Wolf Blitzer invited Marie Harf on CNN’s Situation Room this afternoon. Blitzer sought her out to expand on her remarks on the administration’s approach to dealing with the Islamic State terrorists. Harf thinks that we must attack old-fashioned “root causes” of the material kind. Harf is promoting Great Society liberalism as the answer to “violent extremism.”
Great Society liberalism couldn’t even cut it in the United States with more limited (if still ambitious) goals. Touting the rollout of Great Society liberalism worldwide as the answer to religious fanaticism betrays a mind-boggling stupidity.
Jobs programs don’t quite cut it when you’re in the 72 virgins business. This is where the administration’s comprehensive denial of the motive forces driving the terrorists is key. They aren’t looking for work. They aren’t looking to get rich. They aren’t looking for early childhood education. They aren’t looking for daycare programs. They’ve got something else on their mind, something else that is taboo to speak of in the higher reaches of the Obama administration.
“I’m not the first person to say something like this,” Harf said this afternoon. “Military commanders that we’ve had throughout many years here fighting this war on terrorism have said the exact same thing, that in the short term when there’s a threat like ISIL. We’ll take direct military action against these terrorists. We have done that. We are doing that in Iraq and Syria. But longer term, we have to look at how we combat the conditions that can lead people to turn to extremism.”
“So you suggested that maybe if you find these young men jobs, they might not become terrorists?” Blitzer asked.
Harf rejected this as a “gross oversimplification,” but that’s exactly what she had on offer with Chris Matthews last night. She explained: “We cannot kill every terrorist around the world, nor should we try. How do you get at the root causes of this? It might be too nuanced an argument for some, like I’ve seen over the last 24 hours some of the commentary out there, but it’s really the smart way that Democrats, Republicans, our partners in the Arab world think we need to combat it.” Harf cites George W. Bush in support of her thesis (as she also did today on Twitter). Listening to Harf, I find that nuance and subtlety are not the first things that comes to mind.
Quotes via Matt Wilstein/Mediaite.
UPDATE: The Free Beacon’s Sonny Bunch gives us “General Marie Harf through history.”