by Leon Hadar
"U.S. President George W. Bush has fancied himself playing Gary Cooper's role in High Noon. Yep, Sheriff W. and his loyal deputy Tony B. ride into Mideastville, where they confront a revenge-seeking killer by the name of Saddam and his Islamofascist gang, while cowardly lawmen Jacques C. and Gerhard S. hide in the Old Europe Café. W. vanquishes the enemy and spares the town from frontier justice brought on by a deadly group of outlaws. In the final scene, our cowboy rides into the sunset, leaving behind a once-dishonorable town that has now been transformed into the civilized and prosperous Greater Middle East.
President Bush's attempt to apply Hollywood's Western genre of Good vs. Bad Guys to make sense of the complex and atavistic political animosities of the Levant area and its peripheries was a costly misjudgment, as was his decision to recruit as his adviser on the Middle East an aging raconteur of oriental fantasies, Bernard Lewis.
Bush would have been better off killing two birds with one stone – watching a great film at the same time as he learned something about the Middle East – by watching Lawrence of Arabia. Perhaps he might have realized how difficult it would be to impose an imperial order in the Middle East."