Will We Survive the Next Intelligence Failure?

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The march of folly has an end, and it is set not by the hapless Republicans but the consequences of policy. Even if the GOP is toothless, sooner or later, the policy of destroying the borders, defunding the police, dumbing down math, printing money, and funding the ayatollahs will come back to bite those who advocate them. When it does, they’re shocked. Now that waves of illegals are reaching Blue cities and angering Democrat voters, the administration has belatedly discovered the virtues of a border wall.

Despite claiming to still oppose the construction of barriers on the southern border, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has announced that he will be waiving certain laws to begin building at key locations. … The situation at the border has continued to escalate as historic numbers of unlawful migrants have entered Texas and spread throughout the country.

How could it happen? Causality often comes as a shock to progressive politicians. The idea that actions have consequences comes as a surprise to grown men and even progressive greybeards. The fire alarm will actually sound when you pull down the switch. Giving fortunes to leaders of a hostile nation is probably a bad idea, but that was not obvious to the Biden administration, which has learned the hard way that the Iranian phrase for “thanks for $6 Billion” is “death to America.” The world awoke to the following news: “The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas launched the biggest attack on Israel in years on Saturday in a surprise assault that combined gunmen crossing into several Israeli towns with a heavy barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.”

“Hamas said it had taken ‘dozens’ of Israeli soldiers hostage and moved them to the Gaza Strip as footage emerged appearing to show gunmen in military fatigues leading a group of mostly barefoot women down a street in Israel… In a Saturday afternoon address, President Joe Biden said ‘entire families’ were among those taken hostage by Hamas,” according to NBC News. This happened only a month after the Biden administration paid Iran, Hamas’ biggest supporter, $6 billion in exchange for five American hostages. Instead of gratitude, a surprise.

Related: What Went Wrong? How Hamas Managed to Stagger Israel

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The only predictable thing was that “governments across the Middle East called for restraint after an attack that shook the Israeli security establishment,” heralding another unresolved, slow-motion crisis in a region that is no stranger to additive conflict. The eruption in Israel adds yet one more log to the fires before the Biden administration. Ironically, in 2021, the papers observed how lucky we were to have in Biden a man of such vast foreign policy experience that he was literally beyond compare. “It is probably unfair to compare Biden’s early performance to the first months of Donald Trump, the only president in U.S. history to have had zero public service experience of any kind before he took office. In fact, it’s probably unfair to compare him with any of his predecessors since the senior Bush.”

By virtue of his long experience, Biden’s first months in office have been far more successful. He rapidly put together a respected team of foreign policy veterans. He quickly undid Trump policy errors, bringing America back into international groups like the World Health Organization and international accords like the Paris Agreement. When crises erupted in places like Ukraine and between the Israelis and Palestinians, he intervened with a sure touch and helped avert escalation.

With this wealth of expertise, it is all the more disturbing that nobody saw the Israeli disaster coming. Blindness afflicted Olympus. “The Biden administration’s now-suspended Iran envoy Robert Malley helped to fund, support, and direct an Iranian intelligence operation designed to influence the United States and allied governments, according to a trove of purloined Iranian government emails. The emails, which were reported on by veteran Wall Street Journal correspondent Jay Solomon, writing in Semafor, and by Iran International, the London-based émigré opposition outlet which is the most widely read independent news source inside Iran.”

Still, the onslaught came on Israel as a surprise: American officials said Saturday they received no warning through intelligence that Hamas was preparing to attack. It was, on many levels, an intelligence failure. But worrisome though the Iran and Hamas failures were, at least we can point to with reassurance to warnings that we had the luxury to ignore. Much more worrying is China, which we have heard nothing about. There are no public warnings to ignore, just the big shark swimming somewhere unseen in the depths of Washington.

Perhaps the West has reached the point where it can’t longer afford the luxury of incompetence and stupidity. Perhaps this explains Gavin Newsom’s supposed drift to the center. Biden’s new openness to a border wall. The sudden concern of Western nations for Israel. Despite the stupefying self-congratulation, we might dimly sense the repo man of history towing our Woke dreams away because we can’t make the payments. Maybe it’s time to get back to the basics. This intelligence failure we might survive, but not the next one.

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