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Bone appetit

By Tom Toles

Caricature corner
I've drawn a lot of caricatures, so I know a little about them. My belief all along has been that the movie version of Shrek was modeled on Arnold Schwarzenegger. (The original William Steig version looked quite different). The mouth, at least, is Arnold. Definitely. Just imagine Shrek speaking with an Austrian accent. And I don't want to hear any argument about this one.
--Tom Toles


By Tom Toles  | May 31, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Environment  
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Dear Thinker, First rule of the Left. When you have nothing in your corner call names. Say nothing of the evil of Saddam Hussein or the Taliban harboring al qaeda. Just call names and propose child like taunts. Thank you for exposing to the readers of the Washington Post how low those of the left are when they have nothing else to say. I am glad that you have been to Arlington National Cemetary alot. Both of my Parents are buried there. It is very unfortunate that you are impervious to the humbling and caring effect it has on most people.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 3, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse


You know, I just have to point out some holes in your blog.

First of all, Ben Franklin is just Ben Franklin. His quotes are durable and useful in discussions about Memorial Day and just about everything else.

Second, the Air Force Officer you referred to as a 'Soldier', would probably rather be called an Airman (clue: he's not in the Army).

Third, I write my blogs in such a manner that I avoid calling folks names . So 'buffoon' -- I'll take that as a nice compliment - maybe you find me funny.

Fourth, I don't write about things I don't know anything about. I've either read about it, studied it, or experienced it. When I write about the military, I write from a perspective of 29 years of service. I don't mind anyone writing about anything -- free country -- but I will take to task those who have views that just do not seem to have the right rigor to their argument.

Fifth, you had the right 'not' to serve. Congratulations. But since you are such a stalwart fellow, how many servicemen could have benefited from your leadership had you chose otherwise? I mean, I don't care for some of your views but you're well-written and obviously a smart man. Why didn't you set aside your frustrations about politics and war and instead went shoulder to shoulder with a troop who could have used a hand? There's always going to be bad politics and politicians just as there are going to be hard-luck Soldiers that will try and make their dreams come true. Our best NCOs and Officer know that and do their best to keep the 'boys' and 'girls' safe at war. You have to compartmentalize your thought process a bit but you can be against war but pro Soldiers. And do something about it.

Sixth, you have strong political views about ending war, thus saving Soldiers lives from the wicked hawks in high office. What have you done about that? Did you serve your country in another way that you aren't sharing with us?

I went to a 1st Infantry Division annual gathering immediately after Desert Storm. I watched as WWII and Vietnam veterans walked around the ball room, waiving their colors, laughing and joking as if they were 18 again. Brothers in war and peace, making merry because they were together again once more. Pageantry, you might say, and it was well worth all the fuss.

I'll never compare my combat experience with that of the WW, Korea, and Vietnam veterans but I did my job and I like to remember folks that didn't come back with me in the 90s and now in the past 8 years, I've lost a couple of friends and probably more that I don't yet know about. My Dad commanded in the Old Guard so I bet he and I are 'almost' equal to you in visits there. Maybe you can visit us there sometime in the future, a distant future I hope.

Keep thinking, thinker, and my apologies for getting you all riled up.

Posted by: pararanger22 | June 1, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I’m old enough to remember when Veterans’ Day was Armistice Day, and Memorial Day was Decoration Day. I’m also old enough to have been emotionally involved in a war that was marketed as defeating the dread of communism – which later morphed into containing the beast – when in fact it was a lengthy war of liberation and a civil conflict that erupted from an ugly mix of broken promises, politicians’ greed and corruption, Western palace puppets, the residuals of French and Japanese colonialism, multi-faced nationalism, outrageous idealism, attack-dog militarism, Cold War saber-rattling, testosterone poisoning – just to name a few. Whether you witness the graves at Arlington, or the scattered graves bearing those dear little flags in your local cemetery: all of those deceased would agree with General Sherman that “War is hell” – and all despite the duty each served. There’s no glory in warring; only in keeping the peace. And in spite of the record we have scored for ourselves as a nation of warriors, we are woefully incompetent where peace and its scattered history has struggled to break out. No flags will bring back the 58,000 Americans who died – and let’s add “for nothing” – in the Vietnam Debacle; nor for that matter, the 35,000 lost lives in Korea. No tears will resurrect those 4,000 souls who were sent to save Iraq and Afghanistan from themselves. And no political cartoonist should feel responsible for anything but his own version of the truth (the Fourth of July, notwithstanding). So stick with Global Warming whenever it suits you, Mister TT. Keep reminding us to consider "whatever" whenever the spirit moves you -- and when we least expect it. Or don't do any of these things: it's your cartoon, after all.

Posted by: dudeupnorth | June 1, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

You must be referring to Ben Franklin, the veteran, pararanger22, in your post.

I'm not familiar with his exploits.

Posted by: Thinker_ | June 1, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse


Funny you should mention Germany during the cold war, of all times and places.

My father served there during the late 60s in Air Force intelligence. My loved ones served, you buffoon. I did not. This fact was largely owed to the insights bestowed upon me by many veterans, along with the fact that American beer is dishwater, American culture is kaput, and Korea and Vietnam were tragic and inexcusable wastes of life.

What about it?

And funny, too, you should mention that we might be writing in Russian (you forgot German), both of which, my father was fluently able to do. Maybe THAT'S why he understood that political BS is the cause of wars, not language barriers. He was very privy and shared as much with me, about mainstream propaganda.

I don't know where you find in my post that I'm "against the military," to be honest. The military is necessary. Wars are not the same. If Obama pushed for war on England tomorrow, people in the military would have to go.

I wonder if you can get that nuance past your waving flag:

War does not equal military.
Military does not equal war.

See the difference? And let me tell you about a conversation I had with an Air Force officer over dinner one evening at a friend's house.

I, in my typical, negative way, was mentioning that 35 year old reservists were being sent to Iraq. This soldier told me, "that's how it's supposed to be."
I said, "well, I disagree. If that's the case, why would they call them 'reservists'"

And he popped the all too telling question: "Well, who would you WANT them to send? The REAL military?"

And I, as you can imagine, repeated probingly, "The REAL military?"

To which he answered, "Yeah, the ones in offices?!"

Which made me question who IS the military, anyway, if the ones in the offices think THEY'RE the real military, while the face of the military, in the mind of the public, are the men and women on the ground, in theater, risking their lives?

So, yeah, maybe I am against the REAL military, but I have compassion for anyone who tries to better themselves by joining the military, only to get sent overseas and killed or maimed. And I choose to honor them by not waving the flag, which, in my mind, says, "America, right or wrong," "fight and die for your country," even if that means attacking England tomorrow. Or Vietnam. Or Korea. Or Sudan. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Panama. Or the Native Americans.

Waving the flag tells those in power, or who will be in power, that they've got plenty of cannon fodder at the ready.

In my opinion, it sends the wrong message. It should be a day of silence and remembrance. A somber day. Not political grandstanding. Those calling for war need to know that those "numbers," those "casualties" MEAN something more than just USA. This isn't like the Olympics, after all. At least not to me.

Posted by: Thinker_ | June 1, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse


Why don't you take your sanctimonious junk and stuff it from whence your sentiments emerge.

I have been to Arlington Cemetery. Many times. Many many times more than you have. I lived a mile a way (oops, betraying my humble beginnings) for 15 years. Been to numerous ceremonies there. The latest was on May 21st when I went there to support my lifelong friend who lost his father.

What the F about it?

And while your stuffing your sanctimonious nonsense up your orifice, put your flag up there, too. At least somebody will get some enjoyment out of you twirling it around.

What does Arlington Cemetery have to do with you trying to exploit, for your own personal gain, those veterans who died in and after wars?


Posted by: Thinker_ | June 1, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

gee Toles...such a macabre vision...what is up with that??? Here I thought there was ALWAYS somewhat of a personal Joke with your least that's what I heard....I hope
your weekend was a bit less BLEAK than what you have chosen to portray in your "comic"...whatever the "future", I'm sure it won't be THAT bad.
by the way I had a lichen salad with a hint of rat for lunch : )

Posted by: bertzel | May 31, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Toles gave his thanks to the Soldiers a few years ago with his double amputee Soldier laying on a gurney for no good reason but trying to score political points and just a day or so ago Toles gave this year's salute to the United States military with his stitched up Frankenstein wearing the US Flag top hat.

Posted by: Champions | May 31, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

To FergusonFoont & Thinker,

"What kind of government have you given us?" Mrs. Powel asked Ben Franklin as he emerged, at last, from the sweltering hall in Philadelphia. A monarchy? A democracy? No.

"A republic," he said, "if you can keep it." -- Courtesy Las Vegas Review-Journal

One of the reasons I like the WP is that it flushes out some of the foolish notions of some that are yes, American, but perhaps unworthy of the claim. Servicemen and women don't actually get to pick the fights they participate in -- the leaders of our government do that, rightly or wrongly. Thus, Veteran's Day and Memorial Day are more about the troops and the battles fought much less the great debates of whether we should have sent our Nation's treasured young to the fight.

Setting aside your infantile arguments against other wars, you simply avoided discussion of the Cold War and its implications for 'actually' defending America. Had we not defended the plains of Germany for 50 years, there is a very good case to be made that you would be writing your blog entry in Russian. Actually -- that wouldn't work because you wouldn't be allowed to. And that wouldn't work, because you would probably be in prison with the other miserable high-minded, use-to-be-free Americans. As for relating our actions in Afghanistan to simplistic cowardice, that argument has no merit whatsoever. Please provide the cunning plan that would have achieved more, better, than the current one and I'm sure the chain of command will turn to this blog to drink from the fountain of knowledge. Afghanistan remains a lake-bed for violent extremists that will surely flow back if the Coalition departs, prepared and anxious to continue their foul deeds.

And by the way, most of us actually believe that the passengers on UA FL 93 are part of our honored dead on Memorial Day. Was it an act of simplistic cowardice when they forced that jet into the ground, saving countless lives in DC?

You two may not care for the military or what it stands for but we're anxious to hear about what you've done for the country. Lazy, thoughtless ramblings on this day are your right, but amount to bull in every other way.

I doubt Ben Franklin would believe you two are up to the task of "keep[ing] it."

Posted by: pararanger22 | May 31, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I would ask "the thinker" and "Ferguson Foont" to pay a visit to Arlington National Cemetary. Just walk around. Look at the markers, look at the names. Compare the birth dates to the date of death. Go to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and witness the solemn ceremony which is the changing of the guard, where not a word is spoken in the gallery. Saddam Hussein was a murderer, who killed his own people and was a constant threat to peace on this planet. The Taliban of Afghanistan allowed al qaeda to operate out of their country and to plan and execute the 9/11 attack which killed thousands of Americans. This day and that place Honor men and women who have lost their lives to rid this world of people and governments that would do us and our allies harm. The world has bad people with the capability to harm good people. If only people like the Thinker and Ferguson Foont could understand who the bad ones are and who the good ones are. Maybe a trip to Arlington National Cemetary would help clear their heads.

Posted by: bobbo2 | May 31, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

post cont'd...

might not get our country very far, but at least it will keep us from descending with it.

Thinker, I've posted your comment to my FB page because you said it better than I could possibly ever say. Thanks again.

Posted by: sheRah | May 31, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Here may be the most politically incorrect posting I have ever made anywhere.

Don't we already have "Veterans' Day" to honor our veterans? Might it be better to have some other holiday in May? We definitely DO need a holiday along about this time of year, what with it being so VERY long since Presidents' Day (which, as you recall, used to be TWO holidays, February 12 for Lincoln's Birthday and February 22 for George Washington's Birthday), but I think we already honor Veterans with enough holidays.

My view of veterans differs from most. There are a rapidly dwindling number of them still living who actually defended the United States or "our freedom." The last time our military did anything actually related to defending America,s survival or liberty was back in WWII.

The Korean War had no bearing on American security and was nothing but an expression of anti-communism hysteria, the same genesis for McCarthyism. The Vietnam War had even flimsier justification, with its beginnings being nothing more than a defense of French colonialism, our involvement polluted by a genuinely anti-democratic cancellation of a December, 1954, national election, and later morphing into a fight against some "domino effect," which despite our defeat there proved to be entirely fictional.

Our "Desert Storm" was a betrayal of an agreement we hammered out with Saddam Hussein not to oppose his incursion into Kuwait, which had been slant-drilling into Iraqi oil fields for over a decade against Iraqi protests. Defending Kuwait cannot be considered in any reasonable universe to be a "defense of democracy."

Our war against Afghanistan was, and continues to be, a simplistic reaction borne of our own cowardice, and our war in Iraq has the very nasty flavor of a personal vendetta of George W. Bush against Saddam Hussein. Neither war has even a potential path to victory short of genocide, and neither war serves the interests of American security, whether viewed in the short term or the long.

So I'm not real big on celebrating the exploits of our recent veterans. Sure, they may be courageous and patriotic and all, but their courage is misdirected and their patriotism is more accurately described as jingoism. We would be better off without the events that provided their status as "war veterans," and I would prefer that our military be devoted to less destructive activities, like (let's see if I can come up with a couple of obvious examples of military usefulness in the modern world where they actually WOULD be defending America and Americans) rebuilding New Orleans and its levees or stemming the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | May 31, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Just about every male in my family served in the military. None "died" in the wars, but a few might as well have (PTSD, I'd say, but at the time of the Korean "Conflict," he just came back "crazy"). My brother serves now. My father and stepfather both served.

I am not the least bit offended or alarmed that Tom Toles has skipped the flag-waving contest today. I actually find it refreshing. There will be plenty of ignorant "patriots" waving the flags today. One less, in my opinion, is a good thing.

In light of the current "situation" on the Korean Peninsula, I'd like to ask my uncle if he thought his sacrifice was worthwhile, leaving his sanity at Chosin. Unfortunately, he died of a "heart attack" at 36 years old. On my father's side, his uncle, probably not coincidentally, died at 42 of a heart attack, after coming back from WWII "a bit odd."

The best thing we can do to honor our "fighting men and women" is avoid war, not instigate more of them. War for resources is as old at the club. Some people think Memorial Day is a contest of campaign slogans and pageantry. I've seen too much of the "glory" of war to believe that. I was visiting a friend at Walter Reed about 5 years ago who had come back from Iraq. The conditions there bothered me immensely. To me, the measure of how our "fighting men and women" are valued is best shown in places like Walter Reed Medical Hospital. And I can tell you, the flag waving and rhetoric replayed in my head like a sick joke as I saw the reality of their sacrifices settling in on the faces of our injured and disabled veterans, kids, really. I hear it has changed there. The Post ran an expose of the conditions. All the clean walls in the world wont get a 21 year old his legs back. And the time in healing only adds more downtime to consider just what it was one was fighting for.

Though I never served, despite the best efforts of my stepfather to recruit me, I feel one less waving flag or Harley enthusiast in DC today is fine. I will be working in the yard today. I'm sure my brother in the Navy will be getting drunk with his buddies.

Most people don't even realize what a slap in the face it is to contort a day of memorial into a day of political gamesmanship: Take a moment of silence, and cheer for the inadequacies of human communication, call for more war, and point to our Veterans as the inspiration for this. One less flag-waving hawk is a good thing.

Posted by: Thinker_ | May 31, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Those who said it will be warmer and have solutions to keep it from being warmer have decided that they are too limited. What if it actually gets colder. So they say they are against "climate change." Now if they could only come up with more than one solution. It is still "cool off the Earth." That is the all purpose solution to all possible "climate changes."

No matter what they think will happen.

Just update and they can cover all the bases. Just as big companies donate to all the candidates.


Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 31, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Re: Shrek and Schwarzenegger


Posted by: billh39 | May 31, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

On this beautiful spring day when we Honor our Americans in uniform who have died in service to our country, the person who draws for the Washington Post gives us his latest whine about global warming. I suppose that Mr. Toles goes by the axiom that if you have nothing good to say than don't say anything. Fortunately for Mr. Toles his right to free speech has always been protected by those who are not here to enjoy this fine day. God Bless those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, our men and women in uniform.

Posted by: bobbo2 | May 31, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse


Yeah, Toles is spot on. Its Memorial Day and he conjures up a climate change cartoon. Would it be too much trouble to depict the military in a thoughtful drawing on a day like today?
No surprise though -

Posted by: pararanger22 | May 31, 2010 3:16 AM | Report abuse

spot on as usual. but how about some sunlight on all those Grover Norquist type Anti-reg, anti- enforcement,allow Business to run amok on the planet types.what about the Right wing perps, whose agendas and ideologies bear full responsibility and complicity for this purely PRIVATE SECTOR CATASTROPHE,who now claim hypocritically, that its that same big,bad Governments responsibility to take action and save us and them, from them.say what?did I miss something? are they admitting that GOV is essential and has a purpose? cant be.

Posted by: patmariegeraghty | May 31, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

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