Putin Pulls Out


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


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


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Who’s Violent?


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?

Rejected Refugees


It seems apparent that one of the terrorists who attacked Paris sneaked in with Syrian refugees. Whether the passport he used is fake or not doesn’t seem relevant as the Greek government took his fingerprints as he came across their border.

Republicans didn’t need to know that to freak out. They tend to be xenophobic on any given day. Jeb Bush says we should only take in Christian refugees and deny Muslims. Nothing like a dash of Islamophobia to go with your xenophobia.

Twenty six (as of this blogging) Republican governors have declared their states will not take in any Syrian refugees. Never mind the fact they don’t have the authority to do that. You would think that out of 26 people capable of being elected governor of a U.S. state, at least one would have some sort of concept of the law, or at least look into it before spouting off.

If the U.S. takes in refugees it will only be about 10,000, which isn’t many compared to the numbers fleeing the civil war in Syria. These people forget that white people born and corn fed here in the good ole U.S. of A. pose a greater danger than any number of refugees ever will. ISIS couldn’t kill as many Americans as Americans can. We’re good about that.

These refugees are not terrorists. They’re fleeing terrorists. They will be vetted better than most immigrants who come here, and hopefully with a better vetting process than Jeb Bush is offering (do you accept Jesus?). Speaking of immigrants who come here, everyone complaining is a descendant of immigrants and refugees.

Here’s another pesky fact: Under the Refugee Act of 1980, the president may admit refugees who face “persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion” into the United States, and the president’s power to do so is particularly robust if they determine that an “unforeseen emergency refugee situation.” Guess who fits that description? No. Not Alabama liberals. Syrian refugees.

In fact their situation is so bad, they will probably think Arkansas and Oklahoma are improvements upon their current situation.

These governors can prevent refugees from benefiting from state services. Since these guys are Republicans are grandstanders I think they should just assure us that no state services will pay for Syrian refugee abortions.

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Boots On The Ground


Obama has stated 16 times that the United States would not put “boots on the ground” in Syria. In each of those 16 times he used the term “boots on the ground.” Now they’re putting boots on the ground while stating it’s not actually boots on the ground.

That’s going to take a lot of explaining.

Whose Quagmire Is It Anyway?


Does everyone in the United States have short memories? It was just a couple years ago Obama had  a serious hankering to start bombing Syrian troops. Public opposition derailed his plans and today we’re yelling at him for not doing anything. We are a fickle people.

Donald Trump thinks it’s a good thing Putin’s Russia is in Syria. I would agree with him if Putin wasn’t using the guise of fighting terrorism to actually fight those who oppose a brutal dictator. Putin’s venture into Syria doesn’t have anything to do with fighting terrorism and is only a venture to stabilize Assad.

We’re going to take as much action on Putin in Syria as we did with Putin in Ukraine, or Putin in Georgia (not the Georgia Jimmy Carter’s from).

Here in the United States, nobody has an answer for Syria. All we have is criticism. Criticism isn’t all bad, unless it’s all you got…and you’re a political cartoonist.

I also find it bizarre that conservatives seem to be idolizing Putin, take him at his word and state that he’s so honest. Admire a Russian strongman who’s overcompensating for something while you create lies about your American president. Such patriotism. Maybe Putin reminds them of Bush and they can see his soul.

I was wondering what an actual “Quagmire” would look like, other than quicksand. When I did a Google Image search, I got this.

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ISIS Brutality


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.