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The Obama Plan For Countering Jihad

The Obama Plan For Countering Jihad

NOTE: By all means, scroll to the end of the article for an update and a wonderful new Ramirez cartoon.

In Quick Points for 01-20-15, I included a short article on Obama State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf. Consider this from an interview current at the time:

Public trust in government is at a dismal low. How do you go about regaining lost trust?

‘I think it’s powerful to have someone stand up at the State Department every day and tell the country what their government is doing on their behalf around the world. The only way you overcome mistrust is transparency and openness and dialogue. That’s certainly my goal as a spokesperson—not to stand up there and read talking points off a piece of paper. If I’m doing a good job, I explain to people why we care—or should care—about different parts of the world; why we’re doing what we’re doing; what we’re trying to achieve; what kind of global power the United States wants to be in the 21st century.’

Marie Harf credit: absoluterights.com

Marie Harf
credit: absoluterights.com

At a recent appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, Harf’s view of our Islamist enemy, an enemy that just conducted a mass beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, and burned alive 45 in Iraq arguably did not do much to “regain lost trust.” Powerline reports: 

MATTHEWS: Are we killing enough of them [jihadist terrorist murderers]?

HARF: We’re killing a lot of them and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians. They’re in this fight with us. But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether…

MATTHEWS: We’re not going to be able to stop that in our lifetime or fifty lifetimes. There’s always going to be poor people. There’s always going to be poor muslims, and as long as there are poor Muslims, the trumpet’s blowing and they’ll join. We can’t stop that, can we?

HARF: We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people…

Much has been written—I’ve contributed to it—about President Obama’s utter lack of understanding–or recognition–of the existential threat we face from Islamists. The various spokespeople in the White House, Department of State and elsewhere, to a greater degree than perhaps any time in history, accurately reflect Mr. Obama’s delusions and willful ignorance, and Harf is a prime example. Underlying her comments are decades of stereotypical leftist thinking about “root causes,” and our supposed inability to win wars by killing the enemy. Harf’s comment about helping to improve the governance of essentially medieval, tribal societies is also revealing of the statist’s reliance on government to solve all problems, even those that do not actually exist.

Harf is accidently, barely correct in that wars are not won exclusively through killing. One wins by destroying the enemy’s will and capability to wage war, which is done primarily by destroying their infrastructure and by destroying their military forces, all of which, regretfully, takes quite a bit of killing. Because our enemy does not have sophisticated western military forces or indeed, manufacturing abilities—though they may soon have many nuclear weapons—our primary means of stopping this particular global conflict is killing every last one of them. Wars also don’t end simply because Barack Obama declares it.

Harf’s utter lack of understanding of international affairs is also revealed by the idea that forcing other cultures to adopt a millimeter-thin veneer of western leftist governance will materially improve the lives of their citizens. Such witless gestures will surely not cause religious zealots bent on world domination to stop crucifying children, burning alive prisoners of war, beheading captives, and committing other acts of depraved inhumanity. Once those lines are crossed, introducing diversity, social justice and a leftist’s idea of utopian government—even if such barbarians were so cynical, clever and manipulative they’d pretend to buy into it—would only encourage them. They’d know they had real suckers on their hands, and not only that, suckers who lacked the will to actually oppose them. Of course, they know that even now.

The most jaw-dropping and disgusting part of Harf’s blathering is her suggestion that we can stop the global jihad with some sort of bizarre jobs program. More than anything, this reveals her complete lack of understanding of the ideology and motivation that drives our deadly enemies.

Graeme Wood has a worthwhile article in The Atlantic that explains the motivations and goals of ISIS. Little or nothing in it will be surprising to those that have been paying attention of late, but it is well written and worth your time. It might also be worth your time to visit “It’s Them Or Us,” and Arab Civilization Disintegrates And No Idea Why,” articles I’ve written that help to explain our enemy.

While the economies in many Muslim nations are, due to Islam, indeed a mess, it takes a special kind of willful blindness and/or stupidity to think that people willing to commit mass murder in the most vile and despicable ways imaginable, people who desire to be part of a ravening, demonic army sworn to genocide, and working to conquer and enslave the world, would gladly give that up if they could find a full time job back home. The leaders of jihadist movements, virtually to a man, are well educated and had productive, even lucrative careers before taking the path of Islamist slaughter. Many are well off. Jihadist motivation consists of weighing “open a small business” or “slaughter millions as bloodily as possible in the name of Allah,” only in the empty minds of leftist western sympathizers. I’m sure Harf would be supportive if, as part of a grand deal with Iran, jihadists were given jobs in Iran’s nuclear program, which according to Iran, doesn’t exist.

As I noted in my Quick Points article on Harf, prior to taking her State Department job, she was a CIA analyst. If the CIA has many more like her, that would go a long way toward explaining why we are so often clueless about jihadist intentions and attacks.

There is no question that the Obama Administration is full of thinkers like Harf. We—and our allies–will be fortunate to survive the remaining years of Obama. Some, like Yemen, have already gone under. Yemen won’t be the last.


UPDATE, 02-18-15 1630 CST: Marie Harf appeared on CNN’s “The Situation Room” yesterday afternoon. Addressing her jobs gaffe, she doubled down, displaying all the arrogance and smug and utterly unjustified superiority that is the hallmark of the Obama Administration. It’s not that Harf’s suggestion that jobs for jihadists will fix the war against civilization is incredibly stupid, no. The problem is that Harf is so nuanced we’re just not smart enough to understand her insightful brilliance. Then she blamed George W. Bush. Powerline has a video if your stomach is particularly strong.

Of course, this is to be expected. Her Boss, John Kerry, is the virtual definition of nuance, so long as the definition includes narcissism, arrogance, treason and idiocy.