by Ben Cohen
may know some despicable characters, but are they mean enough to apply for this job posting?
ENEMY WANTED. Serious enemy needed to justify Pentagon budget increase. Defense contractors desperate. Interested enemies send letter and photo or video (threatening, OK) to Enemy Search Committee, Priorities Campaign, 1350 Broadway, NY, NY, 10018.
Here's the deal: We know our politicians have their work cut out for them. They need to find an enemy to justify maintaining the Pentagon budget as if the Cold War never ended. But the pool of credible enemies is evaporating. North Korea is even going diplomatic. The Soviets took themselves out of the running years ago. And countries like Iraq -- or tough looking trading partners like China -- don't make the cut.
So, I am distributing a job description as widely as possible to help our politicians find the enemy they seek. Even with the help of defense contractors -- who spend $50 million on lobbyists annually -- our politicians do not possess the creativity to find the right adversary. It's clear that the old concept of enemy doesn't work anymore.
The trouble is the Defense Department needs to find an enemy in a hurry. The Bush Administration has proposed to increase Pentagon spending by $33 billion, the largest defense increase since the Cold War.
This inexplicable proposal is under attack by children's advocates, who would rather use the $33 billion earmarked for the Pentagon to begin modernizing our crumbling public schools and to buy health insurance for millions of U.S. kids and Head Start for the one-third of eligible children who can't get in because it's underfunded.
As pressure mounts to pay for these domestic programs -- and the size of the projected surplus shrinks -- defense contractors and the Pentagon PR machine, including their legion of liaisons on Capitol hill, are getting nervous. Meanwhile, high tech airplanes crash inexplicably, Star Wars tests miss their targets, and the budget crunch in Congress looms. All of this raises questions, questions, questions:
Larger trends are also causing our politicians to squirm when defending the Pentagon budget, and frankly it's an embarrassing sight (hence, again, the immediate enemy need). For example:
As of today, however, my search is not going well. So, I am open to any and all suggestions or leads that you might have. I am, of course on the lookout for the right headhunter, but none has materialized.
If you've got any killer ideas, please let me know.
September 10, 2001 (http://www.monitor.net/monitor) All Rights Reserved. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for permission to use in any format.
All Rights Reserved.
Contact email@example.com for permission to use in any format.