The Odious Ted Rall

Ted Rall, self-styled ‘patriot’, always eager to ‘support the troops!

By defaming them:

Like a genital Herpes virus that lies dormant for a spell before reasserting itself at awkward moments in an outbreak of ragged penile lesions or vaginal discharge, cartoonist Ted Rall manages to crash univited into the parlor of civilized cultural discourse from time to time, whereupon he immediately insults the hostess and dips his grubby fingers directly into the clam dip.

Disgusting. Too bad he couldn’t manage to work in a WP/chemical weapon/war crime smear.

And, for those of you who have never had the pleasure, a flashback to this, the finest ‘fisking’ the internet ever offered- ‘Let’s Rall!’






107 replies
  1. 1
    smijer says:

    Rall is an ass. One quibble with your post, though… the WP/Chemical weapon “smear” (and I’ll admit that I do see your side of the controversy over whether it’s use in an urban setting was an acceptable tactic of war… a controversy I haven’t settled in my own mind yet) is not against the Godddamned troops. It is against the few bad apples among the troops commanders, maybe… and it is against the generals, and DoD who allowed the tactic to be employed… but please, please, please don’t use “the troops” as human shields for the Government. Bush is not a “troop”; Rumsfeld is not a “troop”; they don’t need your protection.

  2. 2
    John Cole says:

    Smijer- we have gone through this 100 times. WP is in the basic load, and is approved for any number of uses. If it was misused, it was misused by troops at the squad and company level. it would be no different than accusing them of firing regular bullets (also in the basic load) at innocents

    Thus, accusing them of using WP on innocents is smearing the troops, no matter how people try to contort it into a generic attack on the administration for the ‘illegal war.’

  3. 3
    Lines says:

    On first pass, I agree with JC, this is a disgusting comic.

    But then I gave it further thought. What if Rall is clumsily trying to refer to the problems that soldiers face upon returning from an active theater? They typically have issues relating to new relationships, and even issues in trying to work out old relationships.

    I don’t know enough of Rall’s works to say how he feels one way or another, and if he’s trying to refer to the living hell some soldiers face upon their return to normal “life”, then he could have done a much better job and made some attempt to encourage American’s to fight VA cuts that result in poor coverage of PTSR and other Post-war issues.

  4. 4
    SomeCallMeTim says:

    Jeebus. Rall’s a fucking dick.

  5. 5
    smijer says:

    Please forgive my multiple apostrophe errors in the above comment… My blood pressure was up from seeing the troops hurled in front of Bush by war apologists in order to take his bullets for him.

  6. 6
    Lines says:

    PTSR = PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Thats what I get for trying to save typing.

  7. 7
    Jon H says:

    “it would be no different than accusing them of firing regular bullets (also in the basic load) at innocents”

    And we all know *that* never happens.

  8. 8
    John Cole says:

    Lines. Nope. No excuse. SomeCallMeTim has it right.

  9. 9
    John Cole says:

    And we all know that never happens.

    Stand up and make the charge then, and I want names, dates, victims, and a description of the event, or STFU with your driveby smears of guys doing the best they can.

    I am not going to defend guys who have committed war crimes, but I am not goingto sit back and let you all feel smug and satisfied by making charges with no evidence.

  10. 10
    Lines says:

    Why does he have it right? Do I need to go read all of Rall’s comics to understand that he hates our troops? Could I possibly be right and he’s attempting a poor try at focusing on soldiers trying to re-meld back into society?

  11. 11
    John S. says:

    I am not going to defend guys who have committed war crimes, but I am not goingto sit back and let you all feel smug and satisfied by making charges with no evidence.

    Damn John, I sure do love your zeal. Now if only we could get you as fired up about politicians as you do about bloggers, cartoonists and war protestors…

    At least on the count of making charges with no evidence (or seriously flawed evidence).

  12. 12
    Andrew says:

    Stand up and make the charge then, and I want names, dates, victims, and a description of the event, or STFU with your driveby smears of guys doing the best they can.

    How about video?
    http://www.crooksandliars.com/.....html#a6076

    I’m sure you’ll get nit-picky and talk about how they are British, not American, and how they are contractors and not soldiers, etc.

  13. 13
    smijer says:

    Smijer- we have gone through this 100 times. WP is in the basic load, and is approved for any number of uses. If it was misused, it was misused by troops at the squad and company level.

    Was it approved for use in urban warfare? And if so, by whom? If it was not, then yes – the misconduct was at the company or squad level… and.. if it was actually misconduct then pointing it out isn’t exactly a “smear”… and the fact that the commanders and civies have let it go and waited on war opponents to raise the fuss incriminates them as well.

    it would be no different than accusing them of firing regular bullets (also in the basic load) at innocents

    Except that WP doesn’t target individuals but coordinates, and those coordinates, can be in the field or they can be in somebody’s neighborhood.

    Thus, accusing them of using WP on innocents is smearing the troops, no matter how people try to contort it into a generic attack on the administration for the ‘illegal war.’

    The apparent fact – or the contention, anyway – that it is being used in areas where it will get as many good guys as bad guys, and the apparent fact that only war opponents give a shit – is an indictment of the war proponents, and serves to undermine their contention that they are trying to be the big protective brother to the Iraqis by starting this war in the place.

  14. 14
    jg says:

    But then I gave it further thought. What if Rall is clumsily trying to refer to the problems that soldiers face upon returning from an active theater? They typically have issues relating to new relationships, and even issues in trying to work out old relationships.

    This is exactly why I say yelling ‘he hates the troops’ is lazy. Same as calling someone evil. You’re being dismissive of someone whose views you don’t care to hear. Its easier to see this Rall character as an evil little commie fiddling his mustache as he draws hateful depictions rather than look at what he might be trying to say. Don’t college professors understand symbolism? Since when is an artist ever being direct in what they say? Isn’t this why dumb people don’t appreciate art?

  15. 15
    smijer says:

    jg – in general yes.. with Rall… even if he’s trying to say something….. he’s an ass… You know if JC is too quick to “call someone evil”, or “dismiss their views”.. or whatever… how much time do you think Teddy put into thinking about what his scribbles would accomplish (seriously, what positive thing is that going to accomplish, regardless of his motivation?) versus what people are going to think when they read it.. .particularly, the kid whose dad is in Iraq right now?

  16. 16
    SeesThroughIt says:

    On first pass, I agree with JC, this is a disgusting comic.

    But then I gave it further thought. What if Rall is clumsily trying to refer to the problems that soldiers face upon returning from an active theater?

    Yeah, I’m up in the air about it, too. My first thought was, “Ugh, that’s pretty uncalled-for.” But then I remembered talking to my downstairs neighbor, Bill, about army stuff. He’s understandably a little salty–he’s a Vietnam vet who suffers from exposure to Agent Orange and will suffer from it for the rest of his life–but one day, he said something I’ve heard before but never so matter-of-factly: “They teach us to go over there and kill, but they don’t teach us to come back here and not be that way. They act like there’a s fucking on/off switch, and there isn’t.”

    So perhaps Rall is tackling that issue. Of course, if he is, he’s doing so in a really, really wrong way.

  17. 17
    jg says:

    I’m not saying Rall isn’t an ass. Seems there are probably dozens of less offensive ways to make his point. My point is that some find reasons to ignore others. Someday this guy might make a real good point but the people who most need to hear it are told by those they trust that he just hates troops so any thing he says will be heard through that filter, from that preconcived perspective. I don’t think its an accident.

  18. 18
    Brad R. says:

    Ted Rall’s a cunt. Just thought I’d say.

  19. 19
    jg says:

    So perhaps Rall is tackling that issue. Of course, if he is, he’s doing so in a really, really wrong way.

    Not the way I would have done it for sure but then again my way wouldn’t have gotten the attention of Protein Wisdom or Balloon Juice so maybe there’s a method to his idiocy. I know I wouldn’t have ever seen this cartoon if it didn’t hit JC’s military reflex like a rubber hammer to the knee.

  20. 20

    For christs sake, it is a comic strip.

    Get over it.

  21. 21
    John Cole says:

    He isn’t tackling any issues, he is drawing attention to himself by way of nasty smears on our troops.

    You want to know who is tackling the issue of PTSD? Psychiatrists and the military amd veterans and their families. Ted Rall just took a big steaming shit on all the vets.

    Quit defending him or providing him with excuses.

    Smijer- Yes, it is ‘legal’ in an urban setting, because WP isn’t the monster weapon everyone is making it out to be.

  22. 22
    roscoe k says:

    Isn’t this why dumb people don’t appreciate art?

    No. It’s the people who pretend they “get it” for fear they will be labeled as dumb, who are dumb.– And Rall isn’t an “artist”.

  23. 23
    Jon H says:

    John Cole: “Stand up and make the charge then, and I want names, dates, victims, and a description of the event, or STFU with your driveby smears of guys doing the best they can.”

    That Italian spy guy who was driving the hostage woman to the airport. (Okay, maybe he’s not a ‘civilian’ in the Iraqi sense, but he certainly wasn’t hostile.)

    Besides him, check any number of cars that have been shot up, and found to contain a dead or dying family. Pictures are available.

    Look, you simply cannot make any kind of credible case that our troops never shoot civilians. Of course they do. Of course they have. Quite a few.

    There may be extenuating circumstances for the shootings, and they may be excusable, but you can’t say it has never happened. That’s just a fantasy.

  24. 24
    nyrev says:

    On the one hand, that comic strip was fucking disgusting.
    On the other hand, it was drawn by a hack who sucks both at editorializing and at drawing and I’d never have even seen it if it hadn’t been blazoned across this webpage.

    Everyone loses.

  25. 25
    smijer says:

    Smijer- Yes, it is ‘legal’ in an urban setting, because WP isn’t the monster weapon everyone is making it out to be.

    Smells a lot like napalm to me. But like I said, I haven’t made up my mind on the substance of the issue… but if it is a monster weapon, anything like it’s being made out to be, then it should be illegal, and there should be someone in the DoD or administration seeing to it that its approval for use in an urban setting is revoked… It is to those who approve its use that the “smear” is directed.

  26. 26
    John Cole says:

    Jon H.- Accidental shootings are not war crimes.

  27. 27
    KC says:

    Who is this guy and what’s his problem?

  28. 28
    Steve says:

    That’s not a fisking, it’s just a parade of snarky rejoinders, on its face no more intelligent than Rall’s original post. An actual Fisking would include, you know, facts and stuff, as opposed to just 100 different ways to say “Jane, you ignorant slut.”

    The comic in question, mind you, is appalling and just way over the line. These are our kids over there.

  29. 29
    Jon H says:

    JC: “Accidental shootings are not war crimes.”

    you wrote: “it would be no different than accusing them of firing regular bullets (also in the basic load) at innocents”

    Which certainly does happen. War crime or no.

    And speaking of ” driveby smears of guys doing the best they can”, weren’t you just recently casting aspersions on the idea of ‘troops’ spying on US citizens? They too would just be guys doing the best they can; why don’t you trust *them* to do what’s right?

  30. 30
    Jon H says:

    “These are our kids over there.”

    And just think of the values they’re being taught by Bush and Cheney.

  31. 31
    jg says:

    Isn’t this why dumb people don’t appreciate art?

    No. It’s the people who pretend they “get it” for fear they will be labeled as dumb, who are dumb.

    People who grasp something you miss are pretending? Is that how you stay comfortable?

    And Rall isn’t an “artist”.

    He’s not?

  32. 32

    The main thing in the comic strip that I see is torture. And frankly, I think torture has become part of the policy in the military at the behest of Rumsfeld.

    Do you mean to tell me that you don’t think we waterboard people? Or that Abu Grahib was really just a couple of “bad apples”?

    I am by no means smearing the troops. I am smearing the people who make the attrocious policy, specifically Rumsfeld and his ilk.

  33. 33
    John Cole says:

    And speaking of ” driveby smears of guys doing the best they can”, weren’t you just recently casting aspersions on the idea of ‘troops’ spying on US citizens?

    Do me a favor. Never take the Miller Analogy Test.

    Stating that our troops used legal weapons in an illgeal way to murder innocents is in no way comparable to stating you think it would be bad policy to institute a program in which soldiers would be doing things you don’t like, namely collecting data on civilians.

    Apples. Oranges.

  34. 34
    jg says:

    Do you mean to tell me that you don’t think we waterboard people? Or that Abu Grahib was really just a couple of “bad apples”?

    I am by no means smearing the troops.

    You just accused them of war crimes yet you aren’t smearing the troops? Get him Darrell.

  35. 35
    Mike S says:

    I had a similar argument with someone over at dKos about this. The guy claimed that Rall was obviously talking about what some of the vets will be dealing with when they return.

    Just look at the title of the strip. Does it say “Some Iraq …” or does in contain no modifier? It contains absolutely no modifier and having looked at some of Rall’s past work leads me to believe that none was intended.

    Good political cartoonists can be very effective at making a point. Others, like Rall and Michael Ramirez, just take a shit and call it art. And the relish in the fact that they have slimed a large portion of the public.

  36. 36
    smijer says:

    Andrew’s video does look pretty damning… and from what I read at C & L was the work of hired guns – not regular military… ‘Course the fact that we have unaccountable hired guns over there doing the jobs that the uniforms should be doing is yet another revelation that “we are here to help” is a fantasy PR stunt by an administration that wanted war for purposes that had no regard whatsoever for helping the Iraqi people.

  37. 37
    jg says:

    a program in which soldiers would be doing things you don’t like, namely collecting data on civilians.

    If we get mad at them for that are we smearing them or attacking the policymakers?

    Better question; If YOU were upset that the troops were spying on us would you be attacking the troops or trying to find out what the fuck is going on in your country?

  38. 38
    Steve says:

    I hardly think you can characterize Rall’s comic as an attack on the Pentagon’s torture policies, since I doubt Donald Rumsfeld is telling veterans how to behave on dates. In fact, to the extent your belief is that the troops are being scapegoated for terrible policies that actually come from above, the comic makes the exact opposite point.

  39. 39

    You just accused them of war crimes yet you aren’t smearing the troops?

    What war crimes did I accuse them of? Like it or not the US is not a signatory to the part of the Geneva Convetions that classifies terrorists as PoW’s. They are classified as enemy combatants. I still think we shouldn’t torture them, for the obvious reasons, but it isn’t a “war crime” to do so.

  40. 40
    jg says:

    Good political cartoonists can be very effective at making a point. Others, like Rall and Michael Ramirez, just take a shit and call it art. And the relish in the fact that they have slimed a large portion of the public.

    Seriously, any chance this guy isn’t trying to smear troops, he just ain’t talented enough to get his point across to you? Maybe you’re missing his point. Lets blame him if it makes things easier. Do we have to assume he’s a traitor?

  41. 41
    jg says:

    You just accused them of war crimes yet you aren’t smearing the troops?

    What war crimes did I accuse them of? Like it or not the US is not a signatory to the part of the Geneva Convetions that classifies terrorists as PoW’s. They are classified as enemy combatants. I still think we shouldn’t torture them, for the obvious reasons, but it isn’t a “war crime” to do so.

    Sorry, sarcasm and bad writing don’t mix.

  42. 42
    Krista says:

    So perhaps Rall is tackling that issue. Of course, if he is, he’s doing so in a really, really wrong way.

    I think he’s being given way too much credit. That comic was way too ham-handed and ugly to try to credit it with a message. Or, as Stephen King once said about one of his short stories, “It’s a sick joke with no redeeming social merit whatsoever.”

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a jerk is just a jerk.

  43. 43
    jg says:

    I hardly think you can characterize Rall’s comic as an attack on the Pentagon’s torture policies, since I doubt Donald Rumsfeld is telling veterans how to behave on dates. In fact, to the extent your belief is that the troops are being scapegoated for terrible policies that actually come from above, the comic makes the exact opposite point.

    OR.

    His point is no matter who ordered who to do what these are humans doing this (allegedly since we’re all so fucking literal) and it will continue to affect them when they leave theatre.

  44. 44
    smijer says:

    btw… I never thanked whoever posted it… but several days ago, the point where I had to back up and think… “hey maybe, just this once, with the WP thing, we really didn’t do something completely anathema to basic moral principles (at least, no more so than starting a war is)”…. that point was when someone pointed out to me that the photos purporting to be victims of WP could be better explained by decomposition of victims who died other ways over time, than by weird chemical effects of WP… ‘Course… Bodies is bodies, and those were Iraqi women and children in the pictures, and I can hardly praise the policy that turned beautiful living beings into decomposing hulks before their time… but that’s what has forced me to reconsider whether WP was a war crime…

    At no point, however, have I held anyone responsible other than the people that bought the rounds and put them in the hands of frightened teenagers in a place like Fallujah.

  45. 45
    Mike S says:

    Seriously, any chance this guy isn’t trying to smear troops, he just ain’t talented enough to get his point across to you? Maybe you’re missing his point. Lets blame him if it makes things easier. Do we have to assume he’s a traitor?

    I remember a particularly disgusting toon on Pat Tillman that he did as well as a few other things I found both lame and disgusting. I equate him with Ramirez for a reason. They both slime people egregiously. I’m not calling him a traitor, just a dick.

    You want to know who is tackling the issue of PTSD? Psychiatrists and the military amd veterans and their families.

    The last time I saw my Doctor friend he was on his way to check on some of the kids he had treated in Iraq. The goal, as I understood it, was to be able to guage what effect being home had on them. I hope that is continuing and these people are getting the help they need.

  46. 46
    smijer says:

    The last time I saw my Doctor friend he was on his way to check on some of the kids he had treated in Iraq. The goal, as I understood it, was to be able to guage what effect being home had on them. I hope that is continuing and these people are getting the help they need.

    Ditto… And against all odds, I hope the people who willfully gave them this disorder will eventually be brought to justice.

  47. 47
    jg says:

    They both slime people egregiously. I’m not calling him a traitor, just a dick.

    Sorry to lump you in with others there.

    The guys a slime or he’s not a slime, I don’t care. To me the important part is the issue he brought up that certainly no one is addressing because officially we don’t torture: what about when these boys come home?

  48. 48
    Otto Man says:

    Jeebus. Rall’s a fucking dick.

    That about sums it up. You’ll get no defense of this stupidity from me.

  49. 49
    Mike S says:

    what about when these boys come home?

    Many will need a lot of help. Many will get it and many others won’t, either by refusing to seek it or by piss poor planning from the people in charge. It appears that the military is giving more thought to this than they have in the past. But it is a national dialogue that the country would be best served by having sooner rather than later.

    But I just don’t see that as Rall’s message, again partly by looking at his old work and by looking at this piece.

  50. 50
    Jack Burton says:

    The best thing about Ted Rall is that people like him will motivate the Republican base even when they are lukewarm about the candidates. Simply put, the alternative offered by Ted Rall excuse makers is beyond comprehension. So thank you, all of you, for making my voting choices so much easier.

  51. 51
    ppGaz says:

    I never heard of Ted Rall.

    Why would anyone care about his stuff at all?

    Is he some persona made up by Republicans to give the coach something to put up in the locker room before the game? Or what?

  52. 52
    Jack Burton says:

    You know, that might not be a bad idea. Although I’d throw up on myself and then walk in front of a train before I ever put pen to paper with the stuff he’s written about our troops. Someone else would have to do it.

  53. 53
    EL says:

    I consider myself a liberal and I read compendiums of editorial cartoons, but I always skip Rall. I wouldn’t call him a liberal – I’d call him tasteless and a nut.

  54. 54
    Vlad says:

    Your second link is busted, John. It starts “thtp” instead of “http”.

    I generally think of Rall as a lefty version of Ann Coulter, though even he often can’t approach her level of repulsive, social-commons-befouling drivel.

    As with all things of this nature, I take comfort from the fact that we live in a society with a deep and abiding respect for free speech, even when applied to points of view that I personally find repugnant.

  55. 55
    smijer says:

    The best thing about Ted Rall is that people like him will motivate the Republican base even when they are lukewarm about the candidates. Simply put, the alternative offered by Ted Rall excuse makers is beyond comprehension. So thank you, all of you, for making my voting choices so much easier.

    I fear for a nation of people who decide their vote based on the comments of blog posters… rather than, you know… who will do the right and the smart things…

    ‘course, that’s still better than some of my neighbors, who decided their vote based on who scratched their balls in the more manly way.

  56. 56

    It’s offensive, but that’s Rall’s style. Shock and awe, man.

    I would guess the purpose is to show the odiousness of war when placed in the context of civilian life. Perhaps he’s suggesting what to expect of vets who have been dehumanized by war. Seems that it’s a personification of the war.

    He would have done better than to use the term
    “vets.” A better depiction of the Iraq war vets would show them homeless and abandoned by their country, like the Vietnam war vets.

    There are lots of offensive political statements every day, life the stuff that comes out of the FOX know-nothings, or Limbaugh. It’s something you get with free press.

  57. 57
    Lines says:

    Jack Burton Says:

    The best thing about Ted Rall is that people like him will motivate the Republican base even when they are lukewarm about the candidates. Simply put, the alternative offered by Ted Rall excuse makers is beyond comprehension. So thank you, all of you, for making my voting choices so much easier.

    You’re a juvenile piss-ant, JB. No one is defending him, you WANT them to defend him to make your “already made-up little mind” justified. Its really really pathetic how small and ignorant people like you can be.

    I tried to change the subject earlier. Fuck the psychologists and doctors that are dealing with the PTSD, they can take a flying leap. They are all lazy quiet turds that allow the issue of returning veterans psychological state to remain under the public radar. How many suicides just from Iraq alone? How many from Vietnam? Its an untold crisis and its disgusting. I was hoping that many here could take Rall’s ham-handed attempt as a stepping stone towards a discourse, I even offered a lead. Instead many of you just want to take offense at Rall and call him names. I can get that shit at Protein Wisdom.

    Any of you deal with a military suicide and the public silence that follows? How about psychotic murdering ex-soldiers? How about the fact that due to yearly budget cuts from the Bush office many soldiers will receive absolutely no help with their psychological problems, many will just get pushed out the door with nothing left. How many divorces, how many more snipers do we need before this issue can get the attention it deserves?

    Rall is a dick, so fucking what? Does it make any of you sleep better at night to know he’s a dick?

  58. 58
    Seitelplasm says:

    Words Fail Me

    I don’t know how to introduce something this awful, so I’ll just post it:

    Look, I’ve come to expect very little from the left. On almost every level, they disappoint me. Nevertheless, every once in a while, one of them still

  59. 59
    yet another jeff says:

    If it wasn’t for Sullivan, Reynolds, and this site, I wouldn’t even know who Rall was. He strikes me as sort of like the screaming people in the dream sequence in “The Trial of Billy Jack”…a hack that people on the right or right leaning get upset about and everyone else ignores. Now, Tom Tomorrow…or Mark Fiore…they understand satire. I’ve even written a Guards Gone Wild radio sketch about Abu Ghraib (copyrighted, y’all), dark comedy…satire…mocking the stupid until they change…but Rall? He’s just a prick from what I can see, why won’t conservative blogs stop making me know who he is?

    I still have to say that the reactions to him are more irritating than he himself is. I hate having to make that choice.

  60. 60
    Mike S says:

    Fuck the psychologists and doctors that are dealing with the PTSD, they can take a flying leap. They are all lazy quiet turds that allow the issue of returning veterans psychological state to remain under the public radar.

    Sorry, that’s just crap. A lot of these Doctors put everything they have into helping people.

    Look, I’ve come to expect very little from the left. On almost every level, they disappoint me. Nevertheless, every once in a while, one of them still

    People that start off like that crack me up. It usually comes from people that call little Sean Hannity a “great American” and think Ann Coulter is a factually correct.

  61. 61
    yet another jeff says:

    Actually, having read Jack Burton’s and Seitelplasm’s posts…I revise my post to say that I find the conservative reactions to Rall infinitely more irritating than Rall himself. So it’s telling somehow that liberals aren’t going out of their way to denounce someone that’s not part of their lives in the first place?

    As Veronica said to Heather, “why do you have to be such a mega-bitch?”

  62. 62
    Lines says:

    Mike S: Those doctors are the ones that understand the true depth to which returning soldier’s psychosis are affecting America and America’s families. They need to be organizing a PR campaign to alert the public of the ramnifications of budget cuts to the VA benefits. By sitting there on their hands, they accept what is happening and the reduction in their capabilities to help the returning soldiers.

  63. 63
    neil says:

    Good show, John. It’s not easy to find copy that’s more unpleasant than the Rall cartoon, but you did manage it with that crude Althouse-esque paragraph. Yuck.

  64. 64
    neil says:

    Rather, find copy that makes the Rall cartoon look tasteful and delicate…

  65. 65
    Jane Finch says:

    JC, I’m happy to see that the fringe still gets you guys going.

  66. 66
    BIRDZILLA says:

    TED RALL he is just your avrage pond scum or what you might find on the bottom of your shoe he is a reptile

  67. 67
    Geoduck says:

    He would have done better than to use the term “vets.” A better depiction of the Iraq war vets would show them homeless and abandoned by their country, like the Vietnam war vets.

    I read Rall’s cartoons on a regular basis. I’m not going to wade back through his (large) archives to find the exact link, but within the past six months or so he has done a cartoon depicting exactly that, something along the lines of “scenes from America 2012 AD”. The man doesn’t just throw hand granades, he lobs big honkin’ mortars. Sometimes a mortar-shot hits the target with devastating impact (his standard depiction of George W Bush as a semi-gorilla in a South American dictator costume), other times it goes wildly astray (more than one of his cartoons about American soldiers.) And a large part of the reason he does this is because, yes, it regularly churns conservatives into a froth and gets attention. If he finds out that John re-posted his strip and tore into it, he’ll be cheering.
    I urge folks to go check out Rall’s website http://www.tedrall.com, read a few more of his strips, and decide for themselves. If you still hate him, cool. It’s a marginally free country. But I suggest you start ignoring him, instead of getting publically outraged.

  68. 68
    demimondian says:

    Oh, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

    Rall is lazy, taking a cheap shot for no good reason. What he drew was offensive. It’s a free country, and he has a right to publish it — but, geoduck, nobody has any requirement to call a spade a near-planar digging implement, much less a flower. The strip, like most of his strips, was stupid and offensive.

    I’m glad he gets his jollies beating up on people who do a horrible job under awful conditions. I’m proud of his courage in standing up for the right to lie and distort. I think I’m impressed — operation yellow elephant needs more converts.

    But don’t talk about “marginally free” countries when Rall can publish that and expect that the military and the paramilitary who he just slimed would willingly lay their lives to protect his right to say that. Because, if his house was picketed — legally — it would be them who stood at attention keeping the mobs away.

  69. 69
    carpeicthus says:

    Rall sucks. News at 11.

  70. 70
    TacJammer says:

    Hating Us

    Ted Rall is a scumbag. Other people agree. But of course, you’d already know what I thought of him if you’d been reading this site in June of last year. Yes, I was pissed off….

  71. 71
    Steve S says:

    Why do you read something you don’t like?

  72. 72
    Jason says:

    The smearing of our soldiers never stops. Not only are we torturing, murderous bastards in Rall’s cartoon, but we’re snipers, we’re psychotic, we’re “scared teenagers”

    (By the way, I was a lieutenant and company XO and company commander in Iraq and had the fires of at least a battery of 155mm howitzers at my disposal any time I wanted, on every mission. At age 33, I was far from a “scared teenager” and was quite eager to use it, should I have found a suitable target (as it turned out I didn’t, but my mortar platoon fired a number of counterbattery missions).

    I was far from a “scared teenager,” and you insufferable condescending pricks can stop infantilizing me and my colleagues anytime you like.)

    On another thread, we’re “SS and modern-day gestapo freaks.”

    We’re homeless. We’re suicidal.

    Bonus points if you can work in a gratuitous and stereotypical smear of Viet Nam veterans, too.

    We’re “psychotic, murdering ex-soldiers”

    Nope. Nobody offers any documentation that violent crime rates among soldiers are higher than the general population. No cite supporting the assertion that returning vets are any more likely to be “psychotic” than the next guy. (Hint: You might want to get a clue by looking up “psychotic” in the first place. It doesn’t mean what you think it means).

    But despite all that, nobody’s blaming the troops.

    Right.

    I see the old ignorant stereotypes the left loves so well raising their ugly heads. Soldiers are at once vile murderiong war criminals, but we’re moral infants and moral cretins, so its not our fault, so blame the conservatives.

    You milked them dry after Viet Nam. You were wrong then, and you’re wrong now.

  73. 73
    Steve S says:

    Jason – Can I ask, why are you so bitter, and why do you go looking for quotes to be bitter about?

    In several years, I’ve never heard any of those claims that you just said you were upset about.

  74. 74
    Jason says:

    Read the thread.

  75. 75
    Mike S says:

    Jason – Can I ask, why are you so bitter, and why do you go looking for quotes to be bitter about?

    You’ll have to excuse Jason. He has a hard time controling his temper. He has a hard time with hyperbole as well.

  76. 76
    aop says:

    What a fucking dipshit. Ted Rall is such a discredit to the principled left–just another San Francisco loony-tunes moron who unfortunately has a public soapbox.

  77. 77
    Stormy70 says:

    Some of you guys will excuse any smear if it comes from the left. It is pathetic and I am seeing a trend towards denigrating the troops directly now, in a passive aggressive way. Oh, those poor kids. Last I checked, I didn’t see any kids in the US Military. These are brave men, who deserve the respect of everyone here, not baseless accusations of indiscriminate killing of civilians or claiming they use chemical weapons. The Bush derangement Syndrome is now trickling down to the troops who are winning the war in Iraq, despite the historonics from the useless Left.

  78. 78
    Veeshir says:

    You’ll have to excuse Jason. He has a hard time controling his temper. He has a hard time with hyperbole as well.

    Every time I come back and think I’ll start posting I read a thread and I get angry all over again.

    Jason has a reason to lose his temper. You jackasses are still stuck on WP being a ‘chemical weapon’, our troops as being either too young, stupid and undertrained to be blamed for anything or they’re fucking war criminals who just want to blow away ragheads.
    And then Jason shows up, a man who has been there and done that, and you jackasses attack him with ad hominem and condescending BS.

    In several years, I’ve never heard any of those claims that you just said you were upset about.
    How about you read this thread? Oh, I get it. You didn’t hear, you read them. And I take it you didn’t click the link through to Rall’s jackassery?

  79. 79
    salvage says:

    I hate Ted Rall, he’s our Ann Coulter, his Pat Tillman stuff was the final nail in the coffin.

    Plus the guy just sounds like such a dick.

  80. 80
    yet another jeff says:

    No, what’s the point of clicking through to Rall…he’s annoying and not funny. I don’t read Rall, I don’t read Garfield.

  81. 81
    kl says:

    And Rall isn’t an “artist”.

    He’s not?

    Well. A really really untalented one.

    Why do you read something you don’t like?

    Same reason you keep coming back here, probably.

  82. 82

    Just read his strip on Tillman.

    Yea, Rall is defintely a peice of shit. I can see the comparison with Coulter, however–Coulter actually does have a pretty big influence on the core Republican base.

  83. 83
    Steve S says:

    Again I have to ask. If you don’t like something, why would you read it?

    Yea, Rall is defintely a peice of shit. I can see the comparison with Coulter, however—Coulter actually does have a pretty big influence on the core Republican base.

    Good point. I don’t even know who this Rall guy is.

    Republicans on the other hand buy millions of Coulter books and just eat her vitrole up.

  84. 84
    neil says:

    Really, this is just embarassing. You can’t find anything better to get yourself exercised about than a fucking comic strip? Are things really going that peachy, that it’s time to start going after the comedians? Nobody more important is out there fucking up the world than Ted Rall?

  85. 85
    yet another jeff says:

    You’re either with Ted Rall or against him. Apparently liberals give a damn about Rall and that Churchill guy..that said something or another and caused some spineless libs to first find out who he was so then they could desperately deny that they follow him.

  86. 86
    kl says:

    If you don’t like something, why would you read it?

    To keep Cole in line and tell him what to think, apparently.

  87. 87

    ..that said something or another and caused some spineless libs to first find out who he was so then they could desperately deny that they follow him.

    So wanting to find out who he was, and what he said, before making a judgement makes someone spineless?

    What world do you come from? Studying the evidence before making a judgement is was I would call reasonable. But I guess you prefer knee-jerk reactions?

  88. 88
  89. 89
    Lines says:

    Jason: I think you might need some of that help I was mentioning earlier. You seem a might, ummmm, sensative and irritable. Yes, I know what psychotic means, yes, I know what context I’m using it in. Its the closest common term to what returning vets are like. Many arn’t truly psychotic, its more of a temporary psychosis, but I’m not going into details here. Needless to say, many need a lot more help mixing in with society than they are given. And no, the numbers are NOT available, but talk to many returning med officers and they’ll tell you the same thing.

    Its not smearing anyone, you’re just an oversensitive prick looking for any reason to get angry at “the left”.

  90. 90
    yet another jeff says:

    Sheesh..

    No…the desperate “you gotta believe me” decrying of people you don’t care about makes you spineless.

  91. 91

    No…the desperate “you gotta believe me” decrying of people you don’t care about makes you spineless.

    What are you talking about? I’m not following you.

  92. 92
    BIRDZILLA says:

    His cartoons are like DUNESBURY or THE BOONDOCKS pure trash

  93. 93
    yet another jeff says:

    I know.

    Let’s try this…in the following scenario who has the position of power.

    A. Person that finds loud extremist and then points at people that are on the same side of center as they are and demands that they disavow said loud extremist.

    B. Person on same side of center as loud extremist who is now forced to endure rants of loud extremist and then is forced by person A to disavow person that they never knew about in the first place.

    Not a very powerful stance, person B has…the better alternative is just not to bow to person A.

  94. 94
    yet another jeff says:

    Birdzilla…can you ever get anyone’s name right?

  95. 95
    Cyrus says:

    Stormy70 Says:

    Some of you guys will excuse any smear if it comes from the left. It is pathetic and I am seeing a trend towards denigrating the troops directly now, in a passive aggressive way.

    Stormy, who cares? I mean, really, who the hell cares? Why does it matter what “some of you guys” think or do? In this entire thread – 94 comments when I started writing this, I may or may not hit “refresh” before I post – only two damn people are defending Ted Rall in any way. Lines says he doesn’t know much about Rall and is giving him the benefit of the doubt, and Geoduck said that Rall tries to make trouble and isn’t always this ineffective at getting a message across. How insane do you have to be to draw any conclusions about The Left (TM) from that? And as for the smears against soldiers you’re whining about, apparently smijer’s post on the 28th at 6:09 p.m. is just too nuanced for you. If you claim that your fit was actually about his use of the word “teenagers” several hours later, well, fine – because technically you aren’t a teenager any more at 20, it’s a vile lie to call anyone a day older than that a teenager, is that right?

    It’s true that some people will defend any smear if it comes from the left. I hate to break it to you, but in case you somehow missed this glaringly obvious fact, the same is true from the right. You might get taken more seriously when you admit that the left doesn’t have the monopoly on blind partisanship and stupidity.

  96. 96
    Jake was here says:

    The problem with guys like Rall and Moore is that they eagerly lay claim to the title of He Who Speaks For The American People. And it pisses a lot of the moderate Left off that (as yet-another-jeff points out) a lot of Republicans see the crap that Rall and Moore and Franken grind out, and figure that everybody on the left must think like that.

    We DON’T. We’re not all insane, we’re not all obsessive, and we don’t all suffer from Bush Derangement Syndrome. It’s just that those of us who ARE crazy seem to have the loudest voices, as well – and believe me, I don’t think that shit is fair.

    Rall KNOWS he’s making things worse between the Right and the Left in this country, and he’s reveling in it.

  97. 97

    Lines:

    Riiiiight. Psychosis is the closest common term to what returning veterans are like. All of us.

    That’s why the first line treatment for PTSD isn’t cognitive-behavioral therapy and antianxiety meds, but antipsychotics like haldol.

    As a matter of fact, they give everyone a shot of thorazine and six months worth of haldol and cogentin as soon as we arrive back in theater.

    I think you were better off showing your ignorance about white phosphorus.

  98. 98
    Steve S says:

    We DON’T. We’re not all insane, we’re not all obsessive, and we don’t all suffer from Bush Derangement Syndrome.

    Isn’t Bush Derangement Syndrome a case when you believe Bush is a Good Moral Leader who doesn’t flip-flop?

    :-)

  99. 99
    Steve S says:

    Jason – Your angry paranoid rants claiming everybody is accusing you of having some psychotic disorder… are not really helping your argument.

    Just some friendly advice. Tone it down a bit.

  100. 100

    Here’s a quote from Lines:

    Yes, I know what psychotic means, yes, I know what context I’m using it in. Its the closest common term to what returning vets are like. Many arn’t truly psychotic, its more of a temporary psychosis.

    I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night. The plain meaning of Lines’ post is clear. And no accident. Here’s Lines again:

    Any of you deal with a military suicide and the public silence that follows? How about psychotic murdering ex-soldiers?

    Again, the plain meaning is clear. And it is a foul stereotype and outrageous slander against the troops.

  101. 101

    By the way: The suicide rate among Iraq-deployed soldiers in 2004 was 7.9 per 100,000. Which is well under half the rate of the general population of males age 18-34, which is north of 21 per 100,000.

    Shouldn’t we be doing something about those psychotic civilians?

  102. 102
    Bruce from Missouri says:

    If that’s the finest Fisking the Internet has ever offered… I guess there’s never been a good fisking on the internet.

    That was lamer than Rall is. Then again, I’ve never understood John’s reverence for Protein Wisdom in the first place. Generally not interesting, and not funny.

  103. 103
    Jack Burton says:

    Ah, the arrogant liberal elitists who cry like little girls if you take serious offense to someone like Rall, and yes, even stereotype others on the left because they defend him. Boy, don’t I feel dumb now that Lines has set me straight and pointed out how truly retarded I am. Perhaps, just perhaps, I’ll get a glimpse of that worldly wisdom that certainly appears to reside on the left side of the spectrum. Of course, if I had that wisdom, I certainly wouldn’t be a conservative now would I?

    Thank you for pointing out the error in my ways, I’ll go ahead and apologize for what I’m sure will be additional instances of voicing my opinion.

    Does anyone else find the left’s extreme insistance on tolerance pretty intollerant?

    John, just for giggles, put up a post on Duke Cunningham and I’ll kinda sorta defend his rights and we’ll see how that shakes out.

  104. 104
    Geoduck says:

    John, just for giggles, put up a post on Duke Cunningham and I’ll kinda sorta defend his rights and we’ll see how that shakes out.

    Because, of course, “cartoonist” carries the exact same moral and political weight as “sitting member of Congress”.

  105. 105
    Jack Burton says:

    What’s the difference. What the person does is disgusting, whether it be Ted Rall or Duke Cunningham. There’s only one answer and that’s condemnation without exception. I don’t care to understand these people, to see their motives, whatever, it’s garbage plain and simple. Rall’s a puke and Cunningham’s a crook.

    I know it’s hard for the liberal elite to listen to anyone below their perceived status, but it’s simple for me. Ted Rall represents a substantial number of liberals who do and say God knows what idiot stuff bashing this Country, the troops, and countless others. And the answer is always one of two things. One, don’t question my patriotism and two, dissent is patriotic. I look at things fairly simply in each case. First, if you have to explain that what you’re doing is patriotic, it isn’t. Second, no matter how many times you say it, dissent isn’t patriotic. It’s a cherished right that very few people outside the US really enjoy, but stop fooling yourselves that it’s patriotic.

    I know nationalism is so yesterday to the liberals, but it’s not to me. People ought to take time to celebrate what is great about the US every now and then and quit bitching about what it isn’t. That’s patriotic.

  106. 106
    Sirkowski says:

    I think it’s pretty funny.

  107. 107
    Suspected Terrorist says:

    I think Republicans are pretty funny. You let them take the White House, Congress, invade the country we already beat more than a decade ago…then some dude draws a cartoon and then they’re all whining about being the persecuted minority.

    Wa wa wa.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. TacJammer says:

    Hating Us

    Ted Rall is a scumbag. Other people agree. But of course, you’d already know what I thought of him if you’d been reading this site in June of last year. Yes, I was pissed off….

  2. Seitelplasm says:

    Words Fail Me

    I don’t know how to introduce something this awful, so I’ll just post it:

    Look, I’ve come to expect very little from the left. On almost every level, they disappoint me. Nevertheless, every once in a while, one of them still

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