The National Security Strategy, America should use its position of “unparalleled military
strength and great economic and political influence” to “extend the benefits of freedom
across the globe” (The White House 2002, iv). “I wanted us to be viewed as the
liberator,” Bush said about Afghanistan (quoted in Woodward 2002, 340). In order to
defend the “decent folks,” the United States must stand up to the challenge of doing the
right thing. Bush suggested that the toppling of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s regime
earlier this year was not done strictly for strategic or defensive purposes, but to help the
weak – “beneath that, as far as I’m concerned, there is immense suffering [in Iraq]”
(quoted in Woodward 2002, 339). “This is a human condition that we must worry
about,” said Bush (quoted in Woodward 2002, 340). As Bennett acknowledged, the
history of American involvement abroad has been characterized by its generosity and
humanitarian acts – even toward nations it has defeated in war (Kagan and Kristol 2000,
294).44 “America is not interested in territorial conquest, subjugation of others, or world
domination,” Bennett claimed, adding, “The record shows that in the overwhelming
number of instances America has been a liberating force from oppression” (Kagan and
Kristol 2000, 294).45
In regards to Bush’s duty to fight the war on terrorism, cowboy ethics can be
applied. Like the Western gunfighter who dispenses justice in a hostile world, the Bush
Doctrine bestowed America the authority to be the moral “watchdog of the world” in the
(Kornblut 2003, 16).
44 As in the case with Iraq, because of American intervention Saddam Hussein’s regime was overthrown and the possibility for a civilized form of governance exists for the first time in 30 years (Krauthammer 2003, A25). With the threat from Hussein now eliminated, Kuwait’s future is secure (Krauthammer 2003, A25).
45 As Bush had said, the goal was the creation of democracy in Iraq, or as Central Command General Tommy Franks listed in his announced war aims, “to help the Iraqi people create conditions for a transition to a representative self-government” (quoted in Woodward 2002, 357).