“High Noon” was on over last weekend. Believe it or not, I’d never seen this classic western before, and the scene in which the townspeople debate and find ample reasons not to support the marshal (Will Cane, played by Gary Cooper) against the bad guys struck me as being a lot like our debate over the situation in the Middle East, a sizeable portion of Americans still thinks we can somehow opt out of the conflict by just not further irritating the bad guys.

The historian Victor Davis Hanson has “High Noon” on the brain, too, and asserts in a piece in National Review that “we shouldn’t forget that the global village gets back to normal only after a Shane or Marshall Will Cane is willing to take on the outlaws alone and save those who can’t or won’t save themselves. So, remember, when, to everyone’s relief, such mavericks put down their six-shooters and ride off into the sunset, the killers often creep back into town.”

Hanson’s piece is a response to the Time magazine cover story on on the end of “cowboy diplomacy.” (A good post on Real Clear Politics shows the ways in which the Time article is “unserious” and “misleading.”