Response to Cartoon

(c) Jordan White Enterprises

June 2000

Mike Ramirez's cartoon (Perspective, June 4), is the kind of loathsome
propaganda that has contributed to the erosion of hope for long-term
peace in the Middle East.

To portray Hezbollah, which is a legitimate segment of Lebanese
society, as a bunch of "rats" set on destroying south Lebanon is not
only hateful and vindictive, but totally wrong. Hezbollah is a legal
political party with eight elected Members of Parliament. It offers
social, educational, and medical support to the people of Lebanon. The
tactics of its military wing might not be to everyone's liking, but it
is an organization devoted to bringing justice to south Lebanon through
the removal, by force if necessary, of the IDF and its mercenaries.
Israel's illegal occupation brought only continued strife to an already
tragically divided, war-weary nation.

Ramirez's cartoon brought to mind a propaganda ploy used in pre-World
War II Germany, when newsreels depicted the Jewish people as vermin
crowding into the country like rats off a moored vessel. That was not
journalism, and neither is this. Journalism teaches, uplifts, causes
people to think. Propaganda, particularly that which depicts human
beings as rats, has no place in any thinking person's news source.