Blindly Jumping into War

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Blindly Jumping into War

Mike Thompson is a political cartoonist for The Detroit Free Press and is one example of an American expressing his viewpoint about the oncoming war with Iraq. Thompson tries to appeal to anyone who takes time to read the paper, and presumably, his intent is to introduce a new viewpoint to those supportive of the war. In Thompson's political cartoon published, February 26, 2003, he uses a well-known American symbol, Uncle Sam, to comment on current events. By paying close attention to the symbolism and other details in the cartoon, I want to show that Thompson critiques the actions of President Bush, who according to the image, seems to be jumping blindly into a war with Iraq and who will pull an unconvinced country with him.

The cartoon shows President Bush jumping from a warplane, which I interpret as the artists intention to signify the reality that President Bush is "jumping into war". Tied to his ankle is a rope that wraps around a figure that resembles the well-known image of "Uncle Sam", who still standing in the plane, symbolizes America and its founding father values such as equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. However, in this picture Thompson has drawn Uncle Sam's face showing a frowned mouth and an unpleasant expression, which implies that he is being forced to do something that is against his American values. I believe this stresses Thompson's argument that by rushing into a war that is unjustified it is also un-American. The expression on Uncle Sam's face is not the only reason, which Thompson suggests, for Uncle Sam not leaving the plane. By drawing the rope as hardly hanging on to Bush's foot and being tightly wrapped around the figure of Uncle Sam, Thompson argues...

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...think he wants to gain support from those who agree with his opinion and try to enlighten those who are supportive of the war on Iraq about the ignorance of their President and how some of the country feels about this war.

I agree with Thompson's portrayal of the current situation because I felt he illustrated the fact that not all of America stands behind the President and his decision to start a war with Iraq. I believe this idea is shown by the use of a dejected Uncle Sam tied up by rope, which signifies that the President has control despite Uncle Sams viewpoint of the war. The exaggerated features given to the President can be interpreted as anything but noble and intelligent, but simply implies that he is rather naive and somewhat reckless.

Works Cited

Thompson, Mike. The Detroit Free Press. 26 February 2003. 5 March 2003.
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