June 13, 2006

Cartoon angers Marines' supporters
Jun. 13, 2006 12:00 AM

Editor's note:
A cartoon last Wednesday by The Republic's Steve Benson has drawn strong criticism from supporters of the U.S. Marines. The cartoon used the Marine emblem in a criticism of the military's investigation of an alleged massacre in Haditha, Iraq. Following are some of the more than 160 letters about the cartoon we've received from around the country.

Cartoon is an outrage
Jun. 13, 2006 12:00 AM

As a former U.S. Marine (1949-1952), I am outraged by the cartoon that appeared in your Wednesday paper. There is no justification for this atrocity.

In this great country a person, or persons, is considered innocent until proven guilty. Thousands of Marines and other service personnel have given their lives over the past two centuries to protect this concept.

No one has been charged in the Haditha incident. It is still being investigated. It is unthinkable that this cartoon would be published at this time. It is a slap in the face to those of us who have suffered and died to protect the lives and liberties of the rest of our citizens.

Donald W. Roland, Salome

Marines deserve an apology
Jun. 13, 2006 12:00 AM
I am disgusted that you allowed the desecration of the symbol of the United States Marine Corps to be published in your paper.

The Marine Corps is a very proud organization and is proud of its history. We are a band of brothers, not a band of murderers.

The fog of war is a very large part of many battles, and I'm confident that the Marines that Steve Benson suggests are murderers saw it differently while engaged in combat.

Benson should apologize to the world's premier fighting force.

Kenneth Etringer, Green Bay, Wis.The writer is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps.

Benson maligns troops
Jun. 13, 2006 12:00 AM

I am appalled by the Benson cartoon depicting the emblem of the United States Marine Corps as if it were bleeding and the pennant below the globe saying, "United States Massacre Cover-up."

The "artist" has made the leap (as have most of the media) that these allegations are true and the Marines are guilty of some war crimes. I ask: Will this "artist" have the integrity to recant his position if these allegations prove to be untrue?

While satirical editorial cartoons are protected by the First Amendment, a fact I truly appreciate, I believe that this picture slanders the reputations of the millions of men who have, are currently and will in the future wear the uniform of the United States Marine Corps.

The public must not lose sight of the fact that it is extremely easy to malign the fine men and women in the military while the "artist" sits safely in his home.

Richard Van Luvender, Havertown, Pa.

June 16, 2006

Benson:

I won’t bother addressing you properly because that would be a sign of respect that you don’t deserve. I’m writing about the drawing you drew alluding to the US Marine Corps emblem.

Always remember, the United States Marines DO NOT make American Foreign Policy. They only enforce it, much to the chagrin of men such as your self.

I don’t know how old you are, but I would suspect that you are not my age. I suspect you were in diapers, if even born yet, when I was a young man and a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marines. I was sent to Vietnam and WIA in the Khe Sanh Area of South Vietnam in 1968. I shall never forget the screams of young Marines that had been so horribly wounded and dying while men, such as yourself, were safely sleeping in their beds every night. Those young men were the cream of the crop then, and are the cream of the crop today—not men like your self! The only reason you can do what you do is because somebody’s son or daughter paid the ultimate price!

If you don’t believe that, you’d better pray that the rule of law always remains, and this country doesn’t turn to anarchy, which I think your despicable drawing supports. One is "presumed innocent until proven guilty" in these United States which apparently you do not subscribe to. Your ignorant drawing has managed to piss off thousands of active duty, retired, and former Marines. I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes!

As for that communist rag you call a newspaper, I hope every person, who is either active duty, retired, or former military, cancels their subscription. In case you haven’t noticed, subscriptions are rapidly falling all over the United States.

John A. Alstad
USMCR
1966-1970
Montana

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