May 22, 2004


Following Ted Koppel’s lead, Garry Trudeau is making some easy money by publishing a list:

The names of more than 700 American service members killed in Iraq will appear in a "Doonesbury" comic strip during the Memorial Day weekend.

The comic will list chronologically the names of 702 soldiers killed through April 23, said Lee Salem, editor of the Kansas City-based Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes the strip.

"The intent is to recognize those who died," Salem said.

We're not exactly talking about a state secret here. Meanwhile, a rather longer list remains unrecognised by unfunny cartoonists and ponderous TV people alike.

Posted by Tim Blair at May 22, 2004 04:42 AM

Egad, what utter shyte.
Someone should ask Koppel and Trudeau -- publicly -- whether they ever read/published a list of people:
Killed by gang violence
Killed by AIDS
Killed by unregistered handguns
Killed by drunk driving

Are those lives less important to "document" and "remember"? Or is it instead that such documentation simply doesn't propel the hate-Bush agenda, ergo, they are left off the radar?

Posted by: M.J. Truth at May 22, 2004 at 04:49 AM

Would someone please inform Trudeau that he officially jumped the shrak years ago?

Replace Doonesbury with Day by Day.

Watch America be happy for a change. Watch me read newspapers besides the WSJ for a change...

Posted by: Tman at May 22, 2004 at 05:19 AM

Would someone please inform Trudeau that he officially jumped the shark years ago?

Replace Doonesbury with Day by Day.

Watch America be happy for a change. Watch me read newspapers besides the WSJ for a change...

Posted by: Tman at May 22, 2004 at 05:19 AM

Where's the list Iraqis killed by Hussien? They were human. They were given names by their parents. I'm sure their mothers loved them. Where's that fucking list!?

Posted by: AuSkeptic at May 22, 2004 at 05:24 AM

It's possible that Trudeau believes he is sending an important message. But the very narrow scope of those messages simply reveals his prejudices, with any inconvenient facts are ignored, much like M.J. Truth points out.

Which in turn tells me that his message is not worth listening to, even for pure entertainment. Which "Doonesbury" ceased to be long ago. I still miss Zonker.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at May 22, 2004 at 05:27 AM

I wonder if Trudeau ever listed the names of the 2,800 people murdered on 11 SEP 2004? I wonder if Ted Koppel ever read off the names of the 2,800 people murdered on 11 SEP 2004? What, those 2,800 people weren't worthy of being "recognized"?

Posted by: David Crawford at May 22, 2004 at 06:45 AM

Why doesn't Trudeau list those who've died in Afghanistan? Doesn't he think their sacrifice is worthy of mention as well?

Posted by: Jeff at May 22, 2004 at 07:20 AM

On the other hand, it won't be any less funny than any of his other recent efforts.

Posted by: R C Dean at May 22, 2004 at 07:40 AM

RC, I'm not sure if Trudeau has even tried to be funny all these years. Doonesbury is more of a politically oriented two dimensional soap opera. Any humor was likely either unintentional or a filler when he lacked some profound political statement.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at May 22, 2004 at 07:45 AM

On the contrary, I found Doonesbury's treatment of BD's wounding very sympathetic. BD has been one of the most idealistic, committed people in the strip.
Like it or not, Doonesbury is a cartoon epic of thirty years of insightful commentary. It leans to the Left, but not blindly. And yes, it did look at the World Trade Centre. BD was part of the rescue operations.

Posted by: david at May 22, 2004 at 08:09 AM

"Where's the list [of] Iraqis killed by Hussein?"

I doubt there is such a list, for the same reason there wasn't a lot of negative news coming out of Iraq before the war -- Iraq was a closed society when Saddam Hussein was gassing Kurds. Facts and people inconvenient to the regime were buried. Today, facts inconvenient to the people ruling Iraq lead the evening news.

Posted by: Steven Jens at May 22, 2004 at 08:38 AM

Here, poochy: Putting dog in fight.

I grew up on Doonesbury. At one point, GBT was relevant. Seems to have drifted a bit.
And then you gotTed Rall sticking his tongue on america's third rail.

Both beneficiaries of the largess of Universal Press Syndicate.

Been there. To UPS. Kansas City, Mo. Go up the elevator, and you're in some cramped quarters. Tried to hawk my wares, in some days off, past. Problem is, UPS seems a shadow (BBC, anyone?) of it's past glories.

Don't get the same shi* from Creators Syndicate.

Is UPS, under new management, "reverting to form", becoming more the "Class of 68"

Stick GBT and Ted Rall on a post-it-note, and wait.

Posted by: gimpy at May 22, 2004 at 08:43 AM

Air America has had hundreds of causualties since they declared war on the airwaves, yet no one remembers their fallen heros. This after the fan fair and cheers by all the networks as the set off on the mission.
Doonesberry we need to read that casualty list! If Trudeau doesn't list them in his strip, who will?

Posted by: Papertiger at May 22, 2004 at 08:46 AM

Maybe he should print a list of the people who stopped reading his strip when they realized what an asshole he is.

Posted by: Uncle Mikey at May 22, 2004 at 09:21 AM

Check this out.

This is about what the dead man's family had to experience, and it involves another list. There are a couple of posts subsequent which will not serve to lower a decent person's blood pressure, although I am certain a Leftist will be cheered up, at least a little bit.

Posted by: Mike James at May 22, 2004 at 10:16 AM

"BD has been one of the most idealistic, committed people in the strip."

And through the life of the strip, BD was the designated target of ridicule. At least, when he wasn't acting as a strawhorse for Trudeau to knock over.

Posted by: SteveH at May 22, 2004 at 02:39 PM

It is ironic that BD has become Trudeau's only recognizably human character. The rest of his characters have become cyphers who exist only to mouth popular leftist-liberal pieties, or else they are clichés, like his current college student characters who download porn off the internet and try to meet girls in chatrooms (Trudeau's concept of the internet seems stuck in 1999). Could there be a conservative struggling to get out of the stale, sweaty Liberal Cartoonist jumpsuit? Unfortunately I think that the ingrained habits of decades will smother these latent Republican tendencies, and he'll simply devolve into a "crusty, lovable" old liberal coot like Andy Rooney.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 22, 2004 at 03:21 PM

Why not broaden the list to include ALL who have died in the last few years as victims in the War On Terror. The police, fire, civilians, soldiers, etc.. Don't forget Bali. There is also the Sudan, the Philippines, Afghanistan, .. tons of places.

Why limit remembering to just US soldiers, if he only wants soldiers? What about coalition soldiers?

This Memorial Day, my family will have one of the relatives, serving in Iraq, with us. We're going to have a cookout and a lot of family will be together. One thing we plan on doing is taking time to watch a video on the events of 9/11.

We are very thankful for all the soldiers serving now and all who have served in past wars. We don't want to allow younger family members to forget what this war in Iraq is all about, so that's why we'll have the video.

To all those who are serving and their families I say thank you for helping to keep us free. I pray you'll all have God's Peace.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at May 22, 2004 at 04:28 PM

One of my favorite Doonesbury strips featured BD and Doonesbury. They were studying, and BD kept on asking Doonesbury how to spell words. The last request by BD was "ignorance", to which Doonesbury replied, "f-o-o-t-b-a-l-l s-c-h-o-l-a-r-s-h-i-p." BD was the typical "dumb jock".

After that, BD became the means of ridiculing the military. It was so during Vietnam, and during Desert Storm I, although not quite as bad in 'Nam. In between, he bounced between jobs, stayed with Boopsie, and in general stayed a dumb jock, generally supporting "the right". That was Trudeau's script. This was about the time that I stopped reading Doonesbury.

All these years, BD has usually been a caricature of the common soldier, the veteran, the guy who wasn't exactly tops in his class, but was willing to work for a living. Now dave says that "BD has been one of the most idealistic, committed people in the strip."

I have to wonder if BD has been idealistic and committed because of Trudeau, or in spite of him. And Trudeau wrote the script. It boggles the mind.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at May 22, 2004 at 04:39 PM

Andrea and Jeffs put it well. BD was intended as a target of ridicule, but he's grown beyond that,
probably in spite of his creator.
I enjoy the strip much more when he's in it. The flaky college boys and the Gropenfuhrer bore me shitless.
And Boopsie is the greatest female comic character since Olive Oyl. She had the balls to close down BD's football team.

Posted by: david at May 22, 2004 at 06:10 PM

To be a whinging lefty, it's very inportant to scour everyones' body, find any little wound and to keep it open for as long as possible. Just as long as there is no progress in civilization, and absolutely - absolutely no healing.

If none can be found, they can be contrived.

Posted by: Joe at May 22, 2004 at 11:51 PM

"We're not exactly talking about a state secret here."

Paul Wolfowitz didn't know how many soldiers had died.

Consider it a public service to keep our Pentagon officials informed of what they've wrought.

Posted by: Jon H at May 23, 2004 at 09:09 AM

How many Iraqi's killed in this little adventure in nation building, I wonder.

Guess it's a case of: "Don't count, don't tell."

Posted by: Miranda Divide at May 23, 2004 at 10:36 AM

Not as many as were killed in Saddam's little adventure in empire-building. Oh -- excuse me, I forgot -- those dead Iraqis don't count.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 23, 2004 at 11:31 AM

There were plenty of lists of S11 dead in the
American newspapers, lots of memorials.

I take the point that BD is the only recognisably
human character in Doonebury, but the immortal
Duke is a conservative (and a corrupt Iraq
profiteer, not that I'm making a connection).

Andrea, give the name of a few of those dead Iraqis you're so concerned about. A biography?
Something you can't find on google in two seconds.
How about the headless two year old wedding guest.



Posted by: Robert Love at May 23, 2004 at 09:29 PM

Oh, I see. You're an idiot.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 23, 2004 at 11:42 PM

Miranda, you twat, there's this thing called "Google." I'm surprised no Italians have pointed you toward it yet.

Posted by: ushie at May 24, 2004 at 02:37 AM

Yes, Mr Ushie, I am a twat. Thank you. I discovered on this thing you talk about, this "google" that no body count is being taken on Iraqi deaths in the war. All the "estimates" put the civilian dead at around 10,000.

That's much less than Saddam and much more than 9/11. So you work out the ethics, and when you've looked up "ethics" on this googling thing, don't get back to me, just drop dead.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at May 24, 2004 at 12:55 PM

My my, Miranda, you're awfully bad-tempered. Not to mention you contradict yourself; if "no body count" are taken of civilian deaths, where do these mysterious "estimates" come from? Out of your ass, or the asses of your friends and colleagues, is my guess.

By the way, have you heard of this thing called a "link"? If there is some website you found which can back up all these things you say, don't you want us to read it? Or did you read it in the tabloid pages that cover the bottom of your cage?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 24, 2004 at 01:02 PM

They call me Mr. Ushie.

No, I can't imagine Sidney Poitier saying that.

Posted by: ushie at May 24, 2004 at 10:30 PM