Whoever thought of the strategy of sending our troops to referee Islamic civil wars on their soil while bringing their civil wars and terror financing to our own shores was brilliantly dumb. But that is still the strategy of the West in combatting jihad. The European countries are even worse than we are in importing the Middle East, but we are not that far behind. Meanwhile, we continue to put our boots on their ground and shoulder the burden of endless wars that would not affect us if not for our immigration policies.
Here’s a novel idea: What if we focused on our own borders, stopped self-destructing through our front-door immigration policies, busted up terror financing networks globally and domestically, and disrupted the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical networks operating here at home?
Unlike China, Russia, North Korea, and potentially Iran, nothing that happens in these Sunni hellholes – from Somalia, Yemen, Niger, and Mali to Syria and Afghanistan – can harm us … unless we bring them to our country, as we did for years and are increasingly doing now. Yet our endless and aimless missions, chasing our tails in their sand dunes at a cost of trillions of dollars and thousands of precious U.S. lives, have depleted our resources and our resolve to deal with those who truly pose a conventional threat to our homeland, now or in the future.
One year later, the Afghanistan surge is a failure
Trump’s instincts on Afghanistan were correct. There is nothing for us there but death, destruction, and the fleecing of our Treasury by the Islamic government in Kabul. Meanwhile, we are bailing out the Taliban from its fight with ISIS. Yet against his better judgement, exactly one year ago, Trump agreed to another half-hearted troop surge without any revamp of our strategic interests, better identification of a valid mission, or finding a way to achieve a sensible outcome. It turns out that the Afghan government and military are more corrupt and incompetent than ever, yet we are still flushing billions of dollars – precious funds that we need to build up our nuclear deterrent – on this aimless Islamic civil war. In addition, hundreds of thousands of U.S. weapons designed to bolster “allies” have fallen into the hands of Islamists.
Worse, we continue to lose lives “patrolling” in untenable areas, aka engaging in social work in a combat zone – the worst possible position for a military unit. Yesterday, it was announced that we lost Sgt. 1st Class Reymund R. Transfiguracion in an IED attack in Helmond Province, a part of the country we’ve been pointlessly dealing with for nearly two decades. In July, Cpl. Joseph Maciel was killed by the very Afghan soldiers he was training, many of whom we have brought to our shores on “special immigrant visas.”
This week, the Taliban is on the verge of overrunning the entire Ghazni province southwest of Kabul. The government misled the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) by moving district headquarters in an effort to suggest that several Ghazni districts were still under control of the Afghan government. In reality, the Taliban, which is essentially a reflection of much of the population, operates in almost every province.
Mr. President, isn’t it time to end this madness?
Bringing the chaos and death home
The miserable irony is that while nothing in Afghanistan can come close to hurting us, as the Taliban has nowhere near the global reach of a group like Hezbollah, we are bringing Afghans here at a record pace. Just in the first quarter of 2018, we brought in 5,718. At that pace, 2018’s total number will dwarf the recent trend of 12,000 per year. We’ve brought in over 86,000 Afghans since 9/11! In last year’s defense authorization bill, Congress authorized another 3,500 special immigrant visas, which grant refugee status to Afghan officials, despite a SIGAR report showing that half of all the foreign personnel who have gone AWOL in this country after being brought here for training were Afghans. Most are still at large and unaccounted for.
The rise in immigration from Afghanistan reflects a broader trend of importing the Middle East to our country. I counted the number of green cards given out in 2017, the first year of Trump’s presidency, to nationals from 47 majority-Muslim countries, and the total number was up to 167,000. The pace for 2018, based on hard data from the first quarter, seems to be tracking with that rate. This is still a very high level and only very slightly down from Obama’s record year in 2016. Overall, we’ve admitted 2.2 million immigrants from those countries from 2001 through March 31, 2018.
How can anyone look at our throttled-up immigration system and say with a straight face that it serves America’s economic and security interests? 35 of these countries have been identified for years by DHS as “special interest” countries that “have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations.” In addition, we also bring in over 150,000 foreign students per year from these same countries.
If you look at the numbers from the countries on Trump’s “travel ban” list, it’s clear they have not slowed down overall. It’s clear that Trump is not coming close to a complete shutoff from countries like Syria, Iran, Sudan, and Somalia. Based on first-quarter data, we are on pace to grant over 4,000 green cards to Yemeni nationals, almost all new arrivals. That is above the baseline level for every year except for the surge in the final two years of Obama. Over 2,000 Somalis were given green cards in the first quarter. That is on pace for the largest intake since 2009. Most of them were adjustments of status, but there was still a healthy number of new arrivals. The same trend holds true for those from Syria – near record numbers of those adjusting status, while new arrivals are down a little but still prominent. We are on pace to bring in roughly 13,000-14,000 Iranians, roughly in line with the recent average. Immigration from Sudan is still coasting at record highs.
To the people of the non-Islamic country of Venezuela, a country that was also on the updated travel ban list, we handed out 2,429 green cards during the first three months of this year. As we’ve warned before, Venezuela has a large Arab diaspora, close ties with Iran, and a leadership that is hooked in with terror financing.
Moreover, immigration has increased from some other predominantly Muslim countries, such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan. The latter two are the result of the autopilot ratchet created by the amalgamation of the visa lottery and chain migration.
We haven’t even slowed the pace of non-immigrant visas from the supposed travel ban countries. According to a recent Government Accountability Office report, just 1,338 visa application from those countries were denied in 2017, and 90 percent of them were because the applicant didn’t qualify.
What exactly is the point of sending our troops into insufferable civil wars across the world if we bring those same people to our shores in record numbers?
The lesson from Europe
Aren’t we paying attention to the nearly daily terror attacks by Islamic immigrants in Europe? Those who think we will never be like Europe are missing the lesson from the numbers game. For years, the jihad was a festering sleeping giant, until the numbers reached critical mass. We are speeding toward that critical mass within a generation here across the pond.
Apparently, there was another vehicular jihad in London yesterday just outside Parliament, the fourth such incident in London since the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017. In Sweden, the region of Gothenburg is burning from rioting Islamic “youth.”
This didn’t happen on its own. This didn’t occur because of a military invasion stemming from the sectarian wars in the Middle East. It was the result of mass importation of the Middle East through suicidal immigration policies, the same policies we are now mimicking. Sweden imported 600,000 over the past five years, many of them from Afghanistan and Syria. While that is a higher per-capita rate than our 900,000 from the Middle East in five years, it’s still pretty close, and the trajectory is increasing over time.
It’s not just the immigration policies. Once we import the Middle East, we then allow its network of Muslim Brotherhood organizations and mosques to operate a subversion agenda and fund the very terror against which we are supposedly fighting in the Middle East. Except this is right in our neighborhoods. We have a terrorist who created his own training camp for school shootings in a compound in a remote area of New Mexico. He was connected to prominent imams in American mosques. We have Somalis potentially funding terror through child care welfare fraud. We have Yemenis funding K-2 poisoning of our youth through their mini-marts while sending millions back to Yemen, as former DEA agent Derek Maltz warned on my podcast.
Imagine if we put a fraction of our nation-building effort in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Africa into counterterrorism on our own soil and busted up the terror networks and the contraband and drug trafficking that support them? This is a lot easier and cheaper than trying to win 1,300-year-old civil wars in the most unendurable circumstances, and it will actually address the source of the problem. And as for immigration, it doesn’t cost us anything not to self-destruct. In fact, with the high level of welfare usage from Islamic refugees, it would actually save us money.
Our wide-open back door
Another 20 Bangladeshis were caught crossing at the Laredo border earlier this week, bringing the total number of special interest aliens (SIAs) caught in this sector for FR 2018 to 520. As Joseph Humire of the Center for a Secure Free Society said on my podcast last month, a number of these individuals have false identities and speak Farsi. There is a vast network of Iran and Hezbollah working with the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua to help ease travel for Middle Easterners and get them to the areas controlled by Mexican cartels, such as the Zetas. Once they’re in Mexico, the smugglers charge up to $30,000 to get these SIAs across the border. So, for every 500 we catch, you can imagine the ones we don’t catch, thanks to the smugglers using the Latin American border surge to distract our agents.
When one fully comprehends the threat of Hezbollah in our own backyard through cross-border migration, it becomes apparent that our fixation with the Taliban halfway around the world is completely backward.
It’s time we finally chart a conservative path on counterterrorism, border security, and sane immigration priorities. It will completely remake our foreign policy, save us a ton of money, preserve lives, preserve our civilization, and conserve our hard power for the long-term menaces that can attack us regardless of whether we continue to commit immigration suicide or not.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.