Marie Harf trotted out the “root causes” school of thought last night to explain how ISIS will ultimately be defeated. “We cannot win this war by killing them,” according to Harf. “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…” And so on.
This is the counsel of ignorance and stupidity and defeat masquerading as deep thought. It is liberalism of the old school writ large. Yet it has its uses. It lends assistance to those among Harf’s higher-ups who must avoid mentioning Islam and jihad at all costs — even the cost of making themselves laughingstocks.
Harf’s interlocutor here is Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: How do we stop this? I don’t see it. I see the Shia militias coming out of Baghdad who are all Shia. The Sunnis hate them. The Sunnis are loyal to ISIS rather than going in with the Shia. You’ve got the Kurds, the Jordanian air force and now the Egyptian air force. But i don’t see any — If i were ISIS, I wouldn’t be afraid right now. I can figure there is no existential threat to these people. They can keep finding places where they can hold executions and putting the camera work together, getting their props ready and killing people for show. And nothing we do right now seems to be directed at stopping this.
HARF: Well, I think there’s a few stages here. Right now what we’re doing is trying to take their leaders and their fighters off the battlefield in Iraq and Syria. That’s really where they flourish.
MATTHEWS: Are we killing enough of them?
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…
Marie Harf is a blithering idiot, but jobs are indeed a root cause of the fix we are in. In 1980, Ronald Reagan put it this way (video below): “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.” By the same token, we won’t win the war the jihadists are fighting against us until Barack Obama and his crowd lose their jobs.