Old-fashioned Westerns notwithstanding, sometimes acting like the baddest cowboy in the saloon (Trump) doesn’t actually work out so well. As these same movies tell us, sometimes a young, no-name upstart wants to try his hand up against the legendary troublemaker and establish his own reputation. Sometimes the normally sheepish townsfolk don’t actually cower, but form an informal militia to re-establish law and order. Sometimes there’s actually a faster draw in the room. And, of course, you can never forget about possible run-ins with “wild” (read — proud, fearless, and independent) Native Americans.
Case in point, Iran. What a cowboy response they had to Trump’s latest warning. “We don’t need the permission of President Trump to defend the national interests of Iran.” Perhaps these people who cheer on Trump’s tough guy antics can’t even imagine that the citizens and leaders of other nations can be just as nationalistic, just as fearless, and yes, just as stupidly and stubbornly proud as any American in a “Make America Great Again” cap can be. You do not have to have seen more than a couple of old Westerns to be pretty certain that probably more than one national leader is going to take Trump’s blustering bravado as an invitation to see just how much they can taunt and humiliate him by stepping across the “line in the sand.” And one wonders, how many Americans is Trump willing to send down into the canyon against all of the Sitting Bulls of the world.
So maybe Trump will go down in history as the “Dances with Wolves” president. While watching these Wild West dramas of international one-upmanship unfold, you just kinda can’t help pulling for the Native Americans.
TOM MALONE, SNELLVILLE
Does Bannon see himself in Crusader role?
Not long ago, The Washington Post talked of an “anti-Islamic White House.” E.J. Dionne’s column (“Steve Bannon vs. Pope Francis?,” Opinion, Feb. 10) suggests as though the White House is a crusader citadel now. Bannon’s “Catholic Project” contrasts with Pope Francis’ bridge-building efforts.
Bannon's "militant church" seeks a fight for "Judeo-Christian" beliefs against Islamic "barbarity" which threatens Western heritage. He must mean "Christian" beliefs, for the old Crusades were Christianity vs. Islam (and Judaism), and the "Judeo-Christian" term is a post-holocaust expression. Bannon's worldview sees a Judeo-Christian vs. Islam showdown. And "barbarity?" Obviously, Bannon is unfamiliar with the Crusades' history. As for Western heritage, the Islamic world's role was most critical in that bequeath.
The "Catholic Project" is reminiscent of "projects" undertaken by Christopher Columbus (1492) and Vasco da Gama (1498). Guided by Papal Bulls, both initiated their eastern missions to "annihilate Muslims and other pagans" and "universalize Christianity." Indeed, Columbus "prophesied" himself as the "chosen one." Bannon apparently sees himself in that role.
One would hope that civilization has evolved far beyond the Crusade mindset.
S.M. GHAZANFAR, ACWORTH
Education revolves around money
In the article about Clark Atlanta University and Georgia Piedmont Tech (“Colleges enter unusual partnership,” News, Feb. 15) the very first goal stated was “students who don’t meet CAU’s academic admissions can take remedial courses…”. Unfortunately the top goal isn’t to educate students — it’s to get more paying students. It’s all about money. And while we are at it, let’s ask why these students can’t meet academic admissions and need to take remedial classes. In spite of having a “diploma,” it appears that they didn’t learn what was required in secondary school and were just “passed on.” In my mind, teachers and administrators failed these students, parents and the community. If they need remedial classes, then the school systems that handed them their diploma should be obligated to re-educate them for free since they didn’t get their money’s worth the first time around.
P.D. GOSSAGE, JOHNS CREEK