Do We Really Need A New Enemy?

Is there a law of conservation of national hostility? Just days after the demise of their enemy of the last half-century, Americans seem desperate to conjure a new one. An early attempt by Hollywood to make Colombian drug lords the national villains failed for lack of credibility. The emerging consensus is that Moscow's successor in infamy is Tokyo, which stands accused of mercilessly shelling the U.S. with reliable cars.

Japan bashing has become a national sport. Richard Gephardt, whose 1988 presidential campaign pioneered postcommunist xenophobia, gave us a precursor of the game with his anti-Korea TV ads. Michael Dukakis got more...

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