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Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 08:50 am

Y’all ready for Rall?

One of the final Ted Rall cartoons to appear in Illinois Times before being discontinued last summer depicts a group of men in Afghan clothing, holding weapons and sitting on a tank near a sign that reads: Taliban Comeback Tour. “Obama will send 10,000 more troops here,” says one of the men, holding a cell phone. His comrade replies: “Cool. Our farmers need the fertilizer.”

The cartoon takes on new meaning now that President Barack Obama has announced he will increase the size of the U.S. force in Afghanistan by 17,000 – a move some military and political experts on the region believe could prove deadlier than the Iraq war.

To call Rall controversial would be an understatement. But the whole point of the University of Illinois at Springfield’s Political Art and the Public Sphere is to raise provocative social political questions, says the series’ coordinator Richard Gilman-Opalsky.

Rall hosts this year’s series with a free exhibit and open discussion on Friday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Visual Art Gallery, located in UIS’ Health and Sciences building.

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