To take a village, insurgents apply a simple framework. By co-opting or killing the three nodes of leadership – security, political and religious – they begin controlling the minds of the population. After witnessing the BBC, ABC Q&A guests, The Project, and even Yarra City Council, excusing terrorism in the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, this is no longer an abstract theory. Terrorism has become accepted.
One of the West’s flaws is allowing our system to be so easily exploited by those who hate us. The tools of the global Islamist terrorist insurgency are not only the knife and the suicide vest, but also include non-violent measures to exploit our own societal weaknesses. At its core terrorism is more moral and mental than physical. The acceptance by so many of 4,500 Hamas rockets indiscriminately fired at civilians suggests our moral and mental weaknesses have been infiltrated, manipulated and subverted. Yet we’ve been here before.
Remember that the BBC and Western NGOs argued night-raids by US Special Forces against the Taliban infringed their human rights. Recall that when the ISIS insurgency metastasised around the world we had to endure the nonsense of not calling them Islamist extremists, despite the fact they were raping hundreds of Yazidi women, selling others as sex-slaves and beheading and burning alive those who refused to submit to their barbaric cult. Having burned their Australian passports, these same people then demanded all the rights and privileges when their jihad was over. The terrorists turned themselves into the victims with the willing participation of our own academics, lawyers, media and politicians. Remember the campaign to repatriate Western female Islamic State members. One minute they utterly rejected our values, the next they were cloaking themselves in them to obtain acceptance back into our system. They didn’t really mean to fly 10,000kms to support a bunch of head-cutters.
Clearly the Yarra City Council did not spend even five minutes researching Hamas before paraphrasing the terrorists’ talking points in their motion condemning Israel. As a Hamas delegation met with their biggest sponsor Iran in 2019, Fathi Hammad, a Hamas senior leader, declared, ‘there are Jews everywhere. We must attack every Jew on Planet Earth! We must slaughter and kill them, with Allah’s help. We will lacerate them to pieces.’ Strange, because try using the wrong pronoun or question the idea of ‘chest-feeding’, and you will be cancelled.
The same people who find it acceptable to have a drug injecting room next to a primary school in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond have no problem with how the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) education system is weaponising children. Through the influence of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, in Palestinian schools, little girls recite poems and dedicate their bodies to becoming suicide bombers. The PA has five schools named after Dalal Mughrabi, the terrorist who in 1978 led the murder of 37 civilians, including 12 children, in a bus hijacking. On official PA TV school girls can be seen celebrating terrorism, declaring their life’s ambition is to reach the level of the Martyr fighter Dalal Mughrabi. For 25 years the PA has been promoting terrorists as heroes to children in its indoctrination campaign, using Facebook. Yet try uploading images or news that don’t fit Facebook’s view and you will be blocked quicker than a suicide bomber can yell ‘Allahu Akbar!’. What a sad indictment on grown adults in the modern era to normalise terrorism through children.
While Israel was protecting civilians with rockets and Hamas was protecting rockets with civilians, in Australia we were being subjected to terrorist active measures and propaganda dressed up as human rights.
And today the ABC continues to describe Hamas as militants, despite Hamas being a proscribed terrorist organisation. Hamas demonstrated that the right brand of terrorism is accepted where the terrorists became victims and the victims became terrorists. Context is important. So perhaps in Australia because we are not surrounded by people declaring they want to wipe us off the map, and regularly try to do it, our perspective is shaped by other things. It might explain why Australia has not fully listed Hezbollah, the other Iranian-funded terrorist organisation dedicated to killing Jews and Americans. Now we learn Iran coordinated the 11-day assault on Israel in an unprecedented alignment between Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp launched a drone from either Iraq or Syria reporting on Israeli troop movements before it was shot down near the border with Jordan by the Israel Defence Force. These are inconvenient details for the likes of The Project and the ABC. In the context of low-intensity warfare, it is one thing to have support among your own population, it is quite another to have cultivated support among your enemy.
Powerful geopolitical forces are seeking to merge causes against Western democratic Judeo-Christian principles. An attack does not need tanks and battleships. Far better to cultivate networks within your enemy’s system as Marine Corps Colonel Thomas Xavier Hammes explains in The Sling and the Stone. Notice how our opponents such as Islamist extremists and the Chinese Communist Party have formed symbiotic relationships with Western organisations such as Black Lives Matter, Antifa, our education system, academics, media and even many listed corporations. This is not a new phenomenon of societal manipulation. In his 1984 interview and warning to America, KGB defector Yuri Brezmenov explained the goal is to demoralise and destabilise an opponent’s system from within. Only then can the ‘new normal’ be established. When in 1968 the Soviets sent tanks into Czechoslovakia crushing the Prague Spring, Soviet President Brezhnev declared the ‘situation in Czechoslovakia is now normalised’. Made even easier when the jackboot-of-the-state is enforcing the new normal.
The West is weakened by Covid-19, we are in debt for more money than even God can find and sabre-rattling has begun beneath the shadow of China. Now the Biden Administration is negotiating with the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism, Iran. As if stroking a crocodile will make it purr.
The last few years, not just the last couple of weeks, can be explained by Winston Churchill when he said, ‘the malice of the wicked is reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous’ – the woke of today. In the end the acceptance of terrorism begets the demise of freedom. At some point you have to make a choice.
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Jason Thomas teaches risk management at Swinburne University of Technology and is director of Frontier Assessments.
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