Terrorism: There’s no causes like root causes

A new State Department initiative could be in the works – to provide employment counseling for those would-be terrorists, um, I mean, violent extremists

ISIS at the root of evil
ISIS at the root of evil

PHOENIX, February 25, 2015 — We now know that the State Department believes that the root cause of “violent extremism” is the lack of jobs and economic opportunity.

It stands to reason that President Obama believes the same thing.

Naturally, violent extremism should not be confused with Islamic terrorism which, if you believe the White House, is as real as shovel ready jobs or Joe Biden’s hairline.

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Several years ago I was unemployed for a few months and it almost never occurred to me to cut people’s heads off. So, from my personal experience I can tell you that the lack of jobs has nothing to do with successful ISIS recruitment efforts.

They don’t seem terribly motivated by material things like a new Hyundai or a membership to a swanky gym.

Nonetheless, I get the feeling a new State Department initiative could be in the works – to provide employment counseling for those would-be terrorists, um, I mean, violent extremists. The efficacy of such an endeavor seems a bit dubious. Perhaps the example below might provide some insight.

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Employment Counselor, Seth Hemph: Boy, we had a hard time finding someone who wanted to talk to us. We all figured you guys would be killing for jobs, pardon the pun. Don’t you understand about root causes?

ISIS terrorist, who calls himself Omar: Huh?

Hemph: As I’m sure you are aware, we at the United States State Department like to look for root causes of Islamic terr…er, violent extremism. We know, for example, it can’t have anything to do with your interpretation of the Koran. So, it must be because of the lack of job opportunities. I’m here to rectify that.

If I can just get some information from you, that will help me. I want to try to pinpoint where your aptitudes and interests are to get you started on an exciting career path. Are you ready?

Omar: Um, sure.

Hemph: Great! What is your full name?

Omar: Well, I cover my face to hide my identity. Providing my full name would kind of defeat that purpose.

Hemph: That does complicate matters a bit. We’ll come back to that. Where do you live?

Omar: Syria, sort of.

Hemph: Sort of?

Omar: The border between Syria and Iran really doesn’t exist much these days. It’s sort of fluid.

Hemph: I don’t understand?

Omar: Let me put it to you this way: Remember the red line your President Obama drew in Syria?

Hemph: Sure.

Omar: It’s pretty much like that.

Hemph: I’d like to get an idea of your skill set, experience and interests. What is it you like to do?

Omar: Kill infidels!

Hemph: Well, yes, but, besides that? What skills do you have?

Omar: I’m good with a knife.

Hemph: You can cook?

Omar: Well, not exactly. I can cut parts off of other parts, if you catch my drift.

Hemph: Not sure I’m following you. Oh…now I get it. Ha! What other skills do you have?

Omar: I’ve done some video production.

Hemph: Now we’re getting somewhere. This is a huge field. Do you know about You Tube?

Omar: I have some experience with posting videos on You Tube, yes.

Hemph: How are your writing skills?

Omar: I have experience writing effective ransom notes. I can also write extortion demands.

Hemph: Oh, so you’re interested in a government job?

Omar: No, I want to kill infidels.

Hemph: But that’s just because of those root causes. We’re addressing that by finding you a job. Wouldn’t a job be better than killing infidels?

Omar: No!

Hemph: But what if it’s a really good job?

Omar: Like a suicide bomber?

Hemph: That’s kind of short term thinking, isn’t it? I mean, I wouldn’t think there is much career advancement, especially if you’re a good suicide bomber. You can’t really blow yourself up more than once. You’d barely get a chance to contribute to your 401k.

Omar: But the 72 virgins!

Hemph: All of them, in one place? Are you kidding? That’s as likely as finding an honest politician. Let me plug some of this information that you’ve provided into the system and see what we might have.

(Reading the results) Oh, good news! Lots of options. It says here you could be a chef at Benihana, tree trimmer, mall security guard, NFL replay official, or a pimp – we don’t judge. Oh, this is interesting; it says you’d make a perfect deputy spokesperson for the State Department.

Omar: But I want to kill infidels!

Hemph: So, the State Department it is. Let me make a couple of calls. Those reporters at the State Department briefings – you’ll kill ’em.

Omar smiles.

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Curtice Mang earned a Political Science degree after attending college during the depths of the Carter Administration, a time where the only thing worse than the Carter malaise was Disco. He is the author of two books of political humor, The Smell of Politics: The Good, The Bad, and The Odorous and The Constitution – I’m Not Kidding and Other Tales of Liberal Folly. He has worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years and is also a high school basketball coach. In addition to CommDigiNews, Curtice contributes to multiple conservative websites, including Broadside News, Front Lines and What Would the Founders Think. He can be found at www.mangwrites.com, where his books are also available for purchase for a song (and the cover price). Contact Curtice at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @curticemang. He can also be found wandering about on Facebook and Google+. His views are his own - mostly because no one else would claim them.