World War 4 Report, by Bill Weinberg
Defending the Fourth World, Deconstructing Overseas Contingency Operations
World War 4 Report has been monitoring the Global War on Terrorism and its implications for human rights, democracy and ecology since the immediate aftermath of 9-11. With an international network of contacts and correspondents, we scan the world press and Internet for important stories overlooked by the mass media, and examine the headlines with a critical eye for distortion, deceit and propaganda. We report on the forgotten wars outside the media spotlight, and seek out unexamined contexts that go beyond mainstream sound-bite coverage. We endeavor to expose the corporate agendas behind the new military interventions, and to find pro-autonomy, anti-militarist voices we can support in the countries under imperialist assault. We support the secular, progressive anti-imperialist forces in the Middle East that reject the spectacularized "jihad-vs-GWOT" duality. We especially seek to loan solidarity to land-rooted, stateless, and indigenous peoples—the "Fourth World." Above all, we are committed to real journalism (as opposed to mere opinion-spewing and bloggery), and seek through our example to resist its alarming decline. We are fastidiously non-sectarian, and our first loyalty is always to the truth.
Why World War 4?
The "World War III" envisioned in the Cold War was a devastating conflict between two monolithic superpowers. The Cold War, thankfully, never reached this climax. But now we are faced with its chilling sequel: the age of "asymmetrical" or "molecular" warfare, in which a single globalized superpower faces an invisible, hydra-headed enemy which is everywhere and nowhere; in which the expansion of "free markets" is an explicit aim of military campaigns; and in which indigenous peoples, stateless ethnicities and localist/autonomist poltical models—the "Fourth World"—are increasingly targeted and conflated with the "terrorist" threat. The leaders of this new global crusade acknowledge openly that it will last generations. To emphasize that this new world situation requires a new kind of thinking, we have joined with those on the left and right alike that call this global conflict World War 4. See World War 4 Report #106
Why Overseas Contingency Operations?
There are some indications that with Barack Obama's election, we have entered the post-GWOT era. Although the US military remains massively overstretched, the nomenclature, at least, has changed. The Obama administration has formally abandoned the Bush-era phrase "Global War on Terrorism." The new term is the dryly clinical and antiseptic "Overseas Contingency Operation." Is this an improvement—or a switch from a hubristic and bellicose rallying cry to an Orwellian euphemism? We are still grappling with this question. However, it is clear that World War 4 Report has not outlived its mission. We are committed to publish until peace—by which we mean, minimally, a withdrawal of all US combat forces and military advisors from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Colombia, the Philippines, West Africa, etc. We will continue to oppose domestic militarization, especially along the US-Mexico border, and the anti-immigrant backlash that began with 9-11 and is finding new life in the current economic cataclysm. We will continue to oppose US support of regimes that keep down peoples struggling for autonomy and liberation—whether it is the Palestinians under Israeli occupation or the Maya of Mexico and Quechua of Peru. These struggles are certain to persist even if the US military leviathan significantly withdraws its tentacles in the coming years—recalling the anarcho-surrealist slogan "Neither your war nor your peace!"
Bill Weinberg is an award-winning 25-year veteran journalist in the fields of human rights, indigenous peoples, ecology and war. He is the author ofHomage to Chiapas: The New Indigenous Struggles in Mexico (Verso Books, 2000) and War on the Land: Ecology and Politics in Central America (Zed Books, 1991).