America Abroad: High Noon Minus the Shoot-Out

In his feud with Saddam Hussein, George Bush is trying to be Gary Cooper in the climactic scene from High Noon. As the lanky sheriff faces down the archvillain, frightened townspeople peek out of the windows to see who will be left standing in the dusty street. "This planet's not big enough for the two of us," says the leader of the free world.

We know what's supposed to happen in the movie: a quick draw, a clean kill and a happy ending. But we've also seen repeatedly how reality has a way of departing from the script, frustrating hero and...

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