A new high in lows

Thursday, February 02, 2006
In one of the most tasteless and inappropriate things the MSM has done lately is the cartoon by Toles in the Washington Post--the controversy is encapsulated here. Follow the links for the initial cartoon, the Joint Chief's letter, and the WAPOs response.

Sometimes you just have to think that the Alien and Sedition Acts werent that bad.

Full caveat: as a career soldier who started a career as a recruit in 1961 and became a serving officer, I cannot tell you how deeply this cartoon, and the WAPOS half assed response offends me--


Duffy Nichols said...

RogerA: I would be willing to guarantee you that if the "cartoonist" behind this saw your post, he would have no idea what you are so upset about. His cocoon is so tight it squeaks.

RogerA said...

Mark--you have absolute no idea why I am personally offended--lets leave it at that, OK?

Knucklehead said...


As you Duffy have noted, the likes of Boles, even the ones with some vague form of recognizable "talent", cannot even guess at why this is offensive to you and a long list of other veterans.

They have no idea why people serve. Boles is so far removed from what service is all about the he would likely describe what he does as "service". Notta clue. And there isn't anything to be done about it.

Buddy Larsen said...

Wretchard is commenting on the same this morning--

Eric Blair said...

Yeah. It is apparent that the director of the DAV doesn't really get what Toles was trying to get across. He, (Autry) is rightly concerned about disabled vets, but *that* was not what Toles' point was.

marky doesn't get it, (actually, I would imagine that marky likes the cartoon) because marky is against the war in the first place. So any agit-prop against it will be ok with him.

Despite that stupid report, the Army isn't 'broken'. That is an awful use of hyperbole, and only goes to denote the attitude of the report's author. You want a broken army? The French Army in April of 1917. THAT is an example of broken. Or the German Army in September of 1918. THAT is broken.

The fact that the JCS actually sent a letter--I mean, when is the last time anybody remembers the JCS actually sending a letter about an editorial cartoon? They didn't even do that during the Vietnam war. Ever. Shows how wrongheaded the carping is becoming. The JCS is getting involved? THAT is HUGE.

This is just another example of how out of touch the so called MSM is with how the war is going, and what the soldiers think. And mind you, they're the ones fighting the war, not marky, certainly not Toles.

And marky and his ilk needs to think real long and hard about provoking the army such that it starts to get politicized. The one thing the USA has managed to do right over the last 230 years is to keep the army subordinate to the civilian government. marky, like the rest of his neo-marxist-socialist-fellow-travelers, simply assumes that the army is going to do what its told.

marky and his fellow-travelers may be in for a big surprise. It is not one that will be pleasant.

ambisinistral said...


You and idealogue and a zealot, so I dout this is going to do any good, but I'll try anyways. I'm a disabled veteran. 60% according to the Veteran's Administration, but I took my 50% directly from the Navy instead.

Last year, for the first time in some 30 years, I didn't get a raise to my benefits. As such I understand exactly what Dave Autry is driving at, and I appreciate his efforts. He is doing exactly what he should do as an advocate for us disabled vets.

On the other hand, neither you nor the cartoonist Tole are veteran's advocates. Sure, you'll saw on the violin and shed crocodile tears when it is convenient to score a cheap political point, but you'll just as quickly paint a soldier as a brutish thug, or a confused child, or maniac killer if that scores points.

In short, show some respect for vets who are spending time in hospitals, or learning how to deal with a long term injury, and spare us your hand wringing. We know full well your type doesn't give a rat's ass about us.

ex-democrat said...

ambi - thank you for your service.

vnjagvet said...

First of all, mg8 had no reason to quote what was already available in the posted link except to imply that those of us who have served, have friends who lost limbs in battle, and were justifiably offended should not have been offended.

As if he has some authority to question our feelings about a controversial subject.

Let's be clear. He has no such right, moral or otherwise.

This type of comment is tawdry and pitiful, especially coming from someone whose bona fides on the subject are completely lacking.

It is a shame that he feels the need to inject venom each day into a discussion rather than reading and remaining silent, or better yet going away.

I have yet to see a reasoned discussion or a positive word from this guy.

When he tries to ridicule those of us who served our country in its time of need and sacrificed for so doing, it is beyond the pale of reasoned discussion.

He is not welcome here, so far as I am concerned.

Second, thanks for your service, Ambi.

ex-democrat said...

and you for yours, vnj.

Peter UK said...

The cartoon is so lacking in humanity,empathy and common decency as to be the work of a person with serious defects of character.
This filth not only insults those who have served,but all those who are disabled for whatever reason,this is as offensive to the human race as the Danish cartoons are to Muslims.
There should be an apology?

terrye said...

My uncle Robert was a disabled veteran. He was wounded in WW2 and carried the remains to two Nazi slugs for many years. They could not remove them. From the time he was wounded until he died years later he never knew a day without pain.

These men do not sacrifice for the comic relief of others or to be used for cheap political gain.

As for mark, I have said it before. Pretend he does not exist.... Because in any meaningful sense of the word he doesn't. Not as far as I am concerned.

Syl said...

Quite honestly, words fail me.

Thank you for you service, and everything else, Ambi. Your point re advocates vs those who just use for political points is spot on.

truepeers said...

Thanks to all the vets and present service men and women out there.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Yes, please allow me to add my thanks to all you vets who have served our country and the cause of democracy.

markg8 said...

Once again that cartoon criticized Don Rumsfeld for waving away the third (by my count) report commissioned by the Pentagon itself that says the conduct and duration of the occupation of Iraq is damaging the US Army to the extent that it will not be able to complete the mission. It says essentially the same thing congressman John Murtha is saying.

Instead of writing his own letter Rumsfeld evidently had the JCS do his fighting for him by signing a letter on their letterhead meant to intimidate the WaPo and Toles. Criticizing the civilian leadership of this country is not spitting on the flag or our soldiers. It's dishonest to attempt to deflect that criticism by claiming it is.

Most of the time I don't see reasoned discussion or positive words from the regulars here. When I do I leave it alone. Mostly I see the same old persecution complex as if the right was still in the minority, had no control over anything. At least the Palestinians have the excuse that they're longtime losers and their society is in disarray. The Republican party controls congress, the WH and the Supreme Court. This sore winner attitude is unbecoming and unworthy of a party in power.
And let's give up the canard that posts can't be deleted without a trace on this site. You've all responded to posts that aren't even here anymore. Go ahead and keep deleting them. There's plenty more where that came from.

Eric Blair said...

Again, Marky, since you didn't read the report, but only have cherry-picked comments in a news item, what do you really know about it?

The language used the that retired general bespeakes hysteria and hyperbole. Notice the other senior officer that takes issue with the language. Notice the other supposedly vivid phrase "Thin Green Line" which is really an overused cliche. (Anyone remember thin red line, thin blue line, thin grey line?) The retired general cites a single data point for his prediction. The retired general then also points out that the Army is stil a 'higly effective fighting force'. The retired general isn't sure what he wants to say other than "Things might go bad".

Big rocks could fall out the sky and crush us all too.

None of which of course, goes back the original point, which was that this cartoon is really just a cheap shot that just preaches to the choir. However, its tastelessness has got the attention of the JCS, to the point that they issued a letter on it, and as I pointed out before, that is something NEW.

ambisinistral said...


This thread is not about a Pentagon Report. It is about a cartoon, and whether or not that cartoon is tasteless in using the symbology of a badly injured vet to make its point.

Simple question: do you think the cartoon was tasteless?

markg8 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
markg8 said...

Sure I think the cartoon is tasteless, most political cartoons are. But it doesn't change the fact that the JCS letter is a deliberate attempt to intimidate the WaPo and deflect criticism directed toward Don Rumsfeld by misrepresenting the intent of the cartoonist.

markg8 said...

Can't read the report eric because like so much the Administration does it's kept from the public. The AP was given a copy much like Stephen Hayes has access to cherry picked docs thrown over the transom.

If you'd like to read something written by Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr. try this Foreign Affair article from last Sept. "How to Win in Iraq"

ambisinistral said...

Sure I think the cartoon is tasteless, most political cartoons are.


So, you really don't think it is any more out of line than a normal editorial cartoon?

Fresh Air said...


I think you should quit while you're behind. You've made an ass of yourself repeatedly on this thread.
These vets have a serious effing problem with this stupid cartoon and I hardly think the JCS have intimidated or tried to intimidate anyone at the WaPo. They are voicing their DISPLEASURE. That you cannot see the difference and choose to create censoring phantoms is yet another sign of your pathetically warped leftist mind.

Do us all favor and put a sock in it.

markg8 said...

It's the nature of the medium. Editorial cartoons usually have to make a point in one panel. Toles usually gets in two shots by using his mini panel at the bottom. It condenses the argument and to make any impact it has to illicite strong feelings on the part of the reader. It's useless if it's so bland the reader doesn't get it.

Do I like the cartoon? No. Do I believe it accurately portrays Rumsfeld's public indifference to repeated warnings that the Army is in bad shape? Yes. It uses his own words he used to dismiss the report when asked about it and the words of the report.

markg8 said...

C'mon FA when has the JCS together ever injected itself into a political debate? When have they all ever signed a letter to the editor on their letterhead before? Especially one meant to mislead the public about the subject of the cartoon and inflame outrage at the author? By doing so they are acting as an adjunct of the Republican party for the party's domestic political purposes.

It's been picked up by the rightwing blogosphere from Michelle Malkin on down til it gets to attempted intimidation like this: "marky and his ilk needs to think real long and hard about provoking the army"..."marky and his fellow-travelers may be in for a big surprise. It is not one that will be pleasant."

Tell me they weren't hoping for just that kind of reaction out of the erics of the country. And it's all to deflect criticism of the political and military failures of the civilian leadership of this government.

ambisinistral said...


First, while i appreciate your efforts, you really don't need to explain to me how cartoons work. It may be a recent revelation to you that you're excited over, but i figured that out years ago.

Secondly, if you really think is is an offensive cartoon why are defending it? Why not simply come into this thread and agree Tole showed very poor judgement in drawing it?

To be blunt, I'm not buying your weasel words at all. I don't think that cartoon bothered you in the slightest. Especially when you post the "all about markie" nonasense like below:

It's been picked up by the rightwing blogosphere from Michelle Malkin on down til it gets to attempted intimidation like this: "marky and his ilk needs to think real long and hard about provoking the army"..."marky and his fellow-travelers may be in for a big surprise. It is not one that will be pleasant."

No, it is not "attempted intimidation". It is people being offended by the cynical exploitation of injured veterans.

There was a time when the left undertstood that politics could be taken too far. As you defend this trashy cartoon, I'll leave you with the following, "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Fresh Air said...


People like Wes Clark have been injecting themselves into politics for years. You don't get to the JCS by being apolitical. That said, this is an extraordinary case. Why? Because the JCS had enough. If they really thought, as you put it, the civillian leadership had failed them, why wouldn't they have just let it pass? The answer is this directly impugned their leadership, and that of their field commanders--not a member of the administration. If you knew anything about military affairs you would know this.

The fact is they are effing sick of all the bullshit from leftist commenters like Tole who claim to support the troops but who really don't give a rat's ass about them. Body armor, as you may or may not know, cannot protect one from an IED. Body armor is not a magic shield, and it has tradeoffs in mobility, breathability and strength.

I find it, frankly, impossible to believe that Don Rumsfeld wouldn't move heaven and earth to put every soldier in theatre in body armor if it was prudent. But in 120-degree heat, maybe it isn't? And maybe his generals don't want it?

Ever think about that--you know the idea that the commanders in the field actually know more about what field kits the men should have than the editorial, er, cartoonists, at the Washington Post?

But then I'm crazy that way. I actually think President Bush is just trying to do his job the best he can, and that Don Rumsfeld, one of the most dedicated and experienced public servants the U.S. military has ever had, is just doing the same.

It's a disgrace that you leftists are still flailing away at the president for every little thing you think is wrong with the military, the conduct of the war and our troop's behavior in theatre as a means of trying to bring Bush down.

Sorry for you, It won't work--now or in the future. We're on to you; we know what the media is doing and we won't allow it. Neither will the JCS.

Furthermore, the unintended consequence that you and your fellow travelers will experience is a further widening of the divide between the left and ordinary Americans, many of whom are Democrats today, but who find your tactics and behavior disgusting.

Keep it up, soon we'll be left with the Republicans, the Conservative, the Greens and the Socialist Workers Party.

Peter UK said...

Now,this is political commentary

Fresh Air said...


John Kerry is a complete and total disgrace to this country. John Murtha, on the other hand, is merely a fool.

Whether either of them failed to perform during wartime is, at this point, irrelevant. But their conduct out of war is despicable.

Rick Ballard said...

Mark G's comments will be deleted whenever found.

If you choose to respond to a comment that has not been deleted it would be wise to copy that part of his comment to which you are responding into the body of your response.

We're sorry for any inconvenience caused but our comment policy is outlined on the right sidebar and we intend to keep shoveling until we reach a clean floor.

Fresh Air said...


Thank you. It must be like following a circus parade.

ambisinistral said...

Ah well then, toodles Markie...

Peter UK said...

By drawing this cartoon and having it published in the public arena by the WAPO,Toles entered politics.
It is totally disingenuous for both the "artist"( we have at least two posters here far better than Toles)and the WAPO to insist on some kind of immunity to riposte.

The left seems to have adopted a one sided concept of freedom of speech,a freedom which allows them to spew venom but to scream like a spoiled brat when they get smacked for it.

Eric Blair said...

Its not even that they're getting smacked for it. They're just getting called on it, and told that they're being tasteless.

Peter UK said...

Yes I forgot the most overindulged juvenile generation in history was never smacked,it would have impeded their development of self expression.