We are in it, according to former CIA Director James Woolsey. “This fourth world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II did for us,” says Woolsey. “Hopefully not the full four-plus decades of the Cold War.” (That was World War III, for those of you who missed it.) Woolsey, a member of the administration’s neocon boys club, explains that World War IV is being waged against three enemies: the ayatollahs of Iran, the “Fascists” in countries like Syria, and Islamic extremists like al-Qaeda. Speaking to a teach-in at UCLA sponsored by the group Americans for Victory Over Terrorism, Woolsey went on to say:As we move toward a new Middle East over the years and, I think, over the decades to come … we will make a lot of people very nervous. Our response should be, “Good!” We want you nervous. We want you to realize now, for the fourth time in a hundred years, this country and its allies are on the march and that we are on the side of those whom you—the [Hosni] Mubaraks [of Egypt], the Saudi Royal family—most fear: We’re on the side of your own people.
Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.