Monday, August 29, 2005

Ted Rall is asking for trouble with "Terror Moms"

In his August 27 cartoon, Ted Rall is really asking for it. He did the something similar in late 2001 when he drew his famous "Terror Widows" cartoon. It was about women who lost their husbands in the World Trade Center attacks using the tragedy to cash in on the talk circuit. There was a terrible revanche, and conservatives everywhere were cursing Rall's name over this. I saw Tom Tomorrow speak in 2003, and he said he'd told his friend at the time, "Aw, jeez, Ted, not the widows..." I have to agree, too: it seems there might have been a couple of September 11 widows who might have been gratuitously exploiting the tragedy, but it didn't seem like that much of a problem. It seems that Rall, on that issue, brought out blasting caps where a hammer and chisel would have sufficed.

But this time, I pretty much agree with him. I'm all for protesting the war, and I'm all for demanding of Bush an explanation of what's going on and what he plans to do about this fiasco, but for Cindy Sheehan to demand that Bush meet with her—again—to discuss her dead son is over the top.

It's not that I don't feel for her; no parent should have to bury their child. However, the thrust of Sheehan's argument seems to be that unless you or someone you love is in the line of fire in Iraq—or in a body bag in the Walter Reade morgue—you have no right to an opinion on the matter. That's what Rall's new cartoon exposes in its last panel, and that's what really makes it for me.

On the other hand, the whole "Camp Casey" brouhaha probably wouldn't have happened if it weren't centered around a dead soldier. If Cindy Sheehan had headed down to Crawford and established her camp while her son were still alive—or if he hadn't gone to Iraq at all—the media wouldn't have cared as much, and she certainly wouldn't have drawn as many sympathizers. The media would have probably ignored a protest like this near Bush's faux ranch, and we'd never hear word one about it. And further, this is giving us a chance to see just how noxious many of the passionate Bush supporters really are.

Yeah, I'm still upset that there wasn't enough of an uproar before the war, when Bush was playing on emotions and lying to the populace. I'm still upset that people were more complacent about this largely because it looked to some that this thing would be quick and that we'd win anyway. But the damage is done, and if a few more nerves are rubbed raw by Cindy Sheehan, well, that's all the better. I just wish there'd be more emphasis on Bush's dishonest war policy and less on the non-issue of why Bush won't meet with her for a one-on-one about her son who died for... for... um, why are they over there again?

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