Kukulkan, the plume feathered serpent god of the Maya.. (HB & H9 pencils)
Many people including news organizations voice support for ‘free speech’ without understanding what ‘free speech’ really means. The vast majority of news outlets wont even show 1 illustration from the Charlie Hedbo magazine when discussing this atrocity.
We are living in a society full of cowards and appeasers, who would throw away their fundamental civil rights to the wind at the slightest threat to own their well-being.
I am busy drawing new Muhammad cartoons, as are thousands of other artists and cartoonists. The Islamic savages that committed these murders, lost. They will never silence us, never take away our freedoms and never impose their 7th century barbarism and superstition on our society. Unless we let them. All our rights as human beings come from the basic premise of freedom of speech and thought. Without this we are nothing but slaves and peasants.
NO to Islamic barbarism, NO to curbs on speech and expression, NO to accommodation of fascism with a Muslim face.
Working hard to finish the illustrations and coloring for this new kids book. Its aimed at 3-7 year olds who want to learn the English alphabet. Should be ready in 2-3 months (I hope!). Currently looking for a publishing company that would publish this. I can publish it via Blurb, but Blurb is a bit too expensive. If anyone has any publishing ideas, shoot me an email.
Wanted to write down some thoughts on the Israel-Hamas war and all the media circus around it.
Reading some comments on news sites and social media every time a media outlet puts up pictures of dead civilians is an interesting experience because you get a sense of how truly powerful modern media and social media is, in manipulating a particular narrative. You also get a sense that most people who wail about dead Gaza civilians
a) do not understand the context of the fighting
b) do not know what Hamas is and what they are fighting for and
c) has absolutely no idea what it takes to fight an urban battle
I’ll expand more on this below..
Besides this, I personally think that the coverage of the conflict between Arabs and Israelis is comically exaggerated and dramatized, as compared to much greater conflicts, land wars, religious wars and other types of bickering elsewhere (with much higher human and economic tolls).
For instance, who can remember the Sri Lankan military assault on Tamil stronghold in May 2009 that ended up with 20,000 civilian casualties resulting from crossfire between government army and Tamil terrorists? No one remembers this because no one cares. There were no protests, no UN condemnations, UN resolutions, no hard-hitting BBC specials asking poignant questions about the high civilian body count.
Who can remember the 2013 Lebanese army artillery assault on Lebanese city of Tripoli – held hostage by a Jihadist group (sound familiar?). Hundreds of civilians were dead as a result of crossfire, yet this barely made a squawk on the international news media radar.
But as soon as the word “Israel” is inserted, the IQ of everyone involved drops down 100 points.
Why is this? Why does the world go bonkers whenever Israelis kill civilians in a middle of a major war, yet completely ignore or forget every other instance when done by other nations? The responses to this latest war are terrifying, mobs of leftist and Islamic morons burning synagogues, harassing Jews, burning Jewish business. Its truly Kristallnacht remade.
My guess is that this is a result of a specific media narrative, where news and social media will only report civilian casualties without showing the greater context for the conflict. NY Times for example is only showing hospital emergency rooms with Arab casualties of Israeli bombing, yet it will never show something like this;
Islamic terrorists firing rockets from within civilian areas, committing a double war crime in the process (firing at civilians while hiding behind civilians). So an average viewer gets an impression that Israelis are pounding civilians for the hell of it, or at the very least are using uncontrolled fire. These media outlets also do not mention the fact that Islamic terror groups like Hamas routinely harass and warn journalists what to report and what not to report on threats of physical violence and threats of expulsion. This is a HUGE part of the narrative that never gets mentioned, so the viewer is presented with a one-sided story of Israelis being these awful child-killers. An Italian journalist tweeted this as soon as he was out of Gaza,
What I wanted to focus here was something I keep seeing pop up when people or news organizations comment on the ferocity of Israeli strikes, they keep using the term ‘Disproportionate’.
I find this term interesting because I’ve never heard it used in any other conflict when discussing military strategy.
I’ve never yet saw a military back away from a fight with its enemy simply because their forces are greater or more powerful than the enemy. This is a ludicrous idea. No military on earth fights wars only when the forces are ‘proportionate’, and the fact that this is demanded from only 1 single nation tells more about the people making these demands than how Israel fights its wars.
Besides this obvious fact, if I were in Israeli shoes, facing a heavily armed Islamic terror group whose sole ideology is my death and destruction of my country, I would not only want my government to use disproportionate force to destroy them, I would demand this.
The body count score card
another rather creepy phenomenon of this war (and all Israel related wars) is the constant score keeping of casualties on both sides. Its like a daily report card that is always squeezed into a news report or an article. The entire fascination about ‘proportionality’ seems to be stemming from this body count obsession, as if the morality of each side is determined by how many of its victims die.
I’ve never seen this before, for example when US invaded Iraq, I dont think I’ve seen such a comparison. We’ve seen deaths of US service members scrolled down and some vague statistics about 120,000 or etc, Iraqis killed, but never a 1:1 score card. Its rather ghoulish and it completely ignores an obvious fact that Israelis protect their civilians with bomb shelters, rocket alert apps for smart phones and Iron Dome system while Hamas places civilians around their weapon depots and does not build any form of shelter for its people. The news narrative completely ignores this blatant fact.
Excuses for Islamist murder and genocidal ideology
Many people post comments such as, ‘they are only fighting an occupation’, or ‘they are fighting to lift a blockade’, but neither of these points conform to actual facts. Israelis withdrew from Gaza in 2005, left them an entire agricultural economy (bought by private investors and donated to the Gazan people). Hamas used these agricultural facilities to make rockets. So according to this logic, yielding territory and getting 8 years of terrorism in return means that you should yield even more territory in vain hopes that Hamas changes its mind. This is madness that no nation would subscribe to. Hamas by the way, does not recognize any part of Israel as Israeli. They consider all of Israel as a ‘settlement’, so short of a national and cultural suicide, Israel will never be at peace with Hamas. This little fact keeps being missed from every news report on this conflict, and yet the world blames Israelis for this conflict.
Its like the entire moral universe is twisted where genocidal, racist and supremacist terror group are hailed as noble freedom fighters, while an army of reservists who never wanted to be dragged to Gaza to stop rockets falling on their families are described as ‘baby killers’. In the words of Mugatu,
The second excuse of a ‘suffocating blockade’ is just plain stupid. Israel had no blockade on the strip in 2005, the blockade came 2 years after, when in 2007 Hamas was ‘elected’ to power (they systematically gunned down all political opposition and have remained in power since. Rule #1 when it comes to electing Islamists, you will only have 1 single election)
The blockade began after Hamas began using construction material to manufacture missiles and build tunnels. So in effect, yes, Hamas is fighting to end a stifling blockade, not because they care for the well being of their people, but because they want more effective weapons flowing into Gaza with which to kill more Jews.
I wish people would take the time to read the background of Islamic groups like Hamas, ISIS, Al Shabab, Boko Haram – Sunni ‘restoration’ movements that seek to topple all secular authority and enforce an Islamic state with Sharia as its law. Hamas are not freedom fighters, they will fight Israelis to the last Gazan and protect their weapons with every Arab child they can get their hands on. This context is completely missing from any Israel-related news narrative.
One of my favorite books on war is the Greek classic Iliad by Homer. The account of a 10 year Achaean siege of Troy is one of the most gripping and beautiful tales of war, conflict, human psychology and storytelling. Iliad is where we got the Trojan Horse and Achilles Heel, and Iliad permeated the imagination and psyche of generations of later conquerors and empire builders, most notably Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Napoleon, all of whom were familiar with this book and learned the psychology of war from this ancient text. What is incredible about reading this narrative is how realistic it is, how free of patriotic jingoism its text is, its dark and full of sorrow. The scenes of battle and death can describe any modern battlefield to the exact detail (Some American veterans are reading Iliad as part of therapy after coming back from A-stan and Iraq). The feelings of soldiers on the battlefield and their loss of comrades, loss of sanity or loss of limbs and life, cuts like a knife from this text (a text thats over 2,500 years old). The soldiers openly defy their commanders about the aims of the war. When Iliad starts, Achilles is raging in a feud with his king, and openly questions why he and his soldiers are in this war when they have no beef with the Trojans. The book is dripping with description of death and horrors of war.
Now the sun of a new day struck on the ploughlands, rising out of the quiet water and the deep stream of the ocean to climb the sky. The Trojans assembled together. They found it hard to recognize each individual dead man; but with water they washed away the blood that was on them and as they wept warm tears they lifted them on to the wagons. But great Priam would not let them cry out; and in silence they piled the bodies upon the pyre, with their hearts in sorrow, and burned them upon the fire, and went back to sacred Ilion. In the same way on the other side the strong-greaved Achaians piled their own slain upon the pyre, with their hearts in sorrow, and burned them upon the fire, and went-back to their hollow vessels.
The scenes describing combat and death are gory and dark and show the full extent of the horror of war,
Antilochos was first to kill a chief man of the Trojans, valiant among the champions, Thalysias’ son, Echepolos. Throwing first, he struck the horn of the horse-haired helmet, and the bronze spearpoint fixed in his forehead and drove inward through the bone; and a mist of darkness clouded both eyes and he fell as a tower falls in the strong encounter. … Now Amarinceus’ son Diores—fate shackled Diores fast and a jagged rock struck him against his right shin, beside the-ankle. Pirous son of Imbrasus winged it hard and true, the Thracian chief who had sailed across from Aenus … the ruthless rock striking the bones and tendons crushed them to pulp-he landed flat on his back, slamming the dust, both arms flung out to his comrades, gasping out his life. Pirous who heaved the rock came rushing in and speared him up the navel—his bowels uncoiled, spilling loose on the ground and the dark came swirling down across his eyes.
I highly recommend this book even if you’ve seen the movie Troy (the movie was nowhere close to matching Homer’s narrative and completely changed the story line in many places), and if you want the best and most gripping translation, pick up the Robert Fagles translation. It reads in a forceful pace thats easy to understand for a modern reader unlike the older 19th century translations. I’m illustrating some characters from the book for fun, gonna add some more later (Hector, Achilles, Ajax, Nestor, Pandarus)
Diomedes – a total badass Achaean (Greek) warrior. He was apparently inspired by Athena during combat and was so effective on the battlefield he wounded 2 actual gods, Ares and Aphrodite. (Ares being a god of war)
He fights with fury and fills men’s souls with panic. I hold him mightiest of them all; we did not fear even their great champion Achilles, son of an immortal though he be, as we do this man: his rage is beyond all bounds, and there is none can vie with him in prowess.
Helen of Troy – the casus belli for the Greeks, Agamenon’s excuse for invasion of Troy. Also the most beautiful woman in Greece. Odysseus – the Greek commander who came up with the idea of the Trojan Horse, that eventually led to the collapse of Troy. Hero of Homer’s other classic, the Odyssey. Xenophon – technically not part of the Iliad, he was a famous Greek general who enlisted as a mercenary hoplite captain in the Persian army of Cyrus the Younger. He wrote the narrative Anabasis – a description of his Persian campaign and the march of 10,000 Greek hoplites from Persia back to Greece. If you’ve seen the movie The Warriors (about a Brooklyn street gang in 1970s, the story of this movie is based on Anabasis). Alexander the Great used Xenophon’s Anabasis as a guide on how to invade and conquer Persia in 331 BC.
Sarpedon – the king of Lycia who came to help the Trojans. A true warrior, he was speared to death by Patroclus