But I’m not a liberal; I’m a blogging public relations guy in a journalism suit, so here it is:
At first glance, the cartoon is vulgar and offensive and the buzz raised by its publication has been overwhelmingly negative.
Luckovich issued a statement June 23 about the controversy raised by his work:
Normally when I do a cartoon, I let the cartoon speak for itself, but because this cartoon has generated so much controversy, I need to address it. On this issue, it shouldn’t matter whether you agree or disagree that going into Iraq was necessary. If we want to succeed in Iraq, we have to remember that our most powerful weapon, greater than any bomb we could drop, is our moral authority. Al-Qaida is evil and brutal. What they did to our two young soldiers … it seems unimaginable that human beings could do that to other human beings. Their brand of torture is light-years beyond anything the United States has been accused of doing. That said, the fact that we have deemed ANY form of torture acceptable to get information from our enemies has done irreparable harm to our cause. I doubt that the Iraqi people make such a distinction in their minds and that is very sad indeed.
American violations of human rights at Abu Ghraib are well documented. I happen to disagree with any assertion that American violations compare to the recent brutal killings of American soldiers. I want my readers to see this cartoon, not because I agree with it, but because it exists, and it is creating a media storm without ever being printed in the vast majority of newspapers. I want people to be able to continue an aggressive dialogue with reason.