Iran

Award Winning


cjones12092016

On Monday morning I was informed I had a winning cartoon in a contest conducted by an organization in Iran. The cartoon posted here is the winning cartoon.

The contest was on “Trumpism,” and was highly critical of Donald Trump. I was down for that. I criticize our president without any prospects of winning an award. There were two categories, cartoons and caricatures, with ten winners in each. I was flattered, honored, and extremely humbled that I was among the ten winners out of over 1,600 entries from all over the world. I even made a post about it this morning on social media writing, “Some lazy American cartoonist is among the winners of an international cartoon contest. Probably a total hack.” I like self-deprecating humor.

I was mentioned in stories by ABC News, The Hill, Newsweek, Yahoo, the Associated Press, and from the United Kingdom, the BBC, The Independent, and The Daily Mail. I was even mentioned in Dunya from Pakistan. That was pretty cool though except for the BBC and Dunya, each of these articles has me listed as “Robert Jones Clayton.” I don’t know who that guy is.

It was also from these articles that I learned the organization, Iran’s The Organization for Sacred Defense Artistic and Cinema Affairs, which ran this contest is the same one that held a contest last year on the Holocaust, which organizers say was meant to “highlight Western double standards on free speech and not to cast doubt on the Nazi genocide.”

This is where I have a problem.

I was unaware this was the same group as the Holocaust event organizers. I wasn’t even aware it was held in Iran until Monday when I learned I won. I entered several months ago when a request was submitted to me. I didn’t do any research and assumed it was held in Europe. I don’t know why I assumed that.

I have an issue with a contest sponsored by the government of Iran that’s critical of free speech in the United States when they don’t allow freedom of speech, or freedom for the press in their nation. I have an issue with a contest that was a wolf whistle for antisemitism. Though the Trumpism contest wasn’t about any of that, it’s not a party I would accept an invitation to. If the Ku Klux Klan held a cartoon contest on economics, I wouldn’t want to enter, and I don’t want to be involved with a group that engages in antisemitism, no matter how their denial may be worded.

It’s for that reason I have to decline the award, honor, citation, or whatever it is. Thank you very much, but no thanks. I do not want to be with any group that engages in hatred, no matter how much fun it is to mock Donald Trump. But it’s not about Donald Trump for me.

So officially, I, CLAYTON ROBERT JONES, decline being awarded for my cartoons by the Iranian Trumpism contest.

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I Ran With Hypocrisy


cjones08062016

In 1979 the United States government made an arms deal with Iran, and then there was a revolution and the regime friendly to the U.S. was ousted. What did the U.S. do with Iran’s money? Duh, they kept it.

Back in January the Obama administration announced they were paying back the money. It turns out the cash was delivered the same day Iran released four Americans they were holding prisoners. Ruh-roh, Scooby Doo, that looks like a ransom payment.

It is weird timing. No, it doesn’t look good. It’s hard to defend that. And you know what, maybe it kinda sorta is a ransom payment.

Here’s the thing: The U.S. was going to repay this money. The negotiations were separate from those for the release of the prisoners. What if Iran said “we’re not going to release these prisoners until you pay us back?”

What if we said “you’re not receiving this money until you release the prisoners?” Does that sound better? Wouldn’t it make you mad if we returned THEIR money without receiving our people? Yes. It was their money. In 1953 The C.I.A. staged a coup in Iran overthrowing their elected government, installed a puppet dictator, and reaped money from Iranian oil. Twenty six years later in 1979 a revolution overthrew the U.S. installed government. We’re still trying to figure out why they call us Great Satan.

A lot of conservatives from the usual outraged narrative crowd say this is American taxpayer money. It’s not. They point out how the money was delivered in cash in currencies other than U.S. and Iranian. We don’t have a relationship with Iran so it’s not like we can do a wire transfer, write a check or do a Paypal payment. Can you imagine how much Paypal would charge in fees to deliver $400 million? They scalp me each month when I receive a payment from Costa Rica. Paypal jerks.

On top of all this, Republicans are repeating what they always do: It’s OK when a Republican does it. Don’t investigate a Republican president after a terrorist attack. Don’t criticize a Republican for incurring debt. Don’t criticize a Republican for vacations. Don’t criticize a Republican for negotiating with terrorist…wait? A Republican would NEVER negotiate or trade arms with terrorists. Well, of course, except they did. Not just any Republican president either, but Saint Ronald Reagan.

Reagan actually delivered weapons to Iran in exchange for hostages, and then diverted the money to the Contras, which was all illegal and impeachable. Keep in mind this is after Iran held 52 Americans in the U.S. embassy, and after they were behind a terrorists attack in Beirut that killed 241 Marines. People still argue to this day that Iran released the embassy hostages because they were afraid of tough guy Ronald Reagan….who eventually kissed their mullah loving asses and gave them weapons and let them kill our people for it.

Of course the entire thing wouldn’t be complete without Donald Trump taking a stage somewhere (or Twitter) and making up some big fat lie about it. This time it was that he watched a video, that Iran released to embarrass us, of the money being delivered. He repeated the lie the next day. Turns out it was a video of the plane in Geneva with the hostages…which was not released by Iran.

Creative note and stuff: I enjoy drawing Ronald Reagan. My career started during the George H.W. Bush administration and he was not as much fun to draw as his former boss. I totally missed the Reagan administration because I was a teenager throughout it and the comic books I was drawing at the time were about race car hoodlums fighting zombies. Yeah, I was on the zombie train way early. Today I take advantage of drawing Reagan any chance I can. I also miss George W. Bush (those ears) and Bill Clinton, who will be giving me a lot more opportunities soon…at least four years worth.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

Iranian Hostages


cjones01182016

Who the Hell complains about American hostages and prisoners being released by an enemy nation? Republicans. Specifically Republicans running for president.

They’re upset they were taken in the first place, which we all are. But they say their capture is a result of the disrespect the world has for President Obama, as if it wouldn’t have happened with a Republican president. Americans, members of the military or civilians, have never been taken by a foreign power during any other presidential administration. Oh wait…yes they have. OK, not during a Republican administration….oh yeah…they have. During George W. Bush’s first year in office China captured several military personnel. When they were released Bush apologized to China and let China keep all the technology inside their plane.

They’re also upset with the way Iran promoted the capture by showing video of the sailors on the knees, hands behind their heads, while guns were pointed at them. I agree that’s sickening and it shouldn’t be promoted. But we do it too. After we killed Saddam Hussein’s two sons we flashed photos of their corpses across the media landscape.

In addition to the soldiers being released, Iran released five other prisoners on Saturday. Four of them were part of a “swap.” U.S. clemency was offered to seven Iranians charged or imprisoned for sanctions violations and the dismissal of outstanding charges against 14 Iranians outside the United States. They were not shipped to Iran and can pretty much go wherever they want. None of the seven were charged with terrorism.

Republicans are still upset. They say we shouldn’t have made the deal because….they don’t know why but it’s just wrong. They wanted a fight. I guess it would have been OK if a Republican was president and made the deal by illegally giving Iran missiles, which is how President Reagan got hostages released.

The GOP has complained that the release of the five prisoners in Iran should have been a part of the nuclear deal. Their release is not a part of it, but it has coincided with the start of the deal. Yet, they’re still complaining.

It’s funny the people who claim to love America, love the military, claim to be patriots, do the most harm to America and the military. Screaming about the release of the hostages before they’re actually released is a disqualifier for the office of president. Negotiations are sensitive. If you have to risk the lives of Americans and can’t wait another four hours to make political hay, you should not be president.

Diplomacy can work if you give it a chance. Sometimes you have to talk to your enemies. Even Reagan knew that, when someone told him who he was talking to and if he could stay awake long enough. The last time we didn’t give diplomacy a chance we waged a useless war in Iraq. The people who created the mess, foreign and domestic, that Obama has spent eight years cleaning up, are promising to make the mess again.

No thanks!

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

State Of The Union Guest


cjones01132016

The capture of ten U.S. sailors by Iran was a huge distraction during Obama’s last State of the Union address.

In reality, a fundamentalist religious extremist was invited. Kim Davis, the gay-hating Kentucky clerk was in attendance. The other conservative religious lunatics in attendance didn’t have to be invited as they’re all Republican members of Congress.

The one hateful zealot who skipped the address was Ted Cruz. He was too busy campaigning for the office he’s disrespecting.

Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!

I RAN From Jounalism


cjones10142015

It would have been nice if part of the nuclear deal the United States  five other countries recently struck with Iran included the release of Washington Post reporter Jason Reziain and other Americans currently detained in Iran. However, I realize the nuclear deal is important and is a totally separate situation than anyone arrested and detained by the Iranian government.

This is not the Iranian Hostage crisis which gripped the nation from 1979 to 1981 and helped destroy the Jimmy Carter administration.

Washington Post reporter Jason Reziain was arrested by the Iranian government on charges of espionage and other crimes. One of the charges is that he identified companies that may have evaded U.S. sanctions against Iran.

In a secret trial in Iran, Reziain has been convicted of crimes that haven’t been explained by the government, nor is has his sentence been revealed. The government doesn’t have any evidence that the journalist is guilty of anything other than doing his job.

Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron said in a statement “Iran has behaved unconscionably throughout this case, but never more so than with this indefensible decision by a Revolutionary Court to convict an innocent journalist of serious crimes after a proceeding that unfolded in secret, with no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing,” They plan to appeal.

Iran will now try to swing a separate deal for Reziain and other Americans, hoping to get Iranians held by the United States released. The other Americans are Amir Hekmati, a former Marine sentenced to death in January 2012 for espionage, and Saeed Abedini, a pastor detained in Iran in 2012 and sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of attempting to undermine the government.

Every single person I have ever met from Iran has been extremely kind. They are some of the nicest and warmest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I have never met anyone from the Iranian government.

In November a few of my cartoons, along with hundreds from other professional cartoonists, will be auctioned at an event called Cartoons & Cocktails at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The funds will go towards supporting cartoonists detained, arrested, tortured and oppressed in countries that don’t allow a free press. Support for a free press in other nations should be important to every American journalist.

I realize that my drawing funny pictures of government officials is something that would have made me disappear a long time ago if I wasn’t fortunate enough to be doing it in a free nation.

If you’ll be in the area, I highly recommend attending the event in D.C.

Endorsed By The Dark Overlord


cjones09102015

If Dick Cheney was a dentist, he’d be that one out of five that’d recommend brushing your teeth with sugar and battery acid.

At least George W. Bush has the dignity to sit in a bathtub and paint portraits of his toes instead of giving lousy advice on foreign policy.

Whenever I hear conservatives disagree with Obama and tell us how to avoid war I really want to throw something at their head. You were the guys who told us invading Iraq was a great idea. You went to bat for that. You sold it. You carried it. You swore by it. You bled for it…not literally…you sent other people to bleed for it.

Iraq cost us thousands of lives, tens of thousands of Iraqi lives, wounded many Americans who lost limbs and will be physically and emotionally scared forever, destabilized the Mideast, gave us ISIS, scattered refugees throughout Europe, ruined our economy and put us deeper in debt. How dare you even state an opinion on the U.S. and war.

Seriously, you need to sit down, drink a huge glass of shut the Hell up and let other people make decisions on keeping our country safe because you suck at it.

Dick Cheney was wrong on EVERYTHING. He was wrong about weapons of mass destruction. He was wrong about Iraq’s connections to aL Qaida. He was wrong about the cost of the war. He was wrong about how we’d be greeted. He was wrong about disassembling Iraq’s military. Cheney was wrong so often on the Iraq War that one needs a score card for all the points where he was wrong. But that old war profiteer was probably right about how much money his buddies would make on the operation through no-bid contracts.

The man is a war profiteer. He and his friends have made millions in blood money. It’s what he does.

Now he tells us we can’t trust this Iran deal. They say with this deal Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. What kind of path are they on without the deal? Never Mind that Iran went from zero to 5,000 centrifuges during the Bush/Cheney administration.

I think Cheney had a reality transplant.

I would put more faith in Dick Cheney growing a natural afro than in him ever being right about foreign policy.

 

More Republican Crazy Talk


cjones07292015

 

My friend and fellow cartoonist Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution drew a great cartoon on GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s “oven door remark.” He drew Huckabee making the statement on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice. It was the kind of idea I wish I had thought of except there’s one problem.

Huckabee is not an apprentice when it comes to stupid statements. He made a comment recently about transgenders saying he wishes he could have used that excuse in high school to shower with girls. Hang in there, Huckster. Maybe someday a girl will want to shower with you.

He once compared his weight loss to being in a concentration camp.

Continuing on the Holocaust theme he once compared it to abortion.

He once asked if Mormons believe Jesus and the Devil are brothers.

He congratulated Canada on their National Igloo (Canada doesn’t have a national igloo).

Then there was the time he compared being gay to bestiality and pedophilia and said “I think the radical view is to say that we’re going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal.”

Did you hear about the time he claimed that the Newtown shooting was because “we systematically removed God from our schools.”

When it comes to crazy, stupid and just odd statements, Mike Huckabee is no apprentice.