Throughout history, the rise of a great civilization has been met with a corresponding fall. Such civilizations normally die a slow death, coming by way of "a thousand cuts" inflicted over time, as former North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap once described his war of attrition strategy for defeating great armies.
Thus, when great civilizations fall, it is normally not by means of the sudden appearance of "barbarians at the gates" but more the result of "barbarian creep." This is the process whereby factors contributing to the collapse have gradually, but methodically, marched forward unchallenged, until the barbarians stand just outside the gates, awaiting that great civilization’s final death throe.
More than two and a third centuries after the greatest democracy the world has known was born, it is experiencing its fall—a victim of "barbarian creep"– with two more of their “thousand cuts” delivered in April.
The Pentagon notified Congress that an elite paramilitary unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), known as the Qods force, has joined a Hezbollah base of operations in Venezuela.
Whenever Iran seeks to wreak havoc outside its own borders, it turns to its Qods unit to do so. This force forms the head of a spear Iran uses to impose its extraterritorial constitutional mandate — exporting its Islamic revolution globally, subjecting the world to Islamic law.
In 2008, Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based Shiite Muslim militia group, established a base of operations in Venezuela.
Hezbollah’s terrorist track record is well-known. It not only includes attacks against Jewish targets in Argentina but also the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. As a friend of Iran’s sociopathic President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President Chavez opened his country’s borders to Hezbollah, labeled a terrorist group by Washington. This base has become a pipeline, as one Western government expert put it, for moving "people and things" into the Americas–both South and North.
There is little doubt what the presence of Hezbollah and Qods in Venezuela means to U.S. national security. These Iranian terrorist organizations will establish a working relationship with the various drug gangs in Latin America and Mexico. Their goal will be to use those channels to access infiltration routes into the U.S. and those countries allied with the U.S. This includes our democratic friends in the drug war — Colombia and Mexico. Additionally, once Iran has developed a nuclear weapon, among the "people and things" it will seek to smuggle into our country are terrorists armed with a nuclear device to be detonated upon Tehran’s command.
We have not seen such a threat to our national security and blatant challenge to the Monroe Doctrine since the Soviets covertly positioned strategic missiles in Cuba in 1962. Once confronted, Moscow backed down, never again to challenge us directly in the hemisphere.
The second of the "thousands cuts" comes from North Korea, which is taking advantage of a perceived reluctance by the U.S. and its allies today to challenge aggression.
While the investigation into last month’s sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan continues, evidence mounts supporting North Korean involvement. The explosion emanated from an external underwater source. Weeks prior to the incident, South Korean intelligence reportedly warned its navy that North Korean underwater suicide teams in mini-submarines were preparing to attack. The sinking is yet another example in Pyongyang’s decades-long track record of unprovoked aggression. This comes on the heels of yet another recently revealed act of aggression.
Earlier this year, two North Korean army officers, disguised as defectors, were turned over to South Korea by Thai officials. Further investigation revealed they were enroute to South Korea to assassinate a senior North Korean defector from the North.
The target was Hwang Jong Yop, 87, a personal confidant of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il and the architect of the country’s "juche" philosphy of self-reliance. Pyongyang suffered a great loss of face from Yop’s 1997 defection—which was why the two would-be assassins were ordered to mercilessly "slit the betrayer’s throat." This is not the first time the North has sent agents South to kill a high profile defector. In 1997, Kim Jong Il’s nephew, who had defected 15 years earlier, was murdered.
Both Iran and North Korea perceive their aggressive acts, left unchallenged by the U.S. and its allies, as moving them a step closer to our gates and the collapse of Western civilization. Tehran and Pyongyang are conducting "barbarian creep" and will continue to do so until the fall is achieved. No amount of negotiating with them will alter their advance as these barbarian states continue to inflict cuts directed at making America bleed. We must either confront this aggression firmly or, if not, surrender the keys to the gates, acknowledging our fall is inevitable. If the latter, what a tragic end for mankind’s greatest warrior state in the battle for freedom and universal human rights.