Saturday, July 23, 2005

Benson v. Prager

On Wednesday last, Republic cartoonist Steve Benson struck again. As usual, it elicits a response from both sides of the spectrum.

First off, we have Zeigh in Chandler:

Just as I was going blind from the glare of minivans and SUVs displaying those bright yellow ribbons supporting the war in Iraq, Steve Benson has saved my eyesight and sanity with his cartoon on Wednesday. Rarely does a political cartoonist capture the true essence of such an emotional issue. I was forced to spill my coffee, toss the newspaper upon the floor, and stand boldly in my bathrobe applauding how Benson was able to say in one picture what so many Americans have been thinking since this futile war began!

Yes, I am a proud American. Yes, I support every man and woman who serves in this great county's military.

No, I do not support the war in Iraq. That is why I feel that all those misdirected yellow ribbons also need the phrase "Bring them home alive now" added to them.

Next, Art in Phoenix:

Obviously, Republic cartoonist Steve Benson has his anti-war-on-terror stance.

Is it just me or is anyone else out there reading The Arizona Republic who finds Benson's war-related drawings to be gratuitous, immature and off the mark?

No, Art. You're not alone. I for one agree, but opinions are like noses; everybody has one and they're welcome to it. Including both Benson and Zeigh. But I think both miss something entirely.

What they call support is really not. I have no doubt they wish they didn't have to see young American men and women die in Iraq. That is honest and, frankly, I wish it weren't happening either.

But is this really support? Yes, I support every man and woman who serves in this great county's military. No, I do not support the war in Iraq. I believe not.

Why is best illustrated in a piece recently written by Dennis Prager. He uses a simple analogy to press his main point. Simply stated, how can I support anyone when I say that the actions they're involved in are wrong, misguided and/or immoral?:

In order to understand this, we need to first have a working definition of the term "support the troops." Presumably it means that one supports what the troops are doing and rooting for them to succeed. What else could "support the troops" mean? If you say, for example, that you support the Yankees or the Dodgers, we assume it means you want them to win.

How exactly can you support someone involved in something you disagree with? It just doesn't jibe. Dennis is right; it's not a matter of patriotism, but of honesty. As I said, I have no qualms with anyone saying they don't want to see more dead Americans. But don't dress it up as "I support the troops."

You can't support the troops while crapping on the mission. Just not possible.

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