Repelling Child Refugees

Domestic, International

Repelling Child Refugees

 

Recommended Reading:

Guatemalans Aren’t Just Fleeing Gangs by Saul Elbein for the New Republic

The Process Congress Wants to Use For Child Migrants is a Disaster by Dara Lind for Vox

Arizona Politician Mistakes Bus Full of YMCA Kids For Undocumented Immigrants by Abby Phillip for The Washington Post

 

High School Cartoons on Iraq (2008)

Domestic, International

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.

The Harm of Limited Intervention in Syria

International, Writing

U.S. Intervention in Syria Cartoon

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.

The Middle East’s Erasable Lines

International

Middle East Borders

Given the European interests they were based on, it’s amazing that the Middle East’s borders have survived this long. With the institutions of government in Iraq and Syria failing to maintain legitimacy with their people, the central authorities appear to become just another organized armed group in the region’s chaotic power struggle. While re-drawing the map isn’t currently being discussed,  the inability of the Iraqi and Syrian central governments to control their official territory demonstrates just how unsubstantiated these antiquated and foreign boundaries really are.

You Are Registered As A Participant In A Mass Disturbance

Domestic, International

Ukraine Protests Kiev

 

Protesters in Kiev, Ukraine recently received an ominous text message based on their proximity to the ongoing demonstrations in the center of the city. It’s easy to feel like technology is helping citizens organize and protest against the government until you receive a targeted text message reminding you that the government is watching your every move. While this cartoon is inspired by the events in Ukraine,  it can be applied much more generally to protest and dissent in any country, as mass surveillance technologies like facial recognition continue to develop and become ubiquitous.

 

2014 will be like 2013

Domestic, International, Uncategorized, Writing

The unsolved problems that have dominated the national discourse this year will only intensify as we make our way into another election year.

2013 was the first year that I kept a consistent schedule, working with The Gabbler’s editors to pitch ideas and angles for cartoons. Again and again, I found myself focusing on certain themes: the intimate relationship between moneyed interests and the government; technology and the perpetually-multiplying powers of the executive branch; and political events that are shaping the direction of the world.

The closeness between the government and moneyed interests is clearly on display in the legal treatment of banks for their far-reaching crimes. My first cartoon this year – an admittedly conventional and unimpressive illustration of an unidentified character shouting at the DOJ’s Lanny Breuer and an oversized personification of HSBC – was a reaction to small fines for heinous money laundering practices. This topic came up again in October, when J.P. Morgan Chase and their acquisitions WaMu and Bear Sternes also avoided criminal charges for recklessly tanking the economy.

This theme will likely be even more pronounced in 2014, as corporations continue to shape our government by blatantly using massive amounts of money to choose who gets elected, and the gap between the rich and poor widens.