Senior White House officials fear that the Bush administration’s foreign policy could be in danger of stalling due to a lack of credible enemies. “Goddamit, I’m amazed those crazy foreigners aren’t just queuing up to be invaded by us – don’t they realise the benefits it can bring them? Hell, we’re prepared to give them billions of dollars of aid, rebuild their infrastructure and industries and establish good, wholesome democratic institutions – all for the very reasonable price of letting us bomb the shit out of them, occupy their territory illegally and generally humiliate them!” US defence Secretary Donald Rumsfield recently declared. “Hell, being America’s number one enemy can even bring the existing regime massive benefits – think of the prestige that being labelled ‘the gravest threat to world peace since Nazi Germany’, or the ‘world’s most dangerous man’, can bring to the average tinpot dictator? And let’s not forget the secret military aid and assistance with WMD programmes you’ll get from other ‘outlaw states’! I’m astounded that more of them don’t take up the offer – they get to be top of the bad guy heap for a few years and then get a guaranteed retirement on whatever funds they manage to plunder before we kick their asses! After all, we never catch them, do we? Just ask Saddam and Osama!”

However, following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, candidates to become the US’s new number one enemy have been thin on the ground, and the problem is now becoming pressing. “How else can the essential wholesomeness and righteousness of the American way be emphasised other than by a direct contrast with absolute evil? A credible enemy is the best justification we can have for our international conduct. Besides, we’ve already let the commercial contracts for the next post-war rebuilding programme, not to mention the TV and film rights – thousands of American jobs could be at risk if we can’t move against someone soon,” Rumsfield has confided to close associates. However, the administration has denied that it has been ‘auditioning’ various potential enemies Pop Idol style, inviting impoverished third-world dictatorships to send in videos of their latest atrocities and asking for proof of Weapons of Mass Destruction programmes. Nevertheless, an Ambassador from at least one African state has admitted to The Sleaze that his desperately cash-strapped regime has been actively encouraging its citizens to publicly burn American flags and spit on pictures of George W Bush, in the hope of provoking a military retaliation. “We even sent a water buffalo turd to Mr Bush at the White House – in our country this is the worst insult a man can suffer! But still nothing! Please Mr Bush, we are desperate for a quick cash injection for essential reconstruction projects,” he pleads.

“It isn’t as if we hadn’t tried to ensure that credible threats would be in plentiful supply by now – why else do you think we spent the better part of the last thirty-odd years supplying every crazy repressive regime and psychopathic dictator with arms?” Says Rumsfield. “It wasn’t just to try and check the spread of communism during the Cold War – it was all part of our long-term strategy designed to keep the US as the dominant global power after the inevitable fall of the Soviet Union!” Indeed, Rumsfield fondly remembers those halcyon days, in which he played a key role. “We invested a lot of time, effort and military aid in Iraq – nurturing a barbaric regime as an anti-Islamic Fundamentalist client before successfully turning them around and selling them as a global threat due to all those biological and chemical weapons we’d sold them or helped them develop! Heck, I remember being packed off to the Middle East with suitcase full of dangerous pathogens back in the 1970s in search of potential future enemies – that Mr Hussein was one of my best customers,” chuckles the Defence Secretary. “Right now, the only other credible-looking global threat we have on the horizon is North Korea and hell, those boys really do have Weapons of Mass Destruction (we should know – our companies sold them the nuclear reactor technology) and they are just crazy enough to use them! We’d be insane to pick a fight with them!”

Of course, possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction isn’t the only way a country can be successfully characterised as a threat to world peace – sponsoring Islamic terrorists can often be sufficient justification for an overwhelming military response – as in Afghanistan – without the risk of apocalyptic repercussions. However, the fundamental problem facing the US is that many of the dictators and authoritarian regimes they sponsored during the Cold War were in South America or Africa. “South America is just too close to home and lets face it nobody is really going to take some impoverished civil-war torn African state as a credible threat to world peace!” admits Rumsfield. “The really frustrating thing is that we have two prime candidates in the Middle East – Israel and Saudi Arabia – who are effectively off-limits politically and strategically. They meet all the criteria – they are both long-standing client states, both have been the recipients of significant amounts of US military and economic aid and both have questionable human rights records. Israel is highly belligerent to its neighbours and is known to be in possession of WMD, whilst Saudi Arabia is effectively a brutal dictatorship with known links to Al-Queda! By rights we should be invading both of them!”

Pentagon chiefs are also worried as to the kind of reception its troops would receive upon invading any potential enemy. “Frankly, we’ve been very disappointed by the lack of gratitude shown by the Iraqis,” says Rumsfield. “No doubt it is down to cultural differences – the language, religion and so on.” Consequently, the US has found itself looking for an English-speaking Christian nation, already familiar with US culture as an opponent, and planners now believe they have come up with the ideal solution. “Clearly, declaring war on the UK is the only option – we’d be guaranteed a warm welcome – you’ve already got our junk food, crappy TV and pop music!” declares Rumsfield. “Besides, invading an ally is so much easier than attacking an enemy – half our forces are there already! I’ll bet that Prime Minister Blair would be so glad to see us and our money that he’d be happy to surrender to us without a fight!”

Rumsfield is confident that finding a pretext to invade Britain will be no problem: “You guys fit the profile of a rogue state perfectly – pariahed by your nearest neighbours, you possess Weapons of Mass Destruction for no credible defensive reason, and you have a non-elected hereditary ruler whose family live in palaces and enjoy wealth and privilege whilst many of their subjects exist in abject poverty! And let’s not forget the Monarch’s First Minister is a religious fanatic who pursues foreign wars rather than spend money on urgently required social programmes at home!”