Category Archives: Military

ISIS Nuisance

151118-ISIS-NuisanceJohn Kerry thinks terrorists might have had cause for murdering cartoonists but the attack on Paris is beyond the pale. He backpedalled his statement but here it is. At least he didn’t croon “You’ve got a friend”.

He based his presidential campaign in 2004 on the idea that Islamic jihad is just a nuisance. President Obama feels the same. He wants to close Gitmo and prosecute Islamic jihadists though the US court system.

President Holland feels differently. Freedom fries anyone?


This analysis by John Lloyd of Reuters says it’s not only an act of war, ISIS is an “existential threat”.

What Obama’s Not Interested in Doing

151116obama presser-c
French President Hollande pronounced France at war and promised to destroy ISIS/ISIL.

At a press conference today President Obama could barely be bothered to answer questions about his ISIS strategy. He seemed sedated. There was plenty of his customary “what we’re not going to do” line of lecturing. As in, “What I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of ‘American leadership’ or ‘America winning,”’

He spoke in a sort of monotone and mentioned how busy he is. Here’s a You Tube of the speech.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day

Camp Arifjan Kuwait

Thank you to all who’ve served, from my 92 year old father-in-law in the greatest generation, to all the men and women I’ve met overseas this year. IMG_2110IMG_2091

Since it’s Veterans Day it seems like a good time to reflect on two trips I made this year to visit troops in Kuwait, Djibouti, Turkey, and Iraq. The trips were sponsored by the USO and featured members of the National Cartoonists Society. We were there to draw and help build morale.

Our visits were promoted in advance so we’d often arrive at a facility with people lined up waiting for us. Each person took a seat at tables opposite a cartoonist. Then we drew. IMG_2089

Good Morning from a guy who teaches Arabic to our troops

My method was to talk to the person while observing facial features. I’d try to get to know something about his or her background while trying to provoke a smile or frown. All the while I was drawing in ink and processing the information I was getting. If all went well I ended up with a caricature in a gag cartoon that had something to do with the person’s real life. And if it really went well I didn’t have to ask to be reminded of the guy’s name. Then I signed the cartoon to him, with thanks for his service.

Usually they love it. IMG_2111

They told me all kinds of stuff, mostly about family at home, what their jobs are in the service, and what they hope to do when they get out. Sometimes they’d whip out an iPhone with pictures. I’ve drawn whole family portraits from cell phones and iPads. One guy asked me to draw a picture of his little boy born in Spain, except his wife lives in England. Whatever makes ’em happy.

It’s an intense process requiring serious concentration from an easily distracted cartoonist. It’s also really rewarding. For the most part these are special people doing a hard job they volunteered for far from home. They don’t get much recognition  and they don’t complain. At least not to the cartoonist.

Veterans Day

So this Veterans Day I’d like to thank all who’ve served, especially the ones who took time to talk to me. IMG_2105


Putin’s Quagmire


Vladimir Putin is in Syria killing people and breaking things. He told the US to get out of the way. Putin’s the new cop in the Middle East. He says Russia is part of an alliance to stop ISIS, like the alliance to stop Hitler. But he seems more interested in stopping the revolt against his guy, Bashar Assad.


Barack Obama is flexible. He showed no sign of humiliation. He even welcomed Putin but warned him about be getting into a quagmire. Then he got out of the way.

Doctored Intelligence


Two weeks ago the NYT reported that intelligence analysts claim their superiors at Centcom doctored their reports to make ISIS appear more jv than varsity.

Daily Beast says more than “50 spies claim intelligence was cooked”.

Former CIA analyst, Fred Fleitz in National Review, wants to know where the rest of the intelligence community is. He thinks this is only a tip of the iceberg.