post-Cold War globe.46 In the old Westerns, the cowboy was the man who restored the
“disturbed” universe by self-asserting universal justice; Fishwick wrote that the cowboy
“conjures up an image of America’s untarnished natural nobleman roaming about in [his]
never-never land, where [he] makes the laws and metes out the justice” (Fishwick 1952,
91). Akin to cowboy ethics, the Bush Doctrine supports the responsibility of the United
States to administer justice and preserve the peace (The White House 2002, v).
Violence becomes a way of solving problems (Savage 1979, 32). Like the cowboy, the
Bush Doctrine asserts that the United States must retain its freedom to act against serious
dangers in order to protect its people and others from harm. In an interview with
Woodward, Bush questioned how the civilized world could just stand by while evil
dictators abuse their people (Woodward 2002, 340). “Maybe it’s my religion, but I feel
passionate about this,” he explained. “We will extend the peace by encouraging free and
open societies on every continent,” the president promised in his West Point speech on
June 1, 2002 (The White House 2002, 1).
46 Slotkin believed that the cowboy was a mythic archetype that became transformed into an ideology justifying America’s role as the “watchdog of the World” after WWII (Walle 2000, 50).