America's Abundance of Enemies
May 15, 2006
Never has the United States had so many enemies. Our unpopularity is a measure of our strength. A dangerous situation to be sure. But with power comes rivals, and with rivalry comes the opportunity to succumb or to be strengthened.
In the last century, the U.S. decided two world wars and outlasted the prolonged bloodless battle with the old Soviet Union. It was much simpler then: one mighty rival, armed with thousands of thermonuclear weapons. That enemy - the U.S.S.R.-- financed and supplied every liberation movement, terrorist group, guerilla operation that might erode America's military strength. That enemy is no more.
America's new enemies are diverse and many: Radical Islamists in the Middle East, neo-socialist states in Latin America, China and North Korea in the Pacific, and there's our old rival, Russia, with thousands of thermonuclear weapons still pointed at the U.S. Even our friends nip away at us. A sassy independent Europe, a defiant Canada, and our southern 'neighbor' floods the U.S.with millions of 'illegal entrants.' There is no relief.
Every day our enemies fight for the cameras to boast about destroying this country. On any given day President Hugo Chavez of Venezula, Iranian President Ahmadinejad, or a brash Al Qaida spokesperson threaten the U.S. with ruin. They echo the communist threats from the last century, and that's the reason why America now has so many enemies-- we heard the threats, met those threats, and defeated the enemy.
Our present enemies in the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere gathered around the old Soviet Union. They bundled up their envy and hatred for America around the vague notion of worldwide communism. After we defeated the U.S.S.R without a shot being fired, that hatred and envy intensified. Now instead of one ideology, our enemy's ideology is diverse and fragmented. But they remain united in a death wish for America.
This country has always been dragged out of isolation into battle. Although rediculed at the time, President Bush explained it accurately. Two great oceans has given Americans a sense of security. Our enemies are thousands of miles away. Even the attack in 2001 has faded in the minds of too many Americans. The military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan seem meaningless to a majority of Americans.
All that will change when the next attack occurs on U.S. soil, and, unfortunately, that day will come. There's a proliferation of very deadly weapons. When that attack comes, the country will be tested again. But this time, our enemies will witness the true strength of America and Americans. It will not be our weapon systems, or battle-hardened troops. It will be the country united in a rage never seen before. For, this country, in the end, simply wants to be left alone, protected by two great oceans, enjoying the fruits of its labor. That will not be. America has too many enemies.