Ted Rall by Ted Rall

Ted Rall

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  1. ConserveGov

    ConserveGov said, over 3 years ago

    Hindsight is 20/20.

    If after giving commands to stop, the motorcycle kept approaching and was not stopped before blowing up the soldier and his platoon, would the soldier have “done the right thing”?

  2. MiepR

    MiepR said, over 3 years ago

    If we weren’t screwing around in Afghanistan in the first place, would your question be of any relevance?

  3. edinbaltimore

    edinbaltimore GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    However the Taliban/Al Qaida have been known to use children (especially those with mental disabilities) to do their dirty work. Of course, the Cleveland police were following protocol when they used 130 shots to stop a fleeing car they THOUGHT had fired shots. It rammed a police cruiser, so I guess it was justified. There was cocaine in the suspects systems, but no guns were found. But if you’ve done nothing wrong (not talking about the drugs in this case) you don’t have to worry.

  4. furnituremaker

    furnituremaker said, over 3 years ago

    saw a soldier cut from neck to crotch in ’Nam by a child when
    he was passing out candy to a bunch of kids

  5. 2011worldchamps

    2011worldchamps said, over 3 years ago

    so Rall’s idea is that our soldiers to stand down when approched by someone even after being told repeatedly to stop? Why, so he can draw an other cartoon depecting a whole lot of dead american soldiers?!!

  6. mickey1339

    mickey1339 GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    I understand what the comic implies, I also understand that often times in the heat of the moment we react for our own survival and follow the training we have been given. I also know that like Viet Nam, the Taliban have no regard for human life and will use women, children, older people, whoever they can to serve their deadly purpose. So then our troops, who have been raised in a humane society that respects life gets put in this jungle of death with “The Rules of Engagement” to guide our actions.
    It’s war. If you can justify war to begin with, do we all follow the rules? No. Did the Japanese in WW 2 and the Vietnamese in Nam? No. Does the Taliban give a damn about the Geneva convention rules? No. As a combatant in a war like any we have fought in the middle east, are you going to fight a war by “conventional method”? No. So we fight and try to maintain some shred of decency and humanity in the process. Will we make mistakes? Absolutely. Anyone that’s ever been in combat knows how quickly things change and how we often have to make life and death split second decisions. Then when we return home we live with the nightmares, PTSD, and sometimes suicidal ideation as we try to reconcile ourselves with the war.

    In one sense the “Rules” to be applied to a war is an absurd concept. How is butchering people ever justified or realistically regulated by a set of rules? And to Rall’s point, they change with the society and their rationale for how to fight the war. My sympathy still goes to the soldier who trusts in his superiors to do “the right thing” and make some definition of action for the insanity of war for him to follow.

    FWIW I am an older (66) Libertarian, have lived with too much violence in my life justified by self righteous politicians who so easily committed us to wars that should have never happened. It’s sad to say but our military policy will not be governed by a defensive posture as outlined in our Constitution, but more because we can’t afford (fiscally) to any longer “save the world for democracy.” Thanks for letting me share.

  7. Ted Rall

    Ted Rall GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago


    In both Afghanistan and Iraq, the US military acted like they had to reinvent the ancient Third World practice of the road checkpoint. There are two ways to do it. One is the coward approach, where you’re worried about getting blown up by a suicide bomber. The way to handle the coward checkpoint is to assume positions away and above the checkpoint and minimize potential casualties by sending one soldier at a time to search the vehicle so that no more than one or two soldiers could possibly be injured or killed. Then there is the way that most military force to do it, including England. You stand out there and you take the risk and you show that you are a real live breathing human being and you act like one. And sometimes people, and kill you. Because after all you are at war.

    Interesting story from the occupation of Iraq, UK forces who occupied Basra had lower casualty rates than American forces. Turned out that the main difference was the way that they dressed. The British forces didn’t wear wraparound sunglasses, didn’t wear helmets, and wore tightfitting shirts that revealed the outlines of their bodies. The Americans wore baggy outfits and Kevlar and helmets and wraparound sunglasses. The effect was to make the Americans look less human. Psychologists think that Iraqi insurgents found it easier to shoot at and kill the Americans because they didn’t look as real as the Brits.

    Of course the really big point is that any soldier who serves in an illegal occupation of a country that doesn’t want US forces there is asking to be killed. Don’t enlist, and if it’s too late because you already did, refuse to serve and face court-martial like a person of honor and dignity.

  8. Ted Rall

    Ted Rall GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    @edinbaltimore Bear in mind, we are talking about the country rife with banditry. Banditry that hardly existed before the United States invasion in 2001. There are lots of fake checkpoints manned by fake soldiers. So someone is yelling at you in a language you don’t understand and they have big guns it’s not terribly surprising that you might just keep going.

  9. Ted Rall

    Ted Rall GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    @furnituremaker Sounds terrible. But what the hell was he doing in Vietnam in the first place?

  10. Ted Rall

    Ted Rall GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    The point of the cartoon is to say that everyone has to make their own moral judgment calls. Relying on some ridiculous manual doesn’t get you off the hook, whether it’s time to face your maker for the final judgment, or simply to stare at your own face in the morning in the mirror.

  11. Ted Rall

    Ted Rall GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    @mickey1339 Actually, Mickey, it isn’t war. The United States hasn’t been at war since 1945. Only Congress can declare war. Every conflict of the United States is been involved in since 1945 has been illegal and unconstitutional by definition. Under international and US law any military soldier who participates in any action that the United States has participated in since 1945 should theoretically be subject to prosecution.

  12. Ted Rall

    Ted Rall GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    @mickey1339 Also, I have to take issue with your racist caricature of the Afghan and Vietnamese people as people who don’t care about life. Believe me, members of the Taliban are like people anywhere else. They have hopes and dreams and families and life ambitions. They are just as real and just as humane as you are. If we had any humility, as you say, we wouldn’t be invading foreign countries in order to steal their resources and exploit them.

  13. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    You’d think with all the guns we’ve sent to Afghanistan, that it would be a peaceful society. Guns are supposed to make people behave better… right, righties?

  14. Wabbit

    Wabbit GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago


    Yes you are precisely right! No one made us the deciders of everyone else’s business.

    Even more after brining down a Democratic leader in Chile, and installing a dictator (Pinochet) for favoring OUR Economic position and to the worsening of so many who lived there.

  15. omQ R

    omQ R said, over 3 years ago


    ’ I also know that like Viet Nam, the Taliban have no regard for human life and will use women, children, older people, whoever they can to serve their deadly purpose.’

    I also know that Americans have no regard for human life and will use drones to kill women, children, older people , whoever they can to serve their deadly justification of waging a war and defining whoever they kill as militants. If the evidence is glaringly obvious that innocents were killed, Americans then show their callous disregard for life by shrugging it off as collateral damage [see responses to me on this forum from Americans, even so called liberals, these past few months whenever I raised the drone attacks]. They even claim drone attacks are more humane than carpet bombing. Indeed.

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