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Cartoonist Labels Tillman 'Idiot' Who Died Fighting 'An Evil Cause'

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  • Cartoonist Labels Tillman 'Idiot' Who Died Fighting 'An Evil Cause'

    Cartoonist Labels Tillman 'Idiot' Who Died Fighting 'An Evil Cause'
    By Jimmy Moore
    Talon News
    May 4, 2004

    SAN JOSE, CA (Talon News) -- Less than a week after a Massachusetts graduate student wrote an opinion piece ripping NFL player-turned-soldier Pat Tillman, who was tragically killed in action in Afghanistan on April 22, a cartoon stirred up controversy for casting doubt on Tillman's status as a "hero" on the day of his memorial service.

    The cartoon, drawn by syndicated political cartoonist Ted Rall, had been posted on the MSNBC web site on Monday.

    Yet, within 15 minutes of being online, Rall reportedly received in excess of 110 e-mails criticizing him for ridiculing Tillman's tragic death.

    As a result of the backlash from readers, pulled the cartoon from its web site citing the Rall cartoon fell well below the "standards of fairness and taste," according to Dean Wright, editor-in-chief for

    The cartoon depicts Tillman as a dumb jock who foolishly relinquished a $3.6 million football contract to serve his country in the military.

    Spreading the notion that Tillman "falsely believed Bush's wars against Iraq and Afghanistan had something to do with 9/11," Rall explained in the captions that Tillman was part of "a low-rent occupation Army that shot more innocent civilians than terrorists to prop up puppet rulers and exploit gas and oil resources."

    At the end of the cartoon, Rall portrays the reaction to Tillman's death by various people in the media.

    "So when Tillman got killed by the Afghan resistance, one word naturally came to mind," the cartoon notes.

    "'Uh -- idiot,'" states the first person.

    "'Sad,'" remarks the second person.

    The third person, ostensibly the editor, exclaims, "'Hero!'"

    Talon News reported on Friday on University of Massachusetts at Amherst graduate student Rene Gonzalez who wrote a controversial column that described Tillman as a Rambo "idiot" who "got what was coming to him" when he was killed fighting the war on terror.

    Editor and Publisher obtained several of the e-mail comments received by Rall from upset Americans, including "You make me sick"; "lies and distortions"; "move to France"; "I pity you"; "disgusting"; "sad and pathetic"; "f--k you, you coward bastard"; "I will s--t on your grave"; "horrendous"; "rot in hell"; "freak"; "I hope you're killed by an Arab terrorist attack"; "people died to publish the b.s. you do."

    Although Rall went to Afghanistan after September 11, his deep disregard for President George W. Bush as well as the military personnel serving in the armed forces is evident.

    "The word 'hero' has been bandied about a lot to refer to anyone killed in Afghanistan or Iraq," Rall told E&P. "But [a soldier] who voluntarily goes to Afghanistan or Iraq is fighting for an evil cause under an evil commander in chief."

    Rall said Tillman should have taken the $3.6 million because it would have made him "a better person and a better husband." The leftist cartoonist concluded that Tillman should have "left the poor and beleaguered people of Afghanistan and Iraq alone."

    A memorial service for Tillman took place in San Jose, California on Monday. Friends and family gather to remember Tillman's courage, honor, integrity and selflessness.

    More than 2,000 people gathered to remember Tillman.

    Copyright © 2004 Talon News -- All rights reserved.
    Pain is just weakness leaving the body. USMC
    Semper Fi

  • #2
    I don't think Tilman's death should be considered different to the death of any other marine - bot have made a very big sacrifice and it would be an insult to the other to put one first.

    However I do rate Tilman for what he did, it takes something to give up a $3 million contract for service.


    • #3
      These losers are a dime a dozen.
      No man is free until all men are free - John Hossack
      I agree completely with this Administrationís goal of a regime change in Iraq-John Kerry
      even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act-John Kerry
      He may even miscalculate and slide these weapons off to terrorist groups to invite them to be a surrogate to use them against the United States. Itís the miscalculation that poses the greatest threat-John Kerry