Thursday, February 02, 2006

I hear there’s uproar on the Internets

Over this:

Seems that the wingnuttosphere is aghast that Washington Post editorial cartoonist Tom Toles would demean our troops in such a callous way.

It started with a rare and unusual letter to the Post from the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff, which read in part:

“We believe you and Mr. Toles have done a disservice to your readers and your paper's reputation by using such a callous depiction of those who have volunteered to defend this nation, and as a result, have suffered traumatic and life-altering wounds. ... As the Joint Chiefs, it is rare that we all put our hand to one letter, but we cannot let this reprehensible cartoon go unanswered."

That was followed by a great post by John Aravosis of AmericaBlog, which included this:

"Now that the Joint Chiefs have addressed the insidious threat cartoons pose to our troops, perhaps they can move on to less pressing issues like getting them their damn body armor."

Which was then followed by the Post’s own defense of the cartoon by Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt:

"While I certainly can understand the strong feelings, I took it to be a cartoon about the state of the Army and not one intended to demean wounded soldiers."

And by Toles himself after recent remarks by Rumsfeld about "battle-hardened" troops

"…what came soon to mind was the catastrophic level of injuries the Army and members of the armed services have sustained . . . I thought my portrayal of it was a fair depiction of the reality of the situation. I certainly never intended it to be in any way a personal attack on, or a derogatory comment on, the service or sacrifice of American soldiers. I think it's a little bit unfair in their (the Joint Chiefs’) reading of the cartoon to imply that is what it's about."

But the wingnuts are all a titter, claiming the cartoon embodies the left’s lack of support for the troops. Aravosis posted some of the hate mail he has received, including this from a man purporting to be a retired Marine :

“In reference to your recent above have no idea
what the hell you are talking about! Once you wake up from your
stupor and grow in maturity maybe then you will start to gain
some real perspective about what is going on in Iraq/Afghanistan
and how one successfully fights a war. Until then, I strongly
suggest you keep your inane, arrogant comments to yourself!”

I gotta tell ya, it was perfectly clear to me that Toles was being critical not of the soldiers but of Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon’s mismanagement of the war in Iraq. Somehow that mutated in the minds of the tinfoil-hat crowd as liberals being anti-soldier.

Hey nutjobs: highlighting and criticizing the DOD’s tactics in prosecuting the war in a way that puts soldiers at greater risk – e.g. by not equipping them with enough body armor – is a much more effective way to support the troops than by putting a $2 magnetic ribbon on your pick-up truck.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

totally there with you on this one

12:42 PM  
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9:39 PM  

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