Jewish World Review Sept. 19, 2002 / 13 Tishrei, 5762

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
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Bush's resolve already has paid dividends | Web blogger Orrin Judd predicted the day before his speech, that President Bush would tell the United Nations Sept. 12 that he was going to shoot Frank Miller dead.

European journalists are fond of deriding Bush as a "cowboy." Usually, the analogy is far-fetched. But Bush's UN speech on Saddam Hussein eerily resembled the script of the greatest Western movie of all time, High Noon. Especially powerful was the haunting Tex Ritter ballad that was its theme song:

Do not forsake me, O my darlin'
We were strangers when we wed
Do not forsake me, O my darlin'
For I must shoot Frank Miller dead.

In the movie, Marshal Wil Kane (Gary Cooper) is about to leave on his honeymoon with his new Quaker bride (Grace Kelly) when he learns that Miller has been released from prison and is coming to Hadleyville on the noon train to kill him. Members of Miller's gang already have gathered at the railroad station to help him out.

Kane tries to round up a posse to arrest Miller, but the townspeople who have grown prosperous under his protection - people he thought were his friends - won't help. They urge him to get out of town. Some even blame Kane for the trouble. If he hadn't arrested Miller in the the first place, Miller might not be coming back to Hadleyville.

When his wife threatens to leave him if he fights, Kane considers running. But he decides against it. Miller would just follow him wherever he went. And it would be wrong not to face up to evil:

I do not know what fate awaits me
I only know I must be brave
And I must face a man who hates me
Or lie a coward, a craven coward
Or lie a coward in my grave.

In the end, Grace Kelly rallies to her husband's side. She even plugs one of the Miller boys herself. The two ride off together as the people of Hadleyville hang their heads in shame.

In his speech at Hadleyville on the Hudson, President Bush ticked off Saddam Hussein's aggressions, his cruelty towards his own people, his decade of defiance of the UN's resolutions. The UN's credibility is at stake, Bush said. If the UN won't enforce its own rules, it will become as irrelevant as its impotent predecessor, the League of Nations. (Interestingly, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said essentially the same thing.) If other UN members were willing to join the posse, Bush said, he will be happy to discuss with them how best to enforce the law. But he made it clear that he is going to face the man who hates us, even if they will not:

"We cannot stand by and do nothing while dangers gather," the President said. "We must stand up for our security, and for the permanent rights and hopes of mankind. By heritage and by choice, the United States of America will make that stand. Delegates to the United Nations, you have the power to make that stand as well."

Bush's resolve already has paid dividends. At the end of the Clinton administration, it seemed likely that Saddam's "punishment" for flouting UN resolutions would be to have the increasingly leaky economic sanctions on his regime lifted. Now many are talking about imposing "robust" weapons inspections, if only to head off more robust U.S. action. Spain's prime minister said on Sept. 11 that he'd prefer the U.S. act against Saddam through the United Nations, but that Spain would support the United States even if it didn't. The new Dutch government had said something similar the week before. And British Prime Minister Tony Blair has made it plain Marshal Kane will have at least one deputy.

The problem with "cowboys," European sophisticates say, is that they see the world in black and white. But history's great statesmen - Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan - are those who have called evil by its right name, and stood up to it.

European sophisticates pride themselves on seeing the world in shades of gray. But when people look at them, all they see are shades of yellow.

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09/17/02: Courageous Iranians
09/13/02: If you never served in the military, you have no right to an opinion
09/10/02: Why the 'air marshals' will fail
09/05/02: Resurrecting the "Happy Darky"
08/31/02: Are Bush's inactions against Iraq calculated?
08/23/02: Dems can't take the minority vote for granted any longer
08/20/02: No proof of Saddam's wrongdoing? Yeah, right
08/15/02: Mineta's war on what?
08/13/02: When Gore said he wanted to be his 'own man,' what was he thinking!?
08/08/02: Picking a tree for Cheney's hanging
08/06/02: Fears about the Department of Homeland Security are misplaced
08/01/02: The greatest strategic deception since Eisenhower convinced Hitler the Allies were going to land at the Pas de Calais?
07/30/02: State Dept.'s anti-American actions
07/26/02: Journalists are making sure Americans can't differentiate between the stock market and the economy
07/23/02: Iran's is on the verge of a social and political explosion. So why is media ignoring it?
07/17/02: FBI isn't supposed to stand for Foolish, Blind and Incompetent
07/12/02: The ICC tramples on rights Americans take for granted
07/09/02: Was LA International Airport shooting, in fact, good news?
07/02/02: What the "intelligence community" can learn from Alexander the Great
06/28/02: Muslim link in Oklahoma City bombing revisited
06/25/02: A good environmental scare needs two ingredients - an impending catastrophe, and someone to blame for it
06/21/02: Stirring the security pot
06/18/02: Why the military is so messed up
06/14/02: Vast majority $68.7 billion proposed for weapons will be spent on systems of little use in the war on terror
06/12/02: Bush saw them and raised them, and he's holding the aces
06/10/02: Some heads need to roll
06/04/02: A new draft for the 'war on terror'?
05/31/02: So the FBI has finally caught up to our priorities?
05/29/02: Taking on common sense
05/23/02: Political terrorists
05/21/02: There is a great deal to fret about, but I've never been more optimistic
05/15/02: If there is a way for America to lose the war, Gen. Tommy Franks can find it
05/13/02: Impartial justice against Americans by the UN?
05/07/02: Want to win the 'war on terror'? Reinstate the draft
05/03/02: An expanded NATO is needed as a counterweight to the UN and the EU
04/29/02: Islamic 'smarts'
04/26/02: Did Bush play his Aces with Abdullah wisely?
04/23/02: Why peace in the Mideast is closer than ever
04/19/02: What the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank gained from the "peace accords"
04/17/02: Logical Muslim allies
04/10/02: How to guarantee an infinite Mideast war
04/08/02: Saddam's American friends
04/05/02: Arab winners and sinners
04/01/02: Why is the commander of U.S. Central Command not coming clean to the American people?
03/31/02: Dubya under attack by conservatives
03/26/02: Saddam watch coming to an end?
03/21/02: Get the Jews!
03/19/02: It's time pols and gov bureaucrats be held to the same standard of accountability we insist for corporate execs
03/15/02: Khaki Throat
03/12/02: Making foreign cheaters pay
03/08/02: Timidity and indecision by senior American commanders
03/04/02: Why 9-11? Ex-CIA officials come clean
02/25/02: Don't rule out a quick victory --- even if prez says otherwise
02/21/02: Saving our military from itself
02/19/02: Front Page fiction
02/15/02: Our European allies are like the fat kid who wants to play quarterback
02/13/02: Is the Army in danger of becoming "irrelevant"?
02/11/02: So, I "propagate hatred"
02/06/02: Bush whacking the media
02/04/02: Why serious folks disregard the European Union --- and why Bush must, too
01/30/02: Give economy pneumonia in order to protect it from a cold
01/28/02: Media is its own worst enemy
01/25/02: Journalists making road to peace a bumpy ride, or: A case study in stupidity
01/23/02: Toward a stronger defense at a lower cost
01/21/02: How Bush could be Generations X and Y's Kennedy ... and guarantee a GOP victory in the midterm elections

© 2002, Jack Kelly