On August 25, Bush said about soldiers who get killed in the Halliburton War:
I guess you couldn't ask for a better way of life than giving it for something that you believe in.
I guess. Or not. But is dying a "way of life"?
I guess you couldn't ask for a better way of life than giving it for something that you believe in.
I appreciate your contributions to public discussion and am with you about 85 percent of the time. I understand your comments about "terror widows" when they pertain to someone trying to leverage his or her family tragedy into book deals, tee-shirt sales, and political gain. I also understand that there may be a fine line between the heartfelt public activism of people like Cindy Sheehan and a degeneration into media hijinx for its own sake. Frankly, I despise the "America Stands With Cindy" logo plastered on CommonDreams -- it's sleaze and gives neocon character assassins something else off-point to aim at.
Similarly, I don't appreciate seeing Joan Baez pumping the all-power fist in the air as if maybe we can all bring back the sizzlin sixties at Camp Casey.
However, I think that sometimes the better part of social commentary, like valor, might be some discretion. It's hard to see the point of mocking parents who have lost children in a war (or any other tragedy) or passing judgment on the motives behind their public expressions (unless of course they're trying to trademark their loved one's last words). There is a whole legion of neocon automata who can do that job without help from you. Why would a savvy guy like you waste bandwidth helping those psychopaths do their job even given the fact that, regrettaby, the "Big Carnival" hangers-on at Camp Casey risk undermining
the credibility of the protest?
I know virtually nothing about Cindy Sheehan except that she is responsible for an action that has helped war protest to break through to mainstream media during the August "silly season." Nothing, as far as I can remember, has been as effective at publically pointing out exactly what a putz and a dunce our federal chief executive is. It's hard for an opponent of this hateful, sinful, fascist war of aggression not to admire Sheehan's actions for their own intrinsic value. And even if you can find something in that to wisecrack about, what's the real value? Why not put craven DLC democrats in your crosshairs more often instead of taking cheap shots at parents or spouses who have suffered the ultimate loss... for reasons worse than none at all.
You and I agree that anyone is a fool if he or she joins the military for college money and weekend adventure with the Army Reserves. We evidently don't agree on the issue of publically mocking their stupidity after they've died or been mutilated.
To be honest, I wonder if you aren't playing a bit of the Politics of Identity that you so correctly attack in "Wake Up" and elsewhere. From time to time I think you overplay your self-appointed identity as America's BS Detector. If you want to play that role --- and there are few people who can play it as effectively as you --- then I feel it would be good practice to turn the BS Detector on yourself once in awhile. I hope you don't become smug in your role because I think it makes you less effective.
Thanks for reading this and I hope you will take what I say mostly as a vote of confidence and admiration. I wouldn't have spent an hour composing this note if I didn't care about your work. Best wishes.
I found your article on memory loss interesting and informative. I do, however, feel that you may have understated the problem. Long before we began storing information on temporary electronic media, we were using acidic paper, which doesn't last much longer. Cloth paper can survive for centuries, but acid-bleached wood pulp paper decays in a matter of decades. Librarians and archivists refer to this problem as "slow fires" which are quietly destroying vast quantities of information all over the world. Some countries have begun to convert records stored on acid paper, but not all, and some will probably never have the funds to do so. Such books and records will eventually crumble to dust. Most paper produced since the late 19th century is doomed unless microfilmed or treated with chemicals. This problem was understood before electronic media became common, but nothing was learned from our earlier mistakes.
Read your piece. Correct. Paper trumps all.
Years ago when I was the editor of a trade magazine called "Instruments and Control Systems" I wrote an editorial entitled "The wave of the future is...Analog?" The piece had more to do with data display than the medium on which it was preserved but it made much the same points. As for display, when you look at your watch or speedometer, you don't usually need to know that the time is 8:56:32 or your speed is 61.68 mph.
Takes more time for the mind to acquire that information than a quick glance that tells you it's about 9 o'clock or your speed is about 62 mph. Human beings are analog devices.
Nothing tires me more than trying to read a long article off a computer display. Paper rules!
What a great column!
I work in a state governmental library and the whiz-bang digital documents are a flying. We used to get all reports in old-fashioned paper but now, wow, the agencies are publishing to the Web! What's that you say, you need last month's report? Oh, we took that down to put up this month's report. Those old reports are full of just dusty old numbers and stodgy facts. It is not new and improved. What did we do with the old one? I think we deleted it or something.
We get groups touring our library all the time and one of the "facts" the tour guides present is that oh all the information in these books is on the Web now! Oh really. Somebody has scanned and digitized all these old books? Really. And just where would one find them. Scary people think that if it is not on the Web, it does not exist. And when the majority of information is digital only, poof, facts will change and "history" will be malleable. Want to make 43 the greatest president of all time? Easy. The proof of WMD is in his digital presidential library.
Again, great column. By the way, I also enjoy your cartoons. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I think, sometimes I get really pissed off. But, isn't that what an editorial cartoon is supposed to do?
There is an upside to this destruction of data. Future generations (let me go out on a large limb here and say---- assuming there are any future generations) will not have to know that our society bought large numbers of disks for the shittiest crap ever written-----Madonna, Brittany Spears, N'Stink, etc.
I'm a big fan. Started with your comics, now of your commentaries and blog. Your current commentary is right on the money. When I was studying to become a librarian, I visited the Supreme Court of Florida's reference department. The archivist was tearing his hair out trying to keep players working for betamax and VHS formats (as all proceedings, by law, are recorded on video). Digital technology was just coming into use then. I'm sure he's now working with DVDs. His office looked like a electro-techno-junkyard, as he was having to cannibalize old players just to keep working models to display his tapes. And they're creating new material so fast he doesn't have time to re-format.
This rush to computerize data is being done with all the deliberation of a cattle stampede. Little or no thought is being given to the technological implications involved.
As I browse our stacks (at the Brooklyn Public Library), it's interesting to note that printed material from the 18th and early 19th century is in better shape than books published as recently as 20 years ago because it was published on rag paper, a medium that will outlive us all.
It's also sad to see families transferring their old 8 mm films to VHS and now digital video in the belief that they'll have a record of their families to past down to their heirs, when the current formats probably won't survive them.
Your commentary should be required reading for anyone interested in archival preservation.
An interesting article on an issue I've struggled with HREF="http://www.livejournal.com/users/richardf8/38303.html">some myself.
Ultimately, I think you can take comfort in some words of your own: "Moreover, while the majority of books printed 400 years ago have been destroyed, a few remain." The ancient world had it's own transient media too - wax tablets were used for note-taking in the Roman era. They, by and large, don't survive. Also stuff of value or interest on the web quite often makes it into print, from webcomics to Darwin Awards. And much of the conversion of printed media to digital form that is taking place is being done to facilitate study of the manuscripts without subjecting the manuscripts themselves to the risks of handling. This is a GOOD thing for the preservation of culture.
Excellent article on the storage industry and how we all rush to store everything we already have (e.g., throwing away faded 50-year old photographs after digitizing them) and the new data on new media and formats.
For my email, I refuse to use MS Outlook since it stores data in a proprietary format that can be changed at the whims of Bill, and instead use ASCII text format that has a longer life time. (format)
I think nations should find alternative means to archive samples of our history in various formats. Apparently Bill has a plan to digitize art works and provide us commonfolk with only digital versions of those works. (Note that there would be no guarantee whether we are seeing, or the future generations would be seeing actual artwork or Bill's own rendering of it :-))
Anyway, great article.
I usually agree with your positions—have even dropped acquaintances who took offense when I emailed them links to your columns. However, I must take exception with your assertion that digital media storage is doomed—or dooming. Your points about the fallibility of hard media storage are valid—CDs and DVDs fail over time, as do floppy disks and other magnetic media. This may or may not be a tragedy for an individual, depending on how assiduous they’ve been about backing up their data. However when it comes to archiving data, fallible hard media need not be an issue.
Beyond the optical and magnetic storage media you mentioned there now exists solid state electronic storage devices—the technology of the “thumb” drive—that are on a rapidly falling cost curve while providing increasingly greater storage density (bits per cubic inch). This means that we’ll soon not only be able to store our personal media on devices with no moving parts, but we’ll have access to cheap on-line storage services. We can begin to think of our content libraries more as digital rights to content stored on line, whether by such a service or by the content owners themselves. We may also have recourse to on-line repositories of our own digitally signed copies of said media with copy to hard media rights as well as play-out rights. Importantly, on-line data will be mirrored in geographically diverse facilities so that even in the event of a catastrophic failure our data will be preserved. Of course, we haven’t had ubiquitous access to such services until now that broadband access to becoming capacious enough to allow play out of multimedia files without the inconvenience of a cumbersome wait or undesirable performance due to inchoate networks.
Eventually we’ll see the costs of solid state storage reach price points for capacious enough devices that they will displace older, more fallible technologies in the consumer marketplace. We’ll see digital video recorder devices (like TiVo) rely on such storage rather than hard disk drives as they do today. Likewise we’ll see solid state iPods and the like with enough capacity to store full motion video and tunes alike—as well as a generalization to all digital media—photos, books, and vlogs. We’ll have solid state storage in our PCs for connected back-up and play out within our homes as well as recourse to hard copying to improved blue laser CDs and DVDs. And always, content owners will keep their digital masters in geographically diverse, mirrored and reliable storage facilities. Rather than see our cultural heritage crumble and fade, we’ll be able to preserve it reliably for posterity.
Finally, let’s not decry a technological revolution that’s still in its nascence. Since we’re talking about storage media, we should observe the incredible advances made only in the last 20 years. Remember the 12” floppy disk? How about the 20 MB hard drive? As we step up the ladder of innovation, we should migrate our content along with us. This must be an on-going project. We shouldn’t feel that once we’ve archived something on (say) a 650 MB CD-RW that we shouldn’t need to re-archive as new technology becomes available and that we shouldn’t have a back-up. This was the real tragedy at Alexandria and Pergamon, etc.: lack of redundancy. Sure, their paper lasted a long time, but couldn’t avoid a catastrophic failure. Now that we have swarming technology available to us the body of digital content eventually will be jointly held by the whole of connected humanity. A digital media asset will be stored in many anywheres and available everywhere. We may feel little need to amass our own huge collections of CDs, for example, and rely on the enormity of storage to which we’re connected. Look at the kids and their iTunes; they’re already showing us the way.
Thanx for the info on the virtual uselessness of discs, I did not know that! But after thinking about it for a New York second, after our civilization is totally destroyed in a nuclear holocaust of inevitable epic proportions, whenever that may be. Being 53 and growing up with bomb shelters and the threat of impending doom back then from the Russians and now with al queda's ideology of death, I'm not so sure any record of our civilization is of any importance. Upon close examination of our history of the last several millenia, what do you see? Let's start with the Holocaust(being Jewish, a logical start), western civ is a myriad of wars, the Crusades, genocide after genocide, Rwanda, WW's I & II, Viet Nam, Iwo Jima, 9/11, Hellenic Wars, a couple centuries of slavery ending only with an epic bloodbath. Albert Einstein was quoted, after decling an invitation to the Manhatten project salon, "I don't know how this war will end, but if there is a WWIII, WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones", wrap your mind around that! In light of the accomplishments of our great lunar landing, what remarkable benefits have we actually enjoyed from that feat at immeasurable costs. And finally, our current administration is such an immense embarassment, that any record of that for any future civilizations would reflect as personal disgrace for you and I to have been included as collateral participants, by happenstance of being born into it. So let the "historical documents" a la Galaxy Quest of South Park and Survivor and Big Brother 6 be stored on discs. It's a good thing!
I love you Ted, so enjoy today, it's all we ever have!
Any thoughts about your pal Ann Coulter's latest idiotic rant. I figured being a New Yorker and someone who generally knows that anything that comes out of that witch's mouth is ridiculous, you might like to weigh in.
Love your stuff, would love to see you on Real Time,
To expiate the pain of losing her firstborn son in the Iraq war, Cindy Sheehan decided to cheer herself up by engaging in Stalinist agitprop outside President Bush's Crawford ranch. It's the strangest method of grieving I've seen since Paul Wellstone's funeral. Someone needs to teach these liberals how to mourn. Call me old-fashioned, but a grief-stricken war mother shouldn't have her own full-time PR flack. After your third profile on "Entertainment Tonight," you're no longer a grieving mom; you're a C-list celebrity trolling for a book deal or a reality show.
I don't think you're insulting the military by focusing on the atrocities some soldiers have committed. When they stop torturing and killing innocent people, then you can stop calling it to our attention, but not before. It sucks that good soldiers are looked upon with suspicion nowadays, but most people still respect them and call them heroes when they die. It's like being a cop: They get to carry a gun. They get to search people and lock them up. They get to kill people when *they* decide it is justified. In exchange, we get to criticize them when abuses of power come to light. They have guns and we have speech. I'd hate to be in their shoes, but they should consider what it's like to have a conscience but no weapons. It ain't easy.
Not to bitch about something I enjoy for free, but I was wondering why there's always a fairly significant lag in the ucomics.com page for your work? I read a number of other strips on that site and they always are updated daily.
Case in point, today's the 18th, the latest comic is from the 13th. It would appear we're missing two.
I'm sure you have many other things to concern yourself with, but I'm starting to fall behind the blog, and look forward to getting a chance to read whatever comic it is that has so many folks up in arms over our troops comporting themselves in a less than gentlemanly manner.
Although I obviously don't have enough to do at work today, I'll nonetheless keep this short and close by relaying that I am truly a fan of your work and hope you keep doing what you do for many, many years to come.
Regarding the comic in which you pilloried Democrats for cheering “My candidate didn’t lose by much!”
What does cheer you up in troubled times like these? As you well know, Bush & Co. have left precious little about which to feel good these days. When I’m trying to think of something positive (on the days I can drag myself out of bed without going on a rampage), I can’t come up with much; sometimes the only thing I can think of in that vein about 2004 is “Well, at least we didn’t get McGoverned or Dukakised (sp?)!” Not very cheery, I realize.
So! Any suggestions?
I frequently read your stuff on Common Dreams and elsewhere.
Todays thing made me say "Hell Yes !"
I've been saying the same things for about as long as you apparently have
But I've never heard anyone with a wide audience say it.
It was apparent to me what was up....
we are ruled by a bunch of fucking thieves and murderers...
and they stole the last election too.......
I HATE the loss of life, but in a way I am glad to see things go so totally to shit in Iraq.....
And I DO NOT feel obliged to sacrifice a fucking thing for this war........
let all the dumb assholes who supported this thing pay the price...
I'm a fucking Vet myself........but I'm getting the hell out of here....
the American people are too fucking lazy, stupid and greedy to govern themselves........
And I have been saying that for at least a couple of decades.........
I'm an expatriate American here in Japan. I haven't lived in the States for over 9 years. It's been disheartening to watch what's happened in the US the past 5 years, especially the emasculation of our media and the Nero-like attitude of most Americans. We Americans abroad are confronted on a daily basis by the enmity created by Dubya and his minions; while most people are able to separate Americans from Dubya, that became extremely difficult to sell after the last election.
Now, I love my country and I refuse to kowtow and apologize for being an American; I will savage the Bush regime to anyone who wants to confront me about it (which happens all too often these days), but when people start in on Americans in general I push back. Fortunately, I have always been able to rely on your columns and cartoons to prove to people that not all Americans are asleep at the wheel. Thank you for that.
I don't always agree with your views, obviously. I'm not a sycophant! But I have great admiration for the courage you've shown these past 5 years in the face of the relentless onslaught from brain-dead right wing pyschos. Thanks for that.
Your new cartoon with Bush sleeping away counting flag-draped coffins is perfect. When you're good, you're very good. Nice job.
Hey Ted,,,ain't wrote you in a while. I have been looking at your toons,,,just to get a laugh at the left side of things. I don't want to argue or bitch at you...you're gonna believe what you want and I the same. I do have 1 thing for you though. You say that what happened at Abu Ghraib was "torture"...I say it was child's play and will prove it.
Go to this link (http://history.acusd.edu/gen/st/~ehimchak/death_march.html) and see what Americans suffered at the hands of Japs. Compare the two. Now,,,do you still think that what happened in Iraq was torture?
Your column, "Sacrifice? Count me out." was some of your best work that I've read. I don't always agree with you, but this time you really knocked one out of the park. Kudos. By the way, I am a veteran who has been "over there". Keep up the good work.
Ted, you're a god. Unfortunately, a lot of liberals would disagree with me. The Left is split on whether we should criticize the troops for obeying unethical orders; too many think we'd hurt the soldiers' pwecious wittle feewings. How can we all fit into the Big Tent?
Did you get many emails from regular readers who were surprised to hear you say you weren't interested in making a sacrifice?
You're certainly not alone in that. Unquestionably, the per capita rate of U.S. citizens unwilling to make any personal sacrifice to protect this nation is growing exponentially and will eventually result in its' demise.
Our soldiers in Iraq are taking a disrespecting from the liberal pacifists now, much like the Viet Nam vets did. When the day comes that you really need someone to protect your ass you'll find that, with the help of your liberal brethren, you've convinced everyone that nothings worth risking your life for.
As a Marine reservist who was mobilized last year and has returned, I find your cartoon about our current troops committing torture very saddening. I wish you could spend some time in Iraq with the troops to see first hand how our troops interact with the Iraqi people.
Our troops today are patient, kind and disciplined. To characterize them as sadist only aids the enemy's propaganda efforts.
I wish people would stop politicizing the war on the left or right. I wish that people would realize for the G.I. in the field is a simple matter of us completing our mission and establishing a democratic Iraq or letting the terrorist win and vindicating their strategy of murdering innocents to achieve political gain. (If the terrorist win, terrorism will only grow exponentially.)
I am personally very close to a Baghdad family who lost their father to Saddam's reign of terror. The former regime and the Baathist insurgents tortured, killed and oppressed almost the entire population including children. More than 400,000 dead mass graves should speak for themselves. I was in Bosnia twice and Iraq's tyranny was much worse.
My wife is a Navy nurse currently on her way to Al-Anbar province. We also have a two year old daughter. I politely request that you honor our family's personal sacrifice by not charactering us in this way. We wear the uniform and you have slandered us. It is very frustrating to see propaganda like this coming from your fellow countrymen when you are putting your life on the line for people seeking to be free of fear and terror.
I recommend you read Natan Shransky's book "The Case for Democracy" to get a perspective on the Middle East. I have spent significant time there and also have a M.S. in Int'l Relations with a Middle Eastern focus.
I know if is just a cartoon, but it is filled with ignorance and slanders those who are making great sacrifices for their country and freedom. Criticize political leaders all you want, but don't please do not slander the troops.
I read your "1945" comic on my Yahoo home page. I'm every bit of a "liberal" or "thinking" person as you. But I must say, to portray the soildiers in Iraq that way is BS. Any population has idiots in it, including folks that write commentary as you know. Should people throw you in the same pot as Rush or a similar writer? I know, Rush doesn't write commentary but you get the point.
I have a good friend there now who is also a thinking person and knows the war is bogus. He just wants to come home. I would fell awful if he thought that's how we think of all the troops there. To put all the soldiers in the same vain as your recent strip did does nothing but to alienate the people that need to be reading your column. It also alienates people like me who love your column and email it to all their right wing friends. Just a thought.
I would like to know what your opinion is on the situation involving the protest camp set outside of the geralissimo's house. He couldn't possibly think that ignoring these people will make them go away and he looks more and more heartless by the day. Is he going to do anything about it or just do what he usually does: Nothing?
Don't hand me that guilt crap either! Everyone with an IQ over 60 knows that this man couldn't care less about the lives he's taken.
If it isn't too much trouble, could write about it in your blog?
i guess... the families of the dead soldiers can check to see if their child's photo is included on some memorial site, but otherwise it would be tough to know if one's dead soldier was included in the number or not. you'd know he was dead and assume he was counted, but how would you know? they'd all have to count the photos.
but what i really want to ask is... what's up with the latest toon with mix and match extremists? no clear message or continuity. did the 9000 toon throw you off track?
forget it, your dong great work. there's SO much disinformation out there, how the fuck are were supposed to be able to tell between huge lies, small lies, twisted truths, and outlandish acutalities? it's too much.
BS or not, but your cartoon made me wonder about why all casualty figures reported by the US military in Iraq are invariably on the day of the incident. I can recall none having appeared after that date. I assume some soldiers die of their injuries, but these numbers do not
appear to be added to the daily toll killed in action directly. Perhaps your cartoon had a valid point after all, even if the exact number isn't accurate.
Must say, I really dig your work, man. Always check in for your weekly columns, and get a good laugh sometimes from your cartoons, also clenched teeth in anger too, not at you though, but at Bu$Co, and how much has changed in so little time, or at least how much the right feels brash enough to say and get away with in the light of day.
Anyways, I also was taken in by the 9000+ originally. Or I felt it was plausible; I have no doubt those boys at the Pentagon would get away with it if they could. Especially with that ban they have going on photographing coffins, the Soviets did the same thing during their Afghan War, delivering the caskets at night. What I have heard about this war is that with rapid medevacs and improved technology, we've been able to save a lot more soldiers' lives than we did in past wars. Unfortunately, what with the IEDs, RPGs, and other assorted lovelies, it seems that the wounds are much more severe... the flak jackets (and they're short on those too, especially your Guardsmen, reservists, and marines... seems the marines often like to use older equipment, or they're stuck with it anyways, and rationalize it by saying it makes 'em feel more "salty"... happened in Nam a lot too) deflect the blast, which then is absorbed by heads and limbs. This has caused an increased number of amputations, and brain damage, blindness, etc. Point is, I think a lot of people see the "wounded" column and think it's like a Hollywood Hero wound; just one in the shoulder, or a little cosmetic blood by the mouth to look all studly. And our oh so extra vigilant press doesn't cover the numbers of wounded much at all... over 14,000 now, or damn close to it according to icasualties.org (I think that's the address). Perhaps some good will come out of this since it's encouraged more research in prosthetics, but it's small comfort for so many of these young people who will need lifelong care.
That's about it for now, I reckon, keep up the good work, Ted, you're a good man for the left, a real asset, true patriot!
The "9,000 dead" US troops in Iraq was a smear from a neo-nazi publication (Barnes Review) to discredit the peace movement. Barnes Review works with KKK leader David Duke, praises Hitler and sells Holocaust Denial books. calling it "tbrnews" doesn't change the fact that this is a racist disinformation operation.
Barnes Review's sibling publication "American Free Press" pretends to be an opposition publication investigating scandals but they insert lots of fake claims to discredit real evidence. Perhaps the most notorious is their creation and promotion of fake claims of official complicity in 9/11 to discredit abundant real evidence of complicity. It is reminiscent (if not part of) the Karl Rove strategy used to discredit CBS (see BS?) last fall - the "memos" given to that network that were then used to alienate the media from investigating Bush going AWOL from the Air National Guard.
your views are not understood here. my family has been saved by your troops. who do you prefer Saddam the rapest and murderer. or Bush the Mad invader...I prefer Bush, he can only save my town, family, country.......I wish more in the USA could see this. your a lier!!!
Your excuses are pathetic. You liberals are unbelievable. You believe anything no matter how obviously wrong it is, if it fits your liberal agenda. Why don't you just fold up your act and disappear. It is so apparent what you are trying to do. You should be embarrassed to show your face. Say goodbye already.
Hey, just wanted to let you know that I think it was a good thing to issue the retraction, and I respect you more for it. I know you
probably have a lot of rightwingnuts emailing you and telling you to do uncomfortable things to yourself, but I'd give you a pat on the back. After all, I don't remember hearing any neocons/fascists saying they were wrong about WMD in Iraq, or much of any thing else that they've fucked up.
I appreciate you cartoon with some exception, but regularly read it. My question for you is what do you do for the reader that glances
casually at your cartoon when you cite an inflammatory and incorrect fact? Unfortunately, I read you guidelines for e-mail and think you will probably stop reading my e-mail when I get too critical, but while I was angry and disappointed, I attempted to temper my e-mail to your guidelines.
I visited you blog for the first time yesterday and found the "retraction" you posted. Everybody gets it wrong sometimes, but your reaction seemed cowardly and infantile. To cite other cartoonists who misrepresented things hardly make it right for anyone else. You have been very critical of neo- cons and I would expect them to react the way you had. Honestly, I thought you were better than that. I would expect Karl Rove to cite others that have gotten away with his plots to exonerate himself, but you?
It would have been useful to post the retraction for the average reader to see, unless you didn't care that the average Joe see that you got it wrong. You talked about hiding bodies in the cartoon in question, but what about hiding retractions? I am not of the political mind that frequents your blog. I'm not even sure you care much, considering the amount of e-mail you recieve (according to the guidelines). It would just be nice to see someone somewhere refuse to be shrill and caustic without the integrity to make it worthwhile.
I was disappointed in your handling of the situation and hope you have considered rectifiying it. If the US military dropped a bomb on a
wedding party, I'm sure you would expect something to be done about it. While your "bomb" is on a much smaller scale, the regular reader
might like to know that just because the other kids did it, doesn't mean it's right to misrepresent the truth for the sake of argument.
I want to preface this e-mail by saying that my political leanings are far left and I love reading your articles, comics and blog.
That said, I must point out the site you provided as a source has been discredited beyond cavil:
Again, do not get me wrong, it is not that I cannot posit the criminal-in-thief lying about US troop casulaties but TBRnews.org is not the best way to prove it.
Frankly, as a collateral point, I do not think there is any need to lie about troop deaths - the American public is by and large in a consumeristic [sic?] frenzy (or is it stupor?) who do not care anyway. Time to move onwards!
In the new issue of Paste, a music and pop culture mag, there's a review of Rodney Crowell's new CD (two stars) that has a prominent blurb that references your work:
"Crowell overstates his point by a Texas mile, constructing a gigantic Ted Rall cartoon version of bourgeois capitalist piggery."
Thought I'd pass it on, in case you haven't seen it.
But just as troubling is that the spread of the new weapons seems to suggest a new and unusual area of cooperation between Iranian Shiites and Iraqi Sunnis to drive American forces out - a possibility that the commanders said they could make little sense of given the increasing violence between the sects in Iraq.
Polar bears are mammals with a mission, whether it's Gus obsessively swimming in the Central Park Zoo, or the mother and her cub that I once followed during a dogsled expedition here in the Canadian high Arctic. We watched her with awe and kept our distance, especially after coming across the bloody remnants of her seal dinner on the ice. The message I took home was: "You mess with my habitat, and I'll mess with you."
By NEIL A. LEWIS
Published: August 6, 2005
WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 - In a few years, Pentagon officials say, the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, will have undergone a radical transformation.
The sprawling detention site known as Camp Delta, with its watchtowers, double-wide trailers housing rows of steel cells and interrogation rooms will be mostly demolished.
Instead, a sharply reduced inmate population of those the military considers the most hard-core will inhabit two nearby hard-walled modern prisons. The newest of those, which is still under construction, is modeled on a modern county jail in Michigan and is designed to counter international criticism of Guantánamo as inhumane and, to some, a symbol of American arrogance.
The first step in changing the character of Guantánamo, officials say, is to relocate many of the 520 detainees. As part of that effort, Defense and State Department officials said this week that they had reached agreement with Afghanistan to transfer 110 Afghan detainees to their home country. Eventually, the population will be reduced to 320, the capacity of the permanent prison buildings.
Hi Mr. Rall,
I saw you on Foxnews a few times, and while I disagreed with some of the things you said, I went to your site and check back on it about once a week. I know that you can't just always believe everything you are told and sometimes the opposition is right. I do have a problem with how you treat the military though. I have been in ROTC for the past four years and as soon as I am done my masters I am going to commission fulfilling my contract. I contracted four years ago because I wanted to serve my country and "fight the good fight" against anyone who tried to do our country harm. Many of my fellow cadets are in the same boat as me, came from an average family, good students, ( I have a 3.9 cum GPA now ), just wanting to do our service, finish it, and move on with your lives. We could have never predicted what we would eventually have to end up doing and where we would be going but it is the government, and you can't back out once you've signed the dotted line. We were not recruited and lied to, we went into it knowing full well what we were getting into. There are many many many great people in the Army ( and other branches ). Many joined for training opportunities or just to do their duty. Yet all I ever see in your comics/other writings, is disdain for the military, continually calling all of us torturers and gun wielding fanatics. While some have done such things, it embarrasses many of us to be in the same military as them. They are not soldiers out of line, they are criminals. But you must see that many of us are just normal guys that signed up for a job because we wanted to, and therefore we must do what we are required to. Foreign policy is not our fault, it is the governments. We are supposed to clean up the mess when the government can't seal the deal. Please reconsider your stance on the average soldier, blame the government for where we are all you want, but I know that when you portray soldiers in the light you do, it really hurts me and many of my colleagues that someone would look down on us, when we are just trying to do something positive for our country. I am sorry for the length of this e-mail but after following your web site for a little over a year now, I felt it was time to voice myself and hopefully get your opinion on this subject at hand. Thank you
"Today's military is a far cry from the draftee-heavy Vietnam-era force. These guys are volunteers, hired guns. Make no mistake about their "limited job opportunities"...the military pays less than McDonald's, and McDonald's hires even in West Virginia. These troops are there by choice.
It's hard to hear the radicals when they're not given airtime--but I don't see them hanging out in the streets, either."
Your comments above show just how little you know of the U.S. military. First, how dare you say such horrible things about the men and women who take an oath to defend you and die for your freedom if need be. Second, the military is not a bad paying job at all, especially for those who are deployed overseas. They pay no state or federal tax, they make tons of extra money in combat pay and imminent danger pay, and they're usually very busy with their job (a job you were obviously too scared to do yourself), so there's not a whole lot of time to blow all their money. I'm in the Coast Guard and have friends who did year long deployments on CG patrol boats in the Persian Gulf within the past two years, and they all came back with tens of thousands of dollars saved up. We're not a bunch of back water yokels who joined up for the opportunity of kill some little brown people.
This mother fucker "Jack" you you replied to (in quite a friendly manner I might add) openly endorsed the murdering of military officers. What's worse, you did not even show the least bit of outrage at the idea of enlisted members turning on their officers. You should be ashamed to call yourself an American, you America hater you.
The August 4th comic is your best since the one -- damn, wrote to you about it before but I forget the date -- the one that showed us attacking them, and then when they retaliate (mildly) we say something like "That's it!" and we attack them even more.
I'm in Mexico now (had to leave U.S.) but I remember well being a New Yorker and going through the do-I-keep-waiting-for-the-bus dilemma. This is exactly what's happening now with our attitude towards Iraq, I
can't think of a better way of capturing this than your comic today.
I don't often write you dude, but I just want to say, you are like the only person out there and who gets widely published who expresses the kind of rage I feel over what is going on in Iraq. I was against
Afghanistan too. And the war on drugs before the war on terror. I always look forward to your next comic because I know it will help relieve a little bit of the aggravation I feel over everything that is
(you do irk me a little when you tweak the libertarians, but hey, nobody's perfect.)
Keep up the great work!
The “America-hating” label pisses me off, as well, since the implication is that all those who agree with you hate America, as well. Actually, I used to love America, but ever since they re-elected President Bush, I’ve begun having serious doubts about the American people’s ability to self-govern. Perhaps it’s not ability, but rather willingness, which is actually worse in my view.
"Why, then, don't we pull for the Iraqi insurgents?....Where the heck is our sense of empathy? Why can't we see ourselves in the faces of those kids firing RPGs at convoys of Halliburton trucks stealing Iraqi oil?"
You apparently don't choose to see us.
True, we are not now, not yet, as numerous as those tens of thousands of us who in the Viet Nam era used to march down Fifth Avenue chanting the name of Ho Chi Minh and calling for "Victory To The Viet Cong."
That time, with the continued exposure of this government of mad dogs, is now well on the way. So is the time when the poor suckers doing military duty in Iraq will express their understanding of their position in suckerdom by turning on their own officers just as they did with the Viet Nam era fraggings.
Make no mistake, there are many of us who ardently hope for the defeat of U.S. imperialism in Iraq, which situation is likely to lead straight down the rails to Socialist revolution in the U.S. with the British working class in the lead and showing the way.
Nice work on this week's cartoon! Incisive and funny. Did you base the cartoon off of a classic parable or was this an original formulation? In either case i think it's a great comic, i'd just be interested if you drew on a traditional parable.
as you probably know.... Incredibly, under Tony Blair's new rules, you could be (feloniously) deported from britain (to some hell on earth) for the empathy article. (if you lived there of course) He proposes to make "justifying" (or appeals for empathy?) a deportable offense!
Since you are leading the charge in the Iraq/Afganistan editorializing:
That is a 13.8% fatality rate, roughly. The figure is up from 10% last year as attacks grow more deadly. But that's not the story. Vietnam had fewer casualties in it's first 4 years (61-65) at 10,000. And Vietnam's fatality rate was 24%. Increased medical technology and body armor has allowed more soilders to survive severe attacks. These soilders are not being patched up and shipped home, they are not recieving "million dollar wounds." Because the typical attack involves blast munitions, soilders are badly mutiliated, save the torso, and will require a lifetime of medical care. Blinding injuries are abnormally high. However, the public is more interested in fatality figures, this is not being reported. If this trend continues, and if the Bush administration continues to resist adequate responsibility for this war of arrogance and hubris, these statistics will come to the public's attention too late.
Total for Vietnam 1961-73: 200,727 wounded, 47,424 dead
Source; New England Journal of Medicine, December 2004, US dept. of defense online, and icacasualties.org