Blowback_toon

Blowback

A clean, well-lit place to vent

Please feel free to contribute to this frequently-updated forum, which posts selected commentary on our favorite comic strip. If you’d like your critique to be posted, please note that civility, if not approbation, counts. Click here to submit a comment.

WAR ARCHITECTS
Mike F. | San Diego, CA | December 21, 2011

Saddam was the enemy of our enemy in the 80s and that was good enough for us to look the other way then when it served our purpose. Make no mistake; when Bush mentioned "imminent threat" in 2003, he was setting in motion something all the war architects in his administration had been planning in one way or another for a long time.

COLIN POWELL
Jeanne Hutton | Tybee Island, GA | December 21, 2011

Why wasn't Colin Powell on the list?

THE WAR IN IRAQ
Brian | Kabul, AFGHANISTAN | December 20, 2011

The war in Iraq was a huge waste of time, resources, and most importantly lives. There is absolutely no evidence that Saddam had any intent to make war beyond his borders, barring interference from the US. Our youth has no responsibility to be corporate muscle for oil companies. nor do we have the duty to sacrifice our people for some politician's goals, or perceived threats. Saddam was our ally up until a short time before he (stupidly) invaded Kuwait. His actions and policies did not magically change in that time frame.

NAMING THE NAMES
Molly Larson Cook | Whidbey Island | December 20, 2011

Today's strip is excellent in naming the names that must be remembered for the travesty of the Iraq war. Thank you. Where is the Wall of Shame in Washington, DC? Never forget. Never forget.

RE "WORTH IT"
Bigdon1 | Las Vegas, NV | December 20, 2011

The Iraq invasion was in my opinion a colossal mistake that cost over 4,500 American lives and untold wealth. The terrorist organization known as al-Qaeda, led by the late and unlamented Saudi Arabian thug Osama bin Laden, attacked us on that fateful September day. The Taliban regime in Afghanistan supported and protected them. These were the people we should have tracked down and killed instead of getting sidetracked into launching an ill-advised military adventure into Iraq.

Bin Laden was and al-Qaeda continues to be the real threat to us and our allies, as evidenced by the attacks from London to Bali, from Mindanao to Yemen, and from Somalia to Mumbai. Saddam was an obnoxious tyrant that was an irritant to the Bush/Cheney administration but was no immediate threat to us, except to hurl empty threats that our intelligence people suspected were hollow. The President and the Pentagon civilian leadership ignored the intelligence community's recommendations and advice, depending upon what they later claimed to be "faulty intelligence" to justify launching the war.

Iraq's neighboring countries of Iran, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, all of them hostile to him, had Saddam completely contained. He had lost most of his army in a long bloody war with Iran. He had lost almost all of his air power and most of his armored forces in the disastrous foray into Kuwait.

The Bush administration however considered him to be an ongoing threat. Vice President Cheney continued to try to conflate Saddam with the al-Qaida organization, all the while playing on the unreasoning fear and paranoia that had many Americans willing to support almost anything thay thought might keep them safe from harm. What a pitiful display of cowardice. This war was a disaster foisted on the American people by a group in Washington that was more concerned with their own political prospects than the welfare of the country.

THE RAP
Angie S. | Washington D.C. | December 20, 2011

No matter what kind of thug Saddam Hussein was and what kind of insanity he probably planned, the true destabilization of the Middle East is yet to come. Iran has been rattling more than sabres for a long while now, but the backing they have from both Russia and China makes them far more a threat on a much larger scale than Hussein ever was. As for placing responsibility for the current fiasco and those that will inevitably come out of our adventure in Iraq, thanks for reminding us where that really lies. Now if one or, dare I whisper it, all of them, would just "man up" and take the rap...Nah! It'll never happen.

PERSPECTIVE
Bill Lemmond | Richmond, VA | December 20, 2011

I don't see anyone in the strip questioning the idea that the US invasion of Iraq was "the biggest foreign policy disaster," so I'm pushed to believe that Garry Trudeau thinks it's a worse disaster than: US involvement in the coup against Mohammad Mosaddegh, popularly elected Prime Minister of Iran; any of the times our policy was "We'll support baby-eaters so long as they're anti-communist," as if that were the only choice; failure to uphold treaties with Native Americans, thus consigning them to generational poverty and robbing all of their productive potential; invading Canada, in two wars, and failing miserably; the Hawley-Smoot Tariff, by which we played a part in ensuring a tariff war and worldwide depression and providing fertile, desperate ground for the rise of fascism; isolationism in face of that same rise of fascism; failure to prevent the communist takeover of China (the most polluted country on Earth), probably by uncritically backing a corrupt Chiang, as if that were the only alternative. Maybe Garry is too close to the problem, having reached out, in genuine respect, to the troops who see all the ugly details. I suggest stepping back and getting a broader perspective.

AIRPORT SECURITY
Pete | Hillsdale, NJ | December 20, 2011

I had no problems with airport security; I took off my shoes like they asked. That's when I got in trouble with the EPA.

FORGOT
Robert Palm | Lake Stevenss, WA | December 20, 2011

You forgot George Tenant and Colin Powell in your list of those responsible for the Iraq invasion.

OFF THE LIST
Devin Zarkowsky | Cincinnati, OH | December 20, 2011

Today's comment on  the architects of the Iraq war left Colin Powell off the list. Given his embarrassing and career-ending speech to the UN in 2003 that served as justification for invasion, he must be included, lest we forget that people perceived as good can be co-opted to cover wrongs.

COMPARE
David Swain | Chesapeake, VA | December 20, 2011

The biggest foreign policy disaster in history? At a cost of over 4,000 American lives, a sadistic, ruthless dictator was overthrown and replaced with a democratic government. Compare that with a cost of over 50,000 American lives for which we accomplished nothing and left Vietnam to a communist regime. And that's just in my lifetime, not all of American history. You might consider the war in Iraq a mistake, I do not. But if you think it was a bigger mistake than Vietnam then your Bush hating has gone way overboard. I'll even give you another in my lifetime that was a tremendous foreign policy disaster: President Kennedy supported an invasion of Cuba, promising military intervention as needed. Instead, he left the invaders to die on the beach at the Bay of Pigs.

A WELCOME
Chuck Jessen | Mill Valley, CA | December 19, 2011

I wrote a song called "Turn To Me" as a welcome for returning troops. We recorded it with the 17-year-old German singer Mira Zai and shot a music video, which is up on YouTube. The song is on iTunes, and 50% of all profits go to The Wounded Warrior Project and Fisher House.

WE SHOULD NOT
Pat Goudey O'Brien | Warren, VT | December 19, 2011

It's tough to look Iraq war vets in the eye and tell them that they went to war honorably (as so many did, including actual military volunteers along with thousands and thousands of National Guard troops who were serving in the supposedly home-based military to help pay their own bills, go to school, and protect their home communities, but were suddenly pressed into our "undeclared draft" to fill the country's war needs -- a group that included grandparents, for crying out loud!) while still saying the war was not necessary nor worth their sacrifice and the sacrifices of those who died (not to mention the Iraqi deaths in such huge numbers). I was from the start against this war (there had to be another way to get rid of Saddam), but feel so terrible lookiing an honorable soldier in the eye and saying, "We should not have sent you people. We should not have caused the loss of life there."

WORTH IT
Bernard | Washington, D.C. | December 19, 2011

Yes, professor, the war in Iraq was worth it, and the reasons go far beyond bean counting and public opinion polls. I first heard about Saddam Hussein as a threat during an intel briefing in 1976. The briefer said, "Saddam Hussein -- remember that name, because you're going to be hearing it again." Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, made the points in a TV interview that Hussein was clearly trying to get control of the Middle East oil fields, he was within about five years of being able to do so, and if he had succeeded, oil might now be $500 a barrel.

Hussein himself told our interrogators that he did not have weapons of mass destruction, but he kept the minds and skills to make them. The U.S. investigators did not find weapons of mass destruction, but they found "fertilizer factories" designed to mill product at .02 microns. Fertilizer is not milled at .02 microns, but weaponized anthrax is. Our investigators also found drone aircraft that could spray "fertilizer."

Saddam Hussein and his regime were a grave threat to stability in the Middle East and possibly the world. We can certainly argue about the way that we conducted the war in Iraq, but there is no doubt that the world is safer because we did.

TRUE
Allie | Gettysburg, PA | December 19, 2011

"They hate the TSA as much as we do." True that! When I referred to it as "the gates of hell," my brother and his equally well-traveled friend nearly fell of their seats laughing. Many of us would rather take the train.

REMINDS ME
Martin Evans | Las Vegas, NV | December 19, 2011

Today's strip reminds me of the Redeker Plan from the book World War Z. WWZ is about a worldwide zombie apocalypse, and the Redeker Plan involves placing VIPs into "safe zones" while other people are purposefully placed in harm's way to distract the zombies away from the safe zones.

SPOT ON
Jeff | New Jersey | December 19, 2011

Today's strip on terrorism and the TSA is spot on. The TSA's illegal and abusive practices -- the strip searches by the scanners, and the criminal touching pat-downs, especially of those in wheelchairs or with medical metal -- are disgusting and unAmerican. If this continues to be accepted and allowed, the terrorists will have cemented a firm victory over American values and freedom. Read more about it here.

UNEXPECTED
Kathleen Brosemer | Sault Ste. Marie, MI | December 19, 2011

Today's punchline is the funniest thing I've seen in a dog's age. I've been laughing audibly at my desk for two minutes now. Totally unexpected.

THE PROF
Brian Harvey | Berkeley, CA | December 19, 2011

What the prof should have asked B.D. is "How many terrorists were there in Iraq before we invaded it?"

THE TSA
Katharine | San Francisco, CA | December 19, 2011

"They hate the TSA as much as we do." Brilliant. Who could have guessed that the TSA would redefine 'safety' as 'misery'?