The Art of Politics

by Bene Diction on October 31, 2005


It took editorial cartoonist Mike Luckovich 13 hours to draw this.
I respect The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for running it.
I respect them for offering it in a download for a closer look.
And I respect them for opening up the comment section.

The reaction has been predictable.
There are people who have commented thoughtfully.
Mostly the comment section is a sewer of anger, from people addicted to reacting.
It’s impossible to wade through the comments without feeling dragged down.

But it is important.
Editorial art, is a form of the medium that is there to invoke response.
And this is a piece is doing just that - invoking both response and reaction.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }


Mark Byron 10.31.05 at 10:58 pm

The answer to the question is “to try and give Iraq a decent government.”

It’s probably not the answer Luckovich is after, and that’s likely why less-kind folks on the hawkish side gave him both rhetorical barrels.

It is a fair question that deserves a fair answer, but the way it’s presented (especially in the context of the anti-Iraq-war folks playing up the 2K milestone) riled some folks up.


Bene D 10.31.05 at 11:13 pm

Maybe the question isn’t literal.

I didn’t answer it in my head. An artist took 13 hours to write the name of every US military person that has died in this war and put it into a form of art.

I find that sobering, stunning; but not necessarily a question that needs an answer.

I would think the same thing if a UK artist did the same with the names of UK military personnel, or Iraqi…


Richard 11.01.05 at 12:30 am

It’s a powerful piece, but a complex question. I’m sure that “to try and give Iraq a decent government” is genuinely part of the answer. But not the biggest part — by no means the biggest part. “Strategic interests” would be the shortest form of the answer I reckon.


J 11.01.05 at 2:43 am

It’s the sort of rhetorical question journalists seem to think is clever. The question is why…


John 11.01.05 at 3:45 am

This is why.

Or would you prefer to blame Bush somehow?

Admin comments: Following this link leads to a very disturbing image


Richard 11.01.05 at 8:18 am

War in Iraq because of Islamic militancy in Indonesia?? That would make sense.


FP 11.01.05 at 12:52 pm

Sorry, Mark, but the idea that we went to war when we did in the way we did because we wanted to give Iraq a decent government is quite simply a crock. That was never once offered as a reason in the US before the war–it was all mushroom clouds and WMD’s–and if anyone challenged that official view, it was a scorched earth policy of attacking them and even their families.

Republican security wise man Brent Scowcroft writes in the latest New Yorker of a small inner group in the White House that was determined to go to war against Iraq, whatever the facts. He bravely spoke up against their agenda, and has been frozen out ever since. The real answer to WHY? is because this group of arrogant know-it-alls would not listen to the wisdom of people like Scowcroft within the US, and the wisdom of nearly the entire world but for this small group of lying leaders in the US and the UK. Why, indeed.



John 11.01.05 at 1:36 pm

It’s the same ideology: militant, fundamentalist Islam.

The same awful, evil events take place in Iraq on occasion. We’re working to reduce that number.

And then we’ll move onto the next country.


John 11.02.05 at 4:20 am

Richard, I find it rather interesting that you find it necessary to add a warning to my link, which is just a picture of the work of adherents of the Religion of Peace, who are no doubt protesting Abu Graib. By chopping off the heads of little girls.


Richard 11.02.05 at 10:23 am

I was a bit surprised you didn’t offer such a warning yourself, John. It was a very disturbing image.
I don’t know how to respond to your last comment. Do you know anything at all about the recent history of ethnic and religious conflict in Indonesia? If you do, you’ll know it has precisely nothing to do with Abu Graib. If you don’t, perhaps you should read up on it.

When you said “It’s the same ideology: militant fundamentalist Islam” you didn’t have the very secular dictator Saddam Hussein in mind, did you? To suggest that his regime was Islamic is just preposterous.


John 11.02.05 at 2:43 pm

The terrorists in Iraq who are resisting Mr. Hussein’s replacement appear to disagree with you.

Yes, it is a very disturbing image. That was the point. You asked why, and I replied pictoraly.

But as you say, it was not about Abu Ghraib. I’m glad that you now recognize Islam (in its present form) as the sociopathic evil that it is.


Richard 11.02.05 at 5:11 pm

Just stating the obvious, I don’t in any way recognise Islam a sociopathic evil. I recognise sociopathic evil, of course, and beheading children is most definitely that. But demonising and villifying Islam is part of the problem, not the solution.
If the war in Iraq was against Islamic militancy as you seem to be claiming, it was a bizarre place to start. Islamic militancy has risen in Iraq because of the war. The truth is that there was unfinished business with Saddam after the first Gulf War and there was post-9/11 ass to be kicked. That Saddam had nohing to do with 9/11 was beside the point.

And I think that linking that image without a warming was irresponsible, frankly.

I have to go…


Bene D 11.02.05 at 5:15 pm

Richard, please accept my apology for posting this.
I see this editorial art as a paper cenitaph.
I believe I was clear in the post literalism would be a part of response.
If nothing else, I had hoped for civility in discussion.

I put this post up John, not Richard.
I would like to ask you a question I have asked you before, and would appreciate it if you would extend us the courtesy of a response.

Who do you see us as, here at connexions?
Who are we to you?

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