After 9/11: America’s War on Terror (2001 - )

Charles Moss

The authors paint a portrait of the Bush Administration as fear mongers caught up in their own selfish quest to capture and execute Saddam Hussein.

After 9/11: America’s War on Terror (2001 - )

Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 978-0-8090-23
Contributors: Artist: Ernie Colón
Writer: Sid Jacobson
Length: 160 pages
Formats: Trade Paperback
US publication date: 2008-08-26

As George W. Bush winds down his very controversial presidency, it seems likely that he will be remembered most for his mishandling of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Almost eight years after the fact, Osama bin Laden is still at large. Despite promises from the Bush Administration that the most well-known terrorist in the world would be caught and punished for his crimes, he is still out there. Instead, Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s former dictator became the administration’s focus. He was successfully captured and executed a few years ago and since then, the Iraq War has limped on at the expense of thousands of American soldiers with no end in sight.

While President-Elect Barack Obama is hard at work picking members of his presidential cabinet and working to solve the nation’s economic crisis, many Americans still ponder how America, once the model for democracy and peace, has managed to sink so low into the quagmire that the Bush Administration once called Operation Iraqi Freedom. That’s where comic book veterans Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón come in.

Almost two years to the day after the release of their revolutionary graphic novel, The 9/11 Commission Report: A Graphic Adaptation the collaborators released their highly-anticipated follow-up in August. After 9/11: America’s War on Terror (2001- ) illustrates in true comic book form the barrage of missteps taken by the Bush Administration following the events of 9/11.

This time, rather than use government documents a la’ The 9/11 Commission Report, Jacobson and Colón relied on coverage from major news outlets all over the world. The familiar stories you’ve seen, heard, and read: from America’s hunt for Osama bin Laden to the invasion of Iraq, are brought back to life through Colón’s vivid, full-color drawings that depict the war’s key players as accurately as if the reader were watching it on television.

In retelling the events of the seven years since the attacks on America, the authors chose only what they felt to be the most important details, painting a portrait of the Bush Administration as fear mongers caught up in their own selfish quest to capture and execute Saddam Hussein. The beauty in this kind of adaptation is that what unfolds is not a fabricated opinion of what the authors think happened during this time but instead, clear-cut facts that neatly package all of the major events ranging from September 11, 2001 to the printing of this book in June 2008. That’s seven years of government fabrications, political scandals, natural disasters, public opinion polls, war casualties and political elections. Like Bush’s War on Terror, After 9/11 concludes with no end in sight. Providing updates right up to the book’s printing, Colón and Jacobson manage to provide much-needed clarity to a war often compared to Vietnam.

Today, the war in Iraq rages on. With only weeks away until Obama is sworn in as the new President of the United States, the American people will have to trust that they made the right decision. With so much at stake, let’s hope the new President has learned from the past; that he is wiser in this post-9/11 society. He’s made a promise that he will end the War in Iraq and that his administration will capture and punish Osama bin Laden. If Obama keeps that promise, perhaps we should expect another comic book sequel; this time, one with a definite end.


The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

Electronic music is one of the broadest-reaching genres by design, and 2017 highlights that as well as any other year on record. These are the 20 best albums.

20. Vitalic - Voyager (Citizen)

Pascal Arbez-Nicolas (a.k.a. Vitalic) made waves in the French Touch electro-house scene with his 2005 debut, OK Cowboy, which had a hard-hitting maximalist sound, but several albums later, Voyager finds him launching into realms beyond at his own speed. The quirky, wallflower vocals and guitar snippets employed throughout Voyager drop a funk that brings to mind WhoMadeWho or Matthew Dear if they had disco-pop injected between their toes. "Levitation" is as pure a slice of dance floor motivation as theoretically possible, a sci-fi gunfight with a cracking house beat sure to please his oldest fans, yet the album-as-form is equally effective in its more contemplative moments, like when Miss Kitten's vocals bring an ethereal dispassion to "Hans Is Driving" to balance out its somber vocoder or the heartfelt cover of "Don't Leave Me Now" by Supertramp. Voyager may infect you with a futuristic form of Saturday Night Fever, but afterwards, it gives you a hearty dose of aural acetaminophen to break it. - Alan Ranta

Keep reading... Show less

Blitzed Trapper frontman Eric Earley talks about touring, the state of the music industry, and (whisper it) progressive rock.

It's just past noon on a Tuesday, somewhere in Massachusetts and Eric Earley sounds tired.

Since 2003, Earley's band, Blitzen Trapper, have combined folk, rock and whatever else is lying around to create music that manages to be both enigmatic and accessible. Since their breakthrough album Furr released in 2008 on Sub Pop, the band has achieved critical acclaim and moderate success, but they're still some distance away from enjoying the champagne lifestyle.

Keep reading... Show less

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.