CHARLOTTE, NC, February 18, 2015 – When a State Department spokesperson like Marie Harf goes on national television and makes outlandish, mindless statements about global terrorism, it stretches all credulity about the competence of anyone working in Washington.
With millions of qualified people out of jobs or doing part-time work in fields far below their educational skills, comments such as those by Ms. Harf defy the imagination.
Appearing on Hardball hosted by Chris Matthews, Harf answered a question about ISIS saying, “Right now, what we’re doing is trying to take their leaders and their fighters off the battlefield in Iraq and Syria. But we cannot win this fight by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war.
“We need, in the…medium and longer term, to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs…”
Go ahead. Shake your head in disbelief. Our State Department spokesperson really did say that the problem with international global terrorism lies in “it’s lack of opportunity for jobs.”
Not long after Narf appearance, Barack Obama began his three day counter-terrorism summit in yet another attempt to “appear” that his administration has its eye clearly on the ball when it comes to dealing with terror.
Obama’s largely symbolic gesture is a gathering of egghead intellectuals sitting behind closed doors in breakout rooms drinking coffee and eating doughnuts while they pretend to understand the nature of international terrorism. It is a waste of time to be certain, but more than that, it is an outlandish waste of money.
Given the government’s multi-trillion dollar deficits, the so-called “terror summit” will not cost a great deal in relative terms. However, given the significance of what it will accomplish, those millions could have been more wisely spent on something useful and more practical, like more rounds of golf for the president.
As Marie Harf stated, “there is no easy solution in the long term to preventing and combating violent extremism. But if we can help countries work at the root causes of the – what makes these 17-year-old kids pick up an AK-47 instead of trying to start a business (emphasis added) – maybe we can try to chip away at this problem.”
Once again, the “root cause” of Islamic terrorism is Islam pure and simple. Those 17-year-old kids Harf refers to have been indoctrinated and brainwashed about Islamic ideology since they could walk. It is a 100% guarantee than NONE of their mentors ever said, “look for a good high paying job first before you take up arms and go out to kill infidels.”
Harf then continued while contradicting herself in the process. “In a place like Libya, the fact that there’s no governance and there’s no opportunity for young people, it lets groups like ISIL grow there and flourish there. But this is a longer fight – it’s fighting them on social media. They videos they produce are very technical; they’re using social media to get converts to their cause and to spread their hatred all over the world.”
At least Marie Harf got the “hatred” part right. And, by the way, wasn’t it the Obama administration that aided Libya in deposing Moammar Gaddafi? So if there are problems in Libya, it was in large part due to ineffective Obama foreign policy.
Harf went on to extol the American people to tell their elected leaders to support the president’s request for authorization to use military force.
And what exactly would “military force” in Obama-world be; A few more drones? More speeches about we are winning? Another terror summit? Exploding golf balls? Perhaps someone should inform Mr. Obama that terrorists do not have time for golf because they are too busy being terrorists.
As the futility of Western efforts to combat Islamic jihad continues with vapid commentary and glorified terrorism coffee klatches, the real debate continues about how to effectively deal with global terrorism.
One misplaced idea is that it will take a prolonged military action to wipe out the threat. While that could be true, it should also be noted that Islamists respect power and authority that is greater than their own. They will resist, and they will most certainly fight back, but they are also ultra-pragmatic.
When Islamists are outnumbered and when they perceive they are the weaker of two foes, they retreat and regroup until they can get the upper hand. The Caliphate has been waiting for 14 centuries. Demonstrate to them that they can be defeated and they will likely return to the shadows.
Why not let them wait a few more centuries? Chances are the competency level in Washington will still be as lower, or lower, then than it is today, but maybe, just maybe, there will be someone in power with the guts, integrity and understanding to challenge worldwide terror properly.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News
Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod