While most Americans are fixated on looking back at the last election, in which the Russians have, in the words of former FBI Director James Comey, once again attempted to interfere in the U.S. election, Gertz said the real war, of which Russian election interference is one small skirmish, began on Nov. 24, 2014.
On that date, World War C (for Cyber) began around 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Nov. 24, 2014. Cyberwarriors from North Korea, operating from hotel rooms in China and Malaysia attacked Sony Pictures Entertainment, stealing tens of terabytes of data, including unreleased films, and destroying hardware that not only scrubbed hard drives clean but damaged computer operating systems.
If anyone thinks that other governments aren’t attempting the same thing, they are delusionally naive.
However, the scenario above is relatively harmless in the priorities of life. The attack wasn’t made on a utility system or a financial institution.
But Gertz offers some extremely grim scenarios of what could happen in the future.
One example is that the Chinese will remove North Korea’s Kim Jong Un from power. Sometime shortly thereafter, a North Korean sub will go out in the Pacific near the U.S. island of Guam, and fire two 250-kiloton nuclear warheads at Beijing, decapitating the Chinese government. The missiles will use special electronic masking transmitters to make the missiles appear to be exactly like U.S.-made Trident III submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
China would retaliate against the United States (which probably will still be bickering over the result of its last election), killing 50 million Americans.
Meanwhile, the North Koreans would quickly take over South Korea and also seize all of what’s left of northeastern China, which was once known as Manchuria, and which the Koreans believe historically is theirs.
Too many Americans think our biggest problem is the polarization between Democrats and Republicans.
Polarization is a big problem, but only to the extent that it distracts us from addressing the serious problems facing this nation.
Gertz offers several solutions, beginning with updating the program once known as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.
Instead of trying to legislate against hate speech and fake news, Gertz says the United States needs to update its propaganda programs using social media to advocate for the virtues of the First Amendment.
Many Americans recognize that China is a long-term threat to the United States. While its Marxist-Leninist government has tried to improve economic growth with capitalist reforms, the system is inherently destabilizing. Gertz recommends that the United States give support to prodemocracy reformers — unlike the U.S. under the first Bush presidency to do anything to help the prodemocracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
As for Russia interfering in our elections, two can play that game. The kleptocracy that Russia has become needs to be assaulted with advanced information warfare techniques, Gertz says.
As for ISIS, we are fighting an extreme non-state, religious ideology as if it were King George III’s taxation without representation or Hitler’s fascism. We kill all the terrorists in one city, and more spring up elsewhere.
We aren’t going to win this war with more bombs. Gertz says to prevail, we need to wage an information warfare campaign defining ISIS ideology as un-Islamic.
Currently, the U.S. political far left has embraced the narrative that Islamism is progressive. Ultimately it is not.
Eventually they would split because the Left holds government supreme to religious beliefs. Further, the Islamists are culturally conservative.
Gertz calls for hosting nationwide public debates on the issue of political correctness.
Up until 20 years ago, Muslims lived peaceably in this nation, as have most other religions. It is true that from time to time most religions have been discriminated against, including Catholics and Jews. But for the most part, religious diversity has not been an issue here until recently.
Political correctness addresses concerns about extremist behavior by labeling those who bring them racists or religious bigots, usually using words that end in “-phobe.”
Gertz said the destructive tactics, which are harmful to America’s founding principles, need to be exposed and rejected, and that can only come from an active counter-program.
Congressional Republicans too often act as if frightened of their own shadows because of the relentless attacks on President Trump. They won’t survive 2018 by ducking; they need to fight back by actually addressing the major threats facing the nation. Voters reward bold action, not cowardice.
For an activist path, read Gertz’ “iWar.”