it done in time for Mother’s Day.


#109 Carl Moore
@ 1:34 pm

Ted, anyone who thinks attacking the Taliban in Afghanistan after 9/11 was the wrong thing to do is not an expert on anything.

#110 Chris Evans
@ 1:39 pm

“And getting back to the cartoon, I think a black M 16 gun would have detracted from the central focus if he forced into the composition.”

I guess so. It is strange to see a soldier in a combat zone without a weapon, because we see his bayonet and helmet, flack jacket, kit, etc. Milt could have had one in, originally, and then took it out. The left hand looks like it is cradling a phantom M16.

#111 Phil Wohlrab
@ 2:11 pm

From now on i will only levy hate speech against the Bush administration and Christians. I’m one of you now. :)

#112 Milt Priggee
@ 2:21 pm

maybe the rest of the M-16 is under the water that his left leg is in. (which some people took as being blown off)(I’s just not that good of an artist).

More later -you’ll get a kick out of it….but right now I’m on two deadlines.

As far as for stupid talk…..the cure for bad speech is more speech…(or something like that)


I like the John Stuart Mill quote

We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion, and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.

#113 Abell Smith
@ 2:40 pm

As a matter of principle I agree, Milt… but our national discourse has devolved so far (due to the chasing of some manufactured notion of “balance”) that I consider it our job to unearth some TRUTH for a change…

#114 Daryl Cagle
@ 3:41 pm

I like the idea of Milt, and other cartoonists whose work frequently appears in print, doing cartoons that are so strong they will only be seen on the web.

We can’t demonstrate the shrinking boundaries of what print editors find acceptable unless we see the print cartoonists, who these editors regularly reprint, regularly cross those boundaries on the web.

#115 Rod McKie
@ 5:15 pm

Actually Ted, what you said is technically correct, ‘…itâ??s Afghans, not Afghanis. Afghanis are Afghanistanâ??s national currency. Afghans are its citizens.’

But it is fairly common to use the term to describe the people too, although that may not be the case in the US:,21598,23839640-5012756,00.html

I think it’s interesting that our Scottish currency would be a Scotty – that would please the trekkies.

Phil, sorry to prolong your agony. I know the Bushites had trouble understanding the difference between Sunni and Shiite muslims, but you do understand that many Muslims are law-abiding and that a great many of the people killed in terrorist atrocities by Muslims are Muslims?

And I take it you are aware that the Kurds, who are allied to the US troops, are Muslim?
Maybe the whole shebang is a little more complex than you have been lead to believe.

What Daryl said.

#116 Gianfranco Goria
@ 3:48 am

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#117 Malc McGookin
@ 4:43 am

Phil, you make Carl look like an intellectual colossus. If your collective grasp of the issue was rubber, you wouldn’t have enough to make a condom for a spider.

#118 Ted Rall
@ 7:16 am

Carl wrote: “Ted, anyone who thinks attacking the Taliban in Afghanistan after 9/11 was the wrong thing to do is not an expert on anything.”

OK, I’ll bite. Why attack the Taliban?

Osama wasn’t in Afghanistan, so it wouldn’t have been to get him.

None of the 9/11 perps were there either.

There were two training camps, both not in use at the time. There were dozens in Pakistan.

So why attack the Taliban? For fun? To get even for bombing the Bamiyan Buddha statues? To liberate Afghan women?

#119 Wiley Miller
@ 7:44 am

Ted, why do you insist on confusing things with facts? We like our dogma and talking points simple and absolute. Please stop it.

#120 Phil Wohlrab
@ 8:15 am

“Phil, sorry to prolong your agony. I know the Bushites had trouble understanding the difference between Sunni and Shiite muslims, but you do understand that many Muslims are law-abiding and that a great many of the people killed in terrorist atrocities by Muslims are Muslims?

And I take it you are aware that the Kurds, who are allied to the US troops, are Muslim?
Maybe the whole shebang is a little more complex than you have been lead to believe.”

I agree with you a hundred percent. And thanks for the olive branch Rod, I’ll gladly take it. I knew what I was trying to say, but it came out horribly wrong. It was stupid of me to type about a sensitive issue in quick snipits at work. (no more typing anything to anyone at work)
The gist of what I was thinking was , we feel guilt for the things our nation does here, they should feel some guilt for the atrocities on their end, including, and especially those commited against their own people. I don’t think that’s an unfair or hateful opinion. I reread what I said, and I did not mean it to come off that way.

Now, I know I’m pinned up on a wall, here, and some would desperately like to keep me pinned up, regardless of anything I say, so they can verbally stab me a few more times. As much as I hate to take away your enjoyment, I’m asking you to let me come down off the wall now. Thank you.

#121 Daniele Tomasi
@ 9:14 am

Why we should read this one as provocative or insulting?
I think that its power is in the sad situation it shows.
Is sad to think about sons the loose their father. Is sad to think about a father that dies without saying the last goodbye to his sons.
Is sad, but is the reality, and I thanks mr.Priggee to remind readers about it.

#122 Alan Gardner
@ 11:19 am

I think that about wraps that up.

Thanks all for a spirited, and MOSTLY on topic discussion.

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