Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Kurds in the Punchbowl

in UW-Parkside Ranger, Kenosha Wis., April 18, 1991

Continuing last Saturday's review of my cartoons from April thirty years ago, this post mortem on President George H.W. Bush's stratospheric post-war popularity starts with my one and only ever Brackets cartoon.

Bush looked unbeatable going into April, 1991. Doubters of his invasion of Iraq had expected a long, drawn-out desert war on the model of the 1981-1988 Iran-Iraq War, but the difference this time was that Iraq didn't have the benefit of U.S. support. Quite the opposite. 
in UW-Parkside Ranger, April 4, 1991

Quickly yielding Kuwait to the U.S.-led coalition forces Bush had meticulously assembled, Saddam Hussein almost immediately turned his toxic attention to the Kurds in his own country's north. During the Iran-Iraq War, Hussein had answered a Kurdish rebellion by gassing the town of Hallabja, killing 5,000 residents. 

in UW-M Post, Milwaukee Wis., April 18, 1991

My cartoon here was a play on Bush's "New World Order"; but if Bush didn't actually place this order, he did, in fact, encourage Iraqi citizens "to take matters into their own hands and force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step aside..." 

Once Hussein's army no longer had to defend Baghdad against foreign forces, they quickly went to work brutally putting down uprisings in the Kurdish north and in the south. Unable to hold onto cities and villages, the Kurdish militia holed up in mountains and caves, eventually protected by U.S.-enforced no-fly zones.

Unpublished. Hey, lookie! A world premiere!

I drew this cartoon for the UW-M Post's April 25 issue, but they re-ran a year-old cartoon about northern Wisconsin protests against Chippewa fishing rights instead. Whether this cartoon was spiked or simply late for deadline I don't remember.

Hey, thank you for coming along with me trudging through the sands of time. Look for some older than dirt cartoons next Saturday at this same dusty corner of the internet.

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