Improv foreign policy

Improv foreign policy

Apologies. I’m traveling at the moment and simply don’t have the time to write a full post for this cartoon, which I hope will be somewhat self-explanatory if you guys have been following the news lately. Maybe it’s a bit out of date, but I wanted to do something on the quote-unquote resolution of the Syrian crisis. What are your thoughts on that, by the way?

Going forward, I have actually been thinking of writing less for this site and drawing more. As in, maybe more cartoon updates but fewer 1,000-word essays to go along with them. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on that, as well.


  1. maxwellsdemon13

    I love both aspects of the site but as long as you still do a rant/essay on occasion we'll get by. Just don't do away with them completely, but less often wouldn't kill us.

  2. hsjdh

    Quality is what matters. Also the size of Obama's ears.

  3. David Liao

    That's Assad on the right actually.

  4. Kento

    Gary Larson made Drew Carey?

  5. Kwyjor

    So long as the toons are good, I won't mind a lack of extensive essays. More… , less… (much much less).

  6. David

    Indeed, I do like the cartoons, that's what the site is for, that's what it was founded on. I wouldn't mind a short essay at least explaining the situation depicted in the toon without additional commentary from JJ (so, something shorter than usual, but longer than this entry), especially for those who like the toons, but are politically unaware (not me (for the second one, of course I like the toons!))

  7. June

    I'm a big fan of the essays–where the political cartoons are supposed to be punchy and condensed, I'm always impressed by how thorough (and sourced!) JJ's essays are.

    Anything that maximizes the work I can access on this site!

  8. James

    JJ, I have always enjoyed your essays, they are one of my favorite aspects of this site. I always found them very well articulated, highly informative and always fun and entertaining. I enjoyed how you unpacked the thought processes that lead you to your conclusion, even if I thoroughly disagreed with that conclusion. Your 'toons are great but the accompanying essays, if they were to disappear completly, would be sorely missed.

  9. Jake_Ackers

    Why not alternate? Some of your essays cover a lot of issues that the media doesn't in reference to one topic. Other comics could of had just a shorter essay. This comic seems more like I have a question for the audience. Hence no major essay needed. Others is your opinion. You aren't just a cartoonist you are a political commentator and I do value the large essays at time.

  10. Jake_Ackers

    The Red Line question is a good one. One article I read questioned if rape was a red line. Now all wars have rape. I suppose it could be a red line if its a direct order from the top.

    Why is gas always a red line? How many people have died before and will die after these gasses are used? How does Syria handing over the weapons even matter? Just because it stops future attacks (maybe) doesn't really address the issue. All it says is you can gas once, and then just hand over the weapons. Shouldn't they be punished ? At least that is Obama rationale. Now if the US goes in, it just looks like a warmonger. Moreover, the UN has to deal with it.

    The biggest point is, the red line is irrelevant. Syria could of been done and dusted if Obama gave the Russians what they wanted. Access to the Mediterranean, military base in Syria and access to the Syria market. Frankly, the US wouldn't have to do anything. Just workout a plan with the Russians and one way or another Assad would be removed by Putin. Whom is an expert at removing his political enemies through "accidents."

  11. Sam

    Jake, the reason why chemical weapons are a "red line" is because they are orders of magnitude more horrific than conventional weapons. Getting shot by a bullet is a far better death than choking on your own blood as the insides of your lungs slough off. Also, most conventional weapons do not easily degrade like Sarin gas- they salt the earth and cause as many cancers as nuclear weapons do for the people still living there 40 years later. Unlike bullets, all it takes is a shift in the wind to spread the chemicals to civilians living in neighborhoods.

    Also there are many international treaties against chemical weapons use and the only way they have any legitimacy at all is if they're enforced- the U.N. has no armed forces of its own (aside from loans of countries' militaries as Peacekeepers) to enforce them, so it's up to someone to make sure that if some tinpot dictator starts using them against his own people, he'll be punished for it.

    The only reason why the U.N. said no is because f-ing Russia and China voted against it, because they enjoy being d–ks and not remembering whose materiel and assistance saved their bacon 70 years ago.

  12. awnman

    In addition much like the reason were against the spread of nuclear weapons, in many ways chemical weapons ore others of a biological origin are just to powerful. To just indiscriminately kill while still leaving infrastructure intact is a power that has been decided by the international community, justifiably or not that is just too powerful to be in the hands of any nation.

  13. Ann Apolis

    Oh wow, there are actual people who think that the US saved the Soviet Union in WWII? I should take pictures. This is incredible.

  14. Jake_Ackers

    What about the children getting shot by snipers on the way to school and bleeding to death? What about the rapes? Truth is the "red line" was a cop-out by the Obama administration thinking it wasn't going to happen. It did. Obama can easily enforce the law, by giving the Russians and Chinese what they want access to Syria. I really was hoping for Obama to be the grand negotiator in this but looks like Putin put his man boobs to use and stepped up.

    If war is the solution or even an acceptable solution to Syria than how come it wasn't an acceptable one with Iraq? Bush was just enforcing the nuclear arms treaty. After all Saddam told the world he had nukes, while Assad is actually denying using chemical weapons. Regardless if Saddam actually had them. War wasn't the solution in 2003 nor is it now.

  15. Katriel

    I agree with James — the more of your essays I get to read, the happier I will be. I'd encourage you to keep up the current model.

  16. Person

    yay more pics brb

  17. Zack

    Honestly, I enjoy both essays and cartoons quite a bit. If you're thinking of cutting back on the essays, I'd selfishly prefer that you keep them up on Canada-specific cartoons. There's very little exposure to Canadian news (let alone opinion) in the US media, so I find your commentary on those subjects intrinsically more valuable than on more global issues that I'm moer familiar.

  18. JohnStJames

    Please don't stop writing the essays. Its so rare to see clever insight on the internet especially regarding Canadian topics.

  19. Chris

    I think the essays are what separates Filibuster from basically any other political cartoon. I find a lot of value in them at the time, and they are invaluable for understanding context whenever I dip into the archives.

    But I remember in the early days, you used to have very short comments, which were still very informative – there's no reason why the commentary need always to be of essay length, if you're not keen on that.

    In conclusion, you know what you're doing. As long as you provide some written context with your cartoons, I think Filibuster will retain the combination of picture and text which has made it great.

  20. EBounding

    I like both, so do whatever feels right.

    And do a cartoon on the guy who down votes every comment.

  21. 489

    Cartoons SHOULD speak for themselves, but do whatever you want I guess.

  22. oarboar

    Judging from his two Pulitzer prizes, David Horsey is one of the best political cartoonists out there, and he still does essays, first with the Seattle P-I and now for the Los Angeles Times.

  23. Joe Higashi

    Who's the bald guy in the Hawaiian shirt?

  24. M_B123

    Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation.

  25. Michael Bell

    JJ, long-time reader, first-time commenter. I've come out of lurking to say that your analysis is the best-sourced and most reasoned I've ever read, and is the main reason I read this site. I would even say that I value the essays more than the comics. I know you write for a few news sites, but if you were to stop writing essays accompanying your comics, I would greatly miss your primary stream of output.

  26. Stords

    Just as the above commenter, I'm coming out of lurking to let you know that I really appreciate your accompanying essays. Especially because I usually don't understand your Canada specific comics, the essay allows me to understand the comic, but also become somewhat aware of current events in Canada. Please don't stop entirely!