In the June 7 edition of its newspaper, The Arizona Republic published a repulsive cartoon by Steve Benson that desecrates the U.S. Marine Corps' Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem and defames the USMC as a collection of wanton murderers. The source of Benson's vitriol? The alleged murders of 24 Iraqis at Haditha in November 2005.
Normally I resist the temptation to reprint professional cartoons without first receiving proper permissions, and this time is no different. However, this cartoon truly must be seen to be believed. Simply go to Benson's page here, click on "See previous Benson cartoons," and click "next" until you arrive at slide 3 of 54. Benson depicts the Corps' globe symbol as running with blood while bastardizing the USMC acronym to stand for "United States Massacre Cover-Up."
Perhaps in Benson's twisted mind our Marines are all war criminals fighting an illegal war for oil and intergalactic domination. After all, Steve Benson is known for his oftentimes inflammatory drawings. But publishing this type of cartoon should be beyond the pale even for the mainstream media, not least because this prejudges the Marines involved in this incident, not one of whom has been charged to date in an investigation that is still ongoing.
Unfortunately, I'm no longer capable of uttering "unbelievable" at the sight of such filth because this type of behavior is all too commonplace today. An American media that virtually as a whole couldn't find the stones to publish the Mohammed cartoons -- laughably passing out of so-called respect for religious symbols and "tolerance" -- has little problem poking its stick into the collective eye of the world's finest fighting force.
And the cretin who drew it.
Benson was premature is using that cartoon. The Marines in this case have been accused of hideous crimes, but as of yet, have not been found guilty. They deserve the same right of presumption of innocence that the rest of us enjoy under our U.S. Constitution and our system of law.
Had Benson saved the cartoon for publication in the event the accused Marines are found guilty in a court-martial of murder and conspircy, that would have been a totally different situation. Should the accused be found guilty, then (and only then) would that cartoon be appropriate.
When I see things like this...it makes me wish we didn't have freedom of speech for a day. Or any other laws to protect these Darwin flunkies.
No, Randall, Benson has shown himself to be a hate filled cretin by this cartonn. He is not condemning the Marines who are accused of murder, he is accusing the Marines of condoning murder by covering it up. That they did not do so is evident. So no matter what is found out about the Haditha incident, he is wrong and he is guilty of a malicious smear.
One of the good things about free speech is the ability to react to the Bensons of this world. And thanks to the internet is is now possible to organize and make sure that he and his editor know what you think. You may want to consider sending this link to your friends in the USMC; ask them to send it to their friends. And then ask them to send their letters and e-mails to Benson and his employer.
As more and more of the Marines accused of murder in Haditha are cleared, Benson's cartoon becomes more and more evil.
I thinks Benson deserves a call. As a Pulitzer Prize winner he is in the company of such moral greats in the media community as Walter Durante who covered up Stalin's crimes for the NY Times.
"..defames the USMC as a collection of wanton murderers.."
Pretty flimsy organization if it can be rocked by a single drawing proclaiming that they murder people. You'd think they'd be used to comments like this, since they do, in fact, train people to effectively kill others.
"Perhaps in Benson's twisted mind our Marines are all war criminals fighting an illegal war for oil and intergalactic domination."
I don't recall seeing that written anywhere on the drawing.
"...publishing this type of cartoon should be beyond the pale even for the mainstream media.."
Not only has the media published two live suicides by way of television broadcasts, Time magazine had a two page spread showing a photo of a victim of the 9/11 attacks jumping out of a window to his death. In retrospect, this cartoon is far from explicit, and well within the content the media deems suitable.
Actually I find it almost exactly like this blog - a record of someone's personal opinion that exists somewhere, that someone reads or sees if they choose to. You don't like the comic, don't look at it.
I'm 22 years old. I have two friends who are ex-marines, one of which is my ex-girlfriend who's pelvis was almost split in half during her training. I didn't feel any animosity seeing this cartoon. In fact, being an artist myself, I thought it was quite creative to use the blood to create the shapes of North and South America.
In any case, take from it what you will; Everybody has their own opinions and there's nothing you can do about it.
Your comments are, of course, your own opinion. And it’s thanks to the Marines and the other members of the armed forces that you are free to express those opinions.
Nowhere did I imply that the USMC has been “rocked” by this cretin’s cartoon. So you are setting up a straw man argument by implying that this cartoon has rocked the Marines. I stand by my opinion that he: "..defames the USMC as a collection of wanton murderers.." The Marines and most of the American public probably has contempt for this pencil necked geek who “bravely” fights for space on the editorial page while others are engaged on somewhat more hazardous duty.
The kind of mind that is willing to defame the Marines as Benson does is almost certain to despise the war and many believe that the war is for oil or for some kind of American global domination. In this I agree with “Then and Now” who actually penned this commentary. Something you would have discovered if you had clicked on the link.
Regarding the content the MSM find suitable: let’s say that the American people and the shrinking members of the drive-by-media are of two minds on that. At 22 you may find this cartoon pretty tame and even clever. That’s because at 22 you are immature and your opinions are only useful as bad examples and warnings to others who may run across them.
And, yes, my friend, there really is something I and people like me can do about it. It’s interesting that this post is one of the most visited on my blog. That’s probably because so many people agree with the opinions expressed. And opinions, widely shared, can have an effect on the country and, I hope, on the ability of people like Benson to spread his kind of hate.
Let me give you one bit of free advice to a young man starting out in the world as an “artist.” Don’t go into an industry that’s dying. The people who publish on the ground up carcasses of dead trees are watching their industry die because the newspapers and magazines they publish are not filled with news but some distorted form of history seen as a reflection in a fun-house mirror.
What I find the most intriguing is how the US Marines continue to fight and continue to do their best in everything despite how they may feel or what they may think of things. It does not matter the plight, the politics, the atrocities, the astounding accomplishments. What matters to the US Marine is their brother in arms, nothing more, nothing less. They care not of people's opinions, which by the way they are entitled to regardless of their level of combat experience. The Marines will continue to fight becuase they hav a love of country regardless of any political reason, regardless of others opinions, regardless of what it may COST. This is what was once considered true American spirit. Whether or not you agree is irrelevant. These are your fellow Americans. They are your brothers, sisters, cousins, classmates, etc. Get over yourselves and support the men and women who fight so that you may be free, so that you may have your opinions no matter what they might be. if you do not agree with the situation then give it your all, pick up a rifle, and make a difference in history......whether you agree or not, all politics aside.
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