Get Your War On, the omnibus edition


Over the weekend, I gave over a few pleasurable hours to the absolute, white-hot rage you can only get from reading David Rees's scorching, relentless, brilliant Get Your War On: The Definitive Account of the War on Terror, 2001-2008, the omnibus edition collecting the full run of the strip.

Rees's minimalist, clip-art graphics combined with his profane (top marks for inspired and expressive use of the word 'fuck' -- next time an English teacher tells you cursing isn't an effective way of expressing yourself, produce this book and win the day) torrent of raging, pitiless, vicious, relentless attacks on the stupidity of the War on Terror made GET YOUR WAR ON the single consistently credible voice during the Bush Years.

It's easy to forget all the screw-ups that took place over that time -- massive, fatal screw-ups, from Harriet Meier to Tom DeLay linking abortion to illegal immigration. But who can forget Bionic Abu-Ghraib Man, or the vicious beating that Rees doled out to liberals who let themselves be cowed by "9/11 changed everything" rhetoric?

Rees's gift for Bill-Hicks-like rhetoric set his strip apart from every other political cartoon I've read -- it's like Doonesbury with Tourette's:

On US forces losing 380 tons of explosives to insurgents in Iraq: "Do you think Mohamed ElBaradei is currently running around with 380 tons of Schadenfreude? The worst thing about working at the IAEA is that nobody can hear you say 'I told you so.' On account of all the explosions. God, wouldn't it be ironing if the Iraq war somehow increased terrorism? Who could have predicted such irony? Maybe ninety percent of the world or something?"

On Condoleeza Rice's appointment to Secretary of State: "How can you not love our new Secretary of State? Have you ever heard her PLAY THE PIANO? Seriously, dude, she's really good...But I think her wonderful talent is best when applied to Chopin's later works. She draws out his whimsical melodies without over emphasizing the subharmonics of dead people and billions of dollars flushed down the fucking toilet."

Terry Schvaio's feeding tube speaks: "'Culture of Life?' You're going to start legislating based on phrases stolen from herbal tea packaging? Why not 'Sleepytime Lemon Traditions?' Fuckin' hold midnight congressional sessions about that you dumb fucks!

On Pat Robertson claiming that federal judges are a more serious threat to America than Al Qaeda, the 9/11 terrorists, Nazi Germany, Japan and the civil war: "So here's my offer: I'll spend a year in the company of federal judges if Pat Robertson will spend just a year in a Nazi concentration camp. No, wait -- I'll actually fly on a 747 with federal judges if Pat Robertson will fly on a 747 with Islamic terrorists..." "Stop making fun! If you don't...the federal judges have won!"

On the White House's response to the crisis in Darfur: "Come on, be fair. Bush has sent tons of humanitarian aid over there." "Well, that's a relief -- nobody wants to be gang-raped on an empty stomach."

On security theater: "How come the terror plots that lead to the worst airport inconveniences are the fuckin' B-list, retarded terror plots that would never work? If I'm gonna have to surrender my shoes or shampoo or whatever, at least let is be because people have actually been killed! Enough of this theoretical bubblegum-missile bullshit!" "I wish someone would try to blow up a plan using New Age music, so I wouldn't have to sit and listen to that shit while people are boarding." "Do you think we could pay a terrorist to try to kill infidels using some kind of 'lack of legroom in coach' bomb?"

On Hurricane Katrina: "How did you celebrate the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina?" "I floated face-down in my pool for a couple days, contemplating all the people who don't give a shit about me." "I went into 'White House Crisis Mode:' I rolled up my sleeves and stuck my thumb up my ass."

On Blackwater: "Who would've thought we'd see an accusation of too much deadly force from a firm called 'Blackwater?' The fuckin' name only sounds like an evil wizard's military compound." "Why not just call themselves Deathfang's Midnight Posse of Merciless Skull Warriors?"

Get Your War On: The Definitive Account of the War on Terror, 2001-2008