Matthews, Chris. "There's a Little Rick in All of Us" Newsweek, 00289604, 10/28/2002, Vol. 140, Issue 18
In his Newsweek article published shortly before the United States declared war on Iraq, Chris Matthews presents the case that Americans today are as much like Rick Blaine in Casablanca as they have ever been. It is hard to make the choice between protecting America’s interests by staying out of harms way and fighting for just causes to protect the world. Historically America has been the “reluctant warrior,” joining the fight in causes that Americans think are right. Matthews worries that the Bush administration is acting against American history by joining in “entangling alliances.” He fears that Bush is transforming America from “reluctant warriors” into aggressors waiting for a fight.
Casablanca has as much relevance today as ever. The film teaches that it is important to know when the time is right to fight for good and when it is time not to get involved. The danger arises when America decides to fight, but it is not to stick up for dying ethics and morality in the world. The Iraq war is America fighting for the wrong reasons, against the general consensus of what is right. America is not sticking to the model presented by Rick.
The article was published before problems arose and provides a forward thinking view about the dangers of getting involved in Iraq. The contrast between the reasons America got involved in World War II as shown in Casablanca and the reasons that America is going into Iraq, highlight the changes being made by the bush administration.