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Take a peek over Jim Borgman's shoulder

Jim Borgman has been the Enquirer's editorial cartoonist since 1976. Borgman has won every major award in his field, including the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1993, and most recently, the Adamson Award in 2005 as International Cartoonist of the Year. His award-winning daily comic strip Zits, co-created with Jerry Scott, chronicles the life of 15-year-old Jeremy Duncan, his family and friends through the glories and challenges of the teenage years. Since debuting in July 1997, Zits has regularly finished #1 in reader comics polls across America and is syndicated in more than 1300 newspapers around the world.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

The World According to Bush


at 5/16/08, 5:32 PM Blogger EOCostello said...

Talking to democracies is one thing, where the will of the people and freely elected legislatures can make their voice heard and influence those at the top.

Does talking to dictatorships that have no democracy (e.g., North Korea) or with only the trappings of democracy (e.g., Iran -- where an unelected elite can throw thousands of candidates off a ballot) really have any effect? The leaders of those nations can largely ignore their citizens -- they aren't up for re-election, nor do they have those pesky polls to concern themselves, and thus are not accountable as a practical matter for any actions they take or do not take.

(President Bush has term limits, and the off-year elections in 2006 are light-years from anything you would see in a dictatorship.)

Lest one believe that talking to dictatorships has any real effect, recall the photograph of Neville Chamberlain with the piece of paper; just one year later, Europe was at war. One can also recall any number of arms treaties in the 1930s and 1960s-1970s that dictatorships were able to flout without penalty.

A belief that the person you're talking to is as honest and transparent in dealing as you have to be, being a leader of a democracy, is a nice thing. But is it realistic?

at 5/17/08, 12:20 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again... why do we have cowtow to what the rest of the world wants us to do?
The rest of the world doesn't have our best interests at heart.
Why do our fine leftist friends here in the US seem to have such a hard time figuring that out.
Unfortunately you can't just talk to the evil folks in the world and expect them to turn good.
I realize they are bad because they weren't hugged enough when they were kids.
Embracing them now isn't going to change that.
Like him or hate him, President Bush by taking the unpopular.. the hard path has made our country safer.

at 5/18/08, 1:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Never talk to your enemies" has been refuted time and again as a foolishly simplistic approach to being an effective leader on the world stage. It was articulated in a remarkable, decades-long, bipartisan effort by the U.S. toward the Soviet Union, and later China, that led to our prevailing in the Cold War. The overwhelming advantages of talking to even detestable regimes are laid out very thoughtfully by the highly respected James Baker III, former secretary of state under Reagan and the first Bush, in his book The Politics of Diplomacy.

Sure, it can be painful and even embarrassing to talk to the world's most odious regimes, in the short run. But talk we must, for in the long run, we always regret following the emotional, even childish road of refusing to talk at all.

It is hugely important to know, as firsthand as possible, what our enemies think, what they're saying, what they want from us, and what they don't want. There's just no better way to get that information than by talking to them. By talking, we can also make plain exactly where we stand and what we expect of them as well.

And, yes, we can do this without losing face, and by making crystal clear that we are not endorsing these regimes just by talking to them.

Finally, this should remind us all of the wisdom in the well-known quote (from, gasp, a foreigner): "Keep your friends close, your enemies closer." - Sun-Tzu

at 5/18/08, 2:13 PM Blogger JPL said...

Talking to democracies includes consultation with the democracies you have historically been close with. The international stage now includes a different power structure, one with the United States with less clout. Bush's failure is largely encapsulated by the ramifications of initiating a war founded upon a false justification. This serious undermining of American credibility has been a large blow, regardless of how those in the Middle East feel. We have succeeded in helping the spread of democracy and the rise of other nations, but that also means we must now compete economically and place nice. This will be the challenge facing our country next, and we need an executive representative who is more intent on collaborative power to help repair the damage inflicted by the current administration. Luckily, I think all three remaining candidates will do a much better job.

at 5/19/08, 6:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comparison to the Cold War is not accurate.
The problem with talking to America's current enemies is that they come from an entirely different culture, a world apart from what America knows. In the Cold War, we knew the Soviets. They made it clear what they stood for, they were an active part of the global policies of the time, and they made their intentions known to America.
Today, states like Iran and organizations like Hamas are unpredictable, unapproachable, and unreasonable. They move secretly, they refuse to take part in any diplomacy, and they have a strong distaste for all things American.
For a Presidential candidate to believe that the best way to defeat our enemies is to sit down and chat with them is akin to negotiating with a thundercloud not to rain on you.

at 5/19/08, 7:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Borgman will agree with anything Barackstar says...
Obama...leading the way to A One World government.Goodnight,America! You are SOOOOO over.

at 5/19/08, 11:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

did i miss the part where Obama said that meeting with these countries (without preconditions) meant that he was removing all other tactics from the table? It seems to me that talking to these countries before we try to blow them up is an entirely reasonable way of going about things. After all, a little patience might have allowed us to avoid our current situation.

at 5/19/08, 1:17 PM Blogger Philip Shade said...

So what was Neville Chamberlain to do? The UK was in the midst of a depression, and the French were also unwilling to commit forces against Germany.

It's arguable that Chamberlain played the appeaser for longer than was good, but in 1938 he didn't have much choice.

That said it wasn't Chamberalin's talks with Hitler, but his signing away of lands that made him an "appeaser".

And for those who say we are safe/r since Bush took unilateral military action please note that we've had more US citizens killed by hostile enemies since he declared mission accomplished, than were killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Certainly not all conflicts will be resolved through diplomacy, but if you don't try absolutely zero conflicts will.

at 5/19/08, 6:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phillip Shade...say again...we've had more US citizens killed? Whom are you referring to? The military in Iraq?
Duh.C'mon,man.Regards to Cindy Sheehan-

at 5/19/08, 10:14 PM Blogger ReFlex76 said...

Wow, I haven't done this in a while, nice to see I have reason to do it again!:

Reality Check 1: There is so much wrong with "Like him or hate him, President Bush by taking the unpopular.. the hard path has made our country safer," the only hard part is figuring out where to start!

Reality Check 2: No nonsense "thundercloud" analogy will change the fact that we can indeed talk to Hamas and Iran, that there is no better time than now to talk to them, that after decades it's about time; perhaps starting with apologizing for the US role in the 1951 coup that usurped Iran's democratic government.

It's called reality, about time to get back into it!

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