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Does Cartoonist Overdo it on Bush?

Here on Cagle.com we’re big fans of Arizona Republic cartoonist and Steve Benson. But one of his readers didn’t appreciate the following cartoon about George W. Bush’s canceled trip to Switzerland.

Geroge W. Bush Wanted Poster

Jacqueline J. Allen wrote into the paper, complaining that Benson “…has forgotten about 9/11 and what Bush authorized in order to keep the citizens of this country safer in the future.”

What do you think of the cartoon – fair or foul?

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post.

81 replies on “Does Cartoonist Overdo it on Bush?”

I don't know if 9/11 was an inside job, but look at the Bush family history and the history of Juniors administration. Friends with Bin Laden. Friends with Saddam. Massive crushing debt. The housing mess. Lying about WMD's to his own Cabinet members and to the people of the world. He should be in jail or shot for treason.

To those of you that think the terrorist attacks were an inside job, it's pointless to argue with complete freakin' idiots with little to no grasp on reality, so I refuse to engage you in a debate. As to weather Bush gets slammed too much, I think it's more accurate to say that Obama gets slammed too little.

Clearly the Bush Administration lied to fight a war in Iraq that was illegal, and without merit. We had Sadaam in check, the UN Inspectors were completely infiltrated by CIA and it was clear he had no WMD's or the capability for it. Those who celebrate his decision to go to Iraq, should clearly remember the sacrifices our soldiers and families of soldiers made while the Rumsfelds, Cheney's and Wolfowitz's got a way with murder. It distracted us from Afghanistan, which was right and just, and now we are in our 10th year of the war. Nice going Dubya and to all his supporters, your ignorant.

Saddam is irrelevant. 9/11 is irrelevant. Bush's exposed lies are irrelevant. Stoning and Sharia are irrelevant.

What is relevant: it is a fact that Bush has publicly admitted (boasted) about committing acts that are considered felonies by U.S. law and by international treaties to which the U.S. is a signatory. These laws also hold that any nation may prosecute war crimes regardless of where the crimes are alleged to have been committed.

It is also a fact that U.S. military tribunals have prosecuted and convicted German, Japanese, Chinese and American soldiers for the crime of waterboarding and that the tribunals have handed down sentences ranging from jail time to execution. It is also a fact that when a soldier carries out the order to commit a war crime, both the soldier and the commander are guilty.

Steve who?

Unknown artists scribbling something about President Bush, displaying their ingratitude towards him for keeping America safe is of no importance to me….

…if President Bush had *NOT* done these things and America was attacked, said unknown artist would have been criticizing him for *NOT* keep America from being attacked.

President Bush loses either way with these kinds of unfair people.

I say: "*********YAWN******"

I think impediment to travel is not a punishment for George W. Bush, who deserves to be hanged to death for all the crimes he committed and continues to commit.

Eric, the only thing clear about Iraq in the buildup to the invasion was that Saddam Hussein was yanking the UN around. Whether going to war to enforce the UN's mandate was good or bad, right or wrong is a valid debate but it was by no means clear Saddam was no threat.

As to the cartoon, I don't agree with the content but it's a good cartoon and certainly "fair". It's the diverse opinions of the people and their skillful expression of those opinions that makes a free society work.

I agree with Jay, either way Bush would be slammed, so yes I think the bozo from Arizona, Steve somebody is out of touch with reality. He's as bad as those ninnies who accuse Bush of killing babies, what a laugh that is!

Totally fair. The whole Bush crew should be very careful where they travel, lest they end up where they belong: On trial in the Hague for war crimes.

There are nut cases out there that still think 9/11 was an "inside job"? Where do these idiots come from, and when will they wake up to reality?

If your first thought was 'fair' because you still believe that POTUS Bush had anything to do with the terrorist attack on 9/11/2001, you are a complete idiot. It's morons like you who make a fine argument for sanity testing prior to allowing the right to vote in this country.

Since no other attacks occured on US soil during OTUS Bush's time in office, I'd day the techniques he allowed were effective. If you ever get around to reading the Geneva accords, you'd find that the 'fine' folks who hide behind women and children, place machine gun nests in schools and hospitals, and fire at US troops from crowds aren't covered by the very accords you think we signed on to.

Everything on the wanted posted is accurate and correct. Answers the question on why W didn't sign the international war crimes treaty. He must have known what was coming.

BTW what about the crimes against American people in the form of the Patriot Act, depriving American Citizens of the basic civil liberties this country was founded on. For those who say we are at war I can only respond that there is NOTHING in the Constitution or Bill of Rights that says "in case of war, disregard". He should have been impeached for breaking his oath of office, "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Great likeness though.

Sad there are so many that still look to place blame. World politics are what they are and the fact you are still free to act the fool only proves that your freedoms are still intact.

If you hate America so much cease sucking on the public teat and leave.

BDS is showing

wonder how he views Mao, Che, Stalin and other leftwing murderers or even Dear Leader in the DPRK

I do most definitely appreciate the Bush/Switzerland cartoon. GWB should count himself lucky that he is facing only cartoonists. He should be facing a judge in a courtroom, and perhaps someday he will. The man belongs in prison.

In this world we reap what we sow! He's not the only crooked politician but he could write the book. Bring it on Mr. Benson!

More than fair. Hardly scratches the surface. Far harsher cartoons need to be drawn of the entire Cheney Junta.

"…has forgotten about 9/11 and what Bush authorized in order to keep the citizens of this country safer in the future.”

If she means the PATRIOT Act and the invasion of Iraq, what did either of these do to "keep the citizens of this country safer in the future”?

Kevin H: "Where do these idiots come from, and when will they wake up to reality?" Same place you get the "birthers," probably.

Eric & Wallowitz: yep.

I disagree with this comic strip. I disagree with the idea with idea of processcuting President Bush. BUT the comic is fair. The Artist can draw whatever he wants in good taste. This is fine, whether I agree with it or not.

Having listened for so long as Daryl Cagle laments the continuing loss of cartoonist in the printed media arena I can’t help but wonder if they can’t see that they are doing to themselves.

Political cartoonists are effective with a mixture of humor and current events. Even the occasional parody generates reader interest. But a continuous mean spirited attack on a former president is at least going to alienate about half their readers. The loss of cartoonists is likely driven by the perception of the value the cartoonist adds to the media mix does not match the compensation they require.

Benson played rather loose with the facts in this instance, but then why let the truth get in the way of a good joke. This isn’t social comment; it’s nothing but an attack on the character of a former president of the US. And I find myself deciding that I will no longer be all that interested in seeing what Benson might come up with, and that impacts the fiscal bottom line of the Arizona Republic.

To say that this is fair and accurate is not to take anything away from the murderous butchers Mao, Che, Pol Pot, Kim Jeong Il, Stalin, Idi Amin … Rumsfeld and Cheney also belong in the prisoners' dock for crimes against humanity in violation of US treaties and the US Constitution.

Now I remember this guy…drew the cartoon showing a map of Arizona as if it were part of an extended-length clip under a semi-automatic handgun in the wake of the assisination attempt on Rep. Gaffords. Yeah, this guy has drunk the kool-aid, that's for damned sure.

Time to move on. How is this cartoon series helping current dialog and the problems that we face? This simply appears to be a far left cartoonists attempt to deflect attention from the present issues and problems. This polarization is a major part of the problem in getting our country back on track. The them and us mentality is not helping get us to constructive dialog. Time for the pundits to pressure our current legislators and leaders to face up to the severe economic crisis. It seems that they are avoiding a very serious issue at the general public's and future generations peril. We need to quit messing around with the rest of the world problems and focus on our own. We need to reduce spending in all quarters. We need to get our economy back on track. We need to quit thinking that government is going to create jobs. They can make jobs that create more taxes but that is not helping create a thriving economy.

I view the "cartoon" in the same way as I would view one that had Preident Obama hanging from a tree. They are both hate speech and Benson should be fired!

I cannot believe anyone would still trot out 9/11 as something GOOD about Bush. 1. it happened on his watch 2> used it as a twisted pretext to start an expensive and pointless war in the middle east and get deeply mired in a second one 3. is offensive that Bush exploited a true American tragedy for political gain.I have followed the work of cartoonists seriously and am acquainted with many of them. Some of the respondents do not know that Benson is largely conservative in his beliefess, but is unafraid to also call out hypocrisy and wrong- doing as he sees them. many also do not understand tyhe purpose of graphic satire, which is NOT to flatter YOUR beliefs.

Good cartoon. Those who liked Bush have blinders and will never see that their Emperor Had No Clothes — and no brains, either. A lot of horrible things were done under the Bush direction, either directly or at the behest of his minions, and the ultimate responsibility devolves to the president. Anything less is wrong. Bush did indeed exploit an American tragedy for political purposes. And because he did not report the costs of the two wars he started under false pretexts and without Congressional approval as required in the Constitution of which the conservatives are so fond ( but which they don't understand ), we are now burdened by a HUGE and all-consuming debt that falls to Obama to try to reduce. Never forget: the Soviet Union broke itself apart trying to fund their war in Afghanistan. I hope go heaven we don't follow in their footsteps.

The assessment it totally accurate! And yes, it is VERY sad that Bush and ALL of his minions are not on posters and being taken to task by the governments of the world, let alone the US. For the disgrace that he did to our nation alone he and his ilk should have to answer for.

Must be another Tom. As I recall GWB kept America safe from any more concerted terrorist attacks on CONUS for 8+ years following 9/11. It didn't take barry long to break that string. What about 10 months?

Over 4000 dead, 35000 wounded, all because of his lies. He should .not be forgiven for that, he should be tried as were all the other war criminals of WW11 Don't know how he and his other henchmen slept at night , knowing of the innocent young men they sent to their death.

Torture? No. War crimes? No. Acted on flawed intelligence that the rest of the free world (not just the USA) thopught was valid? Yes. Deposed a ruthless, brutal dictator in a key middle East nation and ushering in democracy to a country that has seldom, if ever, know it? Yes. Are we seeing the spreading of the seeds of that action in Egypt and perhaps Indonesia, as well? Probably. Liberals just never get it!

"George Orwell had warned six decades ago that the corrosion of language goes hand in hand with the corruption of democracy. If he were around today, he would remind us that 'like the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket,' this kind of propaganda engenders a 'protective stupidity' almost impossible for facts to penetrate. But you, my colleagues, can't give up. If you do, there's no chance any public memory of everyday truths – the tangible, touchable, palpable realities so vital to democracy – will survive. We would be left to the mercy of the agitated amnesiacs who ‘make’ their own reality, as one of them boasted at the time America invaded Iraq, in order to maintain their hold on the public mind and the levers of power."

President Bush, decides to leave the Ranch and go out to sit in a

local Crawford bar. A guy walks in and asks the bartender, 'Isn't that

Bush sitting at the end of the bar?'

The bartender says, 'Yep, that's him.' So the guy walks over and

says, 'Wow, this is a real honor! What are you doing in here?'

Bush says, ' I'm planning WW III.'

The guy says, 'Really? What's going to happen?'

Bush says, 'Well, I'm going to kill 140 million Muslims and one

blonde with big breasts.

The guy exclaimed, 'A blonde with big breasts?

Why kill a blonde with big breasts?'

Bush turns to the bartender and says,

'See, I told you, no one gives a damn about the 140 million Muslims'

I sincerely wish Steve Benson receives a brutal cartoon about his appearance. it surely has to be done by someone that completely dislikes him!

I remember when Steve Benson took that job at the Arizona Republic. I was then living in Scottsdale and he was a fresh breath of air; livening up the local political scene before Phoenix and some parts of Arizona went into permanent crazy land. Benson wouldn't have to go very far to enrage any of those strident and extremely ardent Republicans that live in the Valley of the Sun. Benson isn't as caustic as David Horsey, the Seattle P.I.com and syndicated Hearst cartoonist; Horsey might indeed have to be concerned for the safety of himself and family if he published the same cartoons that we see in Seattle.

The conservative controlled press gave George and his fellow criminals within his oval office a free pass for many years and it continues today. Well done on the cartoon.

How soon they all forget. I suppose it is that liberal "Selective Memory". Guess it will take another big hit to jog their memory bank.

Political cartoonists were no worse to the Bushes than the current crop is on President Obama. It comes with the territory.

I personally think Bush (Junior) was a lightweight and a stooge for darker personages in the government of the time.

If you want to live in the White House, you better have a thick skin.

fair. it is frankly because of the Bush administration's "chase 'em, legal or not" heavy-handedness that Europe is not sending suspects back to the US on warrants when death or security imprisonment could result. it is the law in many of our traditional allies that folk who act like the officials who pulled midnight captures and the like are criminals. GWB reaps what he sowed.

It's hard to say. He definitely is that. And then again, maybe we are still too close to the issue. In a hundred years Bush may be revered as the US President who caused freedom to erupt in the Middle East.

You know, long after we have stopped remembering the boys and girls who came home in boxes, or missing very important body parts. And long after the world has forgotten all the poor men, women and children who suffered and died because of his actions.

Who can say whether it is worth it all? I'm not God. Are you?

Earthbound, we are, and subject to earthly rules, regulations, and agreements. I reckon he is stuck.

The NAZI's and the Stalinists believed that the "Ends justify the means," as do Bush, Cheney, the ultra-right wing?

I once read somewhere that you have be careful what you hate, because you become that. Looks like we hated the Reds and the NAZI's too well, eh? (And why DO Republicans all themselves "RED"?)

I think this cartoon fits, properly. Iraq, no matter what you think of Hussein and his secret police, had nothing to do with 9/11, and it's pretty obvious just about the whole world knew and knows that.

Still it's hard to say how history will remember Bush. A hundred years from now, after we have all forgotten all the boys who came home in boxes or missing very important body parts, and the world at large has forgotten all the innocent Iraqis who perished in our "liberation" of them, and the others whom, after we liberated them, we treated as criminals in their own homes, well, maybe, just maybe, Bush will be remembered fondly as the man who started the trend towards liberty in the middle east.

Hard to say. Maybe we are still too close to the issue.

He might have 'kept us safe' AFTER 9-11 but that one "little" failure to protect alone should put him on the list of the worst president ever.

Responding to the taliban in Afghanistan was necessary + justified but Iraq was an unjustified + very poorly planned + executed invasion.

Signing statements, tax breaks f/ very wealthy, "faith based psudo -science", gutting of health and enviormental regulations.

Torture, rendition, illegal detentions to mention just a few points.

He should be locked up + the key thrown away. Him + his whole band of chicken hawk self serving criminals.

Oh, yes, it only takes a Bush cartoon to bring all the Pee Party Libtardians out of their subterranean moleholes. Today, we have First Mammy Mooch-elle with miniscule boobs and a Cheeseburger derriere that doesn't quit, lecture America's moms on proper breast feeding and what their "chillin" should ingest…The Hyde Park Hillbillies just keep on givin' and givin'…… Then there's Barry Oblahblah's proposed incomprehensive budget deficit..but that's for another day……..

"Does Cartoonist Overdo it on Bush?"

Nah!!! If it was me drawing those cartoons, I'de do a whole lot worse.

Shouldn't the title of the piece be "Do Cartoonist Overdo it on Bush?" versus "Does Cartoonist Overdo it on Bush?"

BUSH & HIS MOTLEY CREW NEED TO BE ARRESTED & TRIED FOR THE 4100+ AMERICANS THEY MURDERED IN IRAQ BECAUSE OF THEIR LIES & THE THOUSANDS OF VETS MAIMED FOR LIFE IN THAT WAR, TOO…LET THE WORLD COURT TRY THEM FOR THE MILLIONS OF IRAQI INNOCENTS THEY HELPED MAIM & MURDER.

Get over what happens to the scum bags at GITMO. They were caught trying to kill Americans . Our children, unless your a liberal and your kids go to Berkeley or an Ivy League school. The Geneva Convention is a joke. The only two countries that even begin to abide by it are the US and GB. Having been a POW I'll take any treatment at an American POW camp over what I went thru at the hands of the VC/Chinese and French. Yes there were French advisers and Chinese solders in Vietnam helping the VC. Watch your friends die or be tortured then tell me what is the proper way to treat enemy combatants. I'll take water boarding any day over watching rats eat your toes off as you are strapped down in an underground cell.

I live by the Old Testament – an eye for an eye not turn the other cheek and ask for more . My complaint with Bush is that he didn't wipe out the whole bunch over there. Of course he didn't kiss their backsides like the obanation we currently have in office.

All of you lefties still attacking the former POTUS need to read Bush’s 2003 SOTU speech because your memory of events are stuck on stupid! There were at least a half-dozen friendly nations whose very own intelligence agencies believed Sadam’s WMD capabilities were being continued. Also, let’s recall the very words of the demos of the day:

“According to the CIA’s report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop nuclear weapons.” Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) – Congressional Record, October 9, 2002

“Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” -Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

“He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do” — Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

“The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…” — Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

Besides the fact that Hussein murdered hundreds of thousands of his own subjects…with WMDs no less! I wonder why it was that not a damned one of you EVER protested against Saddam’s rape rooms, use of wood chippers on political opponents, and draining the life-sustaining waters of thousands of Iraqis who depended on it? Nope, you sat on your hands and whined when POTUS Bush took this murdering animal out. Nice.

It's true! There are warrants out for his arrest. We're the only place that he can be sure that he won't be arrested and tried before the International Court (which, by the way, he and Cheney refused to recognize — wonder why). The charge: War Crimes.

I believe that in this case Mr. Benson is quite understated and reserved. Those posters should be real and should include matching ones for Cheney and the rest of his infamous gang. They flat out lied to the American people with the intention of distracting attention from their inability to accomplish anything productive. Let's put them in one of AZ's private prisons and let 'em lie to their cellmate Bubba.

Face it, the guy and his staff really ought to have gone on trial for high crimes (aka treason) right here in the USA.

While I may not agree with the sentiment, political/editorial "cartoons" are just that – a visual prod of a perspective to make people think – not necessarily agree.

Wholesale spying, arresting and indefinite imprisonment of foreign nationals, denial of Constitutional rights of American citizens, plus torture by other names (sometimes resulting in death) -I think Bush is lucky that, at least to my knowledge, Switzerland doesn't practice extraordinary rendition and abduct and extrajudicially transfer him for trial, or to someplace that practices torture by proxy first. Benson's cartoon is very appropriate! Plus we are hated more by many of the people in the Middle East than ever before, for just the policies for which he could be tried. Ms. Allen is upset because she subscribes to a rehabilitated version of Bush and ignores the facts.

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