Evil empires

He has met the enemies.

"When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world, and you knew exactly who they were. It was us vs. them, and it was clear who them was. Today, we are not so sure who the they are, but we know they're there."


HE SAID IT during the Iowa caucuses. We're not making this up. But as the Republican nominee for president confronts declining threats abroad while seeking a rationale for increased military spending at home, the map seems to offer few salable rivals. (Indeed, Dubya has demonstrated some difficulty in even identifying foreign countries—friend or foe—on the map.) The Cold War is over. North Korea is a joke. Russia is sinking its own subs. And China's too busy embracing capitalism to give us a fight. So who's left for the GOP to bash? How can it justify constituent-pleasing, pork-barrel weapons projects? In George W's own confidential memo lifted from a napping Dick Cheney's coat pocket during a recent campaign stop in the Northwest, Seattle Weekly has discovered the secret list of rogue states you can expect to see invoked at his inaugural address. Below, his suggested new villains and appropriate countermeasures (arranged by cost):

Fiji: The terror of the South Pacific (pop. 744,000) stands poised to raid California's coast with its war canoes and blow darts. Heads will be shrunk! Meanwhile, our national defenses have been allowed to deteriorate, creating a dangerous blow dart gap. Remedy: Begin an immediate economic blockade of the country's staple crop, coconuts, no matter what the public outcry. Cost: $15 million.

Manhattan: Al Gore's daughter Karenna lives on this dangerous liberal island enclave (60 square miles). Every time she speaks at a public event, he jumps up in the polls. Remedy: Before the election, have Cheney pull some strings at the Pentagon to draft all blonde, female, twenty-something daughters of sitting vice presidents. Cost: $53 million for lobbying expenses and document alteration.

Malta: This Mediterranean island (122 square miles) has a long history of bellicose behavior dating back to the Crusades. Its fearsome Knights of Malta's firepower includes lances, swords, and catapults, with a troop strength exceeding four score. Remedy: Immediate development of US anti-catapult missile system using laser-guided satellite technology. Cost: $1.4 billion.

New Zealand: Their rugby players on ESPN2 are frighteningly tough. If those guys got their hands on our troops, we'd be in real trouble. Sure, we have more manpower than New Zealand (pop. 3.3 million), but you can never be too careful. Remedy: Rugby training, jerseys, and four oil cans of Foster's Lager for every soldier in every branch of the armed forces. Cost: $2.1 billion.

The Channel Islands: Often overlooked, these dangerous isles (4 square miles) between England and France have become a haven for money laundering and cloned sheep. The threat to our domestic security is obvious! Remedy: Triple the size of our armed services, so we can fight a war on three fronts. Cost: $2.8 billion.

Monaco: These unfair casinos will not stand! It's time to put a stop to the rigged baccarat and roulette games of this elitist European capital (0.6 square miles). Remedy: For too long, submarines have been confined to the water. Boeing's proposed new B-3 flying submarine will allow much-needed, first-strike capability against the scourge of Monte Carlo. Cost: $3.4 billion.

Antarctica: We're not sure if this is a country or not, but it sure is big. Also white and snowy. That size of land mass—ice mass?—clearly poses a threat to the strategic interests of the US. Remedy: Accelerate global warming to melt and incapacitate the enemy. Three SUVs will be issued to every family in America, with the requirement that they drive on every errand more than a block away. Cost: $5.5 billion.

Jamaica: Let's get serious about the war on drugs. Remedy: Detach the island from the seafloor and tow it to a remote location in the South Atlantic. Cost: $1.2 trillion.

Barbados: Located only 1,500 short miles off our undefended shores, this dangerous island nation (pop. 254,000) could invade at any moment! Remedy: Fortify our coastlines with a 10-foot wall stretching between South Carolina and the Rio Grande. Cost: $6.2 trillion.

Liechtenstein: This often overlooked mountain principality (pop. 28,642) has a stranglehold on vitally needed alpine milk chocolate that could—were an embargo imposed—lock this country in a stranglehold. Remedy: To facilitate a land invasion, a tunnel should be bored through the center of the earth to reach this malevolent new enemy. Cost: $8.6 trillion.

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