Wednesday, February 1, 2006

An Offensive Cartoon

The above is a completely tasteless, and highly offensive, cartoon that was in this past Sunday's Washington Post.

The cartoon led the Joint Chiefs of Staff to write the letter below to the Post:

The following virtually unprecedented letter was sent yesterday by all members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the managing editor of the Washington Post:

We were extremely disappointed to see the editorial cartoon by Tom Toles on page B6 in the January 29th edition. Using the likeness of a service member who has lost his arms and legs in war as the central theme of a cartoon is beyond tasteless. Editorial cartoons are often designed to exaggerate issues -- and your paper is obviously free to discuss any topic, including the state of readiness of today's Armed Forces. However, we believe you and Mr. Toles have done a disservice to your readers and your paper's reputation by using such a callous depiction of those who have volunteered to defend this nation, and as a result, have suffered traumatic and life-altering wounds.
Those who visit with wounded veterans in local hospitals have found lives profoundly changed by pain and loss. They have also found brave men and women with a sense of purpose and selfless commitment that causes truly battle-hardened warriors to pause. Where do we get such men and women? From the cities and farmlands of this great Nation - they serve to be a part of something bigger than themselves. While you or some of your readers may not agree with the war or its conduct, we believe you owe the men and women and their families who so selflessly serve our country the decency to not make light of their tremendous physical sacrifices.

As the Joint Chiefs, it is rare that we all put our hand to one letter, but we cannot let this reprehensible cartoon go unanswered.

Sincerely,

PETER PACE, General U.S. Marine Corps, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

EDMUND B. GIAMBASTIANI, JR., Admirial, U.S. Navy, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

MICHAEL W. HAGEE, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps

PETER J. SCHOOMAKER, General, U.S. Army Chief of Staff

MICHAEL G. MULLEN, Admiral, U.S. Navy, Chief of Naval Operations

T. MICHAEL MOSELEY, General, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff

If you'd like to send your own opinion of this 'cartoon' to the Post, the email address is:  letters@washpost.com  

and the snail mail address is:Letters to the Editor
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20071

I have sent a letter of my own today, suggesting that an apology by the Post would be the only decent and honorable course of action for the paper to take regarding this cartoon. And I will no longer continue my practice of buying a Washington Post every Sunday.

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