I didn’t start drawing and studying editorial cartoons consistently until my senior year in college. However, I did draw a few cartoons on Iraq when I was researching Blackwater and military contractors in high school. I drew these before I knew anything about editorial cartoons, and while they are filled with mistakes and questionable decisions (it looks like I labeled a curb “Iraq”), it was my interest in the topic that got me into political cartoons.
One of my first editorial cartoons was a single panel criticism of Russia’s blatant support for the Assad regime, which had already begun massacring the Syrian opposition. Two years later, I think it’s also appropriate to criticize U.S. policy, which is supporting moderate elements of the opposition in a hesitant and limited manner. The CIA-administered support, which includes non-military aid as well as small arms, and recently, a number of anti-tank weapons, has helped sustain the opposition against the Syrian army without tipping the balance in the opposers’ favor. If one believes in both the competency and cruelty of U.S. foreign policy, this strategy could be interpreted as a deliberate attempt to subject each side to the slow, bloody death of a civil-war stalemate, with hopes of some negotiated settlement down the line. However, the U.S.’s limited intervention could simply be a clumsy and risk-averse policy meant to create the illusion of “helping,” while inadvertently prolonging the conflict and allowing more lives to be lost on both sides.
No editorial cartoon this week, but I did do an illustration for a piece by Lisa DeBenedictis on Gun Control over at The Gabbler. Check it out!
The following National Rifle Association memo was accidentally forwarded to The Gabbler by Sarah Palin. (Thanks, Sarah!) It outlines why Georgia’s new law, the Safe Carry Protection Act - which allows people the right to carry guns in public buildings such as schools, churches, and restaurants – is an ideal model for gun laws throughout the United States. Lock and load, bitches.