Friday, May 21, 2004
The cartoonist Garry Trudeau is back in the news:
"The names of more than 700 American service members killed in Iraq will appear in a 'Doonesbury' comic strip during the Memorial Day weekend.Seeing that Trudeau’s got at the very least an ambiguous attitude towards the conflict in Iraq, the decision to "recognise" those who died by merely cramming all their names into few comic frames might smack of cynicism. As Mark Steyn recently wrote on the occasion of Ted Koppel’s attempt at "recognising" the fallen:
"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 names were set in 6-point type to fit in the six panels for publication on Sunday, May 30.
" 'The intent is to recognize those who died,' Salem said."
"Is reminding people of the 'cost of war' really the most important thing a journalist can do? Costs don't exist in a vacuum, but relative to their benefits… [T]he cost of war is a tragedy for the families of the American, British and other coalition forces who've died in the last year. But we owe it to the dead, always, every day, to measure their sacrifice against the mission, its aims, its successes, its setbacks. And, if the cause is still just, then you honor the fallen by pressing on to victory -- and then reading the roll call of the dead."Otherwise, an unkind soul might suggest a mere listing of the names has all the moral impact of White Pages. Or worse, White Pages with a political agenda.