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Who’s the Enemy?

“Russia is not an enemy.” Or so says Bush. For some reason, the fact that Russia is not an enemy is supposed to justify Bush’s latest military boondoggle – a missile defense system that has already done almost as much damage to world opinion of the US as the Iraq debacle. So why state that Russia isn’t our enemy?

            Well, what were some of the reasons for having threat of The Big Bear for all those years? The cold war arms race was undoubtedly a gold mine for military industrial complex. As a matter of fact, public frustration with the insane military budgets was part of what helped kill the cold war. Of course, the collapse of the Soviet Union helped a lot too, but there were many other repercussions from that. First of all, the US administration no longer had a Big Bad Enemy to justify the US imperialistic attitudes in foreign relations. Without an enemy, military pork barrel spending plummeted. Public support for obscenely expensive equipment that would never be used suddenly disappeared, and politicians that supported such purchases were suddenly the targets of lampoons (not to mention decreased voter support).

            Naturally, the Bush administration had to correct this “enemy vacuum”. The event of 9/11 provided a perfect opportunity for the administration to create a new enemy. With a bit of doctored “intelligence”, a bit of press gymnastics, and suddenly we had an “Axis of Evil”, weapons of mass destruction, and Al Quiada as threats to not only US security, but to The Whole World. Of course, the fact that the “Axis of Evil” and the weapons of mass destruction were fiction doesn’t matter – The Enemy has been created and implanted into the World Press. Al Quiada has transitioned from one of many small fairly inefficient terrorist organizations to a major world power. Yes, they may have been able to pull of 9/11, but there have been many other more successful terrorist attacks in recent history. Al Quiada just happened to make a hit at a time and place that catapulted them into the spotlight.

            So, Bush finally decides that Russia is not our enemy. Of course they aren’t. We have a much better, scarier enemy now. One that the Administration can use to keep the public scared. One that the Administration uses to justify new military expenditures that make Cold War boondoggles look like small change. An enemy that Justifies torture, spying on its own citizens, kidnapping, illegal imprisonment, violations of the Geneva Convention, and pretty much a complete destruction of individual and civil rights. Who needs Russia as an enemy?

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