State Department to Hold Enemy Tryouts
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 98 20:12:48 -0800
Subject: State Department to Hold Enemy Tryouts
Forwarded-by: Luke McGuff <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: "Freddie Baer" <fbaer@WestEd.org>
State Department to Hold Enemy Tryouts
WASHINGTON, DC--Taking steps to fill the void that has plagued the American
military-industrial complex since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union,
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced Tuesday that the U.S. will
hold enemy tryouts next week.
Slated to begin Oct. 26, the tryouts will take place at the Pentagon. More
than 40 nations are expected to vie for the role of U.S. adversary,
including India, Afghanistan, China, North Korea and Sudan. "Over the past
seven years, the State Department, working closely with the CIA, Congress
and the president, has made efforts to establish a long term state of
hostility with a foreign power of consequence," Albright said.
"Unfortunately, these efforts have proven unfruitful. If we are to find a
new Evil Empire, we must start taking a more proactive approach." Though
tryouts are not until next week, Albright said the State Department has
already received a number of impressive preliminary proposals.
"We met with the Syrian representative yesterday, and he promised that Syria
would house terrorist enemies of the U.S. and stockpile chemical weapons
near the Israeli border," Albright said. "We've also gotten an unexpectedly
strong proposal from the Kazakhstani delegation, which says they have four
of Russia's missing nuclear missiles and will use them against the U.S.
unless we release 450 Kazakhstani Muslim extremists currently held in
Western prisons. That was certainly a pleasant surprise."
The decision to hold enemy auditions was made during an Oct. 16 meeting at
the Pentagon attended by a number of top military-industrial-complex
officials, including Albright, Defense Secretary William Cohen, the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Strom Thurmond (R-SC)
and Lockheed Martin CEO Thomas Reuthven.
"Everyone was of the opinion that an enemy was needed -- and fast," said
Reuthven, whose company has laid off 14,000 employees since the end of the
Cold War. "Nobody wins when there's peace."
General Electric CEO Jack Welch, who was also at the meeting, agreed. "Our
profits are down 43 percent from 10 years ago. We sold more tritium
hydrogen-bomb ICBM/MIRV triggers in 1988 than in the last six years
combined," he said. "Something had to be done."
Once the tryouts conclude, Albright said, the State Department will spend
a week evaluating the proposals before announcing its choice on Nov. 9. The
new U.S. enemy will be formally anointed in a special treaty-breaking
ceremony, in which President Clinton and the leader of the rival nation will
sever diplomatic ties with the ceremonial burning of 1,000 doves.
Since the end of the Cold War, potential new U.S. enemies have emerged
several times, but in each instance, hopes were inevitably dashed by peace.
Most promising among the candidates was Iraq, which briefly went to war
against the U.S., but a truce was declared before a deep and lasting enmity
could take root.
Tuesday's announcement was hailed by leaders of numerous U.S. institutions,
including the motion-picture industry, whose action films have suffered from
the absence of a global antagonist.
"Hopefully, there will be an enemy soon," Paramount Pictures vice-president
of development Mort Glazer said. "During the past few years, in the absence
of a Soviet Union or a Nazi Germany, Hollywood has been forced to pit
American heroes against uncompelling enemies like the IRA. A $250
million-grossing film like Rambo or Top Gun is simply not possible in
today's climate of global d Etente."
The lack of a clearly identifiable foreign nemesis has taken a toll on the
American populace, as well: In the years since the fall of the Soviet Union,
Americans have been forced to find other outlets for their deepest
insecurities and fears. "Without an outward threat like the USSR, Americans
have had to channel their anxieties about life into a wide range of other,
less concrete things, including space aliens, drinking water, sexuality and
our own government," psychotherapist Dr. Eli Wasserbaum said. "If a new
national enemy is not found soon, the trend will only worsen."
Speaking to reporters, McDonnell Douglas CEO Richard Klingbell said the
State Department should have foreseen the possibility of peace and taken
steps to avoid it years ago.
"For decades, we took Soviet aggression and the arms race for granted,"
Klingbell said. "We failed to realize that one day it might all come to an
end. We failed to sow the seeds of future foreign discord, for our
children's sake. Thankfully, though, we're finally setting things straight.
We're finally remembering that to make it in this world, you've got to have
© 1998 Peter Langston