See All Topics

Home / Section: Editorial cartooning

CSotD: The Eve of Destruction

It’s hard to pick a starting point today, but Pat Bagley offers a good reflection on things, because we’ve sure seen a lot of talking heads and it’s up to you to sort out the ones who are offering honest analysis and the ones simply beating partisan drums, one way or t’other.

 

But we’ve certainly been down this path before, as Ann Telnaes points out by simply offering a collection of her pieces from the last time around.

*Sigh*

Tomorrow morning’s “Canned Talking Points Gabfests” are going to be less informative than usual, which is a limbo contest I don’t want to see.

Meanwhile, in the cartooning world:

 

Ed Hall is hardly the only one suggesting that just perhaps maybe Dear Leader was looking for a distraction, but I like his raw, gritty direct approach.

There’s no need to be clever, and it’s no time for humor. He lays it out and his personification of War reminds me of Herblock, which is hardly a bad touchstone.

 

Pia Guerra also puts away the colored crayons and lays it on the line.

We’ve heard this song before, and comparisons to Iraq would include that we had Saddam Hussein pinned down with no-fly zones and sanctions, while Trump came into office with a treaty that nine nations had carefully negotiated in Iran but which he tore up for no discernible reason.

Was Saddam Hussein a bad man? Absolutely.

Did he buy yellow cake uranium from Nigeria? No, he didn’t. And we knew he didn’t.

Nor was it brought to him aboard the Maddox or the Turner Joy.

 

Just as, despite a couple of cartoonists including Gary Varvel suggesting the opposite, we didn’t “give” Iran any pallets of cash.

It’s quite complicated, and I hope you don’t run into a paywall because this Washington Post article explains how it all worked out.

It has to do with Iran’s money which was tied up over here after the fall of the Shah, a decision by the Hague about how much interest it would have earned over those decades, and a Congressional investigation that determined that returning it was a legal settlement according to several treaties.

You can disagree with the repayment, certainly, just as you can disagree with the treaty that a collection of nations painfully worked out with Iran, but we didn’t “give” them the money and a decision not to repay it would have played false not just with the ayatollahs but with our own allies.

Which, admittedly, does boil down to two conflicting policies: Living by international treaties or blowing shit up.

 

Darrin Bell explores it from another direction, which is that whatever we’re doing with advisers still in Iraq, we disrespected their sovereignty by conducting independent military operations within their borders, particularly ones that killed their citizens.

Granted, the Iraqi rioters were stirred up by Iranian provocateurs, but, then again, if you’re going to start complaining about outsiders making trouble in Iraq, check the mirror.

And if you’re going to sell this guy that nobody in the US had heard of a week ago as the most dangerous person in the world, it opens questions about falling in love with Kim and palling around with Putin and expressing admiration for Duterte.

Plus this troubling issue: When you tell us that this Soleimani guy killed thousands of people, are you using the same numbering system you used when you told us how many people were at the inauguration and how many were bused into New Hampshire to vote illegally?

On accounta Dear Leader blew off his credibility the first week he was in office, and he might just as well have accused Soleimani of ripping off Mozart, because at least he’d have a movie to back it up.

Anyway, I just wish Dear Leader’s draft board hadn’t been so gullible, because maybe if he’d served then, he’d be less eager to send other people’s kids into harm’s way now.

 

Send not to know for whom the bell tolls

Doc & Raider is starting out a new storyline that seems, judging from Episode One, to be based on the atmosphere of hate that has emerged over the past couple of years.

Trickle Down doesn’t work as economic theory, but it sure seems to work as social policy.

 

And if all that isn’t depressing enough

First Dog on the Moon offers a stunning, furious, appropriately smoke-stained reflection on the fires in his country and his government’s bizarre refusal to confront the crisis.

He gives it the ungainly title, “The pain and terror of these bushfires cannot be held in a single human heart,” and indeed, you’ll agree by the end.

Go read the rest here. He’s brilliant and frequently angry to begin with, but this is a masterpiece.

And I have no response except a sympathetic, useless pat on the back.

 

“Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation” sure sounds up-to-date and makes me think maybe we should focus on something besides the presidential race.

Community Comments

#1 Sean Martin
January/4/2020
@ 9:00 am

First, thanks for the nod. Always, always appreciated.

Second, something about Iran and Iran being Russia’s BFF and yet Putin being Trump’s BFF (as well as China and NK being Trump’s BFFs) that isnt quite adding up. Trump knows the pressure on him to resign is going to build in 2020. He also knows that any business future he has in the US is long gone — his practices got a little too much exposure, which is probably why we’ll never see his tax returns.

So I cant help but wonder if all of this is somehow (and I dont pretend to know how, but…) being organized to save his financial rear end. Iran may be Russia’s ally, but that doesnt mean Putin really cares about the Iranian people, just its leadership (much like the US doesnt really care about the Iraqi people, just controlling the oil flow). So if Trump sends bombers over Iran and kills a bunch of people, it’s just “collateral damage”, as both DC and Moscow will no doubt confirm.

But in the middle of it is a “president” who does nothing unless it directly benefits him somehow, and usually financially. Something’s afoot here, and it doesnt take a tin foil hat to suspect it.

#2 Kip Williams
January/4/2020
@ 9:57 am

A good video choice, though I might have gone with Joni Mitchell’s “The Fiddle and the Drum.”

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.