Iraq

Goodbye, Rummy


Cjones07092021

Sometimes when a famous person dies, like a political or government figure like Donald Rumsfeld, we forget their bad qualities. What isn’t mentioned enough at times, is what a piece of crap they were. Condoleeza Rice called him a “remarkable and committed public servant.” Mitch McConnell said he was one of the “nation’s fiercest defenders.”

Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense twice. It was in his second tenure where he was his worst. Gaslighting is claiming Rumsfeld was one of our nation’s “fiercest defenders” when Rumsfeld never defended our nation. The Iraq war had nothing to do with defending America.

Donald Rumsfeld, along with the entire Bush administration, used 9/11 to argue to attack Iraq and begin nation building. The thing is, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were actually ideological opponents. We attacked the wrong country.

Sure, Saddam was a bad guy. He was the sort of dictator Donald Trump longed to become. He named big buildings and other projects after himself, like airports. He suppressed political dissent. He silenced the media. He murdered dissidents. Saddam, like Trump, gassed people. Saddam hated ethnic groups and had them murdered. But, Saddam never did attack the United States. Saddam was never a threat to our country. Donald Trump was a greater threat to the United States than either Saddam or bin Laden. Out of the three, Trump, Saddam, or bin Laden, which one’s followers was able to penetrate the United States Capitol Complex?

But we’re talking about the other Donald. Donald Rumsfeld who died last week at the age of 88. Because of Donald Rumsfeld, over 3,000 U.S. service members will never have the chance to live to the ripe old age of 88. Because of Donald Rumsfeld, over 200,000 Iraqis will never live to 88. To be fair, that war probably also killed a lot of Iraqis who were over 88. But you get my point.

Thousands of young men and women who died in Rumsfeld’s war are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Rumsfeld should be buried in Iraq.

When Rumsfeld was the envoy to the Middle East in the Reagan administration, he shook Saddam’s hand while promising to help him defeat Iran. Rumsfeld had zero issues with Saddam’s human rights abuses or the fact he was a dictator. At that time, he was our dictator. Rumsfeld proved the war with Iraq that he helped initiate and implement decades later had nothing to do with freedom, democracy, human rights, or any principles. It was just geopolitics. If Iraq didn’t have oil, we never would have gone there. We wouldn’t have even cared in the early 90s when Iraq invaded Kuwait. In that instance, we were saving a dictatorship from a dictatorship.

It’s been reported that Rumsfeld was building an argument to attack Iraq within six hours of the planes flying into the World Trade Center. He later argued there was an alliance between Iraq and al Qaida. There was not.

Rumsfeld argued Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. They did not. He said, “Simply because you do not have evidence that something exists does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn’t exist.” We did not invade to find evidence it didn’t exist. We did not invade to prove a negative.

Rumsfeld said he even knew where those weapons were. Since they didn’t exist, he did not. January 20, 2003, Rumsfeld said, “His regime has large, unaccounted for stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, including VX, sarin, mustard gas, anthrax, botulism and possibly smallpox. And he has an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons.” But we never found those weapons and Saddam NEVER had a program to acquire or develop nuclear weapons that anyone could take seriously.

When U.N. inspectors, which the U.S. demanded and Iraq allowed, failed to find such weapons, Rumsfeld invaded anyway, probably because not having proof didn’t mean there wasn’t proof…or some Rumsfeldian shit like that.

Rumsfeld was also a huge advocate for our interrogation program that he and Dick Cheney liked to call, “Enhanced interrogation techniques.” Another word for that is torture. It was torture.

On November 14, 2002, Rumsfeld said, “The Gulf War in the 1990s lasted five days on the ground. I can’t tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks or five months. But it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that.” It lasted over a decade. Cheney said we’d be greeted a liberators. Instead, Iraq gave American-hating insurgents a place to kill Americans. It was very convenient for them.

After the invasion in April, 2003, when asked about the lawlessness running rampant through Baghdad after U.S. troops captured the Iraqi capital, Rumsfeld said, “Stuff happens.” He went on to Rumsplain it as, “It’s untidy, and freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.” Wait. Free people are free to commit crimes? What exactly were we fighting for? Based on that logic, free people are free to hijack and fly airplanes into tall buildings.

Arguing for the war in 2002, Rumsfeld said, “As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” What is known now is our invasion was based on a word salad.

Rumsfeld also said, “I don’t do quagmires,” which is ironic because the quagmire that was Iraq is his legacy.

When asked about the deaths from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Rumsfeld said, “Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.” Yeah, why can’t we talk about wars without focusing on all the dead people? Can’t we talk about World War II without bringing up the Holocaust? Sheesh! So depressing.

Looking back at all those unfortunate, and unnecessary, deaths from a war Rumsfeld started based on total lies and bullshit can be very depressing.

But the one death that does not depress me is Rumsfeld’s.

On another note: Rumsfeld loved political cartoons. Mike Luckovich, the Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, visited the Pentagon and was challenged to a push-up contest by Rumsfeld, which Luckovich lost. After Rumsfeld’s death, other cartoonists reported incidents, with great fondness, about Rumsfeld requesting cartoons from them…and that they obliged.

I don’t play with politicians and I’m disappointed so many of my colleagues played with Rumsfeld. We cover those people. We don’t patronize them. If Rumsfeld requested a cartoon from you, that is a very notable achievement that he took note of your cartoon…but what I would have been prouder of would be telling Rumsfeld to stick it up his ass. I’m sorry so many missed that opportunity.

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Trump Wags The Dog


cjones01052020

First thing: Don’t let anyone say questions shouldn’t be asked right now. This morning on CNN, I heard one analyst say Senator Chris Murphy should “shut up” with his criticism of this attack on an Iranian government official. Wrong. Now is the time to ask questions. It’s important. Being told to shut up and go along was exactly what they said in the buildup to the invasion of Iraq.

Another reminder of the invasion of Iraq: This morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this move will be celebrated in Iraq and Iran. That’s reminiscent of the claim by Dick Cheney that we’d be “greeted as liberators.”

Now, when they come out with bold claims like that, it means there’s something wrong. It’s when I smell bullshit. The first thing wrong with this is that it was a decision made by Donald Trump. Any decision by Donald Trump should be questioned. The man is irrational, stupid, and has never had preparations for after. This was a decision made between rounds of golf at Mar-a-Lago.

Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, one of the top figures in Iran’s government. The hit occurred in Iraq at the international airport in Baghdad. This was an assassination of a foreign official on the soil of a third nation. Whenever anyone talks about Iran’s proxy wars today, keep that in mind.

Here’s the thing, kids: Assassinating a foreign official is illegal. It’s illegal in the U.S. and internationally. The only way Trump has the authority to do this is if there was indeed an imminent threat that would be eliminated by this guy’s murder. This may be why the Trump administration doesn’t want questions asked. We know one thing and that is Donald Trump is not above abusing presidential authority and breaking the law.

Soleimani was a bad guy. This is not a defense of him. U.S. intelligence (the same intelligence Republicans call “deep state” and have accused of masterminding a coup against Trump) has blamed the general for the deaths of at least 600 Americans. The George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations considered him a terrorist, but they held back on taking the guy out. Now, you can’t say Trump is more decisive in taking him out because it took him three years.

This morning, Pompeo claimed Soleimani initiated an attack on Washington, D.C. in the past that never materialized or was thwarted. If that’s true, then why wasn’t that the time to take him out? Why now? Because there was a protest at our embassy in Iraq or because there were massive revelations on the same day that Donald Trump directed the withholding of military aid to Ukraine? What we saw yesterday was more evidence that Donald Trump and his Attorney General, William Barr, engaged in a coverup.

If there was an imminent attack on American lives, then the administration needs to provide the details. Pompeo claimed this assassination saved American lives and that the region is safer today for Americans…all while the U.S. government is screaming for Americans to get out of Iraq. All while the world is warning of a reprisal attack from Iran. How exactly has this made anyone safer?

Donald Trump did not consult with the Gang of Eight before this attack, which are the leaders of The House and Senate. But, he had time to talk to Senator Lindsey Graham about it Monday in a golf cart. That doesn’t add up.

The Trump administration saw an opportunity to kill this guy and they took it. They’ve had opportunities before, so why now? There have been constant attacks against Americans in Iraq, so why now?

Now, we’re hearing very little talk about impeachment. The irony is, this may be another reason to impeach.

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Tool For Terrorists


cjones12082015

I think how much fun it will be as a cartoonist for Trump to win his party’s nomination. While I make fun of Trump, the situation is starting to lose its humor. The leading candidate for one of America’s two political parties is laying out a platform of xenophobia. This is 2015. Not 1933 Germany.

There’s a lot of stupid people out there. If you disagree with me on issues like abortion, gun control, race relations, etc, that doesn’t mean I think you’re stupid (you’re just wrong). If you’re supporting Trump, you’re either an idiot or a full blown racist.

It is amazing how people are not shy about their racism and bigotry. Just go on social media. Of course they don’t think they’re terrible people. Hey, David Duke doesn’t think he’s a racist.

Donald Trump is a terrible person. His bankruptcies never hurt him. They hurt the people who invested in him. The only immigration he’s in favor of is when it’s time to shop for a new wife. His plan for programs he doesn’t like is to replace them with “something better.” He kicked off his campaign insulting Hispanics and then proceeded to insult women, gays, African Americans, Muslims, etc.

Now he is saying we should shut down all mosques, enter all Muslims into a database, and not allow any Muslims to enter the country. None. Not refugees, not students, not people on vacation, not even American Muslims returning to the country. That sounds like a lot of work. I’m surprised he isn’t suggesting to throw them into concentration camps. He can have Mexico pay for it.

Obama says the West is not at war with Islam. Donald Trump and many others apparently disagrees. This is what the terrorists want. They want us to be at war with their religion. It’s what they sell. It’s what they use to recruit. Can you lie and get people to believe in it? Yes. It works for Republicans too. All of the Republican candidates have provided ISIL with recruiting material. Donald Trump is their headliner. Every time Donald Trump talks, he’s hurting America.

Trump’s bad idea is so bad that Sith Lord Dick Cheney and the last human you ever want to be stuck in an elevator with, Ted Cruz, both bad idea architects, think it’s a bad idea. It’s so bad that no other Republican candidate likes it. It’s like a turd cake with a crispy turd frosting with a creamy turd filling. It really stinks. A lot of Republicans however are eating it up and asking for seconds.

A lot of conservatives say Obama is an embarrassment to America. That other countries are laughing at us. They’re half right. They’re laughing at us all right but not because of Obama. They’re laughing at the lunacy that is the Republican slate of candidates.

I often challenge people to prove to me how dumb they are. With Trump they’re accepting that challenge. I hope it doesn’t burn me in November. Trump starts with Muslims, then he’ll go after Hispanics, then blacks, then gays, and then any dissent. Yikes!

Why did I use “ISIL” instead of “ISIS?” I was wondering how I should refer to them. Both are correct in the right context. ISIS is the terrorist movement in Iraq and Syria. ISIL refers to the movement worldwide, specifically the Middle East and Africa. So I went with ISIL in this cartoon.

A lot of people are upset Obama used “ISIL” in his Oval Office Address. He was correct in the context he was using. Again, people are mocking the president for being smarter than them. Stupid intellectuals.

Obama’s Afghanistan


cjones10172015

On Thursday Obama officially gave up ending the war in Afghanistan. It was something he vowed to do before he was elected. This has to be a huge disappointment for the president.

Despite killing Osama bin Laden and other terrorists, mostly through the controversial drone program, most people (not just Republicans) give the president low marks in foreign policy. I think the president realized people are going to remember Iraq and Afghanistan more than his other foreign policy endeavors.

The bad part is Iraq and Afghanistan were inherited from the previous administration. Hopefully it won’t be leftover again after the next. I also hope the candidates vying for the job will start talking about Afghanistan.

I know it’s a bold prediction drawing the future administration here. But I believe that if Malia becomes president she’ll have the same color drapes in the Oval Office as her father.

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ISIS Brutality


cjones08202014

A lot of people are not going to like this cartoon.  That’s OK.  Honestly I don’t like it that much either.  I didn’t want to ignore this story and knew I couldn’t draw a cartoon on it with my usual humorous take.

I’ve been threatened before.  I’ve had letters, emails and blog comments threatening to beat me up, slash my tires, kill my dog and kill me.  I had a member of the Nation Of Islam write my editor to tell me God was going to take me out soon.  When I was a photographer I once had a state trooper in Mississippi threaten to arrest me for taking photos at crash site.  Usually I’m working from the safety of a drawing board and most threats for a cartoonist are laughed off.  

This week I’ve drawn two cartoons on journalists facing threats while doing their job.  I’ve actually drawn two in a row.  From the safety of a drawing board I can’t imagine the Hell and fear journalist James Foley went through…as well as others.

I know it’s another culture.  They don’t understand the way of life in the West.  But ISIS surely knows terror won’t sway U.S. policy.  Killing Foley will incite more action from the U.S. military.  Since they know that then killing Foley isn’t a strategic option…it’s just sheer brutality.