Cartoon for August 16

Here is my cartoon for today. Inspired by an Associated Press piece that did not receive wide publication in newspapers, it lampoons the military’s new GED programs for high school dropouts it recruits. Readers of my column may recall the Heritage Foundation’s unfounded claim–widely reproduced by right-wing bloggers and talk-show hosts–that US troops are better educated and wealthier than their civilian counterparts. In fact, they are significantly poorer and less educated, a reflection of their status as pawns.

Click on the cartoon to see it bigger.

18 Responses to “”

  1. owen Says:

    I find this insulting. I’ve been in the Coast Guard for six years(say what you want, but it’s one of the five branches of the military and has operated in every armed conflict) and I took advantage of the MANY education programs the government offers. An active duty member is granted up to $4500 a year for education (it goes much farther than you think), plus the GI bill whenever they want to use it. I’m insulted that you think we’re a bunch of dolts, and I find it even more insulting that you lok down at us because you’re sooooo smart.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Owen –

    the joke is that the Gov’t program teaches fallacies and jingoism instead of the commonly accepted canon for each subject.

    he’s not mocking the soldiers. they’re doing the right thing in trying to get their GED; given our government’s (read: military’s) prowess at bungling everything else, with a particular knack for overlooking facts and relevant cultural traits of the “enemy”, this is what we might expect from their GED program.

    Get it?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Anyone that thinks Ted doesn’t have the highest reguard for our brave people in the military has not spent much time reading his articles and comics. Ted is probably more concerned for you than your own president. Get some skin swabbie. Ted is for winning the terror war with the least loss of our brave. I’d be more insulted by a commander in chief that sends our young to die for oil instead of getting Osama and his cronies.

  4. Anders Says:

    If you’re so smart, Owen, you’d recognize generalization and hyperbole and the purpose to which they are used.
    (Sorry for bad English, but I’m not a genius military man ;P )

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I would agree with Owen. I know plenty of liberals who never finished high school either. Does this show their ignorance by being anti-war?

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Nice to see Ted and anders insult one of our troops directly. There’s no ambiguity on this one, and Ted’s hatred of the troops is as plain as day.

    Stop hiding behind the “this is symbolism” b.s., and claiming that it only proves Ted’s deep heartfelt concern for the troops. It’s doubly insulting, as if we’ll fall for that too while Ted snickers in the background.

    What happened Ted, did you get beat up in high-school by some Marine or something? Did he call you faggot? What it is it? What drives this incessant urge to insult the very people who are fighting on your behalf?

  7. Angelo Says:

    Look at panel 4. Now we can call Ted a neocon because he said (and I quote):
    “people who sodomize prisoners are patriots”.
    lol, hamhock will think he has hannitized you.

    now check out this conservative t-shirt.

  8. Angelo Says:

    I can understand why so many people join the military. The economy is an especially dim picture for young Americans. The military is a way to join a communist utopia while still being American. I considered the airforce, but I learned by studying and observing recent history (not the Military Times) that I would likely be killing innocent people for oil. That is why it is so sad that drop-outs join the military. Not because of what education they miss in highschool, just the education they miss everywhere else.
    Now Owen, the Coast Guard is alot less likely to kill for oil. It is the one branch of the military ,one could argue, we really need to beef up on right now. But to quote Reagan, you can hear a “giant sucking sound” as all of your funding goes to Iraq and Afghanistan.
    I would be interested in when you received that education from the military, because if other benefits are any indication, it is not what it used to be even 6 years ago.

  9. Chuck, Tempe, AZ Says:


    I don’t read much of what Ted writes, mainly because I find most of his cartoons childish and repugnant rantings and imagine his writings even more so…I would be interested in discovering his “heartfelt concern for the troops”, if you have any concrete evidence of that.

    I don’t know what’s in Ted’s heart, other than the fact he is a “died in the wool” far left liberal by his own admission (“the real left”). I do think he’s too smart to really reveal his true feelings and resorts to sniping in a childish fashion.

    Fortunately for him, he has not had to earn the freedom he so misguidedly uses.

    “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly…”
    Thomas Paine

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Agreed Rall sometimes is a bit insensitive to the troops (Oh No! An insensitive Satirist!) but this isn’t one of those cartoons. The military, especially the Army with its need for infantry, has gotten pretty desparate for recruits and has dropped its own standards considerably. Military service has always been an avenue for kids from poor backgrounds (financial AND emotional) to gain some discipline and skills. It is sad however that these same kids, and especially the lower on the socioeconmic rung, are now being promised more and more just so they can be fed into the meatgrinder in iraq. If only there were another way for them to get these benefits — like maybe campaigning for some rich neo-con to be president — without putting themselves at huge risk for death and chronic injury in a pointless and wasted war.

  11. IrishUp Says:

    Owen – if a person needs a GED and has been stationed in Iraq, exactly WHEN and HOW would they have the opportunity to pursue extended education?
    Also, it is quite clear that the subject of TRs derision is not the soldiers, it’s as they say, “the Gumment”.
    And BTW Chuck, the phrase is “dyed in the wool”. Meaning dyed before you turn the shorn hair into yarn, as opposed to “garment dyeing” which is after you’ve made something out of the wool. The phrase is meant to suggest that the subject possesses the trait in question in their very core, rather than superficially.

  12. John Madziarczyk Says:

    All this is really funny. Ok, I’ll take the bait and respond to the “Fighting for our freedom” part as a sort of sideline.

    There’s an interesting thing that unites France, Italy, and the former Yugoslavia. What it is is the fact that all were either occupied by dictatorships or had dictatorships take control of them and all had significant resistance movements.

    Is it too much to say that the partisans and resisters fighting in those countries were really fighting for their country’s freedom?

    When the Germans occupied northern Italy they had a policy where for each German soldier killed in an attack by Partisans they’d round up ten people from the town suspected of having radical or anti-German sympathies and publicly execute them, with the understanding that there probably was no connection between the people executed and the people who actually killed the soldier.

    People in France who resisted were either summarily killed or sent to concentration camps.

    So, to join all this together, the poster, and people like him, believe that soldiers occupying Iraq, with its big pool of oil, and Afghanistan are fighting for our freedom.

    That’s a really interesting view.

  13. Wayne Says:

    I’m in the Army. I joined after the Iraq war started. During basic, I had my wife send me Ted’s writings along with her letters to help keep me sane.

    I’m also in Military Intelligence. It is not an oxymoron. With the amount of ignorance I see in some of the MI troops I work with, I can only imagine what it would be like for the infantry types. For me, it has simply been a matter of when I wanted to start my higher education. The guardsmen is right, we do get 4500 in tuition assistance, and with some schools the books are free too. I personally know guys in Iraq who have done a lot of college deployed.

    But it’s all up to the individual to pursue these things. It’s quite easy to sit around for 20 years and retire without any higher education.

    What’s my point? Hmm. I think Ted doesn’t hate the troops. He just hates the way they’ve been shanghied into joining. Now they’re going to offer 20K to guys who sign up and leave for basic in 30 days. That’s a lot of damn money to someone who doesn’t have much.

    Bring in the draft. We need a draft.

  14. Raahdni Says:

    Nothing much changes in the military. The troops contine to get screwed by our government and the Department of Veterans Arrears. What has changed is that our Congress and Supremely Corrupt Court allowed the Bush Cabal to hijack the Presidency and the Constitution. We have a Congress of big mouths with no spines. Nothing affects them, so why should they care about the citizens who elected them to office. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney aren’t the first carpetbaggers to hit the big time in Washington, but they are by far the sleaziest, lyingest, foulest, most treasonous, cowardly outhouse scum ever to buy an education and wear a shirt and tie. They are beyond contempt. Here’s hoping, in the theme of what goes around, comes around, that all Bush’s grandchildren are born with the worst birth defects possible and that Bush, Mister Pro-life, is saddled with the little monsters the rest of his pathetic life and that Bush and Cheney get infected with flesh-eating bacteria from the inside. The only people I actually hate in this world are the criminals and mass murderers in the Bush administration. I don’t care that his grandchildren would be innocent. The Bush family needs some bad karma for all the death and destruction their family has caused in our world. A pox on all of them!

  15. angelo Says:

    irishup, thanks for the info. Really, I’m not being sarcastic. That is a cool fact.

    There are more ways to serve your country than fighting.
    Remember, before 9-11, he was the only guy talking about how important central Asia was. Even the cia gave up on it after the Soviets left. He is still the only journalist to have step foot on some parts of the region, and he has probably done it more than most journalists. He risks life and limb every time. Whats more, the government doesn’t pay for it. Call it free recon.
    As Ted says “freedom does not come from the military, it comes from the constitution.”

  16. Susan Stark Says:

    Dear so-called conservatives,

    Ted Rall, if he was president, would never, ever send troops into a dangerous situation unless it was absolutely necessary, and neither would I.

    I would interest you all in a video proving that Dick Cheney KNEW that invading Iraq would be a quagmire. Watch this video, and see if he cares about the troops:

  17. Owen Says:


    The draft is the last thing I want to see. I want to serve alongside people who chose to take the oath, not someone who was forced into it. I’d rather have one guy who volunteered getting my back than a thousand peole who were forced.

    I agree with you about the bonuses. If I had a dime for every kid I’ve seen join up with a bonus then get in trouble their first few months out of recruit training I’d be rich. Bonuses should be awarded to members of the military who have earned it.

  18. Anders Says:

    A draft army can be a higly motivated one, as long as you fight a DEFENSIVE war. Unless you indoctrinate them properly, like the Nazis did.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: