Originally created 02/03/05

Tsunami cartoon was in poor taste



Only one month and one day after the Boxing Day tsunami killed hundreds of thousands in Southeast Asia, I opened my local paper to find Rick McKee's Jan. 27 editorial cartoon. The cartoon depicts a large wave labeled "democracy" overtaking a stereotypical caricature of a terrorist labeled "Iraqi insurgents." The man is eyeing the wave nervously as he shouts "Tsunami!"

Mr. McKee, I take issue on two counts.

First, your total lack of respect for those who, one month later, still search for loved ones who will more than likely never be found is appalling. "Tsunami" is still a painful reality, Mr. McKee, not a clever reference. Had it been the entire population of Augusta - a comparable number to most tsunami death tolls - that had been swept away in an instant, would you have been so callous?

Second, your analogy is flawed. The tsunami, over the course of hours, completely changed the lives of the people in the countries it struck. "Democracy," however, has barely managed to trickle into Iraq since the March 19 invasion, and too much Iraqi life has remained unchanged - the constant threat of violence, for example.

Further, the waters of the tsunami did their destructive work, then returned to the sea. Had the tsunami been as slow to withdraw as the occupying forces in Iraq have been, we would need to update our school texts to include the new Indonesian Ocean.

I recognize that your job is to use your wit to advance your political views, but to use the suffering of so many to do so? Is your wit or your political agenda really more sacred than the world's collective grief?

I sincerely hope it is not.

Will Sansbury, Augusta