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Iraqi political cartoons from the first Iraq War

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0704

Scope and Contents

Copied from dealer description: del (artist) Collection of 20 Anti-American Iraqi Political Cartoons from the First Iraq War (1990-91). [Iraq]: N.P., [n.d. but approximately 1990-91]. 20 original drawings, created for an unknown Iraqi newspaper. Pen and ink, marker, and watercolor on white composition paper, with sizes ranging from 25.5 X 16cm to 28 X 21.5 cm (10" X 6.25" to 8.5" X 11"); most of the cartoons are signed, with text in Arabic or English. Some trivial edgewear, with occasional guidelines and marginalia in graphite pencil and a few spots of white correction fluid; Near Fine. A strong group of Iraqi anti-American political cartoons from the first Gulf War, from the period just prior to Operation Desert Storm through the aftermath of the massive air campaign against Iraqi forces. The clearest sentiment towards American and Coalition forces can be seen through a series of five cartoons showing groups of fighter planes firing missiles at Iraqi soldiers as well as civilians, who are depicted as hunkered down, cowering in bed, or fleeing north of Baghdad on foot; a similar cartoon shows a lone Iraqi soldier in a foxhole facing a horde of tanks, one of which has fired an enormous anvil that is precariously positioned directly above the soldier's head. United Nations soldiers are depicted as towering over Iraqi soldiers, wielding superior weaponry. A pervading sense of doom is evident throughout the cartoons, the clearest of these depicting an Iraqi soldier turning the page of a calendar from January 14th (1991), only to find gun barrels facing him where the 15th should be; the U.N. Security Council gave the Iraqi's the ultimatum to withdraw their forces from Kuwait by January 15, 1991, and this particular cartoon provides a glimpse into what must have been a sense of national anxiety over the looming outcome. In one of the most provocative cartoons, American pilot of a B-52 has parked his plane in front of an ice cream shop, while Baghdad burns in the background. Several cartoons take daring jabs at the Iraqi leadership; one is a caricature of Saddam holding a ruled sign, with a caption reading "Please just write how much you love me or how much you hate me" (as if anyone could...). Another depicts Iraqi Public Information Minister Latif Nassif al- Jassem making a press announcement; the microphones he is speaking into are toilets, he is given donkey ears behind his head, and casts a shadow shaped like Satan. For these alone the artist could have easily invited torture or death under Saddam's regime, a sobering consequence shared historically by any number of political cartoonists. A fascinating group of cartoons from one of the critical periods in recent history, providing a wealth of insight into Iraqi sentiments towards both foreign governments, as well as their own.

Processing note: Artist is possibly Kaveh Ãdel.


  • Creation: 1990-1991


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information. Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical / Historical

This is an artificially assembled collection, so no biographical or historical note is required.


0.167 Cubic Feet (20 items)

Language of Materials



20 original drawings, created for an unknown Iraqi newspaper, of cartoons from the first Iraq War, 1990-1991.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Lorne Bair Rare Books, July 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by Jordon Steele, August 2015.

Iraqi political cartoons from the first Iraq War
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
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Baltimore MD 21218 USA