Mission Accomplished, cartoons by Khalil Bendib


This video says about itself: ‘America’s First Muslim President? Muslim American cartoonist Khalil Bendib throws his fez in the ring.’

From London daily The Morning Star:

Engrossing cartoon collection

(Sunday 21 October 2007)

Mission Accomplished by Khalil Bendib
(Arris Books, £9.99)

GEORGE Dubya is having a quiet tipple with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and, with his customary hick fake savvy, admits to a life-long affection and admiration for the Indian culture, citing Cochise and Geronimo as his boyhood heroes.

A few pages down, a clearly exasperated plumber with his arm shoulder-deep in the Guantanamo toilet tells the on-looking Dubya and his sidekick Dick (Cheney) that all he has found down there are the Bill of Rights, two copies of the Koran, the Geneva Convention and Habeas Corpus.

These and many more are part of <a href=”https://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2007/05/03/new-mark-fiore-animation-on-bushs-iraq-war-veto/&#8221;>Mission Accomplished, a collection of cartoons drawn by Khalil Bendib – a formidable cartoonist adversary of US political demagogues.

Bendib, a fez-clad Algerian-American, is the purveyor of biting political satire and little escapes his beady eye.

His mere existence is a powerful rebuke of the half-witted “clash of civilisations” nonsense peddled in the media to camouflage the militaristic phase of imperial conquest that has stuttered when liberalism and globalisation hit the buffers of worldwide opposition.

Dynamic compositions favouring angular movements across the frames and an exquisite body language of the characters populating them are engrossing and a joy to follow.

An ever-present ibis chi(r)ps in with wry indignation, like a Greek tragedy chorus of one, but is often left speechless by the incredulity of what it witnesses.

“The more a subject or victim is ignored by the mass media, the more he (Bendib) infuriates, informs and intensifies the reader’s attention” sums up Ralph Nader.

Frederick Douglass‘s wise saying “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong” is reiterated by every single piece of Bendib’s work.

Nothing sets Bendib’s ire more violently than hearing “forked tongues” speak. A truthful and splendidly vicious portrayal depicts Kofi Annan as a janitor mopping up the Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon shit dropped by the [US] Republican elephant.

The mesmerising simplicity of this tableau is its painful forte. The habitual UN lack of moral fortitude and servility to every US whim gets here what it deserves and no words are necessary. Even the ibis doesn’t bother to turn up.

He does, though, when a homeless person rummaging through the bins for food comes across a newspaper announcing that hunger is the thing of the past in the US. He passes the revelation that the US Department of Agriculture has just redefined them all as being merely “food insecure,” to the others sharing the sidewalk cardboard shelters.

This is painful hilarity and it, sadly, rings bells closer to home as Britain, the “fourth economy of the world,” won’t solve its own endemic problem of child poverty.

It is perhaps premature to talk about Mission Accomplished as much remains to be achieved and there are long years of struggle ahead. But, with Bendib on our team, we’re assured of some healthy laughs along the way.

MICHAL BONCZA

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