When the Iran-backed jihadists of Hamas attacked Israel, butchering Jews in numbers equivalent to more than 45,000 Americans, raping them, and taking them hostage, the genocidal Jew-haters sparked a potential global conflagration. By murdering and taking Americans hostage, as Iran and its proxies have been doing since the very start of the mullahs’ theocratic takeover, Hamas also took this fight to us.
That our greatest ally; most pivotal military, intelligence, and technological partner; and the first line of defense in a bellicose, often barbarous, and anti-American region is under existential threat, and that the threat has come for our people, compels an American response.
By the same token, many are rightly skeptical about involving ourselves in any foreign conflict — let alone one in the Middle East, where over the last quarter-century Americans have sacrificed so much in blood and treasure, only to see our nation’s power erode and the threats persist. We are a divided country, thinly stretched, and war-weary.
Given this volatile situation, and Americans’ competing concerns, what does the U.S. national interest demand with respect to the war forced on Israel and us? I propose three things.
1. Defend Americans and Secure the Homeland
This starts with using all elements of national power to pressure Iran and its proxies — including Qatar, where Hamas’ leadership lives in luxury — to force the return of American hostages immediately. The scandal that this has not yet occurred is only enlarged by the fact that the Biden administration’s coddling of the mullahcracy fueled the kidnapping of Americans in the first place.
Securing the homeland also requires sealing our borders. If Israel, a hyper-vigilant country fortified by legitimate walls, cutting-edge technology, and a world-renowned intelligence apparatus, can suffer such a cataclysmic attack, imagine what could happen in America where our borders have been wide open for years. It is imperative that we use every means available to ensure not a single person with Islamic supremacist leanings is allowed to enter the country by legal or illegal means.
We must also harden our military and diplomatic facilities against jihadists globally.
Even if we did all that, there’s still the daunting problem of dealing with the Islamic supremacists already here. That thousands of “special interest aliens” — those from countries with significant Islamic supremacist populations — have been caught trying to cross just the southern border over the last two years, and that still 1.5 million more illegal aliens have reportedly evaded law enforcement during the Biden administration, is an indicator of how compromised we almost surely already are.
This is on top of two decades of mass immigration from Islamic countries — without evidence of sufficient vetting — yielding some 2.3 million more immigrants and roughly 150,000 students on visas per year. Authorities have also pursued hundreds of jihadist prosecutions in recent years, including those pertaining to Hezbollah. And the throngs of protesters celebrating Hamas’ Holocaust-level atrocities in cities and across college campuses only underscores the peril at home, to say nothing of the apologism and worse from our far-left representatives.
We have in effect permitted the development of a jihadist lobby that could have a veto over the U.S. national interest — imposed at the point of a gun. If a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of Islamic supremacists within our borders attempt to do us harm, the consequences could be dire.
Identifying this population and neutralizing the threat is a Herculean task — particularly in a free society ripe for jihadists to exploit.
2. America Must Do No Harm
By “do no harm,” I mean we must cease all aid and comfort of any kind to the Islamic Republic of Iran, its proxies, and those regimes and international forums that aid, abet, and enable them. With respect to Iran, that of course includes recovering all unfrozen funds, enforcing all sanctions, and reinstituting a maximum pressure campaign to isolate the mullahcracy and starve it of the resources it needs to threaten America and its interests.
We should also terminate government support for American institutions that have shown themselves to be sympathetic to Hamas and other Iranian proxies, and prevent any funds from flowing to institutions that receive largesse from associated malign regimes, entities, or individuals, such as American think tanks and schools.
Defunding and disengaging from terror-supporting institutions should be the bare minimum expected of our leaders.
3. Let Israel Vigorously Defend Itself
The strongest form of aid the U.S. can provide Israel is to give it the freedom it needs to defend its security and sovereignty. If allowed to pursue its national interest, free of Western constraints, in deterring and potentially destroying its adversaries — and America’s — the benefits would redound to our national interest.
Beyond that, the U.S. should sell Israel the munitions and weapons systems it needs, provide it with intelligence, and support it in hostile world forums. The benefits of these efforts would far outweigh the costs. A stronger Israel provides greater stability in the Middle East and will reduce Americans’ exposure to it, as we saw under the Trump administration.
Such support would be no small thing. Israel faces a potentially massive, multi-front conflict. That is because Iran and its proxies menace from across the Islamic world, ranging from Hamas in Gaza to Hezbollah in Lebanon, to a coterie of jihadist groups in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, and up to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps itself. That the Islamic Republic counts among its strategic partners China and Russia, and that its tentacles extend from Europe and Latin America to our own shores, only make the situation more fraught.
A grinding and grisly ground offensive squarely focused on Hamas in Gaza threatens to bog Israel down in a high-casualty morass while its enemies strike from elsewhere. Counterintuitively, the Jewish state may have to land dramatic, decisive, and crippling blows far beyond Gaza — to hit the head of the snake, Iran, and its tentacles in sufficiently devastating ways — to stem a far more bloody and widespread war and achieve a meaningful peace. We ought to do what we can to create the space for Israel to do what it must, while defending ourselves and our vital interests.
Notwithstanding the Biden administration’s supportive rhetoric in the immediate wake of the attack on Israel, and the lip service it has paid to border security of late, the foregoing is entirely anathema to the administration. As noted, its entire Middle East strategy, like the Obama-Biden administration before it, has been to promote Iran as the strong horse in the region while punishing Israel.
The culmination of that policy could be seen in Hamas’ attack. The Biden administration had facilitated the flow of tens of billions of dollars of funds to its backers in Tehran and millions of dollars to Gaza, in effect providing the material support that made the attack possible. By browbeating and alienating the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu-led government and backing its leftist opponents who nearly fomented a civil war, the Biden administration destabilized the country, creating the conditions Hamas exploited and thereby further supporting the jihad.
Why would we expect an about-face in anything but the most superficial ways for domestic political consumption?
The Biden administration has betrayed its continued devotion to its pro-Iran policy in several ways. First, it has instinctively responded on multiple occasions for Israel to engage in a ceasefire — that is, to reward today’s Nazis for inflicting the worst massacre on Jews since the Holocaust. Second, it has defended the $6 billion ransom payment it released to Iran and refused to immediately rescind the funds. Third, and most tellingly, it’s made a ham-handed effort to de-link Hamas’ attack from its Iranian backers.
Like the Obama administration before it, which sought to prevent Israel from more aggressively countering its enemies with U.S. aid, the Israel-Saudi normalization deal the Biden administration had sought to broker aimed to constrain Israel while creating the appearance of supporting it. The Biden administration would appear to be building a similar box now in providing the Jewish state with nominal rhetorical, diplomatic, and military support: stressing that Israel pursue a mission of the administration’s choosing (limited to degrading Hamas in Gaza), on the Biden administration’s terms (shackled by likely suicidal rules of engagement), and in line with the Biden administration’s objectives (no reassertion of Israeli control over the land).
In short, there’s a beyond-compelling case to be made that the Biden administration is preparing a suffocating bear hug for Israel, backed by a surging of U.S. forces into the region that is all a ruse — just like Obama’s aid and Biden’s normalization push before it. While creating the appearance of bolstering Israel from regional threats, in reality, it may be chiefly aimed at deterring Israel from eliminating them — defending Iran and its equities from Beirut to Tehran.
Only exacting pressure from the American people and our representatives will ensure the Biden administration advances our interests over those of our enemies.