"People fear the Left because the Left is vicious." -- Bill O'Reilly
One of the biggest quandaries of our time is how best to defend against the assaults of those who have decided that aggression -- from slander through cyber-war to physical violence -- is a legitimate tool of political action. The major problem is encapsulated in a single word: defend.
No one can remain vigilant and ready to fight twenty-four hours per day, three hundred sixty-five days per year, year after year after year. As were its historical predecessors, the Left, both domestic and international, is fully aware of this. A little known exchange between a captured IRA terrorist and the British security forces that thwarted his assault on Margaret Thatcher expresses the problem beautifully. Upon being caught, the terrorist said, "We only have to be lucky once. You have to be lucky all the time."
That terrorist was quite correct...if his targets insist on playing defense.
Contrast the effectiveness (and the refreshment) of this approach:
The vicious anti-semite hackactivist "Anonymous" promised to erase Israel from the internet on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day: opisrael.com.
Israel turned it around on these vultures. The Anti-Israel Anonymous opIsrael website was hacked by Israel. It now plays the Israeli national anthem. heh
I posted their threats here a few days ago. The planned assault was organized by the hacktivist group Anonymous and other anti-Israeli groups with "the intent of erasing Israel from the Internet."
* Last week, the three groups claimed they breached the Mossad's mainframe, accessed classified information and leaked the online personal details of over 34,000 of the intelligence agency's officers and agents worldwide. The Mossad did not comment on the matter.
Granted that in this case, the target received warning of the impending attack:
Greetings Israel, We are The N4m3le55 Cr3w. As we have stated it has come to our attention that the Israeli government has ignored repeated warnings about the abuse of human rights, shutting down the internet in Israel and mistreating its own citizens and attacking its neighboring countries and breaking its treaties. Cyber war has been declared on Israel cyber space and you will see exactly what we are capable of Israel. So far we, The N4m3le55 cr3w, have gathered 600 websites and 100 plus servers we will be attacking. We will be attacking multiple banks, schools, businesses and of course government websites like Bank of Israel, Bank Leumi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Arabs for Israel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University to name a few. That is just our targets. We can not speak on what the rest of Anonymous will be attacking but we can guarantee it will be in the 1000′s. If you have used your credit cards online on an Israel website, we suggest you check your bank statements in the near future. Anonymous doesn’t make threats, it makes outcomes but we are not terrorists like some news medias say we are. As for the foreign minister Avigdor Liberman and the Finance minister Yair Lapid you have brought great shame to Isreal [sic]. Expect us to have great lulz Avigdor Liberman and Yair Lapid, especially on social networks. Israel, it is in your best interest to cease and desist any further military action or your consequence will become worse with each passing hour. To the Israel government and the IDF, Anonymous has grown tired of your bullying, and now you will see the result of your actions. Do not Expect us prime minister Netanyouh [sic] and the rest of Israel, the internet hate machine is already here.
For We Are Legion.
We Do Not Forgive.
We Do Not Forget.
United As One.
Divided By Zero.
That certainly helped to energize the Israeli counter-hackers. It's not guaranteed that such warnings will always be proffered, which is why nations have intelligence services. When the target is somewhat less formidable than a sovereign state -- say, a modest-size private organization, or even a single outspoken individual -- the problem is considerably stiffer.
However, the prescription, to whatever extent one can follow it, remains the same:
Go on offense.
This is effective for three reasons above all others. First, for a hunter to discover, to his surprise, that he is being hunted disorients him, creating a period of enhanced opportunity for his target. Second, as we have seen in a multitude of cases, diverting energy to one's defenses weakens all of one's other undertakings. Third, the fear that comes from being hunted is long-lasting, for there is no way to be certain that the threat has passed until the adversary has been captured and eliminated.
A passage from Frank Herbert's novel Dune comes to mind:
"You've heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? There's an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind."
Indeed. The Israelis are currently showing us the way. By declining to wait to be attacked and instead going on offense, they have disoriented their enemies, compelled them to defend themselves, and created a useful measure of fear in those villains. It behooves us in America to learn from their example.