April 18, 2004


I saw via Amritas that James Hudnall wrote an analogy using The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

The thugs and criminals of the Middle East have had a free ride for far too long. The only way to civilize a place that has known only oppression and terror is bring the rule of law. A good John Wayne movie really illustrates that point. It's called THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALLANCE. The story illustrates the same thing that's going on in the Middle East. The place is the Wild West. It needs to be tamed if there is ever going to be peace there.

The husband bought the movie right before he left, and since we owned it but I'd never seen it, I watched it today. I see what Hudnall was saying, but I also saw another parallel to the Middle East.

Stoddard tried to bring law and order to Shinbone, but law and order only work when they're respected. To a man like Valance, a man with no regard for the law, threats of incarceration and jurisdiction meant nothing. The only thing that kept Valance in line was the threat of force. Personified by the extremely cool John Wayne.

The EU and the UN would have us negotiate with terrorists, but you can't negotiate with people who have no respect for law and order. The only thing that terrorists respond to is force. Only when those who have no respect for the law are removed -- only when Liberty Valance was shot -- can law and order start to rule a land.

All the law books in the world won't help when the other guy is holding a pistol.


An Amazon reviewer of the movie was thinking along the same lines, and phrased them in a much nicer way than I did:

The liberal left has viewed the war on terror as a legal issue to be resolved through the court system. Preemptive strikes against terrorism are considered by the left as brutish Republican behavior. Evidence must be gathered, the terrorist rights must be protected, and courts of law must adjudicate the issues. But, terrorist, like Liberty Valance are evil. They feed off of the fear of others. Until we put the law books down, and pick up our .45s, terror will reign. Civilization was brought to Shinbone only after Liberty Valance lay dead in the street, his body riddled with bullets. The war of terror will only be won by the West when those who perpetrate it are killed. It is not a nice thought, but a necessary one.

Posted by: Sarah at 02:51 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 Actually, I saw it the way you did. I just didn't go into detail because I wanted people to see the film without me spoiling it. The only way these creeps come to respect the law is when they know the consequences are dire if they don't. Saddam laughed at the UN the way Liberty Valance did at Jimmy Stewart. The only thing he respected was the kind of brute force that Kohn Wayne provided. So here we have a similar instance of ineffectual bureaucrats talking about laws and being ignored by the thugs. And then a cowboy like Bush comes along and gives them a taste of lead. Notice how al-Sadr tried the same thing only to see his militia decimated. And now he wants peace. I think we should not appease these chumps anymore. And I agree with what Israel is doing to Hamas. Trying to be diplomatic with barbarians doesn't work.

Posted by: James Hudnall at April 18, 2004 05:54 PM (FV8Tp)

2 i think the left gets too much credit in that review. They don't really care about justice, be it backed by force or the legal system. Their one overriding motivation is to see America weakened and humble.

Posted by: annika at April 18, 2004 11:03 PM (PCv13)

3 annika, The Left does care about "justice." They just define it differently. The weakening and humiliation of America is their idea of "justice." It's not "fair" that America is so good. It has to be brought down in the name of "equality."

Posted by: Amritas at April 19, 2004 03:51 AM (vFoT4)

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