In a rare act of defense against the media, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent a letter to the Philip Bennett, Managing Editor of the Washington Post, objecting to the tasteless political cartoon by Tom Toles that featured an Iraq War multiple amputee as the butt of its criticism of SecDef Donald Rumsfeld. Perhaps you have seen the cartoon and read the letter.

One of those who saw the cartoon is poet and Vietnam War veteran Russ Vaughn. It raised his hackles to the point of his originating the following poem about the Washington Post (which he calls WAPO).

In his note to me he said, “This may be too strong for some tastes. My usual forum, The American Thinker, turned it down because of the implied violence. Use your own judgment in deciding whether to post it or pass it on.”

As one who believes in free speech, I am posting it here. After you have read the poem, be sure to read the paragraph that follows.


Wanna draw a soldier, Toles? Here I am,
Back with all four limbs from Vietnam.
You wanna draw pictures of fighting men?
Just tell me where and tell me when.

I’ll give you a pose to impress any viewer,
Your punk arty ass comatose in the sewer.
Like all of your kind you don’t have a clue
Who fightin’ men are and what fightin’ men do.

That you, your kind, you effete panty waists,
With Hollywood morals, metrosexual tastes,
Would taunt a brave warrior’s fight for life,
Mock his loss, his pain, deride his strife;

And use his sorrow to support your screed,
With no concern for the warrior’s need,
Tells me you are clueless of the facts of war,
You’re a cut ‘n run, spineless, media whore.

Go to Walter Reed hospital, smug Mr. Toles,
To see those you’ve mocked, grave injured souls.
View wounded warriors with bodies so broken
And think again of the message you’ve spoken,

So abysmally ignorant, so smug, condescending
That even most liberals won’t waste time defending.
So Toles it’s a fact that your most famous work
Will proclaim you forever as a pitiless jerk.

And Washington Post:
You’re as bad as this weasel.
You gave him the forum,
Provided his easel.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

Now that you’ve read his poem click on American Thinker and read his synopsis of the matter, including, “The diametric differences in the responses from military readers and liberal readers made me, once again, all too aware of the curious relationship that exists between those who protect and defend and those who are defended.”