See All Topics

Home / Section: Editorial cartooning

Rob Rogers: How a Cartoonist’s Brain Works

Kick back and watch this video of Rob Roger’s lecture to the Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for the Arts in Society delivered on March 6, 2010. Runs 39 minutes, but well worth it.

h/t Mike Lynch

Community Comments

#1 Shane Davis
March/19/2010
@ 4:12 pm

“How a Cartoonist?s Brain Works”

– judging from the idiotic editorial cartoon visible above, I’d say at least one cartoonist’s brain isn’t working at all….

#2 Tom Wood
March/19/2010
@ 5:58 pm

@Shane – In the video he makes the point that using nukes today just to inflict civilian casualties would certainly be considered an act of terror. No?

#3 Phil Wohlrab
March/20/2010
@ 8:36 am

I know how his mind works.. he sits there thinking wow! these cliches’ are really going to get someones goat! And anyone that thinks I’m obnoxious is simply lacking in sense of humor!

#4 John Cole
March/20/2010
@ 10:15 am

And he’d be right.

#5 Tom Wood
March/20/2010
@ 10:21 am

Fortunately we’ve come a long way since then.

Oh, wait.

Bombs over Baghdad:

http://tinyurl.com/y8kfldt

Wasn’t terror the point of shock and awe? Don’t they really mean the exact same thing?

#6 mike beckom
March/20/2010
@ 10:34 am

apparently, I watched a different version than these folks. I rather enjoyed this video. But then, i always enjoyed listening and learning from someone who knows more about cartooning than I…..and I’m not ashamed to admit it…..I don’t know it all.

#7 Phil Wohlrab
March/20/2010
@ 12:06 pm

I’m sure he told the WWII vets that called him that they had no sense of humor. Face it he went off the deep end on a few of these.

#8 Phil Wohlrab
March/20/2010
@ 12:20 pm

buy I did enjoy Rove as a cherub.

#9 Phil Wohlrab
March/20/2010
@ 12:38 pm

a while ago there was a Milt Priggee Fathers Day cartoon, a very powerful antiwar statement that cartoon was. There was no joke involved but it was handled in such a way that he didn’t diminish people involved in the war. It wasn’t crafted solely to get under peoples skin. Because despite what some might think.. there is such a thing as going off the deep end. If you handle touchy subjects in a careless way.. yeah people are going to think you’re just being a jerk.

#10 Shane Davis
March/20/2010
@ 2:07 pm

Tom,
No, that?s wrong. We did not drop bombs to ?just inflict civilian casualties??we dropped the bombs to defeat a dangerous enemy that attacked us first in an unprovoked ambush, defeat their military, quickly end the war that was horribly expensive in terms of American lives and resources, save half a million soldiers that were facing invading the Japanese homeland, to prevent Japan from ever repeating that aggressive behavior and to win.

Remember, we only dropped the atomic bombs on Japan after 4 years of war that they started by attacking us at Pearl Harbor killing almost 3000 sailors, airmen, marines and civilians in Hawaii. That doesn’t include all the people they killed in the Philippines and at Wake Island, Guam, Malaya, Thailand, Shanghai and Midway. Also, before we dropped the bombs they were given the chance to surrender by Truman himself but the radical warlords in the Imperial Army argued with the Emperor to continue the fight until the extinction of their race…that?s how extremist and evil the Japanese warmakers were. And our atomic bombs killed far fewer people than the coming Operation Olympic land invasion would have, and they also ended the war 2 to 3 years sooner than it would have certainly have gone.

And as far as ‘Bombs over Baghdad’…attacking Iraq because they were an ally of the Taliban in Afghanistan has historical precedent. In late 1941-early 1942 at the Arcadia Conference FDR agreed to fight Germany first and made them the priority to be attacked…even though Germany had not directly or openly attacked America (despite some limited U boat attacks off US coastlines) despite the fact it was Japan that attacked at Pearl Harbor, NOT Germany. So when people say Bush attacked Iraq in an ?unprecedented preemptive strike? and ?for the first time in our history? engaged in military attacks against a sovereign country that had not attacked us – that?s simply just not factual.

I believe there was as much reason to attack Saddam Hussein and Iraq as there was to attack Hitler and Nazi Germany, in terms of what each regime had to done directly to the United States. Nazi Germany was under no internationally agreed upon ?probation? and had not been issued warrants to cease and desist from hostile action or to open all weapons & technology sectors to inspection to prevent further aggressions. Iraq under Saddam Hussein WAS?and he regularly violated all those probationary requirements with impunity. 9/11 was simply the trigger that caused Bush to enforce the sanctions against him that Bill Clinton refused to enforce for 8 years.

If someone disagrees with Bush?s decision to attack Iraq in 2003, fine. I personally have several issues with how it was done myself. But to even get close to equating what the American military did in 1945 to defeat a dangerous, murderous Imperial enemy that had been butchering, brutalizing and invading since 1931 with some modern day radical Islamic-terrorist group is to insult and attack in the most viscous, disingenuous, manipulative and bitterly cynical political manner the greatest and bravest generation since the Revolutionary heroes of 1776.

It is clear this cartoonist makes a decent living doing what a lot of editorial cartoonist do; he takes a complex issue and reduces it down to an intellectually lazy, mean spirited straw man attack in order generate a visceral emotional response while hiding behind the pretense of ?promoting discussion?. It is cowardly, self serving and deceitful.

I?m glad he can make a living at drawing, it?s just a shame he?s chosen to do so in such a painfully transparent, dishonest style.

#11 Terry LaBan
March/20/2010
@ 2:38 pm

I actually agree with Shane about the atomic bomb. There really ought to be a moratorium on equating the nuking of Nagasaki and Hiroshima with terrorism or the Holocaust, or whatever. History is pretty clear that it was justified within the context of the time and that it saved millions more lives that would have been lost if we (and Russia, which was poised to do so) had actually invaded Japan.
Likewise, there should be a moratorium on comparing Bush’s decision to invade Iraq with anything having to do with WW2. Nazi Germany may not have directly attacked us, but it certainly attacked our allies and posed a clearly definable and major threat to our interests. Saddam didn’t and had anyhow been effectively contained for over 10 years. In any event, most of the justification for the attack turned out ultimately not even to be true. Which, I think, is unprecedented in American history.

#12 Jeff Mahon
March/20/2010
@ 2:41 pm

Which Bombs over Baghdad are you referring too?

Clinton bombed the heck out of Baghdad several times.

#13 Tom Wood
March/20/2010
@ 3:21 pm

A child of today, with little to no knowledge of the historical context, sees a big explosion and asks the question – Which terrorist group did that?

That’s a good thing.

The cartoon isn’t equating anything with anything. It’s making a statement about violence as a means to an end.

At least the bombs over Baghdad were ‘surgical’ but I remember Fox News setting shock and awe to classical music.

#14 Shane Davis
March/20/2010
@ 3:31 pm

Terry,
I have to disagree on one point. In 1939 nuclear weapons were the stuff of theory. In 2003 they were very real and not uncommon and Saddam was hustling very hard to get one.

Remember, in Gulf War I he fired over 40 SCUD missiles into Tel Aviv…you think he wouldn’t have done the same in 2003 if he’d had atomic devices?

Just as Nazi Germany attacked our allies, Saddam already had attacked our allies in 1991 (Kuwait and Israel) and was loading up do do worse the second time around.

And I’d argue he wasn’t effectively contained because in 1991 nukes were a lot harder to get than they are today. After the USSR broke up in Dec. 1991 their stockpile of nukes became an open market for international bidders. Hussein was bargaining hard to get Soviet nuke technology and hide it from the UN inspectors, which is why he kept throwing them out. Hussein was a growing danger, not a static danger. It’s like the difference between an open man hole and a mean pit bull puppy. One you can just put a sign up next to, the other is getting worse every day. Saddam was the pit bull.

Where Bush screwed up was in dawddling around waiting for the UN to smile about his ideas. Thanks his jellyfish Daddy’s advice, he waited for 14 months to get the UN to dance with him about the invasion then went in anyway without them. Stupid.

I have alot of friends in the military and some aquaintences in the Intelligence sector and they all say the same thing…the WMD’s were there in Iraq and were very prolific. But while Bush fiddled with the UN, Saddam rushed them into Syria, the world’s acknowledged HQ of international terrorism.

I heard a retired Army General say once that war is like a fist fight. If you have to get into one, get in first and hit hard and win quick, then stop when it’s over. Pussy footing around is how folks really get hurt.

Well, Bush screwed around and embarassed himself and the US by letting Saddam hide all his WMD’s. Imagine if we’d gone in to Iraq in early 2002 and found them all (because they were there, just ask the Kurds).

If they had been caught before they got to Syria, Bush wouldn’t appear to be quite the dupe he does today.

#15 Shane Davis
March/20/2010
@ 3:45 pm

tOM,
“The cartoon isn?t equating anything with anything. It?s making a statement about violence as a means to an end.”

I suppose it all depends on your interpretation, but it seems clear to me the cartoon is trying to hide in moral equivocation by putting the crew of the Enola Gay in the same catagory as the thugs on Flight 11. And that is profoundly wrong.

And as far as the kid on the lap goes, I’d be more concerned that he learns American history correctly than I would he learns that violence is always a means to an end…because it is not. Violence, sadly and unfortunately, is decidedly necessary to end evil on occasion.

Whether it comes from the business end of a colonial cannon, the barrel of a Colt Peacemaker or the open bomb bay doors of a B-29 makes little difference. The kid needs to know that sometimes, someone has to take action to stop muder, torture and tyranny.

It’s a tough lesson, but it’s true.

#16 Tom Wood
March/20/2010
@ 4:31 pm

Violence, sadly and unfortunately, is decidedly necessary to end evil on occasion.

Right, sadly.

Not with celebratory music or some cowboy prick strutting around in a flightsuit with his ‘Mission Accomplished’ codpiece hanging out.

Sadly.

#17 Shane Davis
March/20/2010
@ 5:17 pm

Well, I do have some issues with Bush 43, just as I did Clinton’s disasterous handling of Kosovo.

But I think for the sake of accurate history it is important to seperate what I think of the guy in charge from the facts of what happened.

I thought FDR was a socialist meglomanic, but he did let the military prosecute the war as they needed to.

I think the ‘Mission Accomplished’ was aimed at the crew of that carrier since they had finished their tour and was heading home..it wasn’t aimed at the war itself.

The flight suit thing? Sure it was PR, and over done. But in the age of soundbites and video clips I can see what they were trying to do…even if it didn’t work.

#18 Clay Jones
March/20/2010
@ 8:57 pm

I know better to wade into a debate on the invasion of Iraq…but I can’t ignore this ignorance.

There was no link between Saddam and 9/11. That’s believing in a fairy tale.

Saddam did attack our ally, Kuwait, after we gave him permission.

He attacked Israel while we were attacking him. He attacked Israel so they’d join the war and the Muslim armies on our side, especially Saudi Arabia where we were stationed, would change sides, or just quit the fight. We paid Israel not to join the fight.

Saddam wasn’t close to acquiring nuclear weapons. Yes, he wanted them. He was spending more time developing the technology and going nowhere with it.

How do we know he sent all his WMDs to Syria? Maybe he did but it’s not a proven fact. You think somebody would have talked by now.

How was Saddam ever a danger to us? He wasn’t a danger to us when we were fighting him. He spent ten years locked inside his country where he couldn’t even allow his fighters to fly.
Even if he did have WMDs, what evidence was there that was a danger to us? He refused to use them on us during the Gulf War, out of fear of what we’d do in retaliation. In fact, he never used them after the Gulf war, even when he was wiping out Kurd villages (he used them on Kurds before the war and we didn’t care).

We did not fight Saddam in 1991 because he attacked an ally. We did not fight to liberate a monarchy. If we thought he was a stable despot we would have let him keep Kuwait. Our concern and reason for the fight was to keep him from the oil in Saudi Arabia, controlling the market and then we’d be paying $2.65 a gallon for gas. Oh wait.

It makes me sick when people bring up the U.N. sanctions we have to enforce on Saddam, but ignore with Israel. Other than Iraq, when has the United States been a great protector of the Holy U.N. sanctions?

Can you tell I was a history major?

Oh yeah, really cool video of Rob Rogers.

#19 Shane Davis
March/20/2010
@ 10:00 pm

Clay,
I’m a history major too.
And I am not ignorant, but thanks for being so generous.

It is only your opinion that we went to war for oil prices. The stablility of the region and the very value of our diplomatic credibility was at stake…you don’t allow a thug to militarily invade an ally and stand by doing nothing.

That’s how Reynaud and Chamberlain handled Hitler over Czechoslovakia…and we see how that worked.

We did the right thing for the right reason.

#20 Phil Wohlrab
March/20/2010
@ 11:57 pm

“I know better to wade into a debate on the invasion of Iraq”
That’s because it’s very hard to wade OUT without an aneurysm.

#21 Mike Peterson
March/21/2010
@ 4:54 am

So, history majors: Why was there never any big deal made (except in “the liberal press”) when the Kuwaiti government’s public relations firm put a phony little girl up in front of Congress to spin lies about Iraqi invaders at a Kuwaiti hospital? Not only was there no response against that company for lying to Congress, but Lynne Cheney went to work for them.

I liked the video, too. And, just like Danish cartoonists, I think Rob has a right to offend people if he wants to. Is someone here ready to argue that the Prophet really had a turban made out of a bomb? Because if historical accuracy is going to be the Golden Standard …

#22 Dave Stephens
March/21/2010
@ 6:23 am

Shane Davis said: “It is clear this cartoonist makes a decent living doing what a lot of editorial cartoonist do; he takes a complex issue and reduces it down to an intellectually lazy, mean spirited straw man attack in order generate a visceral emotional response while hiding behind the pretense of ?promoting discussion?. It is cowardly, self serving and deceitful.”

Truer words were never said. I surf to Cagle.com and there’s never a shortage of such work. Some great stuff there, too, but man, ya gotta wade through a lot of stink.

#23 Terry LaBan
March/21/2010
@ 7:24 am

@Clay Jones “We did not fight Saddam in 1991 because he attacked an ally. ”

Well, of course, we did. Oil prices aside( if that’s all we cared about, we could’ve bought oil from Saddam as easily as we could the Kuwaitis), our credibility as a world power was on the line as well as the stability of the region. Kuwait, like its government or not, was a sovereign country. That’s why so many other governments backed us. As for paying Israel not to retaliate after the rocket attacks–I don’t remember reading about that. In fact, Israel didn’t retaliate because it didn’t need to–we were already doing the job.

As for Shane, you can trot out the old, hysterical arguments all you want, but it’s quite clear that not only did Saddam not have anything to do with 9/11, the incident that kicked everything off, but he posed no more danger to us–less, actually–in 2002 than he did in 1996. And there was ample intelligence to indicate that.

#24 Tom Wood
March/21/2010
@ 8:36 am

Shane Davis said: ?It is clear this cartoonist makes a decent living doing what a lot of editorial cartoonist do; he takes a complex issue and reduces it down to an intellectually lazy, mean spirited straw man attack in order generate a visceral emotional response while hiding behind the pretense of ?promoting discussion?. It is cowardly, self serving and deceitful.?

Dave Stephens: Truer words were never said. I surf to Cagle.com and there?s never a shortage of such work. Some great stuff there, too, but man, ya gotta wade through a lot of stink.

Nonsense. It’s the exact opposite of cowardly to form an opinion on an issue and put it out there for criticism. The work might be clumsy but it’s never cowardly to state your mind. The coward is the one who is afraid to form an individual opinion and hold it up for the world to see.

#25 John Cole
March/21/2010
@ 8:42 am

A picture’s worth a thousand words, they say. This thread’s proof.

#26 Pedro Molina.
March/21/2010
@ 9:54 am

Among other things good cartoons are supposed to inspire debate… so… this is a good cartoon.

#27 Shane Davis
March/21/2010
@ 3:22 pm

“Nonsense. It?s the exact opposite of cowardly to form an opinion on an issue and put it out there for criticism. The work might be clumsy but it?s never cowardly to state your mind.”

Tom, I don’t have problems with expressing opinions, but to intentionally warp the issue in order to get a particular political opinion across just to gig the ‘other side’ is simply engaging in knee jerk “YOU’RE WRONG!” reactionism.

It’s taking the answer you want to end up with then writing the question to fit it. Debate or discussion is talking about a subject and coming to an answer after, not the other way around, and that’s what Rogers is doing. He’s teaching to the answers on his test, not informing anyone of anything relevant.

I understand why Rogers did the cartoons he did, but framing them in the way he did (especially the Hiroshima and the flag pole toons) is not generating debate or discussion. It is cold hearted, mean spirited, deceptive attacks disguised as debate.

And while it may not be cowardly to state your mind, it is cowardly to engage in arraigning, trying, convicting and executing your intended targets and then hiding behind the camoflague of saying ‘it’s just debate’.

Editiorial cartoons can be have parody and be provocative without being so acidic and disengenous. It’s the difference between a monologue by Jonny Carson and a rant by Howard Stern. Rogers’ crap is the editorial equivalent of Howard Stern.

#28 Shane Davis
March/21/2010
@ 3:39 pm

“As for Shane, you can trot out the old, hysterical arguments all you want, but it?s quite clear that not only did Saddam not have anything to do with 9/11, the incident that kicked everything off, but he posed no more danger to us?less, actually?in 2002 than he did in 1996. And there was ample intelligence to indicate that.”

Agian, re-read my statements. I never said that Saddam and 9/11 were intrinsically linked. What I said was that the Bush 41 administration went after him because he violated every UN resolution and sanction that had been in place since 1992. He has laws put on him, he broke them repeatedly and in a post 9/11 his style of aggressiveness and his obsessive seeking of nuclear weaponry made him potentially more dangerous AFTER the events of 9/11.

I understand the history of why we went into Iraq and I don’t have a problem with taking him out. The only difference between Hitler and Saddam was one of birthplace and resources.

Leaving a madman like that who was violating every UN resolution and sanction since 1992 in place AFTER 9/11 is asking to get your throat cut. He had to go.

Fact is, we should have done it long before 9/11, but our government just didn’t have the stones to do it. 9/11 made it a non-option. In the same vein, we should have eliminated Ki Jong-Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and could have, if Ford and the the $%#&*# Church Committee hadn’t kneecapped our Intelligence Community.

#29 Shane Davis
March/21/2010
@ 3:54 pm

Mike,
“So, history majors: Why was there never any big deal made (except in ?the liberal press?) when the Kuwaiti government?s public relations firm put a phony little girl up in front of Congress to spin lies about Iraqi invaders at a Kuwaiti hospital? Not only was there no response against that company for lying to Congress, but Lynne Cheney went to work for them.”

I actually agree. That’s the problem with politico’s that won’t make a make a hard decision and stand up and be accountable for that decision. Instead we get weaklings that have to ‘manufacture’ garbage as cover so the can get what they want without being seen as divisive or polarizing.

Guess what, if you make a tough decision it is always devisive and polarizing. It is admirable to see a candidate of principle and conviction lose by standing on his beliefs. It is sickening to see one win OR lose by abandoning them.

Bush 41 didn’t need the testimony of the ‘nurse’ who falsely testified to seeing atrocities committed by the Republican Guard. That was a sickening tactic, and they didn’t need it. The fact that Saddam did what he did was enough to go into Iraq and Bush and Co. should have manned up, stood up and argued based on that alone.

I say that I watch Bart Stupak betray 30 years of pro-life posturing to vote YES on the Health Care Bill when he’s been a NO since this all started because agreed that an Executive Order (which cannot override the Health Care Legislation once signed into law anyway) ‘fixed’ the problem or public funding for abortion.

It doesn’t, it can’t and he knows it. He just can’t stand up and make the tough call so he caved in. I used to really respect this guy for his principles but now he just make my stomach turn.

It kind of reminds me of the entire John McCain campaign of 2008.

#30 Tom Pappalardo
March/22/2010
@ 8:21 am

I liked the comic that was the preview image for the video. It got all you Chatty McTalkers and Wordy O’Pinions typing like mad. So that’s good, too.

However, I could only force myself to watch the first 5 or 7 minutes of really corny lame jokes in that video before I had to say NO MORE. Now we know why comics aren’t an audio/visual medium. “Here I am reading every single punchline for you.” heh.

#31 Clay Jones
March/22/2010
@ 12:16 pm

“However, I could only force myself to watch the first 5 or 7 minutes of really corny lame jokes in that video before I had to say NO MORE. Now we know why comics aren?t an audio/visual medium. ?Here I am reading every single punchline for you.? heh.”

Tom,
Most cartoonists are much better on paper than live. Most cartoonists aren’t nearly as funny as their cartoons, except Joel Pett. I think Joel is the wittiest, fastest thinking off the cuff guy in this business. I would hate to be in a debate with him on a point system.
Rob is a funny guy too and he’s a lot of fun to sit down and talk with. I haven’t watched the video yet. I usually stay away from seeing how others create cartoons because I’m afraid my next cartoon will look like theirs.

Shane,
I’m sorry I called you ignorant.

#32 Ted Rall
March/22/2010
@ 12:24 pm

Shane, you should not post statements that not only have no basis in fact, but are not even part of the fringe versions of history espoused by the extreme right.

What you are doing is dangerous. You are entitled to your own opinions, but when you deliberately change history you are engaging in Orwellian deception and making it impossible for anyone to know what is true or not.

You are objectively wrong about the following things, and you should admit it and apologize:

we dropped the bombs to defeat a dangerous enemy that attacked us first in an unprovoked ambush

No historian today believes Pearl Harbor was “unprovoked.” The US and its allies had subjected Japan to an oil and trade embargo that was wrecking its economy. Certainly, you can argue that Japan should not have reacted by attacking Pearl Harbor. You could argue that they shouldn’t have responded at all. But you cannot say it was “unprovoked,” i.e., that December 7, 1941 happened out of a clear blue sky, for no reason whatsoever.

And as far as ?Bombs over Baghdad??attacking Iraq because they were an ally of the Taliban in Afghanistan has historical precedent.

I can’t believe that no one else has pointed this out yet, but Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was NOT an ally of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. To the contrary. The fundamentalist Islamic Taliban regime was a mortal enemy of secular socialist leaders including Saddam. Radical Islamists hated Saddam more than they hated the US.

No one, not even the liars of the Bush Administration, has ever asserted such an outlandish thing. You made that up wholesale.

I believe there was as much reason to attack Saddam Hussein and Iraq as there was to attack Hitler and Nazi Germany, in terms of what each regime had to done directly to the United States. Nazi Germany was under no internationally agreed upon ?probation? and had not been issued warrants to cease and desist from hostile action or to open all weapons & technology sectors to inspection to prevent further aggressions. Iraq under Saddam Hussein WAS?and he regularly violated all those probationary requirements with impunity. 9/11 was simply the trigger that caused Bush to enforce the sanctions against him that Bill Clinton refused to enforce for 8 years.

One hardly knows where to start, but:

(a) The US unilaterally created and enforced the “no fly zone” that prevailed in Iraq between 1991 and 2003, then claimed that Iraq “violated” it. Iraq never agreed to, nor signed off, on it. This is a fact.

(b) Most witnesses at the time say that Iraq cooperated with the inspectors more than it did not. In fact, all the statements it filed with the UN about its weapons programs turned out to be accurate. The US simply chose not to believe them.

(c) 9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq, as everyone knows. Bush admits this now.

(d) Clinton ordered several bombings of Iraq weekly for the better part of eight years. What lack of enforcement?

But to even get close to equating what the American military did in 1945 to defeat a dangerous, murderous Imperial enemy that had been butchering, brutalizing and invading since 1931 with some modern day radical Islamic-terrorist group

Again, Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime was a leftist, secular, socialist government. It was not radical. Or Islamic. The only tie between terrorism and Saddam Hussein was that he paid the families of suicide bombers in Palestine $25,000 each. When Bush’s people mentioned “Saddam’s ties to terrorism,” this is what they were referring to. They weren’t more specific, because many Americans are uncomfortable with America’s relationship with Israel and its apartheid-like policies of brutal occupation.

Just as Nazi Germany attacked our allies, Saddam already had attacked our allies in 1991 (Kuwait and Israel) and was loading up do do worse the second time around.

No. He wasn’t. There were no new WMD programs constituted in Iraq after the end of the 1991 Gulf War. And the Bush Administration almost certainly knew that at the time.

I have alot of friends in the military and some aquaintences in the Intelligence sector and they all say the same thing?the WMD?s were there in Iraq and were very prolific. But while Bush fiddled with the UN, Saddam rushed them into Syria, the world?s acknowledged HQ of international terrorism.

There is no evidence whatsoever that this ever happened. Furthermore, no one–NO ONE–calls Syria “the world’s HQ of international terrorism.” That title would have to go to Pakistan. Or, depending on your POV, the United States.

Shane’s comments about Rob Rogers, who is a thoughtful man and commentator, are beneath contempt, coming as they do from someone who has just spouted a bunch of ahistorical nonsense in a forum where some people might be foolish enough to believe him.

Bottom line: Saddam Hussein may or may not have wanted to attack the United States, but he didn’t have the ability to do so. His longest-range weapons could barely have reached Israel. To attack us, as I pointed out before the war, he would have had to send us explosives by FedEx.

And you don’t attack countries because they “might” want to attack you. After all, that applies to just about everyone.

P.S. As usual, Dave’s opinions about editorial cartoons are an embarrassment to humanity.

#33 Dave Stephens
March/22/2010
@ 8:52 pm

LOL! You speak for humanity now? Good luck with that. However, I did mention that I enjoy your stuff, so you might have a point… Sorry humanity!

“No historian today believes Pearl Harbor was ?unprovoked.? The US and its allies had subjected Japan to an oil and trade embargo that was wrecking its economy. Certainly, you can argue that Japan should not have reacted by attacking Pearl Harbor. You could argue that they shouldn?t have responded at all. But you cannot say it was ?unprovoked,? i.e., that December 7, 1941 happened out of a clear blue sky, for no reason whatsoever.”

Nice abuse of the word, “provoked.” If we attack a county because that country chooses not to sell to us or sells to other countries that we don’t like, that is NOT any kind of “provocation.” And our attack would be properly called, “unprovoked.” Just like the Japanese attack.

“Oh, Johnny, why did you beat up Sally?”

“Teacher, she provoked me. She said she liked Billy. She gave him a cookie. She wouldn’t give me a cookie.”

“Well, Johnny, only Ted Rall would call that being ‘provoked’. The rest of us call that behavior an unprovoked attack.”

“Thanks teacher. Even an eight year old can understand that. Just cause I say she provoked me doesn’t make it so.”

#34 Shane Davis
March/22/2010
@ 9:33 pm

Ted, I don’t even know where to begin with you. Actually, I did. I just wrote a massive post effectively addressing your misinformation and attacks on me. However, upon pressing the submit button I got the old ‘Explorer page cannot be displayed’ page, wiping out all I wrote.

Alas.

So, I’m not going to rewrite a REAL long diatribe because it frankly would do no good.

It is not hard to trade point for point with you, but I already did it once and I don’t wanna again.

But I will hit these points quickly:

I never said Iraq and 9/11 were critically linked. My reference to Saddam and the Taliban being allies was directed at their shared hatred of all things US and Israel. Clinton’s attacks were PR and only designed to thwart Republicans smearing him as weak on military issues…they were meaningless in terms of what they accomplished and could never be seriously considered intimidating to Saddam or his regime and it’s laughable to say otherwise. Whether Saddam was a threat, whether he was trying to build a nuke program, whether his WMD’s were real and are in Syria are all opinions that will not be resolved here. You have your positions and your sources of reference, I have mine. Fine.

As far as Rob Rogers, you are mischaracterizing what I said about him, but if what I said came out wrong and prompted that, I’ll gladly rephrase it – it was aimed at how he approached his cartoons, not him personally and I don’t want there to be any doubt on that.

I take it at your word that he is a nice guy – he seems fairly affable in the video above. I disagree strongly with HOW he goes after people in his cartoon and I do want to make it clear that my strong words were aimed at his WORK, not him. I don’t know him so I can’t speak to who he is as a person.

But your outrage at what I said about his work is laughable when one stops to realize the acid that you’ve spewed on folks on this board when you disagree with them…how you can even begin to act outraged that someone here was treated with insufficient respect makes me wonder if you’re trying to make a joke.

Also, there are two statements you made I will specifically address:

1. The Japanese attack was in fact unprovoked and many historians recognize that. Our freezing shipments of oil, rubber and scrap metal was NOT the reason they attacked – it was an element in the mass of events. If you are implying that they responded to our embargo by ambushing Pearl Harbor, then you are ignoring their invading China in 1937, the international community condemning them and their fanatical rush to war and essentially blaming America for the Pearl Harbor attack. If so, that is lunacy and borders on deluded thinking. Japan was going to have war, no matter what. Sure we suspected something, perhaps an attack in the Phillipines, Guam or Wake Island or Midway, but no one dreamed what they had planned could even be done. Thus the justified outrage on the part of Cordell Hull, FDR and the rest of the nation.

2.”Furthermore, no one?NO ONE?calls Syria ?the world?s HQ of international terrorism.? That title would have to go to Pakistan. Or, depending on your POV, the United States”
Yes, many in the Intel world do say Syria is the terror big dog, but it’s a debatable point, so let’s pass it…what is not debatable is that referring to the United States as a terrorist regime is beyong the pale in terms of sick minded, extremist vitriol. I sincerely hope that’s just you trying once again to be cute or a smart @$$, because if you truly believe that about America, then you are with a doubt the saddest, most bitter man I’ve ever spoken with.

This country has at great sacrifice fought to free millions from oppression, fought and defeated tyrants and provided medical aid and food for millions more. No other nation in history has been as generous and giving as the U.S.

And again, your ‘outrage’ at how I criticized Mr. Rogers is nothing compared to you implying America is a terroist state.

I said a cartoonist was making hateful cartoons.
You said the nation that gives you freedom to live, work and speak was a terrorist nation.

I rip a cartoonist’s work and you rip your own country as a terrorist nation and you say I should be ashamed and apologize?

I’m afraid, Ted that at this point, if you actually believe that about America, then your cynicism and anger precludes the possiblity of reasonable exchange on these subjects further.

I’ll be happy to debate anything else relevant with you (Carolina BBQ vs. Texas BBQ, zone vs. man to man defense, Kirk vs. Picard) but we’re going to have to just put this one to bed.

#35 peter murphey
March/23/2010
@ 5:13 am

As to the above debate I’d go with Kirk. Otherwise, nicely put Shane.

#36 Robert George
March/23/2010
@ 6:34 am

@Ted: “No historian today believes Pearl Harbor was ?unprovoked.? The US and its allies had subjected Japan to an oil and trade embargo that was wrecking its economy.” Its important to remember that embargo was a sanction related to Japan’s unprovoked war in China.

#37 Jim Lavery
March/23/2010
@ 7:30 am

Oh come on, China was asking for it

#38 Shane Davis
March/23/2010
@ 7:52 am

Peter,
That was a trick question.
The correct answer is….Benjamn Sisko!

#39 Tom Wood
March/23/2010
@ 8:09 am

Tom, I don?t have problems with expressing opinions, but to intentionally warp the issue in order to get a particular political opinion across just to gig the ?other side? is simply engaging in knee jerk ?YOU?RE WRONG!? reactionism.

An editorial cartoon by definition is an opinion that prejudges an issue:

Often, their content includes stereotypical, biased and/or demonizing portrayals of people and events.

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editorial_cartoon

So to complain that the content of any given editorial cartoon “includes stereotypical, biased and/or demonizing portrayals of people and events” or “intentionally warp the issue in order to get a particular political opinion across” is to not accept the point of editorial cartoons in their entirety.

#40 Ted Dawson
March/23/2010
@ 9:15 am

I learned more about WWII from my old 1940 encyclopedia set than anything else.

#41 Terry LaBan
March/23/2010
@ 9:32 am

@Ted Saying the US provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor by embargoing Japan AFTER it launched a war to conquer the entire Far East is pretty astounding. Maybe they were miffed we didn’t send them condoms to use during the Rape of Nanking.

And Shane, though I think that the nuking of Japan was a justifiable act, there is no question that the US has been responsible for its share of terrorism. Just ask any one who lived in rural Nicaruaga, El Salvador or Guatemala in the 1980s.
As for the health care bill–in yo’ face!

#42 Shane Davis
March/23/2010
@ 10:18 am

Tom,
There is a difference between using satire, parody, caricature and even over statement and using outright venemous attacks. Showing a Southerner as the stereotypical rascist swooning over the dangling legs of a lynched black man and crowing about loving what’s hanging from his flagpole goes too far. It mean beyond mean and as judgemental against Southerners as his cartoon depicts Southerners being against blacks.

I accept the style and method of editorial cartoons and appreciate really good ones, but your definitions seems to imply there is no boundary at all and ANY twisting of truth or use of offensive attacks is valid. I’m betting plenty of folks on the left wanted Glenn McCoy’s editorial toon of Obama in the dumpster with unborn babies and a baseball banned. But again, although I strongly disagree with how a few of far Mr. Roger toons went, this is a free country (or it will be again in 2012) and I’ll die to defend his or Ted Rall’s right to speak their mind. God Bless America.

Terry,
I wouldn’t call fighting Communism exactly ‘terrorism’. but let’s agree to play nice and NOT open a debate on Reagan’s South American Policy, ok? It was the ‘Iraq War’ fight of the 1980’s and there’s very little to be gained by fighting it again today.

“Maybe they were miffed we didn?t send them condoms to use during the Rape of Nanking.”
That made me spit out my fruit punch Gatorade. Shame on you!

As far as your health bill, we’ll see you in November ’10 an ’12…that one’s gonna cost ya’ partner.

#43 Shane Davis
March/23/2010
@ 10:21 am

“But again, although I strongly disagree with how FAR A FEW of Mr. Roger toons went…”

This keyboard is the equivalent of Charlie Brown’s kite eating tree…arrggh.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.