Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sardonic Rocky & Bullwinkle sidekicks offer alternative lesson on Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan

Subversion, coercion and arms deals, oh my!

That's right kids. This is not your parents' Sherman and Mr. Peabody.

Rocky and Bullwinkle aficionados no doubt remember the unchanging headline of the cartoon's fictional newspaper, The Frostbite Falls Picayune Intelligence: "TENSION IN THE MIDEAST; COLD WAR CONTINUES."

Bearing the rather entertaining disclaimer "Not written or directed by a poli sci prof from UW," Mr. Peabody and Sherman Travel WayBack to 1953 - A History of Iraq uses the traditional animated characters to deliver a less-traditional lesson in the litany of U.S. operations in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan that have fueled our current quagmire. (The script is copyrighted by Matthew Hahn.) Not that any other players in the Middle East tinderbox are less responsible; there's no shortage of blame. However, Sherman is a pixilated means of delivery and one particularly satisfying to imagine Donald Rumsfeld fuming over.