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James Woolsey says it's World War IV, believe it or not

Have they quietly slipped over the edge while no none was watching?
Speaking to college students in LA, former CIA director James Woolsey said the United States is now fighting "World War IV," a campaign that he thinks will last longer than either world wars I or II. (April 3, CNN report). Woolsey says the Cold War was World War III, by the way. He said the current war is against three main enemies: the "fascists" in Iraq and Syria, the religious regime in Iran, plus Islamic enemies like al Qaeda.

For mere mortals left out of the loop on such matters, Woolsey had more to add. He warned Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and the Saudi royal family that the United States is on the march and is actually taking the part of their respective peoples. Like earlier conflicts, Woolsey's "world war" is loosely construed in terms of democratizing the target countries. However, unlike previous campaigns, Woolsey's wider war has neither been declared, nor outlined for the US public.

For those who question the logic of a world war premised on an attack by 18 non-officials armed with boxcutters, Woolsey's words should be cause for concern. Many have decried recent cases of "fascism" without understanding the historical definition of the term, but when Woolsey, reportedly a Bush candidate for leadership of Iraq's post-war reconstruction, describes both Iraq and Syria as fascist, the entire premise for the "world war" is called into question. Much like Richard Perle and Dick Cheney, Woolsey's current corporate law clients would likely gain in a wider war. However, unlike Perle and Cheney, Woolsey was locked out of prized black budget circles during his Clinton CIA years (Carlyle, the Rockefeller Co., new energy tech, etc.), yet may now find himself privy, ironically.

When self-interested insiders militate against Constitutional guarantees and help to derail a decades-running Mid East peace process, the rest of us should sit up and take notice. Like the Operation Northwoods case of the early '60's reported in James Bamford's book Body of Secrets (in which Pentagon generals planned secret attacks on US citizens in order to provoke a war with Cuba), Woolsey's drift into the war camp could be but the tip of a larger iceberg. Like Bush's policy advisors, Woolsey may have quietly slipped over the edge while no one was watching.

Should we really worry about an expanded war in the region, as Syria's leader thinks may be imminent? Woolsey may be a telling bellwether. Under current circumstances, Bush may find it easy to provoke a wider war in the region by decrying Tonkin-like attacks along both Syria's and Iran's borders. Given Bush Sr.'s discovery of "cocaine" stocks among Noriega's quarters in Panama, later proven to be cornstarch, and Colin Powell's supposed chemical weapons factory in northern Iraq, which the BBC found to be an abandoned cluster of tiny buildings housing a small TV studio, we should regard any wild new claims with skepticism.

Skepticism may not be enough, however. At mid-term, Bush and co. display an obvious disdain for public accountability in matters of great importance, i.e. Enron, plus Bush's failure to come up with an anthrax suspect at a time when the war in Iraq may already have been in the works.

In fact, as Mike Ruppert and the BBC argue, this war may not even be about weapons of mass destruction in the first place---which have yet to be discovered. Instead, suggests the BBC, it may be premised on maintaining old industry control of both the levers of government and the world's remaining oil reserves.

Noted petroleum geologist Colin Campbell says we've drained out roughly half of all known oil supplies on this planet, that what remains will be of lesser quality and much more expensive to produce. If that's true, the old fossil fuel economy will be in deep trouble. Just when world oil use is rising precipitously, world supplies will be declining. Campbell says we could turn the critical corner within seven years. After that it will all be downhill, given that no "mega-scale" oil reserves like those in Iraq and Saudi Arabia have been discovered during the last 30 years.

As is always the case, when the shadow figures of an aging military-industrial complex begin to make public statements about the need for a wider, undeclared war, the public should be on guard against further abuses of government. Should Bush's far-right moneymen begin to think that his dismal economic record, plus public discontent with a never-ending war will cost them the presidency in 2004, the whole "world war" enterprise could be at risk. At such times, the risk of mass deception and political assassinations increases, as any student of recent US history should know.

This time, however, the people will be ready for them. The world has changed in recent years. Pinochet was arrested in London, one of the Anzus countries fighting the current war in Iraq, ironically. The old Cold War premise for pet dictatorships all across the globe is gone, and the three TV network strongbox of public censorship died years ago. No one lamented its passing.

The current regime seems to be looking for a unifying global theme, an enduring premise for continued weapons sales and the bullying of other nations' governments--but has yet come up with anything substantial. Instead, it appears to be covering its back in order fend off further public disclosures and indictments of men like Kissinger for crimes against humanity, trying to perpetuate a kind of corporate feudal order when it is no longer sustainable.

Rather than a legitimate global conflict, Bush's old industry regime is fighting a shadow war, in this case against its own misguided creations of yesteryear: the supposed WMD's of Saddam Hussein, and a previously-favored corporate prince gone astray--Bin Laden. When men like Woolsey describe it as World War IV--as if we, the people should feel privileged to even be let in on what Bush and co. are planning behind our backs, it smacks of desperation.
 
 


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