When you see a cartoon, asking yourself the following questions may help you understand the cartoonist's point of view:
1. Who is portrayed in this cartoon?
The large man on the left is "Uncle Sam" who is drawn to represent the United States and is identified by his stars and stripes on his hat. The people in front of him are a European and a Canadian soldier identified by their uniforms and the labels on their helmets. These characters represent those places.
2. Who is portrayed favorably?
Europe and Canada are portrayed favourably as they are being stabbed in the back.
3. Who is not portrayed favourably?
Uncle Sam is not portrayed favourably as he is stabbing the two soldiers in the back.
4. What issue is the cartoon dealing with?
The sign on the top says "War on Terrorism."
5. What techniques does the cartoonist use?
Labelling - of the soldiers' helmets, the sign, the two swords (softwood duty and steel tariffs) as well as the quote from the one soldier.
Analogy - The soliders represent the countries and the powerful U.S. is stabbing the smaller solidiers/countries in the back.
Exaggeration - Uncle Sam's costume is very easy to identify from the stars and stripes on his hat. There are also two more swords in his pocket, which represents the fact that the cartoonist is saying that he/the USA is not to be trusted, that he is prepared to stab again and again! Finally the fact that Uncle Sam is grinning as he is stabbing his friends and allies, implies that he/the USA is mean, 'two-faced' and ungrateful for the help they are giving.
6. What is their point of view on the issue?
It appears that the author feels that while Europe and Canada have been sent off to fight the war on terrorism, the United States has been unfair to them on other situations such as soft wood lumber duties and steel tarrifs.