President Barack Obama has authorized direct US military support to Syrian rebels after concluding that the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad has crossed a red line by using chemical weapons against its own people. Read more >>
The cartoon by Morten Morland from The Times shows Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron standing on top of a building with boxes full of weapons, including grenades and rocket launchers. Down below in the street, a violent conflict is raging. Obama calls out, "Hands up if you're one of the good guys!"
One reason why the Obama administration has hesitated so long over arming the Syrian opposition is the risk of seeing U.S. weapons fall into the hands of extremist groups among the rebels. In fact, it is virtually impossible to know where the weapons will end end up, and some rebel groups are reported to be fighting each other. Hence Obama's rather desperate attempt to identify "the good guys".
"Hands up" is an expression meaning "Put your hands in the air". Although this expression is used when ordering someone to surrender (Hands up! We've got you surrounded.), it is also used, as here, when asking people to identify themselves or volunteer. For example, a teacher might say to her class, "Hands up if you know the answer."
• Bob cartoon (The Telegraph)