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March 29, 2003 10:24 PM   Subscribe

An American Myth Rides Into the Sunset

One cannot imagine F.D.R., before declaring war on Japan, or even Ronald Reagan before Grenada, pumping a fist and saying of himself, "Feel good" — as President Bush did before he announced the beginning of the Iraq war. Indeed, the doctrine of pre-emptive warfare flies in the face of the humble, reluctant cowboy myth Mr. Bush holds so dear.
posted by y2karl (8 comments total)
Boy, that's a lot of fancy writing to just say "we shouldn't attack pre-emptively". A little late for that sentiment.
posted by smackfu at 10:59 PM on March 29, 2003

smackfu: the point isn't this instance, but the abandonment of a governing mythos. and i should point out that this is a preventative attack, not a preemptive attack. preemption requires eminence.
posted by squirrel at 11:53 PM on March 29, 2003

Myths are but myths...look behind them : ;Jefferson as slaveonwer; Washington as slaveowner; Lincoln suspending habeus corpus; our glorification of western outlaws etc etc
The myth of the West? Texas oil? more executions than any other state, seizing large part of Mexico as "our own." So Bush is a flop and Faludi does not like him. Fair enough. But does she approve or disapprove of the invasion of Iraq, and if she does not, why not just come out and say so.
posted by Postroad at 4:59 AM on March 30, 2003

To be perfectly fair (and this is from someone who thinks Bush is a moron), this quote is taken way out of context.

Bush was leaving a press conference (I think it was the one on his return from Camp David) and was asked how he was doing. He replied, "Feel good..."

There are plenty of accurate things to slam Bush with, but this isn't one of them. This is a case of bad editing.
posted by jpburns at 5:51 AM on March 30, 2003

They considered themselves tough-minded realists, and regarded doubters as fuzzy-minded whiners. They silenced those who questioned their premises, even though the skeptics included many of the government's own analysts. They were supremely confident — and yet with shocking speed everything they had said was proved awesomely wrong.
Writing in the New York Times, Paul Krugman [+] is writing about the Bush energy policy rather than the war. But the same mentality prevails, he argues.
posted by hairyeyeball at 6:04 AM on March 30, 2003

A two-dimensional cardboard cowboy practicing showdown at the OK Corral diplomacy - that makes me proud! Cowboy fantasies are fine, but I would beg our leaders not to live out a macho Hollywood cliche.

Bonus track: Cowboy in the Whitehouse.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:41 AM on March 30, 2003

So which media whore was it that gave Duhbya that "reluctant cowboy" image? Was that Howie Kurtz? Did he also shine those thousand dollars Italian designer shoes for the reluctant cowboy?
posted by nofundy at 6:03 AM on March 31, 2003

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