Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

Moscow Times
October 17, 2001
Biggest Budget War Movie in World History
By Julia Latynina

The American public, which watched with profound horror the collapse of the World Trade Center on CNN, is demanding a sequel.

U.S. Congress has earmarked up to $40 billion for shooting the sequel. U.S. aircraft carriers, Airborne Warning and Control System planes and rapid reaction forces have been made available for the battle scenes.

The only problem is that the scriptwriters from the Pentagon have a co-author by the name of Osama bin Laden, and until now the scriptwriters have basically done bin Laden's bidding.

There are grounds for believing that bin Laden's goal was not to blow up the Twin Towers but to provoke the United States into war.

Bin Laden is not afraid of war. On the contrary, he dreams about it, because war serves as a recruitment campaign for bin Laden's army, paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Every U.S. warhead that kills a hundred people creates a thousand new terrorists.

Not long ago, al-Qaida was a marginal organization that funded itself through Islamic racketeering and drug trafficking. However, several thousand U.S. tactical missiles could turn the organization into a pan-Islamic government.

The United States is deploying high-tech weaponry in Afghanistan. However, there is a small oversight in that high-tech weaponry is only good for battling high-tech civilizations.

Missiles that cost $2 million each are great for strikes on command posts, military formations and even on presidential palaces. At the moment, however, they are mainly being used for manufacturing crushed stone out of Afghan mountains.

It is unlikely that the average American, contentedly listening to U.S. President George W. Bush's words about how in the wake of the bombs targeting the terrorists there will be humanitarian aid drops for the population, really understands exactly where and what the country is that is getting the aforementioned bombs and aid.

The Afghans have no government. They do, however, have blood feuds, just as in any society where instability and the threat of being killed are very high.

In the United States, public institutions are destroyed by precision strikes. In Afghanistan, strikes help these institutions reproduce. This is a fundamental difference in the structure of the societies.

American public opinion thirsts for the conquest of bin Laden, but is it prepared to sacrifice anything at all in order to achieve this? That's the big question.

One thing, at least, raises doubts about the extent to which the nation is prepared to suffer casualties. Those who were killed in the terrorist acts are survived by tens of thousands of relatives, wives, brothers, sons and friends.

We have all seen and read hundreds of interviews with them. However, I personally have not seen a single interview that concluded: "And now I will sign up with the army and go and fight those bastards."

Americans are ready for victory. The Taliban is ready for death. The difference does not play to the United States' advantage.

It is clear that neither of the sides undertaking war will win. Bin Laden won't win because terrorists are parasites on the body of contemporary Western civilization. They use its Stingers, its passenger planes and even its financial institutions to make money out of terrorism. In fact, in this respect the only precision strike that the United States can effectively deliver is a strike on bin Laden's bank accounts and drug trafficking business.

The United States will not win because Tomahawks aren't really much good against parasites.

This particular chess game will be won by a third party. And most probably this third party will be China.

Yulia Latynina is a journalist with ORT.

Back to the Top    Next Article