Putin At War

Putin Them Out The Window


cjones03262017

People who oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin have a tendency to wind up dead, or seriously hurt. Maybe they’re just clumsy and naturally fall out of fourth story windows.

First off, the guy’s got the same name as “Vlad The Impaler,” the psychopath who was the inspiration for Dracula.

Putin hasn’t impaled anyone on spikes or bitten anyone on the neck yet, as far as we know, but many do turn up dead. Or maybe in Russia, they’re deadniks.

Denis Voronenkov, a critic of Putin who sought asylum in the Ukraine was shot dead in broad daylight Thursday in Kiev.

Boris Nemtsov (of course one of these guys would be named “Boris”) led massive rallies against Putin in Moscow. He was arrested several times until he was finally shot four times in the back, outside the Kremlin, in 2015. The killer remains at large.

Boris Berezovsky (OK. Maybe they’re all named “Boris”) was found dead inside a locked bathroom at his home in the United Kingdom, a noose around his neck, in what was at first deemed a suicide. Later the coroner couldn’t determine the cause of death. Berezovsky had accused the Putin government of poisoning another critic.

That critic was Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned in 2009. He was a former intelligent agent who turned whistle blower. Ain’t blowing no whistles no more.

Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova were both shot outside the Kremlin in 2009. Markelov was a human rights lawyer known for representing Chechen civilians in human rights cases again the Russian military. Baburova was a journalist. The government blamed Nazis but I don’t think Steve Bannon was even in the country at the time.

Markelov represented Anna Politkovskaya, who was a journalist who had written articles critical of Putin. She was killed in 2006.

Sergei Magnitsky was a lawyer who was beaten to death in prison in 2009.

Natalya Estemirova, another journalist, who investigated abductions and murders that had become commonplace in Chechnya. She was kidnapped, shot several times, once at point-blank-range to the head, and her body dumped in the woods. They never caught the bad guys.

Anna Politkovskaya was another reporter and had written a book titled “Putin’s Russia” which accused him of turning Russia into a police state. She was shot in an elevator in her apartment building.

Sergei Yushenkov had just registered an opposition party when he was gunned down outside his home in Moscow in 2003.

Yuri Shchekochikhin was a journalist covering crime and corruption. He died of “mysterious” causes in 2003. His medical documents were deemed classified by Russian authorities.

Let’s not forget the feminist punk band Pussy Riot. Three members of the group were sent to prison on charges of “hooliganism” after performing songs critical of Putin and accusing him of being a dictator. That would be the equivalent of George W. Bush throwing Green Day in prison for their album “American Idiot.” But this is America. Prison here is having to listen to Green Day.

Just about every Russian connected to the hacking story has fled the United States and are safely, supposedly, back in Russia. You have to remember, Putin has a style of leadership Donald Trump has expressed admiration for.

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Rendezvous In Aleppo


cjones12172016

David Low was a brilliant political cartoonist from New Zealand. He started his career in his native country, moved to Australia and cemented his place in history working in England. His career spanned from 1910 to 1953. While American cartoonists were drawing humorless cartoons of FDR with his big, strong hands on the stern of a ship navigating through choppy waters with a determined and focused look on his face, Low was using wit to humiliate Francisco Franco, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, and Adolph Hitler.

Hitler, who was a failed artist, could appreciate the power of a political cartoon. Hitler went a step farther than Boss Tweed did in the 1870s who tried to buy off political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Hitler wanted Low killed.

In 1937 Hitler’s propagandist Joseph Goebbels told the British foreign minister Lord Halifax that Low’s cartoons were damaging Anglo-German relations. After the war it was discovered that Low had made The Black Book, which was a list of everyone the Nazis wanted to arrest if they had successfully invaded Great Britain.

On September 20, 1939 the Evening Standard published Low’s most famous cartoon, “Rendezvous.” It depicted Hitler and Stalin greeting each other politely during their joint invasion of Poland. That’s the cartoon I’m taking a turn with here. It’s my homage to Mr. Low.

Low’s work would fit in with today’s political cartoonists with his use of humor and satire. The British were always years ahead of us in wit, sarcasm, humor, and even cursing. Seriously, the English knack for creating new insults is on an entirely different level than ours. Example: That Donald Trump bastard is a real tosser.

This cartoon was a little difficult to draw as I was attempting to insert some of Low’s style and he’s also a much better artist than I am. What makes me geek out a bit is that while Low was fighting fascism in 1939 using pencil and charcoal, I’m doing the same today drawing on a digital platform. I won’t ever be as famous as Low or make as much of an impact, but while our work is separated by over 70 years, technology, and a vastly different state of newspaper journalism (newspapers were constantly in bidding wars for Low’s services, even moving him from a different continent and hemisphere. I’m lucky editors know my name), we’re doing the exact same thing. His fascists were Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, and Stalin. My fascist are Vladimir Putin, Bashar Assad, and Donald Trump. I’ll also include all the Nazi tossers supporting that last one.

David Low stuck around for a long time after his fascist were gone. I intend to do the same after mine are vanquished also. I like to think that David Low is somewhere traveling through the galaxies or doing whatever it is dead people do, and he is seeing my spin on his cartoon and saying “Hey, Yank. Go write your own cartoons!”. I’ll return to that tomorrow as trying to emulate David Low is really hard.

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, etc.. The starving cartoonist it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!