Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

An Anniversary Nobody Really Cheered About

Well, at least we kept Peoria from being nuked by Saddam Hussein...

Please Note: the Anniversary Cake is Yellow

Last week, we saw the passing of the 10th Anniversary of the Iraq war—ooops, excuse me, Congress never declared war, so, ummmm, what do we call it?

When the airplanes struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, somewhere amid the horror of what I was seeing rose an additional realization, “Oh, my God, we’ve just had our Reichstag Fire.” I could see with horrifying clarity that this would be the defining moment that turned the United States from its democratic principles to something totally antithetical to the dreams of our nation’s Fathers. We have resisted the impulse of creating concentration camps for Moslems–we incarcerated many, but mostly exiled them for visa transgressions. We have created gulags where we gathered a mostly hapless group of alleged terrorists whose major crime seems to have been being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the wrong person wanted to collect a reward. We HAVE built massive PRISONS, but these are privately run camps to provide slave labor and corporate profit and anyone can enter. We passed the grossly obscene “Patriot” act through which almost any crime can be considered to be an act of terrorism–when the need arises.

Our incursion into Afghanistan almost looked legitimate. We claimed the head of, what was his name, Osama bin Laden? Yes, he was there, later on he claimed credit for “9/11″, which our government was already doing within minutes of the tower falls–since it had pointedly ignored the warnings from the intelligence community of terrorist actions inside the US. He was there, but the Taliban government had the nerve to ask for evidence before they would consider handing him over. So like a western posse, we went in and cleaned up the corruption in Rock Ridge and hunted down bin Laden until we were just yards from his hiding place in the mountains when…

Wait, what? The real danger is from Iraq? The country which had been under UN sanctions for a decade? Whose dictator, Saddam Hussein, couldn’t even afford to buy shoes for his army? HE had weapons of mass destruction? Yes, we had the ominous YELLOW CAKE requests–which turned out to be forgeries. We had George Bush and Tony Blair smirking their way into war. We had Dick Cheney and Condi Rice promising us mushroom clouds of doom if nothing was done immediately. We had a mountain of evidence that Colin Powell presented at the UN. I remember listening to him and being absolutely convinced by the man’s sense of sincerity… until the next morning, when I realized that all that evidence had no context. That if you believed it was something bad it was, but those conversations about hiding things could have just as easily been hiding the porn when the inspectors arrived.

And so we went off and destroyed a country within weeks. Killed several thousand Americans and maimed 10s of thousands. Killed 100s of thousands Iraqis and destroyed the infrastructure of the country. Wasted around two trillion dollars (when asked about the loss of a trillion dollars from the Pentagon budgets, Donald Rumsfeld remarked, “I’ll have to look into that,” and didn’t) which the Tea Party is now trying to collect from the poorest among us. For which sinful errors of judgment or outright acts of war-mongering for profit no one has been held accountable.

Many of us felt powerless to do anything to stop it. Only after the deed was done did I decide that I could do a political cartoon series against these criminals. I was scared too–protesting the war COULD have been considered an act of terrorism according to the Patriot Act.

HAPPY F$%^&*G ANNIVERSARY.

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All you really need is heart…

Dick Cheney wakes up in the hospital to discover a side effect of his transplant--he's suddenly developed a "heart"

"You've got to have heart..."

Two stories of note this week: the shooting of Trayvon Martin–which actually occurred a month ago today–and Dick Cheney’s new bundle of joy. I’ve always found myself to have a reluctance to draw cartoons about things that are sad. Things that make me angry on the other hand are fair game. And the shooting of Trayvon Martin makes me sad. But the reaction of the Fox News types is worth derision.

On one hand, you have Geraldo Rivera admonishing the dead kid about wearing a hoodie because it looks too “gangsta.” And then you have New Gringrich admonishing the President about noticing the kid was black. No two ways, Fox, it’s either racist or it ain’t. Add to this the “stand your ground” fans backing up shooter Zimmerman saying that he was only doing his job–self-appointed and told by the 911 operator not to pursue–and you start to wonder if their heads are in so far, will these guys ever see daylight again?

Fortunately, Melissa Harris-Perry took care of Geraldo, and the electorate looks like it will be taking care of Newt. And Paul Krugman reveals the truth about American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate shills behind the “stand your ground” laws.

Which leaves us Dick Cheney. The sight of all the people wishing him well with prayers for a speedy recovery—including those who’ve accused him of being a war-profiteer, a war criminal, and responsible for the sinking of the US reputation to historic lows by ‘OK’ing tortures the Japanese were hanged for after WWII—warms my heart. This is the mark of a civil society. We do live by the Golden Rule: Do not do unto the previous Administration as you would not have the next Administration do unto you.

Now a churlish man would be making comments about Mr. Cheney’s heart transplant like “Where’d they find one that small?” Or, “This one is perfect, Igor, MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Or, “Wow, the old one really was made of stone–this will fetch a high price on EBAY!” But we won’t do so. Instead, we’ve decided to honor Mr. Cheney with some verses of a song:

Dick had to have heart,
Cheney really needed heart.
They kept saying that you didn’t have one.
But here’s one for a fresh start!

You never lost hope,
When they kept on saying nope,
Like with those weapons that could never be found,
Those visions were sound, your critics dopes.

Don’t you think of Halliburton,
And the profits from the war,
You will only feel some hurtin’,
And who knows what you’d outpour
to an enhanced interrogation!

So pick up the phone,
And when you hear the dial tone,
Tell your friend that you are sorry you graced
with buckshot his face,
it wasn’t smart,
Now you’ve finally got heart.

No applause please, the patient is convalescing.

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Hey, we still have troops in Germany and Japan 65 years later…

Ho-hum--combat troops gone? What about all the troops?

Hey, they're only there to help train the Iraqi army--which hasn't gotten it together in the last 6 years

Only 7 years and change later and we finally have less than 100k troops in a place we should never have invaded in the first place. Remember those heady days after 9/11 when people all over middle America were convinced that Saddam Hussein was going to nuke their mall in the next two days? The mushroom clouds that Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice were predicting would be our doom unless we took out Iraq NOW! Those aerial photographs of Carvel trucks that Colin Powell assured us were delivering yellow cake instead of ice cream cake? Such a relief there was when the Marines staged that toppling of Saddam’s statue so it would look like the Iraqis themselves were pulling the ropes!

But by the time we found out that there WERE no weapons of mass destruction, and Saddam had nothing to do at all with 9/11, the “Pottery Barn” scenario–you break it, you bought it–was in full swing (and we were even wrong about the Pottery Barn’s policies!) and it was too late to say “Whoopsie-daisy!” And for the last seven years, we’ve been bollixing up a country that was continuously on the verge of civil war with the only thing which the various factions could seem to agree on was that they didn’t WANT US!

Since Obama was elected, we’ve been drawing down our forces in Iraq–so we could throw them into the other quagmire in Afghanistan. And now, the last of our “combat troops” will be leaving, with only 50,000 “support” troops remaining–whatever the hell THAT is. Remember what we called them in Vietnam? “Advisors.” Well, maybe their mission WILL be to train that untrainable Iraqi self-defense force, but troops is troops. The real reason they’re there is so we will have a presence on the ground in the Mideast WHEN we need them. And it only cost us a couple of trillion dollars to boot!

Fox News only devoted 10 minutes of airtime to this momentous event and some people are crowing about the lackluster coverage the war’s chief cheerleaders have given to the transition. But seriously–is it anything to write home about? As Dennis Kucinich has observed, this is just a new phase in the PR campaign. We’re not going to leave Iraq for some time. Ten years? Remember, we still have troops in Germany and Japan!

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Perhaps it was auto-erotic asphyxiation?

Arturo Gatti lies strangled as his wife, Amanda Rodrigues, tries to explain to a policeman how she did not notice he was dead for ten hours--after all, Americans didn't know the CIA was spying on them for eight years...

He always looks like this when he is drunk...

It does sound a little strange, doesn’t it? Arturo Gatti, welterweight champion, has a knock-down drag-out fight with his wife, pushing her to the floor and bruising her on the elbows and chin and then the next morning he’s got a purse strap around his neck and has turned blue. Word has it they were always fighting–in this instance about Amanda Rodrigues, Gatti’s wife, wearing clothes that were too revealing–is she the model? I can’t seem to get this straight–and other times over allegations of infidelity–probably both ways–and were, surprise, surprise, in the process of separation. A marriage not exactly made in heaven.
The police are charging Amanda with the murder–now, I can’t see how a boxing champion could manage to get strangled by his wife UNLESS he was already unconscious–and he was supposed to be very drunk that night. And the police think it’s fishy that she could be in the same house as he was and not notice that he was dead–but if she’d had this battle royale with him early in the evening, I could see her locking herself in a bedroom and not emerging till the next morning. However, the idea that someone would wander in and strangle him–with a PURSE STRAP–does make things rather interesting and makes you ask, if it wasn’t her, didn’t she HEAR something?
On the other hand–we have here the spectacle of Vice Presidential assassination squads and illegal surveillance on American citizens, which no one in Congress seems to have heard about despite the CIA saying that of COURSE they had been informed. It can be taken for granted that Cheney lied–but to be fair, Dick Cheney has demonstrated over and over again that he has no concept of objective reality, so you really can’t say he’s LYING when he doesn’t tell the truth because he’s brain-damaged–but the CIA are experts in prevarication. It would be easy for the CIA chief to report something to Congress in such a way that nobody really knows what he’s talking about. “Oh, we’ve also instituted surveillance on a number of terror suspects in the United States,” buried in a laundry list of actions of such mind-numbing detail that no one thinks to ask–what KIND of terror suspects? On the other hand, Congress had been reduced to a rubber stamp organization from Sept. 12, 2001 until January 1, 2007. This wasn’t simply because of the party of the Administration holding majorities in both houses, it was because the Democrats were at first as gung-ho as the President about kicking Islamic butt, whether it was the right butt or not, and later on, were cowed by their own acquiesence and scared by the apparent popularity of the President and his Iraq war. Only after Bush demonstrated how totally out of his depth he was in the wake of Hurricane Katrina did the Democrats acquire enough backbone to stand up to him–once in a while. Hell, Obama still doesn’t think that the alleged illegalities and abuses of power by Bush, Cheney & Co. should be investigated because the rules of the game say that you don’t go after the previous administration. I mean, it’s poor sportsmanship to complain about someone cheating after the game, even if you have videotape that shows they were offsides on every other play, right?
But we’re not talking about a football game here, are we? Ler’s hope Attorney General Holder has the backbone to at least appoint the special prosecutor he’s thinking about…

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Yes, Virginia, There IS A Sanity Clause

Suddenly, Dick Cheney says there was no connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq and that he is in favor of gay marriage. Santa Claus come early this year!

I Do Believe in Cheney Claus

Ahh, Dickie Boy. I guess it hasn’t occurred to you yet that nobody frickin’ believes you anymore. On the other hand, I guess you can’t be held to blame because the National Press Club obviously still DOES. Who else but the coprophagic reporters and editors who swallowed your BS for eight years would still pay attention when you offloaded the logs that you delivered the other day? Weren’t you the one who said that there wasn’t any doubt that there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda? And said it over and over not just during the rush to a war that, oh, gee, you just admitted wasn’t really all that necessary, but for the five remaining years of your, oops, I mean, George Bush’s administration? Just who was it then who got us into this war? Congress? The other group who got diddled with edited intelligence, all disclaimers being buried in the footnotes? There IS such a thing as videotape, you know, and people can actually re-watch all those interviews. But not “the base”, I guess.
I guess Mary must be pretty happy right now also, now that Dad has realized he’s not against gay marriage. It must make her feel proud to know that he can acknowledge her sexual orientation without attacking anyone else–like John Edwards did during the 2004 election–for revealing a deep dark stain on his character. Too bad so many states have followed his earlier lead and started passing “Defense of Marriage” bills that define marriage as being between one man and one woman, but they obviously misinterpreted your unspoken thoughts.
Now, most of the news articles I read treated these statements of yours as two separate incidents, not wishing to reveal that you said both of these whoppers at the same event. But most of them completely ignored your dumping the blame for 9/11 on Dick Clark, suggesting that he was asleep at the switch and was caught with his pants down like the rest of you. Jon Stewart’s writers at the Daily Show (who have GOT to be watching every freakin’ news channel and C-Span 25/8!–as well as Arianna Huffington) After all, you hadn’t “read his book.” I guess you hadn’t read his memos, requests for meetings, briefing statements, either.
So what I want to know is, why does anyone pay you any attention anymore Dick? We already found you stealing the presents from under the tree. Isn’t it time we all grew up and admitted that far from being the Santa Claus we believed gave us peace and security, you were the Grinch who was stealing it away? Unfortunately, you’re out of office. It’s too late to invoke the Sanity Clause.

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