Syria

That Man Is Low


cjones04082017

Donald Trump usually has a soft spot for human monsters. Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, Bill O’Reilly, etc. It must have really irked him to have to say something negative about Assad.

The only statements Trump has ever issued concerning Syria is that we needed to stay out of Syria. He’s sent dozens of tweets over the past few years saying as much. He’s criticized Obama for wanting to go into Syria. After Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad implemented a chemical attack Tuesday that killed dozens of people, including children, Trump criticized Obama for not doing more with Syria. Huh? Oh yeah. This is Donald Trump. The guy who didn’t support the Iraq war though he’s on tape saying we should go into Iraq.

Trump also criticized Assad, sort of. He said “My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.” This isn’t the first time Assad has gassed his own people. What was Trump’s attitude in 2013? It was probably indifference since just a few days ago Trump said it would be “silly” to persist in trying to oust Assad. Of course Trump didn’t have any comments or criticism toward his hero, Vladimir Putin, whose involvement in Syria is solely responsible for retaining Assad’s bloody grip on power.

Trump and many others criticized Obama for having an imaginary “red line” in Syria. Trump issued an even weaker statement by saying it crossed a lot of lines for him. At a press conference with the king of Jordan Trump said “I’m not saying I’m doing anything one way or the other, but I’m certainly not going to be telling you.” I’m sure if he tells anyone it’ll be Putin, or it will be more like Putin tells him.

To discover Assad is an evil person is about as surprising as the announcement from 1970s wimpy-music star Barry Manilow that he’s gay. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? It’s like that scene from the first Austin Powers movie where he watches history tapes of everything he’s missed over the past 30 years and his biggest shock is that Liberace is gay. Berlin Wall crumbled but that Liberace news is heavy.

I don’t want to play into stereotypes, but it’s not really one to know Manilow is gay. Like Elton John’s coming out decades ago, or Anderson Cooper a couple years ago, the only news about it is that it’s news. It’s kinda like when Bob Hope died and you were shocked that he wasn’t already dead. I thought Manilow had been “out.” In fact, I don’t think it’s ever news anymore that anyone is gay. I don’t think it changed how anyone looked at Neil Patrick Harris who continued to play a womanizing psychopath, and scored other roles playing heterosexuals. Gay or straight, he’s just a great actor.

There’s a lot of new news for Donald Trump that’s not news to anyone else. Assad is a bad man. Governing is hard. Healthcare is complicated. Donald Trump is a moron and uniquely unqualified to serve as president.

Duh!

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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.

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Extreme Vetting


cjones08192016

I was heartbroken when I saw the images of the child pulled from the rubble after a Russian/Syrian airstrike. Drawing the child’s face made me even sadder.

Anyone who supports Donald Trump for president needs to find their soul. If they have one.

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Putin Pulls Out


cjones03152016

Russian president Vladimir Putin surprised the world today by announcing he’s pulling his nation’s troops out of Syria.

Russia entered the Syrian civil war under the guise of fighting ISIS, and they had good reason after ISIS took down a Russian airliner. But it was ruse as Putin’s army spent most of their time fighting rebels attempting to destroy Syrian president Bashar Assad’s reign of terror.

Putin is declaring “mission accomplished” and claims the terrorists are on the run. Though he’s pulling out the majority of his force there will still be an air presence and of course Russia still maintains a naval base in Syria, which it has since the early 1990’s. They can still drop bombs in Syria anytime they want.

While Putin claims he was fighting terrorists, he spent most of his time bombing schools, markets, and hospitals and then claimed they didn’t exist. Well, they didn’t after he bombed them. Guess who’s still there? ISIS.

So why is Russia pulling out? First, they could be lying. They claim they’re not in Ukraine but they are. The real reason is probably that Putin has achieved his goal and that’s a seat at the peace talks and stability in his relationship with Assad. Syria is a stalemate and will probably stay that way for years. That’s good enough for Russia as they can maintain their bases in the Mediterranean, and Syria is their only source for that. After helping Assad for six months Putin’s influence with Assad is greatly influenced.

Let’s not forget that Donald Trump isn’t the only conservative who admires Vladimir Putin. Other Republicans, like Sarah Palin, have mentioned how he’s a “real leader” unlike our own president. Nice!

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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.

Dangerous Syrians


cjones11252015

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Who’s Violent?


cjones11182015

It’s hard to draw a cartoon on something that’s already a cartoon. A state legislature in Texas, who’s a gun advocate and has an A plus rating from the NRA, says we shouldn’t allow refugees into this country because guns are so easy to buy here. You can’t make up this kind of irony.

That’s a new one in the argument against allowing Syrian refugees into this country. It falls into line with conservatives saying we can’t afford benefits for the refugees. Conservatives are fighting against benefits to poor people, minorities and women who have been born here. It’s also a little bizarre that the pro-life crowd cares about a fetus, but not a child fleeing a civil war…but then again, they also don’t care about American children shot in their classrooms. Conservatives are cowards.

Back to the argument about terrorist sneaking in with refugees:

In fact, over 2,000 on the terrorist watch list has legally purchased a gun in the past decade. You can thank the NRA for that.

Your odds of being killed in a terrorist attack is one in 20 million. Meanwhile, everyday in the United States 33 people are killed by guns. Since 1968, more Americans have died from guns than all of our wars combined. In 2010, 2.694 young Americans were killed by guns including 1,773 victims of homicide, and 67 elementary school-aged children. You’re really worried about being killed by a refugee? You have better odds of being killed by your neighbor in a lawnmower dispute.

Conservatives like to point out that the Boston Bombing Brothers were refugees. Not true. Their family sought asylum after arriving in the U.S. on tourist visas. The brothers were children at the time. Does that mean nobody should be allowed entry into this country?

If a Muslim shoots someone in this country there are immediate fears of terrorism. If a black man kills a white man we look for gang violence. If a white guy shoots up a church we wonder where did that boy go wrong. The odds are that if you’re murdered the perpetrator will be a member of your own race.

Now don’t you feel like you need to stop worrying about Syrian refugees and return your neighbor’s lawnmower?