On War # 321: 4GW Comes to Ft. Hood

William S. Lind
10 November 2009

Last week’s shootings at Ft. Hood, in which thirteen U. S. Soldiers were killed and 30 people wounded, appear to be a classic example of Fourth Generation war. The shooter, U. S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, was a practicing Muslim. He sometimes wore traditional Islamic dress and carried a Koran. He reportedly cried “Allahu Akbar” before he opened fire. Though American-born and a U.S. citizen (and army officer), Major Hasan appears to have transferred his primary loyalty away from the state to something else, Islam. For his new primary loyalty, he was willing to kill. That is what defines Fourth Generation war.

This incident should put an end to the misinterpretation of 4GW that defines it as “what Mao did.” Mao Tse-tung’s wars were not 4GW. They were fought within the framework of the state, for political control of a state. Mao had nothing to do with the “leaderless resistance” last week’s shootings represent. Major Hasan’s motives transcended the political. According to the November 9 Washington Post, a few hours before he opened fire, Major Hasan said to a neighbor, “I’m going to do good work for God.”

The Establishment, which continues to pretend the state (or Globalist super-state) has a monopoly on primary loyalty, predictably proclaimed the shootings the actions of “a madman.” That is what old and passing orders always say about the first avatars of the coming order (or disorder). It’s how the old order whistles past the graveyard – its own graveyard.

The cultural Marxists, leaping to the defense of “diversity,” their favorite poison for Western societies, claim Major Hasan’s massacre of his fellow soldiers does not represent Islam. Sorry, but it represents Islam all too well. Islam does not recognize any separation between church and state. States have no legitimacy in Islam; legitimacy adheres only to the Ummah, the community of all believers. The only legitimate law is Sharia. All Muslims are commanded to wage jihad against all non-Islamics. Loyalty to Islam must be the believer’s primary loyalty. Nightwatch for 5 November writes:

Two years ago, a devout Pakistani cabdriver told Nightwatch that if Allah called him or any devout Muslim to go on jihad and to kill his family and even the riders in his cab, he must do it immediately. He made that statement calmly as a matter of fact, while driving north on US 1.

This was not the statement of an insane man, but of an educated man with a degree in engineering who was making ends meet; a devoted family man and a good cab driver.

There are of course peaceful Islamics; peace be upon them. But peaceful Islamics are also lax Islamics. The ongoing Islamic revival is converting more and more Muslims, especially young men, to its purer version of Islam. That is happening everywhere, including among Islamics in Europe and America. As Islamic Puritanism spreads, violence will spread with it.

At the same time, it would be an error to think of 4GW threats within Western societies as confined to Islam. The U.S. military has already seen soldiers kill other soldiers as part of gang-related activities. Gangs may be as important an alternate primary loyalty as religion. As the state loses its legitimacy, the variety of new primary loyalties that arise to replace it will be limitless.

As this column has often warned, Fourth Generation war is not just something fought “over there.” It comes to a theater near you. That includes places like Ft. Hood. Many 4GW entities know that the best way to deal with hostile state security forces, police as well as military, is to take them from within. Last week also saw the killing of five British soldiers in Afghanistan by an Afghan policeman working with their unit. Many police departments along the southern U.S. border are owned by the drug traffickers.

The Establishment will attempt to label the massacre at Ft. Hood an “isolated incident.” On the contrary, it is just a foretaste of many more such actions to come. How might states reverse that trend? Three things might help:

  1. Stay out of Fourth Generation wars overseas. Intervening in areas of stateless disorder imports their disorder.
  2. Be prepared to outlaw violent alternative primary loyalties, including some religions (which in the case of the U. S. would require Constitutional amendments). To those who argue that religious tolerance must be unlimited, I ask, would we tolerate the re-establishment of the Aztec religion, with its demand for ceaseless human sacrifices, on American soil? Of course not.
  3. Strengthen the legitimacy of the state, which in Western societies usually means reducing, not augmenting, the power and intrusiveness of the central government. Nothing undermines the legitimacy of a state more effectively than attempts to “re-make” a society according to some ideology’s demands, as is now happening in the West in the name of cultural Marxism, aka “multiculturalism.” A legitimate government defends its society’s traditional culture, it does not assault that culture.

Ask not for whom the bells at Ft. Hood toll; they toll for the state.

William S. Lind, expressing his own personal opinion, is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation.

To interview Mr. Lind, please contact (no e-mail available):

Mr. William S. Lind
Free Congress Foundation
1423 Powhatan Street, # 2
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Direct line: 703 837-0483

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Filed in Uncategorized | 12 responses so far

12 Responses to “On War # 321: 4GW Comes to Ft. Hood”

  1. Cheton 10 Nov 2009 at 3:16 pm 1

    Unfortunately, Bill doesn’t say what Western culture is or how to “defend” it. Knowing Bill, he isn’t arguing for a coercive enforcement mechanism. As he concludes in this article:

    Strengthen the legitimacy of the state, which in Western societies usually means reducing, not augmenting, the power and intrusiveness of the central government.

    And any attempt to enforce cultural norms will likely run into constitutional issues.

    Perhaps he will expand on this in future columns.

  2. JRBehrmanon 10 Nov 2009 at 7:05 pm 2

    Bill LIND’s warnings are an interesting perspective through which to read President OBAMA’s speech today at Fort Hood.

    This seems, like much of the President’s rhetoric, Lincolnesque — one of the most legitimating figures in our history. Despite the practical challenge he posed for my Confederate forebearers, Lincoln seems like the first to meld the political principles of Jefferson (republican-universalist) with the economic principles of Hamilton (national-liberal). That was something the early and late Anglo-American slave-owners just could not manage to do.

    I wish Bill LIND would spend a little time reading Michael LIND and not just Herbert MARCUSE or whoever came up with the insidious and all-pervasive Frankfurt School.

    Bill LIND’s generic comments on “legitimacy”, “the state”, “non-state actors”, even specific “gangs” and “jihadi”, as well as purely political references like an “intrusive… central government” seem persuasive and useful to me as a practicing center-left politician. But, parochial obsession with the “Frankfurt School”, while fitting in with the rest of LIND’s logic, does seem tangential and less than compelling.

    I do not see anything about Fourth Generation Warfare that is somehow more deeply rooted in any one religion or which any material system or merely aesthetic culture is somehow more hardened against. I think there are some historical lessons from and precedents for The Transformation of War. But, I agree w/ Van Creveld that there may be something wholly novel in the challenge of it. So, I do not see how to construct a practical response to the challenges of 4GW with little more political outlook than obsession with Marxist clap-trap of this or that sort.

    It would seem to me that a liberal culture like that which ORTEGA Y GASSETT described in Espana Invertebrata — a great work on a de-legitimating state — would be “multicultural” in the sense of “amalgamating” and, thereby, more resilient than a homogeneous culture reverting to extremism under various sorts of stress.

    In any event, President OBAMA seems to expect traditional martial virtues to be part of a reslient society with a strong but limited government. What is wrong with that? Staying out of the fevered swamp of jingo-religion of any sort is a good way to focus on things like …

    Should the Big Army epitomized by Fort Hood (III Corps) be so big and so isolated from American society generally?

    Is a long-term hire military with its own medical school the only way to have a “volunteer” or “professional” military?

    In the case of Major HASAN, and in connection with many other problems posed by our 2nd generation forces, I wonder if distinctions between “line” and “restricted” commissions really make any sense today. Incidentally, I think they arose in Southern reaction to the Reconstruction-era black combat soldiers up until WWI and the extraordinary career of Leonard WOOD — the very opposite of Maj. HASAN.

    Seriously, does Christian parochialism, Anglo-American provincialism, or libertarian ideology provide a practical or intellectual response to the challenge of puritanical extremism? Are comforting aesthetics or even end-stage Hapsburgh heraldry the only or a principle source of political-economic or social legitimacy in this republican democracy?

    [CR: thanks, JR, interesting. By the way, we're pretty informal here at DNI, so you only need to capitalize the first letter of proper names.]

  3. EmeryNelsonon 10 Nov 2009 at 9:05 pm 3

    This business of shifting primary loyalties is interesting because I feel it myself and see others struggling similarly. Our loyalties don’t lie with the Banksters of the Global economic state, the Democratic party, and particularly not the Republican party who would govern the same as the present party in power given the opportunity. How many would do violence if they believe it could insure the above named entities would be out of their lives? There’s no sense in the Central Government of the vacuum of power it’s creating, so it’s not likely to change course. The only thing that’s necessary in the current mess is economic chaos, which is happening (although, the central government doesn’t seem to see it), and more attempts at elitist controls. The question remains: who does one shift their loyalty to? Never fear the vacuum will be filled by something.

  4. senor tomason 12 Nov 2009 at 10:18 pm 4

    “Be prepared to outlaw violent alternative primary loyalties”

    I have already experienced this. Aboard the United States Navy ship I was on, Confederate flags were not allowed to be displayed.

  5. Barryon 13 Nov 2009 at 11:12 am 5

    “if Allah called him or any devout Muslim to go on jihad and to kill his family”

    Was Christian existentalist Kierkegaard saying anything different in ‘Fear and Trembling’ when discussing Gen 22 where God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. Professions of faith are hardly legitimate indications as to intentions.

    Nidal Malik Hasan is just the latest of the psychopathic crackpots to massacre, most of his predecessor were as American as apple pie.
    ( eg Andrew Kehoe ).

  6. rmhitchenson 13 Nov 2009 at 5:25 pm 6

    How convenient! Mr. Lind can call almost anything “4th Generation Warfare.” As long as somebody’s shooting someone, or blowing something up.

    [CR: It's a concept of unique flexibility.]

  7. Maxon 14 Nov 2009 at 12:27 pm 7

    ““4th Generation Warfare.” As long as somebody’s shooting someone, or blowing something up.:”"

    Sure, being non-state entities.

    Think.

    “The crisis of the legitimacy of the state,” Including it’s self prescribed monopoly on the use of force, and violence on that, or any vaugly similar scale.

    M

  8. Maxon 14 Nov 2009 at 12:31 pm 8

    “Nidal Malik Hasan is just the latest of the psychopathic crackpots”

    Good point, as a matter of fact, I beileve there were 2 unrelated further inceidence of seemingly random violence, mass (2 or more killed) shootings in about as many days, elsewhere in the good ol’ USA, the same week.

    M

  9. Maxon 14 Nov 2009 at 12:39 pm 9

    “The question remains: who does one shift their loyalty to?”

    “the vacuum will be filled by something.”

    The short (version) list includes;

    Yourself, your family, your friends, neighbors, maybe your company, your village, town, city, and your individual state, those who speak the same language, and shared culture, and of course, the really big “R.”

    Did I mention Biker gangs ?

    M

    [CR: You can be pretty sure it won't be a libertarian paradise of farmers and shopkeepers, of sheep lying down by lions. At least not for long.]

  10. Maxon 15 Nov 2009 at 8:01 pm 10

    “CR: You can be pretty sure it won’t be a libertarian paradise of farmers and shopkeepers, of sheep lying down by lions. At least not for long.”

    Good commentary.

    In the spirit of casual conversation;

    I wonder of the pepole who planned 9-11 really thought through
    the conciquences, if the the USA had say collaphsed, right then, and
    there. Somehow I dougbt they did, for in such a world, everyone
    would lose, everybody, and end up far worse off, including, even them, even those seemingly with little to lose, and supposidly
    agreived. By what ever twisted and flawed logic.

    Here we stumble on a sublime and hidden tennat of 4gw, where the non-state entity cares less, and proceeds even without much congicent and rational consderation for their own longer term interests. For in the end, they only want revenge, and to see
    the world burn, and if that means going barefoot in January
    in the coldest winters, that dosn’t even register in their concience.

    I wouldn’t argue with you if you concluded that maybe a variation
    of mental illness.

    All that’s a very real element of 4GW, been there, seen it myself.

    Maximillian

  11. Barryon 16 Nov 2009 at 5:26 am 11

    “farmers and shopkeepers”

    But most in the US are descended from a long line of farmers and shopkeepers ie those “whose relative inhibition of violence could be released only by the voice of authority”. The “aggressive males are penalized in settled societies with central authority, either through lower reproductive success or through removal from the population, e.g., through imprisonment, execution, and banishment. Such societies have much lower rates of violent death for all causes, including war.”

    Genetic pacification? Part II .
    ” It wasn’t because we were entering new ecological environments that genetic change speeded up. It was because we were entering new cultural environments.

    One of them arose with the emergence of the State and its monopoly on the use of violence. This marked a sea change in human relations. Previously, men often used violence for their own advancement, and not simply in self-defense. The goal was to become a ‘big man’—someone who could dominate the local community through bluster, bullying, and charisma. Such men were more successful not only socially but also reproductively. They tended to attract more mates and sire more children[...]

    Thus, within the borders of Statist societies, survival and reproduction came to depend on one’s willingness to comply with the State, including its monopoly on the use of violence. Successful individuals were now those who had a higher threshold for expression of violent behavior, especially when acting on their own initiative. They also tended to be individuals whose relative inhibition of violence could be released only by the voice of authority[...]”

    The majority of the population in the US might have a very high threshhold for the level of disorder they’ll put up with before they withdraw their allegiance to the state . In the service of the state, ie when sanctioned by state authority, farmers and shpkeepers may be just as ruthless as any biker gang.

  12. EmeryNelsonon 16 Nov 2009 at 10:40 am 12

    “In any event, President OBAMA seems to expect traditional martial virtues to be part of a reslient society with a strong but limited government. What is wrong with that?”

    JR, that’s an interesting take on our president. If by limited government you mean it doesn’t control the weather, then yes, I suppose Obama is a limited government guy. Otherwise, that’s an absurd statement.

    “I do not see anything about Fourth Generation Warfare that is somehow more deeply rooted in any one religion or which any material system or merely aesthetic culture is somehow more hardened against.”

    Lind has never said it’s deeply rooted in one religion and in fact has spent a lot of time going over its use by groups, gangs, tribes, etc, world wide. As for who’s hardened and who isn’t it would be nice if you specified what you mean by that? The Soviet Union? What examples do you have?