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Jewish World Review Nov. 25, 2004 / 12 Kislev, 5765

James Lileks

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What Would John Wayne Do?


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Under normal circumstances, there is a word for people who attempt to separate the president from his Secret Service agents, and that word is "dead."


So perhaps the Chilean security agents who detained an agent attached to President Bush should be feeling as if they have a new lease on life, no? Probably not. Some inexplicable spasm of machismo led the Chileans to turn a simple walk to a photo op into a rugby scrum. You can well imagine how the president felt when his ever-present bodyguard evaporated. He was all alone and open to harm, so what did he do? No, Terry McAuliffe, he did not re-enlist in the Texas Air National Guard. He went over to the jostling knot of chest-bumpers and hauled his agent out.


And that's why they hate us! Seriously. So it seems. Said Marcelo Romero, a reporter at Santiago's newspaper La Cuarta: "All of us journalists agree that President Bush looked like a cowboy. It was total breach of protocol. I've seen a lot of John Wayne movies, and President Bush was definitely acting like a cowboy."


Again, we must remind the rest of the world: "Cowboy" is not quite the insult you believe it to be. It's like calling a Frenchman a gourmand and expecting him to shrink back in shame.


The message boards on the Internet were full of scorn; some fevered typists seemed to think Karl Rove had made Bush do it to look tough. Rove used a joystick to activate the control pack installed in Bush's spine, the one that made his jacket bulge in the debates. To be fair, if President Kerry had done the same thing, some rabid right-wingers would have hit the message boards to scoff: "No man left behind LOL wonder if he shot the Chilean guy in the back as he ran." But distaste for Bush is a global phenomenon. Ask anyone who's been abroad. They hate him.


So what?

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Really, so what? Yes, global cooperation might be easier if every time Bush went abroad he washed the feet of the local oligarch, passed out $50 bills and free stem cells to the poor, apologized for deposing Saddam Hussein, and climbed into a dunk tank so every leftist in the country could throw baseballs at his head. But even then there would be great enmity toward the leadership of the United States. And there will be great enmity until we let the innumerable Lilliputians of the globalist movement tie us down with treaties and U.N. resolutions and International Criminal Court indictments.


But just because the world hates Cowboy Bush doesn't mean we're wrong.


What is the world, exactly? Check the headlines. "The world," naturally, is incensed by one Marine shooting a wounded terrorist. It angers the world more than the film of the death houses and torture chambers discovered in Iraq. (Which do you think airs more often on Al-Jazeera? Those were no doubt day care centers and wellness outreach clinics until the Brutal U.S. Occupation radicalized the kind folk of Fallujah.) No, the world hates us more -- either for doing something about Fallujah, or for reminding the diplomats who float from reception to reception that such places exist. Hard to tell.


More news of the world, with all its conceits and follies: "Arafat's Nephew Hints Israel Poisoned Palestinian Leader." There wasn't room in Yasser Arafat's body for more poison. His heart took care of that. "U.N. Official Says Iranians Seem to Curb Atom Activity." (To be followed by "Mushroom Cloud Seems to Appear Over Tel Aviv.") In the Congo, the United Nations is under investigation for 150 counts of sexual abuse by its staff and soldiers; do we get to hold them in contempt? Vladimir Putin has been doing his best to rig Ukraine's election; does the world sneer and spit at him? French troops appeared to have fired on crowds in Ivory Coast, but does anyone line up to protest a visit by Jacques Chirac?


We're not saying everyone should love the president and the United States. But there's enough hate for everyone! Let's spread it around!


It's the multilateral thing to do.


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JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.

Up

11/18/04: How to Make Blue Folks See Red: Pick on the Boy Scouts
11/10/04: Save ‘evil‘ for true treachery
11/04/04: When normal means divisive
10/28/04: Parsing the Polls
10/20/04: Kerry's Senate Record is a 78 played at 33 RPM
10/14/04: Meaning of War on Terror eludes Kerry
10/06/04: Kerry's global test fails the reality exam
09/29/04: Dems' mixed messages alienate the Center
09/23/04: Kerry's almost just about final position on Iraq
09/21/04: Will anyone trust them again?
09/09/04: Now can you name the enemy?
09/02/04: Save America from those who would save it
08/26/04: The character (or lack) behind the Kerry candidacy
08/19/04: Time for Old Media to make like McGreevey
08/12/04: Another Swing Vote: the Sufferers of Sudden Bush Hatred Fatigue Syndrome
08/05/04: Is Kerry's Problem nuance? Or is it obfuscation?
07/30/04: Intimate liability
07/26/04: Sandy Berger's classified wardrobe
07/15/04: Pretty faces, ugly words
07/08/04: Genocide can't happen if we banish the word
07/01/04: Dropping political discourse level
06/24/04: Kerry's Science Buddies and the Silly Sanctity of Life
06/17/04: Behold the Summer of Bill Clinton!
06/10/04: Whatever happened to respect for the presidency?
06/03/04: Tales at the intersection of war and popular culture
05/20/04: Athletes on Notice: Strive Unflaggingly
05/13/04: America likes Rumsfeld, and the Dems can't take it
05/07/04: Kerry Supporters Have a New Take on Vietnam War
05/05/04: New cell phone does everything, but there's a problem...
04/29/04: John Kerry, prisoner of symbolic politics
04/22/04: Shall we grovel? Kerry Plan to Restore America's Place in the World
04/08/04: Sept. 11 Might Have Been Different If ...
04/02/04: Slinging slime or citing facts?
03/26/04: One War, One Enemy
03/22/04: Bloodied Spain Rejoins Old Europe
03/12/04: Why All Those Foreign Leaders Want Kerry to Whup Bush
03/08/04: Introducing the Kerry Doctrine
02/27/04: Introducing the AWOLs: Angry White Outraged Libs
02/20/04: Sifting the headlines of election year 1992
02/18/04: Guess Which Candidate Our Enemies Want to Lose in 2004?
01/29/04: Every Laptop a Truth Squad
01/27/04: When the battle over artistic freedom goes over the edge
12/31/03: For the Left and Right, Some New Year's Resolutions
12/22/03: Dean's black helicopters
12/15/03: Dems Are Mainstreaming the Extreme
12/08/03: Does Dean Really Want to Be President? One Wonders, When He Opens His Mouth
11/24/03: The real story: Most Brits see U.S. as force for good
11/19/03: The Trouble With Al Gore's Screed on Civil Liberties
11/11/03: Can a fellow win with the Confederate Metrosexual vote?
10/22/03: Let's make Greenpeace pay
09/29/03: Ah-nold & Clark may be on different sides of the aisles, but their supporters are cut from the same cloth
09/19/03: All Hail the Ninth Circuit Court of Surreal
08/26/03: This time, the record industry doesn't stand a chance!
08/18/03: Assessing the Schwarzenegger Factor in Republicanism
08/08/03: No wonder Howard ‘Two Covers’ Dean gets all the buzz
08/04/03: Expect bad news for the foreseeable future
07/28/03: Despot's Deserts
07/21/03: No winners in this game of gotcha
07/14/03: Doing the right thing in Liberia may not be the right thing to do
06/27/03: On feet in Democratic mouths
06/16/03: The real story behind Hillary's book
06/09/03:America's new mission was and remains: Extirpating the flaming nutballs and the societies that nurture them
06/03/03: The Constitution as gag order
05/23/03: Sometimes the theme of world events is chaos itself
05/16/03: Newspapers are only human, after all
05/13/03: What McCarthy messed up
05/06/03: Still think the International Criminal Court was a good idea?
04/03/03: The world is ending, the world is ending! Doesn't anybody care!? Why won't anybody listen!?
03/14/03: Kerry and the Dems are banking on American electorate's tendancy to forget history
02/28/03: Roadmap to peace?
02/13/03: We live in an age where the poet has been cast out from the halls of power --- sob, sob
02/10/03: Found: League for International Justice and Peace talking points
01/30/03: The US can go to war whenever it likes for its own reasons, and all the UN can do is pass more worthless paper
01/23/03: People who'd volunteer for the Iraqi army if they saw Saddam wearing a "Free Mumia" button
01/16/03: One of those head vs. heart things
12/27/02: Whistleblowers?
01/06/02: The second year of this jangled millennium
11/16/01: Attack of the 'Patriotism police' and other Hollywood fare
11/12/01: From the bleats of dismay
10/30/01: Osama and the Genie
10/08/01: "We can stop the Bush Death Juggernaut"
11/04/01: America, loathe or it leave it
09/25/01: Do the Europeans actually think that the war on murderous zealotry will be furthered by undercutting America?
08/27/01: If the economy is in a funk, why aren't we dancing?
08/14/01: Dubyah's embarrassing presidential vacation
08/10/01: Hail to our co-chiefs?
08/03/01: Constitution: George the Uniter picked a doozy to unify detractors
07/25/01: The real reason why we need missile defense (What those uppity policy wonks won't tell you!)
06/18/01: Paining the egalitarian soul
06/01/01: One of the stranger indexes you'll ever hear about
05/21/01: One man's toke is another man's snort
05/08/01: Republicans want poisoned water
04/23/01: We bleat as we're sheared
04/10/01: Boys will be boys. And that's the problem
04/06/01: Pity the anti-American Left, they're gonna have a hard time on this one
03/26/01: You've been warned
03/16/01: The GOP's inexplicable desire to fold
02/23/01: Will the Jeb Bush administration attack Saddam in 2011?
02/09/01: In search of the the first ashtray thrown by a member of the First Family
02/06/01: Can you say 'Ayatollah Bush'?
01/24/01: The new Executive Orders
01/22/01: Hey, Dubya: Wanna save Ashcroft? Teach him to rap!
01/09/01: Bubba gets his last licks
01/05/01: The low-down on the coming recession (What those snooty economists won't tell you)
12/23/00: Memo to Dubya: Wanna show who is boss? Nuke 'em!
12/06/00: The Count of Carthage
At the Sore/Loserman Transition HQ
12/01/00: The Count of Carthage
11/28/00: Clinton knows history isn't written by the victors anymore
11/17/00: Chad's the word
11/08/00: The strangest political night
11/07/00: Get ready to return to the Dark Ages

© 2004, James Lileks