“Such is the nature of Evil. Out there in the vast ignorance of the world it festers and spreads. A Shadow that grows in the dark. A sleepless malice as black as the oncoming wall of night. So it ever was, so it always will be.”
These words from the movie adaptation of The Hobbit were quoted by my colleague Dr. David Wurmser, who is presently in Israel reporting as he can between rocket attacks and shelter-in-place orders.
Only Tolkien’s stories of the changeless sweeping malevolence of evil across the ages seem appropriate to encapsulate the tremendous paradigm shift represented by the horrific massacre perpetrated by Hamas over the weekend.
The losses suffered, perhaps as many as 1,000 dead and many thousands more wounded, are of such a horrific scale in light of Israel’s small population that regardless of how the fight proceeds now, Israeli society is likely to be changed forever. The attack, in which as many as 1,000 Hamas jihadists crossed the Gaza border under the cover of a massive rocket barrage and drone attacks, seized control of towns in Southern Israel and went from door to door to rape, torture, and murder every Jew they could find, all on video, instantly evoked horrors known to most of us only from black and white newsreels in previous centuries.
As the perpetrators have openly admitted, the massacre was planned and prepared with the help of Iran, whose other terrorist proxies, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq, and Houthi terrorists in Yemen, remain at the ready to expand the fight on Tehran’s orders.
A New Age, A Timeless Evil
The likely purpose of the attack from Iran’s perspective was to undermine peace efforts between Israel and Arab states, most especially Saudi Arabia.
Not coincidentally, this has also been a major effort of the Biden Administration, which has sought to undermine the historic Abraham Accords achieved under President Trump by injecting the Palestinian issue into the center of the Arab-Israel conflict, even while pretending to seek an agreement.
The Biden Administration has released $6 billion dollars to Iran, currently stored at a bank in Hamas-friendly Qatar. It has provided funds to Gaza which they admitted would result in arming Hamas, and pillaged stockpiles of U.S. arms stored in Israel as part of a long-standing agreement, and sent them to Ukraine.
Like the conniving Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings, the Biden administration, as the Obama administration before it, has at every turn counseled Israel to maximize restraint and complacency in the face of a growing peril, all while professing friendship.
Here at home, the Democratic Socialists of America, a group that consists of numerous Democrat politicians at the local, state, and federal level, hosted the largest Pro-Hamas rally thus far, in New York City replete with open calls in support of terrorist violence. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a group with close ties to Hamas, has called for a National Day of Resistance and a “Unity Intifada” in solidarity with the Hamas attack for Thursday, Oct. 12.
In the face of this reality, GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley saying the attack represents “an attack on America,” or Qatar-friendly Sen. Lindsay Graham issuing threats against Iran is mere fecklessness and bravado. The truth is that as it is currently constituted, the U.S. government, especially the State Department and intelligence agencies, are unlikely to do anything but deliberately hamper Israel’s attempts to defend itself and seek ways to further bolster Iran and its proxies behind the scenes.
Americans should demand the American government keep out of meddling with Israel’s response and allow it to defend its citizens as it sees fit. Certainly, the U.S. should honor existing agreements and obligations (refilling drained stockpiles for instance) but over-the-top or performative action will likely only amount to interference.
The Invasion on Our Own Border
Meanwhile, we should tend urgently to our own border and security. Israel’s border with Gaza was one of the most heavily surveilled and monitored borders in the world. As events have shown, surveillance is not enough. U.S. border doves for years promised that a border can be protected by a mere “virtual fence” of cameras and sensors. The reality is that only real physical barriers, like walls, watched over by sufficient numbers of properly armed and trained men constitute a secure border. Anything else is theater.
On the other side of that border are barbaric criminal cartels and narco-insurgents every bit as murderous as Hamas and Hezbollah. In fact, Hezbollah has extensive ties with various drug cartels, which it has used to try and conduct attacks inside the United States. Hundreds of individuals already named on the terrorist watchlist have crossed into the country.
Israeli awareness of the situation in Gaza now being criticized as insufficient, is undoubtedly far superior to our own understanding of the threats on the other side of our own border.
The Biden administration continues to facilitate an invasion, consisting of as much as an entire infantry division a day, mostly of military aged males across the Southern border. They come from all over the world, including places rife with jihadist terrorists, and increasingly from hostile adversaries like China. Some, likely working with the cartels, cross the border wearing camouflage and carrying firearms.
We can no more count on the Biden Administration to defend our border than to assist Israel. That means states and local communities must take their fates into their own hands.
In the wake of the attack from Gaza, Israel immediately loosened its otherwise quite strict gun laws to increase the number of prepared citizens able to defend themselves from terrorists. The reality is that no government force can respond quickly enough against such overwhelming violence to prevent tragedy. Americans should strongly oppose any efforts to restrain our own Second Amendment and take advantage of the ability to possess and train with firearms for their own defense whenever and wherever possible.
Bolster Law Enforcement
Local communities in Israel were quickly overwhelmed by the coordinated terrorist attack, and local police were not equal to the onslaught. It has been reported that over 30 Israeli police were trapped in a police station that came under siege by Hamas gunmen. Many fought bravely and lost their lives.
In America, both urban and rural areas are struggling to recruit, train, and outfit sufficient law enforcement officers following the left’s assault upon policing in 2020. Many local agencies are hundreds of officers below their required needs. Cities continue to attempt to replace armed law enforcement with mere social workers.
Americans everywhere should endeavor to support and bolster the morale of their local law enforcement, most especially their elected Sheriff. Encourage your community to provide the necessary funding to train, recruit, and equip the best possible local law enforcement, without relying upon fickle and restrictive federal grants. Law enforcement leaders should consider ways to augment smaller or struggling police forces with citizen auxiliaries, properly vetted and trained. States should look at ways to bolster their National Guard and State Defense Forces and prepare them for the kinds of violence we know are possible.
Things will get worse before they get better. The attack on Israel is an unmistakable sign that we have entered a dangerous and trying time. The forces of evil fester and spread, not just in the Middle East, but here at home.
First and foremost we should, as Tolkien wrote, set ourselves to “uprooting evil in the fields that we know” and encourage our friends abroad to do the same.
Kyle Shideler is senior analyst for Homeland Security at the Center for Security Policy.
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