Monday, July 04, 2005

Did Batman Adopt the Bush Doctrine?

I went to see Batman Begins today. It may even have been better than I expected. This brings me to a topic I've been thinking about for a while. Commonwealth Conservative had a series of posts on the movie (here, here, here, and here) one of which asked the question, "Is Batman a Republican?" (Also asked and answered here and here - OK, enough links!) I think it's an interesting question (although it starts to get weird when you try to categorize other superheroes).

My question today is this: Did Batman adopt the Bush Doctrine? (Or, should I say, did President Bush adopt the Batman Doctrine?)

As you all should know, the Bush Doctrine is the basic premise of the War on Terrorism. A few quotes:
We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.
-President George W. Bush, September 11, 2001

Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.
-President George W Bush, September 20, 2001
Since well before the 2003 coalition invasion of Iraq, opponents have kept declaring that "Saddam didn't plan 9-11" - as if anyone in authority ever made such a claim. But Al Qaeda wasn't the only problem. Terrorism, particularly Islamist terrorism (closely associated with Islamofascism), was plaguing the world and with little effective response. It was decided that stopping one enemy wasn't enough - there was a bigger picture and a bigger cause.

Enter Batman. For those of you who haven't seen it, I won't get into the details of the film. But as we all know from earlier films, Batman's parents were murdered. It was this event that ultimately turned Bruce Wayne into the Caped Crusader. But he ends up fighting against criminals that had nothing to do with his parents' deaths - he looks beyond those who wronged him directly and fights crime throughout Gotham. Furthermore, nobody claims it's inconsistent for him not to capture all the criminals at once.

So no, Saddam wasn't on one of the planes on September 11th (we pulled him in a rat hole two years later) and the various Gotham City villains didn't kill Batman's parents. But both were villains, and that is what we must not forget.

1 comment:

Lady Jane said...

That's a very interesting question, Nick. Have you reached a decision? I haven't seen Batman Begins. I'm going to see Fantastic Four!!!