November 9, 2001
Narco News 2001
4th World War
The following text is
an excerpt from a talk given by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) to the International
Civil Commission of Human Rights Observation in La Realidad,
Chiapas, Mexico, on November 20, 1999.
Translated by irlandesa
Restructuring of War
we see it, there are several constants
in the so-called world wars, in the First World War, in the Second,
and in what we call the Third and Fourth.
One of these constants is the conquest of territories and their
If you consult a map of the world you
can see that there were changes at the end of all of the world
wars, not only in the conquest of territories, but in the forms
of organization. After the First World War, there was a new world
map, after the Second World War, there was another world map.
At the end of what we venture to call the "Third World War,"
and which others call the Cold War, a conquest of territories
and a re-organization took place. It can, broadly speaking, be
situated in the late 80's, with the collapse of the socialist
camp of the Soviet Union, and, by the early 90's, what we call
the Fourth World War can be discerned.
Another constant is the destruction of the enemy. Such was the
case with Nazism in the second World War, and, in the Third,
with all that had been known as the USSR and the socialist camp
as an option to the capitalist world.
The third constant is the administration of conquest. At the
moment at which the conquest of territories is achieved, it is
necessary to administer them, so that the winnings can be disbursed
to the force that won. We use the term 'conquest" quite
a bit, because we are experts in this. Those States, which previously
called themselves national, have always tried to conquer the
Indian peoples. Despite those constants, there are a series of
variables that change from one world war to another: strategy,
the actors, or the parties, the armaments used and, lastly, the
tactics. Although the latter change, the former are present and
can be applied in order to understand one war and another.
Third World War, or the Cold War, lasted
from 1946 (or, if you wish, from the bombing of Hiroshima in
1945) until 1985-1990. It was a large world war made up of many
local wars. As in all the others, at the end there was a conquest
of territories that destroyed an enemy. Second act, it moved
to the administration of the conquest and the reorganization
of territories. The actors in this world war were: one, the two
superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union and their
respective satellites; two, the majority of the European countries;
three, Latin America, Africa, parts of Asia and Oceana.
The peripheral countries revolved around
the US or the USSR, as it suited them. After the superpowers
and the peripherals were the spectators and victims, or, that
is, the rest of the world. The two superpowers did not always
fight face to face. They often did so through other countries.
While the large industrialized nations joined with one of the
two blocs, the rest of the countries and of the population appeared
as spectators or as victims. What characterized this war was:
one, the arms orientation and, two, local wars.
In the nuclear war, the two superpowers
competed in order to see how many times they could destroy the
world. The method of convincing the enemy was to present it with
a very large force. At the same time, local wars were taking
place everywhere in which the superpowers were involved.
The result, as we all know, was the defeat and destruction of
the USSR, and the victory of the US, around which the great majority
of countries have now come together. This is when what we call
the "Fourth World War" broke out. And here a problem
arose. The product of the previous war should have been a unipolar
world - one single nation which dominated a world where there
were no rivals - but, in order to make itself effective, this
unipolar world would have to reach what is known as "globalization."
The world must be conceived as a large conquered territory with
an enemy destroyed. It was necessary to administer this new world,
and, therefore, to globalize it. They turned, then, to information
technology, which, in the development of humanity, is as important
as the invention of the steam engine. Computers allow one to
be anywhere simultaneously. There are no longer any borders or
constraints of time or geography. It is thanks to computers that
the process of globalization began. Separations, differences,
Nation States, all eroded, and the world became what is called,
realistically, the global village.
The concept on which globalization is based is what we call "neoliberalism,"
a new religion which is going to permit this process to be carried
out. With this Fourth World War, once again, territories are
being conquered, enemies are being destroyed and the conquest
of these territories is being administered.
The problem is, what territories are being conquered and reorganized,
and who is the enemy? Given that the previous enemy has disappeared,
we are saying that humanity is now the enemy. The Fourth World
War is destroying humanity as globalization is universalizing
the market, and everything human that opposes the logic of the
market is an enemy and must be destroyed. In this sense, we are
all the enemy to be vanquished: indigenous, non-indigenous, human
rights observers, teachers, intellectuals, artists. Anyone who
believes them selves to be free and is not.
Fourth World War uses what we call
"destruction." Territories are destroyed and depopulated.
At the point at which war is waged, land must be destroyed, turned
into desert. Not out of a zeal for destruction, but in order
to rebuild and reorder it. What is the primary problem confronted
by this unipolar world in globalizing itself? Nation States,
resistances, cultures, each nation's means of relating, that
which makes them different. How is it possible for the village
to be global and for everyone to be equal if there are so many
differences? When we say that it is necessary to destroy Nation
States and to turn them into deserts, it does not mean doing
away with the people, but with the peoples' ways of being. After
destroying, one must rebuild. Rebuild the territories and give
them another place. The place that the laws of the market determine.
This is what is driving globalization.
The first obstacle is the Nation States: they must be attacked
and destroyed. Everything which makes a State "national"
must be destroyed: language, culture, economy, its political
life and its social fabric. If national languages are no longer
of use, they must be destroyed, and a new language must be promoted.
Contrary to what one might think, it is not English, but computers.
All languages must be made the same, translated into computer
language, even English. All cultural aspects that make a French
person French, an Italian Italian, a Dane Danish, a Mexican Mexican,
must be destroyed, because they are barriers which prevent them
from entering the globalized market. It is no longer a question
of making one market for the French, and another for the English
or the Italians. There must be one single market, in which the
same person can consume the same product in any part of the world,
and where the same person acts like a citizen of the world, and
no longer as a citizen of a Nation State.
That means that cultural history, the history of tradition, clashes
with this process and is the enemy of the Fourth World War. This
is especially serious in Europe where there are nations with
great traditions. The cultural framework of the French, the Italians,
the English, the Germans, the Spanish, etcetera - everything
which cannot be translated into computer and market terms - are
an impediment to this globalization. Goods are now going to circulate
through information channels, and everything else must be destroyed
or set aside. Nation States have their own economic structures
and what is called "national bourgeoisie" - capitalists
with national headquarters and with national profits. This can
no longer exist: if the economy is decided at a global level,
the economic policies of Nation States which try to protect capital
are an enemy which must be defeated. The Free Trade Treaty, and
the one which led to the European Union, the Euro, are symptoms
that the economy is being globalized, although in the beginning
it was about regional globalization, like in the case of Europe.
Nation States construct their political relationships, but now
political relationships are of no use. I am not characterizing
them as good or bad. The problem is that these political relationships
are an impediment to the realization of the laws of the market.
The national political class is old, it
is no longer useful, it has to be changed. They try to remember,
they try to remember, even if it is the name of one single statesman
in Europe. They simply cannot. The most important figures in
the Europe of the Euro are people like the president of the Bundesbank,
a banker. What he says is going to determine the policies of
the different presidents or prime ministers inflicted on the
countries of Europe.
If the social fabric is broken, the old relationships of solidarity
that make coexistence possible in a Nation State also break down.
That is why campaigns against homosexuals and lesbians, against
immigrants, or the campaigns of xenophobia, are encouraged. Everything
that previously maintained a certain equilibrium has to be broken
at the point at which this world war attacks a Nation State and
transforms it into something else.
It is about homogenizing, of making everyone equal, and of hegemonizing
a lifestyle. It is global life. Its greatest diversion should
be the computer, its work should be the computer, its value as
a human being should be the number of credit cards, one's purchasing
capacity, one's productive capacity.
The case of the teachers is quite clear. The one who has the
most knowledge or who is the wisest is no longer valuable. Now
the one who produces the most research is valuable, and that
is how his salary, his grants, and his place in the university
This has a lot to do with the United States model. It also so
happens, however, that this Fourth World War produces an opposite
effect, which we call "fragmentation." The world is,
paradoxically, not becoming one, it is breaking up into many
pieces. Although it is assumed that the citizen is being made
equal, differences as differences are emerging: homosexuals and
lesbians, young people, immigrants. Nation States are functioning
as a large State, the anonymous State-land-society which divides
us into many pieces.
If you look at a world map of this period - the end of the Third
World War - and analyze the last eight years, a restructuring
took place, most especially - but not only - in Europe. Where
there was once one nation, now there are many nations. The world
map has been fragmented. This is the paradoxical effect that
is taking place because of this Fourth World War. Instead of
being globalized, the world is fragmenting, and, instead of this
mechanism hegemonizing and homogenizing, more and more differences
are appearing. Globalization and neoliberalism are making the
world an archipelago. And it must be given a market logic. These
fragments must be organized into a common denominator. It is
what we call the "financial bomb."
At the same time that differences appear, the differences are
multiplied. Each young person has his group, his way of thinking,
such as punks and skinheads. All of which are in every country.
Now the different are not only different, but their differences
are multiplied and they seek their own identity. The Fourth World
War is obviously not offering them a mirror that allows them
to see themselves with a common denominator. It is offering them
a broken mirror. As long as it has control of the archipelago
- of human beings - the powers are not going to be very upset.
world is breaking into many pieces,
large and small. There are no longer continents in the sense
that I would be a European, African or American. What the globalization
of neoliberalism is offering is a network built by financial
capital, or, if you would prefer, by financial powers. If there
is a crisis in this node, the rest of the network will cushion
the effects. If there is prosperity in a country, it does not
produce the effect of prosperity in other countries. It is, thus,
a network that does not function. What they told us about the
size of the world was a lie, a speech repeated by the leaders
of Latin America, whether Menem, Fujimori, Zedillo, or others
leaders of compromised moral character. In fact what is happening
is that the network has made Nation States much more vulnerable.
It is useless for a country to struggle to construct an equilibrium
and its own destiny as a nation.
Everything depends on what happens in
a bank in Japan, or what the mafia in Russia or a speculator
in Sydney does. In one way or another, Nation States are not
saved, they are permanently condemned. When a Nation State agrees
to join this network - because there is no other choice, because
they force it, or out of conviction - it is signing its death
In short, what this great market wants is to turn all of these
islands into commercial centers, not nations. One can go from
one country to another and find the same products. There is no
longer any difference. In Paris or in San Cristóbal de
las Casas you can consume the same thing. If you are in San Cristóbal
de Las Casas, you can simultaneously be in Paris getting the
It is the end of Nation States. And not
just that: it is the end of the human beings who make them up.
What matters is the law of the market, and that is what establishes
how much you produce, how much you are worth, how much you buy,
how much you are worth. Dignity, resistance, solidarity all disturb.
Everything which prevents a human being
from turning into a producing and purchasing machine is an enemy,
and it must be destroyed. That is why we are saying that the
human species is the enemy for the Fourth World War. It is not
destroying it physically, but it is destroying its humanness.
Paradoxically, by destroying Nation States, dignity, resistance
and solidarity are built anew. There are no ties stronger, more
solid, than those which exist between different groups: between
homosexuals, between lesbians, between young people, between
migrants. This war, then, goes on to also attack those who are
different. That is what those campaigns are owing to, so strong
in Europe and in the United States, against the different, because
they are dark, speak another language or have another culture.
The means of cultivating xenophobia in what remains of the Nation
States is to make threats: "These Turkish migrants want
to take away your job." "These Mexican immigrants came
to rape, they came to steal, they came to sow bad habits."
Nation States - or the few of them that remain - delegate to
those new citizens of the world - computers - the role of getting
rid of those immigrants. And that is when groups like the Ku
Klux Klan proliferate, or persons of such probity as Berlusconi
They all build their campaigns based on
xenophobia. Hate for the different, persecution against anything
that is different, is worldwide. But the resistance of anything
that is different is also worldwide. Faced with that aggression,
these differences are multiplied, they are solidified. This is
how it is, I am not going to characterize it as good or bad,
that is how it is happening.
War Is Not Only Military
strictly military terms, the Third
World War had its logic. It was, in the first place, a conventional
war, conceptualized in such a way that, if I put in soldiers,
and you put in soldiers, we confront each other, and whoever
is left alive wins. This took place in a specific territory that,
in the case of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO,
forces, and the Warsaw Pact, was Europe. Starting from a conventional
war, between armies, a military and weapons oriented path was
We are going to look at the details a bit more. This [he shows
a rifle], for example, is a semi-automatic weapon, and it's called
an AR-15 automatic rifle. They manufactured it for the Vietnam
conflict, and it can be taken apart very easily [he disarms it],
there it is. When they made it, the Americans were thinking about
a conventional war scenario, that is, large military contingents
that confronted each other. "We'll collect a lot of soldiers,
we'll advance, and in the end someone will have to be left."
At the same time, the Warsaw Pact was developing the Kalashnikov
automatic rifle, which is commonly called the AK-47, a weapon
with a lot of firing volume at short range, up to 400 meters.
The Soviet concept involved large waves of troops: a mountain
of soldiers would advance, firing, and, if they died, a second
and a third wave would arrive. The one who had the most soldiers
The Americans then thought: "The old Garand rifle from the
Second World War isn't of any use anymore. Now we need a weapon
that has a lot of short-range firing power." They took out
the AR-15 and tested it in Vietnam. The problem was that it broke
down, it didn't work. When they attacked the Viet Cong, the mechanism
remained open, and when they fired it went "click."
And it wasn't a camera; it was a weapon. They tried to solve
the problem with an M16-A1 model.
Here the trick is in the bullets, which
are called two different things. One, the civilian, 2.223 of
an inch - can be bought in any store in the United States. The
other - 5.56 millimeter - is for the exclusive use of NATO. This
is a very fast bullet and it has a trick to it. In war, the objective
is to see that the enemy has losses, not deaths, and an army
considers itself to have casualties when a soldier can no longer
fight. The Geneva Convention - an agreement to humanize war -
forbids expanding bullets, because at the point at which it enters
it destroys more, and it's a lot more lethal than a hard tipped
"Given that the idea is to increase the number of wounded
and decrease the number of dead," - they said - "we
are prohibiting expansive bullets." A shot from a hard bullet
leaves you useless, you're a casualty now, it doesn't kill you
unless it reaches a vital organ. In order to fulfill the Geneva
Convention and to dupe them, the Americans created the soft tip
bullet which, when it enters the human body, bends and turns.
The entrance hole is one size, and the exit hole is much bigger.
This bullet is worse than the expanding one, and it doesn't violate
conventions. Nonetheless, if it gets you in the arm...it will
blow you up. A 162 bullet goes through you and leaves you wounded,
but this one destroys you. Coincidentally, the Mexican government
has just bought 16,000 of these bullets.
That is, weapons are created for precise scenarios. We are going
to assume they don't want to use the nuclear bomb. What are they
going to use? Many soldiers against many soldiers. And so the
NATO and Warsaw Pact conventional war doctrines were created.
The second option was a localized nuclear war, a war with nuclear
weapons, but only in some places and not in others. There was
an agreement between the two superpowers to not attack each other
in their own lands, and to fight only on neutral ground. It remains
to be said that that this ground was Europe. That's where the
bombs were going to fall and one would see who would be left
alive in Western Europe and what was then called Eastern Europe.
The last option of the Third World War was total nuclear war,
which was a huge business, the business of the century. The logic
of nuclear war is that there would be no winner. It doesn't matter
who fired first, no matter how quickly he fired, the other would
be able to fire also. The destruction was mutual, and, from the
beginning, this option was simply renounced. The nature of it
came to be what is called in military diplomatic terms, "deterrence."
So that the Soviets wouldn't use nuclear weapons, the Americans
developed many nuclear weapons, and, so that they wouldn't use
nuclear weapons, the Soviets developed many nuclear weapons,
and so on. They called it IBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile),
and they were the rockets that went from Russia to the United
States and from the United States to Russia. They cost a fortune,
and now they're not useful for anything. There were also other
nuclear weapons for local use which were the ones they were going
to use in Europe in the case of a localized nuclear war.
this phase began, in 1945, there was
a war to be fought because Europe was divided in two. The military
strategy - we are speaking of the purely military aspects - was
the following: a few forward positions in front of the enemy
line, a line of permanent logistics, and the mother country,
called the United States or the Soviet Union. The logistical
line supplied the forward positions. Large airplanes that were
in the air 24 hours a day, the B-52 Fortress, carried the nuclear
bombs, and they never had to land. And there were the pacts.
The NATO Pact, the Warsaw Pact and the SEATO (South East Asia
Treaty Organization) Pact, which is like the NATO of the Asian
countries. The model was put into play in local wars. Everything
had a logic, and it was logical to fight in Vietnam, which was
an agreed scenario. The local armies and insurgents were in the
role of the forward positions. In the role of permanent logistics
were the lines of clandestine or legal arms sales, and, in the
role of the mother countries, the two superpowers. And there
was also an agreement about the places where they had to remain
as spectators. The clearest examples of these local wars are
the dictatorships of Latin America, the conflicts in Asia, especially
Vietnam, and the wars in Africa. These apparently had absolutely
no logic whatsoever, since the majority of the time what was
going on wasn't understood. But what was happening was part of
this outline of conventional war.
It was during this period - and that is important - that the
concept of "total war" was being developed. Elements
that are no longer military enter into military doctrine. For
example, in Vietnam, from the Tet offensive (1968) until the
fall of Saigon (1975), the media again became a very important
battle front. And so, the idea began to develop in the military
that military power was not enough. It was necessary to incorporate
others, such as the media. And also that the enemy could be attacked
with economic measures, with political measures and with diplomacy,
which is the game of the United Nations and of international
organizations. Some countries create sabotage in order to secure
the condemnation or censuring of others, which is called "diplomatic
All these wars followed the domino theory. It sounds ridiculous,
but they were like two rivals playing dominoes with the rest
of the population. One of the opponents would put down a piece,
and the other would try to put his down in order to cut off the
follow-up. It is the theory of that illustrious individual by
the name of Kissinger, the Secretary of State for the United
States government during the Vietnam era, who said: "We
cannot abandon Vietnam because it would mean giving up the game
of dominoes in Southeast Asia to the others." And that is
why they did what they did in Vietnam.
It was also about trying to regain the logic of the Second World
War. For most of the population, it [the Second World War] had
been heroic. There was the image of the Marines liberating France
from the dictatorship, liberating Italy from the Duce, liberating
Germany from the military, the red army entering from all sides.
The Second World War was supposedly waged in order to eliminate
a danger for all humanity, that of national socialism (the Nazis).
Thus the local wars attempted, one way or another, to regain
the ideology of "we are acting in the defense of the free
world." But now Moscow was in the role of national socialism.
And Moscow, for its part, did the same thing: both superpowers
tried to use the argument of "democracy" and the "free
world", as each of them conceived it.
Afterwards came the Fourth World War, which destroyed everything
from before, because the world is no longer the same, and the
same strategy cannot be applied. The concept of "total war"
was developed further: it is not only a war on all fronts, it
is a war which can be anywhere, a total war in which the entire
world is at stake. "Total war" means: at any moment,
in any place, under any circumstances. The idea of fighting for
one place in particular no longer exists. Now the fight can take
place at any moment. There is no longer the concept of escalation
of the conflict with threats, the taking of positions and attempts
to reposition one's self. At any moment and in any circumstances,
a conflict can arise. It can be domestic problem, it can be a
dictator and everything which the last wars of the last five
years have been, from Kosovo to the Persian Gulf War. The entire
military routine of the Cold War has, thus, been destroyed.
It is not possible to make war, in the Fourth World War, under
the criteria of the Third, because now I have to fight any place,
I don't know where I'm going to have to fight, nor do I know
when, I have to act rapidly, I don't even know what circumstances
I'm going to have to prosecute this war. In order to resolve
the problem, the military first developed the "rapid deployment"
example would be the Persian Gulf War,
a war which involved a great accumulation of military force in
a short period of time, a large military action in a short period
of time, the conquering of territories and withdrawal.
The invasion of Panama would be another
example of rapid deployment. There is, in fact, a NATO contingent
that is called "rapid intervention force." Rapid deployment
is a large mass of military force that throws itself against
the enemy and which makes no distinction between a children's
hospital and a chemical weapons factory. That is what happened
in Iraq: the smart bombs were quite stupid, they made no distinctions.
And that's where they remained, because they realized that this
is quite expensive, and it contributes very little. In Iraq they
made an entire deployment, but there was no conquest of territory.
There were the problems of the local protests, there were the
international human rights observers.
They had to withdraw. Vietnam had already taught them that, in
these instances, it is not prudent to insist: "No, we can't
do this now," they said.
They then moved on to the strategy of
"projection of force." "Better to have forward
positions in North American military bases all over the world,
accumulating a great continental force which, in a matter of
hours or days, will have the capacity to put in military units
any place in the world." And they can, in fact, put in a
division of four or five thousand men in the most distant point
in the planet in four days, and more, constantly more.
But the projection of force has the problem of being based on
local soldiers, or, rather, on US soldiers. They believe that,
if the conflict is not resolved rapidly, the body bags, the dead,
will begin arriving, like in Vietnam, and this could provoke
many domestic protests in North America, or in whichever country.
In order to avoid those problems, they abandoned the projection
of force, making - let us be clear - mercantile calculations.
They did not make calculations about the destruction of the human
forces, or the natural ones, but of publicity and image. And
so the war of projection was abandoned, and they went on to a
model of war with local soldiers, more international help, more
of a supranational body. Now it was not about sending soldiers,
but of fighting by means of the soldiers who were there, helping
them according to the basis of the conflict, and not using the
model of a nation which declares war, but of a supranational
body like the UN or NATO. The ones doing the dirty work are the
local soldiers, and the ones in the newspapers are the Americans
and the international support. This is the model. Protesting
no longer works: it is not a war of the United States government.
It's a war by NATO, and, besides, NATO is merely doing the favor
of helping the UN.
Throughout the entire world, the restructuring of armies is so
that they can confront a local conflict with international support
under supranational cover, and under the disguise of humanitarian
war. It has to do with saving the population from a genocide
by killing it. And that is what happened in Kosovo.
Milosevich waged a war against humanity:
"If we confront Milosevich, we are defending humanity."
That is the argument the NATO generals used and which brought
so many problems to the European left: opposing NATO bombings
implied supporting Milosevich, better, then, to support the NATO
bombings. And Milosevich, you know, was armed by the United States.
The military conception - which is what is now at play - is that
the entirety of the world - whether Sri Lanka or any other country,
the most distant one can think of - is now the backyard, because
the globalized world produces simultaneity. And that is the problem:
in this globalized world, anything that happens any place affects
the new international order. The world is no longer the world,
it's a village, and everything is very close. Therefore the great
policemen of the world - especially the United States - have
the right to intervene anywhere, at any time, under any circumstances.
They can consider anything as a threat to their domestic security.
They can easily decide that the indigenous uprising in Chiapas
threatens the domestic security of North America, or the Tamils
in Sri Lanka, or whatever you want. Any movement - and not necessarily
armed - anyplace can be considered a threat to domestic security.
What is that has happened? The old strategies and old concepts
of making war have collapsed. Let us see.
"Theatre of operations" is the military term
for indicating the place where the
war is going to occur. In the Third World War, Europe was the
theatre of operations. Now it is not known where it is going
to break out, it could be any place, it is no longer certain
that it is going to be in Europe. Military doctrine moves from
what is called "system" to what they call "versatility."
"I have to be ready to do anything at any moment. A plan
is no longer sufficient: now I need many plans, not just to construct
a response to particular incidents, but to construct many military
responses to specific incidents." This is where information
technology intervenes. This change leads to moving from the systematic,
the inflexible, the rigid, to the versatile, to that which can
change from one moment to the next. And that is going to define
the entire new military doctrine of armies, of military corps
and of soldiers. This will be one element in the Fourth World
War. The other will be the movement from "containment strategy"
to that of "drawing out" or "extension":
now it is not just about conquering territory, containing the
enemy, now it is about prolonging the conflict to what they call
"non-war acts." In the case of Chiapas, this has to
do with taking out and putting in governments and municipal presidents,
with human rights, with the media, etcetera.
Included in the new military conception is an intensification
of the conquest of territory. This means that it is necessary
to not only be concerned about the EZLN and its military force,
but also about the church, the NGOs, international observers,
the press, civilians, etcetera. There are no longer civilians
and neutrals. The entire world is part of the conflict.
This implies that national armies are of no use, because they
no longer have to defend Nation States. If there are no Nation
States, what are they going to defend? Under the new doctrine,
national armies go on to play the role of local police. The case
of Mexico is quite clear: the Mexican Army is doing more and
more police work, like the fight against drug trafficking, or
this new body against organized crime which is called the Federal
Preventative Police and which is made up of military personnel.
It is about national armies turning into local police in the
manner of a US comic book: a Super Cop, a Super Police. When
the army in the former Yugoslavia was reorganized, it had to
turn into a local police force, and NATO is going to be its Super
Cop, its senior partner in political terms. The star is the supranational
body, in this case NATO or the US army, and the extras are the
But national armies were built on the basis of a doctrine of
"national security." If there are enemies or dangers
to the security of a nation, their work is to maintain security,
sometimes against an external enemy, sometimes against destabilizing
domestic enemies. This is the doctrine of the Third World War
or Cold War. Under these assumptions, national armies develop
a national consciousness that now makes it difficult to turn
them into police friends of the Super Police. Thus the doctrine
of national security must now be transformed into "national
stability." The point is no longer defending the nation.
Since the main enemy of national stability is drug trafficking,
and drug trafficking is international, national armies that operate
under the banner of national stability accept international aid
or international interference from other countries.
The problem of again reordering national armies exists at the
world level. Now we go down to America, and from there to Latin
America. The process is a bit similar to that which took place
in Europe and which was seen in the Kosovo war with NATO. In
the case of Latin America, there is the Organization of American
States, the OAS, with the Hemispheric Defense System. According
to the former president of Argentina, Menem, all the countries
of Latin America are threatened and we need to unite, destroying
the national consciences of the armies, and to make a great army
under the doctrine of a hemispheric defense system, using the
argument of drug trafficking. Given that what is at stake is
versatility - or the capacity to make war at any moment, in any
place and under any circumstances - rehearsals begin. The few
bastions of national defense that still exist must be destroyed
by this hemispheric system. If it was Kosovo in Europe, in Latin
America it is Colombia and Chiapas. How is this system of hemispheric
defense constructed? In two ways. In Colombia, where the threat
of drug trafficking is present, the government is asking for
everyone's help: "We have to intervene because drug trafficking
not only affects Colombia, but the entire continent." In
the case of Chiapas, the concept of total war is applied. Everyone
is a part, there are no neutrals, you are either an ally or you
are an enemy.
the fragmentation process - turning
the entire world into an archipelago - financial power wants
to build a new shopping center which will have tourism and natural
resources in Chiapas, Belize and Guatemala.
Apart from being full of oil and uranium, the problem is that
it is full of indigenous. And the indigenous, in addition to
not speaking Spanish, do not want credit cards, they do not produce,
they are involved in planting maize, beans, chile, coffee, and
they think about dancing to a marimba rather than using a computer.
They are neither consumers nor producers. They are superfluous.
And everything that is superfluous is expendable. But they do
not want to go, and they do not want to stop being indigenous.
There is more: their struggle is not to take over power. Their
struggle is to be recognized as Indian peoples, that their right
to exist is recognized, without having to turn into other people.
But the problem is that here, in the land that is at war, in
zapatista territory, are the main indigenous cultures, there
are the languages and the largest oil deposits. There are the
seven Indian peoples who participate in the EZLN, Tzeltal, Tzotzil,
Tojolabal, Chol, Zoque, Mam and mestizos. This is the map of
Chiapas: communities with an indigenous population and with oil,
uranium and precious wood. For neoliberalism, everything is merchandise,
it is sold, it is exploited. And these indigenous come to say
no, that the land is mother, it is the depository of culture,
that history lives here, and the dead live here; absolutely absurd
things that cannot be entered on any computer and that are not
listed on a stock exchange. And there is no way to convince them
to be good, to learn to think right, they simply do not want
to. They even rose up in arms.
This is why - we say - that the Mexican
government does not want to make peace: it is because they want
to do away with this enemy and turn this land to desert, afterwards
reorganizing it and setting it to operate as a huge shopping
center, a Mall in the Mexican Southeast. The EZLN supports the
Indian peoples, and is, in this way, an enemy, but not the main
one. It is not enough to sort things out with the EZLN, even
worse if sorting things out with the EZLN means renouncing this
land, because that will mean peace in Chiapas, it will mean renouncing
the conquest of a land rich in oil, in precious woods and uranium.
This is why they have not done so and are not going to do so.
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War Is Not Only Military