No Further Questions

No Further Questions

I originally wrote this gag for President Bush. In a way, that’s all that really needs to be said about Obama’s approach to the “War on Terror”–his policies have become so similar to those of the Bush Administration that they’re practically interchangeable.

I remembered the joke while trying to develop something on the Anwar Al-Awlaki assassination about two weeks ago, which was the first official targeted killing of a US citizen on charges of aiding and inciting terrorism. Additional air strikes since then have resulted in the death of Al-Awlaki’s son, so I read today.

The idea of targeted assassinations like these makes me uncomfortable. Even if the target’s a really bad person who may deserve it, I feel it’s dangerous to grant the President the same power to chase down individuals that we grant him to wage war for national defense. I also feel that assassinating terrorists before attempting to capture, try, and convict them like the crooks they are is a self-defeating strategy that only serves to inflame new, even harder to defeat terrorists, as these cartoons argued. It’s a bit like fighting bacterial infections–do so too aggressively, and even though it may kill off all the weaker bacteria, you’ll end up with stronger ones that are resistant to antibiotics.

I nearly finished this a few days after the Chris Christie cartoon, but I wasn’t happy with the results at the time, and so chose to spend more time working on it. Unfortunately, this overlapped with a trip I took to Portland, Oregon that ended up lasting much longer than I expected it to. I was staying with my sister, and even though she has a scanner, it’s of such a poor quality that it was useless to me except to sketch out colors before I could rescan the lineart with my own.

Speaking of Portland, I should probably point out part of why I was visiting, for any readers who happen to live there: I was looking for work, because I find the local arts community vibrant, and would like to move there. If anyone reading this can point me in the direction of some good job openings in the area for someone with my talents, or hook me up with some interviews, please let me know. Or, if you can’t help with that, you could put money towards helping me move, instead…

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 15th, 2011 at 9:54 pm and is filed under Cartoons & Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “No Further Questions”

Thank you for addressing this issue. I voted for Obama in 2008 for his anti-war pro-civil liberties stance, and look where it’s gotten us. Too many of his fans refuse to criticize him.

Awlaki’s son was just killed today in the same way.

I blogged about Awlaki here if you’d like to read it:

By » LagomorphMan (October 16th, 2011 at 12:02 pm)

I, for once, must respectfully disagree, if with some uncertainty.

I’m having a difficult time articulating my feelings on this, but the basis of my beliefs is like this:
When you can, it’s always best to take your targets alive, to give them a fair trial, and hopefully, just let the truly horrific monsters rot in a jail-cell for the rest of their lives. But there are times when this just isn’t practical. In the case of these assassinations, the targets were in Yemen, a country, as I understand it, that isn’t exactly a safe place for a soldier to venture, even compared to the countries we currently occupy. This isn’t like when American soldiers were flown in to Pakistan to get Osama Bin Laden, where we could get in and out easily. And to deploy troops in Yemen would put many other lives at risk.

How many lives is it acceptable to put at risk for the sake of capturing someone alive? Which lives? And if we can’t risk a ground deployment into a region to capture a target, what can we do? Ignore the target until it enters a zone where we can capture him?

In essence, I feel this was the method that took the fewest risks. I do not like it. I do not think we should be proud of it. I’m basically in agreement with the first letter to the editor you linked to. We did it because it was necessary.

If you disagree, I more than understand where you and the others are coming from. But I still think that in these specific instances, our hand was forced. Given the choice between assassination and letting a high-ranking terrorist go, I believe we should do the former.

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