Tuesday, May 17, 2005
4GW As Practiced By Newsweek (Spinning of Bogus Story as 4GPS1 Attack)
"4GPS1 v 4GPS2 (Netroots Think 4GPS1 Is More Important)," by Dan, tdaxp, 10 May 2005, http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/05/10/4gps1_v_4gps2_netroots_think_4gps1_is_more_important.html.
"4GW As Practiced By Newsweek," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 16 May 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001805.html.
TPMB uses Newsweek's bogus story on desecration of the Koran at Gitmo to segue into a criticism of 4th Generation War.
We are told by Fourth Generation Warfare adherents that what is real and what is perceived are two different things, with the latter almost always trumping the former's impact on the 4GW battlefield. Much as with cyberwar, however, 4GW's theory of conflict often seems overwhelmed by the sheer mass of stuff that goes on accidentally in the global environment, such as the recent journalistic snafu by Newsweek.
Point being: as globalization grows and complexity takes root over more and more of the planet, the ability of any 4GW-waging warrior to have his attacks rise above the level of "white noise" in the system gets harder and harder.
That's like saying "Assassination is not a concern of Iraq, because of all the regular murders."
For example: imagine if a leading cleric in Iraq was accidentally killed in a shout-out between thugs. Not news. But if influential American started saying that he was killed by anti-Iraqis, and that Americans failed to protect him, it becomes news. It becomes power.
The same thing is happening here. Popular academics like Juan Cole say that the "apology" was actually a confirmation.
Cole, the insurgents, and the other 4th Generation Strugglers against a free Iraq are using agitation-propaganda to build their network. As I previously described the 1st Stage of 4th Generation Politics
This first stage of a 4GP net, characterized by a weak 4GP movement and a strong enemy. 4GPS1 attacks are known as "node takedown," "the politics of personal destruction," "agitation-propaganda," or just "horror stories." These are high-profile symbolic attacks designed to recruit followers through "militancy."
Just as Fourth Generation Warfare is more than "servicing targets," Fourth Generation Politics is more than the stories politicians use -- it is the spin of those stories. To rephrase Barnett's paragraph:
We are told by Fourth Generation Warfare adherents that what is real and what is perceived are two different things, with the latter almost always trumping the former's impact on the 4GW battlefield. To wit, 4GW practitioners manipulate the sheer mass of stuff that goes on accidentally in the global environment, such as the recent journalistic snafu by Newsweek.
Now that's a spin I can live with.