New From DARPA: Anti-Gravitas

My God, we are ruled by children. If this weren’t bad enough (and it is), we have now put forward a feather-headed teenage girl by the name of Marie Harf as the public face of America’s foreign policy. Yesterday, as noted at Twitchy.com, she explained to Chris Matthews that the real answer to defeating ISIS is not to kill them, but to help its members find jobs.

“If we can help countries work at the root causes of this — what makes these 17-year-old kids pick up an AK-47 instead of trying to start a business?” she squeaked.

Weep for your nation, readers.

And when you have dried your eyes: for an adult’s take on ISIS, read this excellent article at The Atlantic.

Related content from Sphere

43 Comments

  1. JK says

    Mind, I’m not particularly detractious (if that isn’t a “proper” word, it should be) of The Atlantic article … it’s simply when I got to the sentence early on, paraphrasing – “It’s understandable why we are so ignorant of The Islamic State” … well I beg to differ.

    From West Point’s CTC 2007[Sinjar Records]:

    On December 4, 2007 Abu Umar al‐Baghdadi, the reputed Emir of al‐Qa’ida’s Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)

    https://www.ctc.usma.edu/v2/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/aqs-foreign-fighters-in-iraq.pdf

    But to get a real good grip we gotta, go back to 1999:

    http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Research/Files/Reports/2014/11/profiling%20islamic%20state%20lister/en_web_lister.pdf

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink
  2. JK says

    To be sure Abu Umar is [was] not the same guy as Abu Bakr … but they both “enjoyed” the acquaintance of one Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who we killed June of ’06.

    We’ve “progressed” since then.

    So much so I’ve never heard of Marie Harf. Chris Matthews yes but, not Marie Harf.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink
  3. The saddest part of all is that Tingles Matthews is still on TV.

    Is there, finally, no shame left on the left?

    just-shoot-me-now-o.gif

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
  4. Whitewall says

    I heard about this girl and her answers to Matthews. Truly, I thought it was an Onion parody or something. She is talking jobs for Islamists? They already have one. Marie is repeating Leftist socio-economic class struggle as being behind the world’s ills. She is an example of where the Obama adm. “brains” are lodged.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink
  5. Clearly frustrated by lack of job opportunities and access to community college, ISIS burns 45 people alive in Iraq http://t.co/pwDC7wIph6— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) February 17, 2015

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink
  6. The problem isn't that ISIS needs jobs. The problem is that Marie Harf has one.— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) February 17, 2015

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink
  7. Malcolm says

    …it’s simply when I got to the sentence early on, paraphrasing – “It’s understandable why we are so ignorant of The Islamic State” … well I beg to differ.

    It’s understandable, JK, once you understand why we refuse to understand.

    Obviously, everything the vacuous Ms. Harf has to say about ISIS is nonsense, from top to bottom. How, then, does the most powerful nation in the history of the world end up with a person like this speaking for it, and saying things that everybody knows are false?

    There is some very potent memetic juju at work here. To understand all of this, we need to understand that.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink
  8. “Marie Harf . . . explained to Chris Matthews that the real answer to defeating ISIS is . . . to help its members find jobs.”

    What an insult to the terrorists! They have jobs! They’re terrorists.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
  9. “[W]hat makes these 17-year-old kids pick up an AK-47?”

    Be patient. They’ll handle heavier weaponry as soon as it’s available.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink
  10. “They have jobs! They’re terrorists.”

    They’re also headhunters and professional sadists …

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Permalink
  11. Whitewall says

    “There is some very potent memetic juju at work here”. I picture an image of Karl Marx jumping up and down whispering ‘remember me’, I’m your daddy.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink
  12. “There is some very potent memetic juju at work here.”

    This administration has harnessed the stupidity of American voters and broadcast it to the world.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink
  13. JK says

    Marie is repeating Leftist socio-economic class struggle as being behind the world’s ills.

    I wish it were just the Left, that way we’d only have to convince approximately one half the population.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_ZoroJdVnA

    Recall who put the ROE in place in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
    __________________

    That wouldnt’ve happened had the previous Administration had good ol’ Arkansas (State) Senator Rapert having the ear of Cheney;

    “With ISIS spreading all over the Middle East and Africa and Islamic Extremists carrying out violence in Europe, The United Kingdom and even the United States, I wonder why the civilized world just sits by when we have weapons that could wipe out these barbarians where they are concentrated? I believe it is time to annihilate the strongholds and pursue the rest till we have them all captured or killed. A strategically placed nuclear weapon would save the lives of our soldiers and quickly turn things around. It is time for the insanity to be stopped.”

    https://www.facebook.com/RapertSenate/posts/10152644561776304

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink
  14. the one eyed man says

    JK: rather than the youtube video, I think these are the George Bush quotes you were looking for:

    “We fight against poverty because hope is an answer to terror. We fight against poverty because opportunity is a fundamental right to human dignity. We fight against poverty because faith requires it and conscience demands it. And we fight against poverty with a growing conviction that major progress is within our reach … We will challenge the poverty and hopelessness and lack of education and failed governments that too often allow conditions that terrorists can seize and try to turn to their advantage.” (3/22/02)

    “We must change the conditions that allow terrorists to flourish and recruit by spreading the hope of freedom to millions who’ve never known it. We must help raise up the failing states and stagnant societies that provide fertile ground for the terrorists. We must defend and extend a vision of human dignity and opportunity and prosperity, a vision far stronger than the dark appeal of resentment and murder. To spread the vision of hope the United States is determined to help nations that are struggling with poverty.” (9/14/05)

    It is trite and obvious to observe that endemic poverty and lack of opportunity breed disaffected youth, who then become easy prey for radicalism. It is equally trite and obvious to note that terrorism will not ultimately be defeated by military force alone.

    When a conservative Republican President states this, it goes completely unnoticed. When a State Department flack makes the same banal remarks, the sound of right wing heads exploding can be heard throughout the land. Go figure.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Permalink
  15. JK says

    Well Peter, as it happens I’m listening just now to GW’s final press conference. From “about” 37:00 to 41:00 I heard GW say much of that.

    The reporters groaned.

    Reporters are Lefties are they not?

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 8:58 pm | Permalink
  16. the one eyed man says

    Reporters are lefties? That’s so not true! Who told you that?

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Permalink
  17. clueless dude says

    Those glasses make her look smart. I say let her talk.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink
  18. Whitewall says

    Maybe the West has gained some additional insight over the last 10-15 years. They learn, we learn. Nothing is static. It goes much deeper than economic as we have learned. Our host’s link to the Atlantic piece is helpful. Religious fever is the hardest to defeat.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink
  19. “Reporters are lefties? That’s so not true! Who told you that?”

    The reporters themselves say it everytime they open their mouths.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 9:26 pm | Permalink
  20. Malcolm says

    Peter, there you go again. The issue here is not how what Bush said was received at the time by “conservatives”; it was every bit as naive and foolish then as when Marie Harf says it now. All you ever seem to care about is finding evidence of partisanship, and once you’ve found that you rest your case. The actual content of what’s being said, and whether it’s wisdom or rubbish, doesn’t appear to interest you at all. There may be a lot of people out there who are nothing more than cheerleaders for their team, but I’m not one of them — and their opinions don’t interest me, except when they’re congruent with what I believe to be the truth.

    If there is any relevant difference at all between the Bush remarks and Ms. Harf’s, it’s that we have had a decade of harsh lessons to teach us how utterly wrong this universalist claptrap is. Bush might be forgiven for wrongly predicting the outcome of an experiment that had yet to be tried, but for today’s politicians — both left and right! — to have learned nothing even now is indicative of a far more serious problem.

    Again: what is most troubling is that what Ms. Harf is saying is, at this point, obviously false. Yet there she is, saying it anyway. Why?

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Permalink
  21. Malcolm says

    Just FYI:

    The non-partisan research team at Crowdpac analyzed the political sympathies of various professions, based on political donations. Here’s the graph for journalists:

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 9:52 pm | Permalink
  22. JK says

    I’d just add to Malcolm’s 9:28 comment,

    (Having finally got the proper motivation to click and watch Ms Barf – and a waste of good Glenfiddich it was)

    So what do you suggest Peter, I mean in the way of “providing jobs” – nevermind the fact as I recall Bin Laden not being ever particularly economically challenged and yet … and yet – well a good job in the construction industry didn’t, in that case turn out so hot now did it?

    I’ve seen some statistics showing all “our” jobs are going to immigrants so – I’m guessing Peter your suggestion might be, “throw open the borders to the Islamists!”

    Fuck it. I’m shutting down. Gonna watch TV.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 10:17 pm | Permalink
  23. the one eyed man says

    No, the reason why Bush’s remarks drew no attention from conservatives – or anyone else – is that they were true then, and they are true now.

    Throughout history, in both Muslim and non-Muslim societies, economic dislocation and lack of opportunity has led to radical movements of both right and left. It has led to radical movements as varied as Jacobins, anarchists, Nazis, Bolsheviks, the American Communist Party, Gandhi’s revolt, and Castro – and, in Muslim societies, to radical Islam. Within Muslim countries, those which are desperately poor (Egypt, Yemen) are fertile breeding grounds for jihadists, while wealthier countries (Dubai, Turkey, Malaysia) generally are not.

    When societies offer their citizens the opportunity to vote, work, and prosper, those societies tend to be stable. When societies deny citizens those opportunities – and, in this case, when those who deny them have historically been brutal tyrants kept in power by Western support – then the likelihood of violent and extremist movements is far greater.

    Bush’s remarks regarding endemic poverty and stagnant societies as root causes of Islamic radicalism were nothing more than observing a basic historical truth, applicable throughout different cultures and different eras. “The actual content of what’s being said” – by both Bush and Harf – is both accurate and unremarkable.

    However, in a drearily familiar spectacle, the right wing outrage machine takes a remark out of context – ignoring that the previous sentence was about the ISIS death toll from Hellfire missiles – and uses it to play into an attack line characterizing Obama as soft on terrorism and Islamic radicalism. Forget that Obama has been more successful in defeating Islamic terrorism and killed more terrorist leaders – including the CMFIC – than any other President. Forget that when the Obama haters are not castigating him for being weak on jihadists, they’re castigating him for using too many drones. But when a state department spokesman says that bombing the crap out of them won’t entirely wipe out the problem, and the root causes go deeper than that, it’s the imminent death of the Union.

    What Bush and Harf said is not naïve, foolish, or obviously false. It is so breathtakingly obvious that it is amazing that anybody would even conceive of disputing it.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 10:38 pm | Permalink
  24. “Gonna watch TV.”

    Watch cautiously, JK. Remember, ol’ Tingles is out there shooting his mouth off and having his head explode.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Permalink
  25. Malcolm says

    Peter,

    Throughout history, in both Muslim and non-Muslim societies, economic dislocation and lack of opportunity has led to radical movements of both right and left. It has led to radical movements as varied as Jacobins, anarchists, Nazis, Bolsheviks, the American Communist Party, Gandhi’s revolt, and Castro – and, in Muslim societies, to radical Islam.

    I’m not sure which of these you think is a phenomenon of the Right, but we can pass that by…

    To be sure, economic difficulties often lead to unrest, mass movements, and even revolution. But Islamism is not an economic movement; it is first and foremost a religious one. The ideological and tactical leaders of the most troublesome Islamist groups have typically been neither poor nor uneducated. (Likewise, Gandhi’s grudge was not economic; it was religious and ethnonationalist.) People who join jihadi groups generally tend to be better off than average.

    Within Muslim countries, those which are desperately poor (Egypt, Yemen) are fertile breeding grounds for jihadists, while wealthier countries (Dubai, Turkey, Malaysia) generally are not.

    Dubai is a small absolute monarchy, really more of an oligarchic city-state than a nation. Order is maintained with ruthless harshness. Moreover, it is already deeply Islamist, and punishes the usual moral offenses in the usual ways. Its infrastructure is maintained by hundreds of thousands of workers who are de facto slaves.

    Even Turkey and Malaysia, which for years have been poster children for “moderate” Islam, are sliding steadily toward fundamentalism.

    When societies deny citizens those opportunities – and, in this case, when those who deny them have historically been brutal tyrants kept in power by Western support – then the likelihood of violent and extremist movements is far greater.

    Under the ‘brutal tyrant’ Qaddafi, Libya was among the most prosperous nations in Africa. Now that we have tried to offer it ‘democracy’ it is a failed state, reverting to tribal barbarism.

    Likewise Iraq, where we deposed another dictator in order to give democracy a chance.

    Iran used to be ruled by the Shah, another despot we supported. It was a prosperous and broadly Westernized country. Now it is an illiberal Islamic theocracy, and a major exporter of terrorism.

    And so on.

    Meanwhile, lots of places are poor. Yet global terrorism — the stuff that gets us groped at the airports and gets cartoonists massacred — seems always to have the same religious foundation. Where are all the Haitian terrorists?

    Nobody has been poorer or more persecuted and oppressed than the Jews. Yet the Jews prosper, peacefully, wherever they go.

    To imagine, then, that poverty is the primary cause of the failure of the Islamic world, and is sufficient to explain Islamic violence and expansionism, displays a profound ignorance of both Islam and history. And to refuse to accept that a major cause of all the trouble Islam causes in the world is Islam itself is, as I said, naive, universalist claptrap — whether it’s coming from George W. Bush, Barack Hussein Obama, or Marie Harf. It is this continuing, obstinate refusal to acknowledge this plainly evident fact, even in defiance of what the Islamists themselves tell us every day, that is so deeply disturbing. To be ideologically incapable of naming and understanding a mortal enemy is not a thing that would ever have happened to any healthy society at any other time in history, and it is symptomatic of a deadly and wasting cultural sickness. Even Chris Matthews couldn’t believe what he was hearing from this girl, for God’s sake.

    Wake up, Peter. You might try reading that article I linked to; it really is very good.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 11:24 pm | Permalink
  26. Malcolm says

    One more thing (the combination of Ms. Harf’s inane spiel and your commentary on it is just the gift that keeps on giving):

    Even if what the Administration is saying (with your apparent agreement) were true: that ISIS is just a bunch of grumpy guys, disaffected by a lack of business opportunities, who have decided to express their frustration by establishing a caliphate, burning people alive, torturing and beheading innocent civilians, raping and enslaving women and children, and generally slaughtering anything that doesn’t grovel, and that Islam is just something they randomly latched onto as a bit of a lark, sort of like Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer playing at pirates — even if all that were true, to suggest that improving job prospects in the dar al-Islam is how we are going to beat ISIS — to imagine, even for a moment, that this is something any adult not under the influence of nitrous oxide or a debilitating memetic infection could possibly take seriously as a timely and realistic angle to focus on in this crisis — is just absolutely, barking mad. For some meat-head in a bar to suggest it, or the neighbor’s kid home from college, would be one thing — but for the official spokesperson of the State Department to be doing so on national TV is quite another. It is not, to put it mildly, encouraging.

    Posted February 18, 2015 at 11:53 am | Permalink
  27. “For some meat-head in a bar to suggest it, …”

    What about some dick-head in an online forum to cling to it?

    Posted February 18, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  28. JK says

    Malcolm?

    Stuffs having a habit og not staying “alive” and you getting writ that I’d hoped this’d still be

    Henry? You give me any at all shit, for that matter you too Duff, Whitewall;

    Henry you working where targeting is, oh you know … Duff Somerset is Coventry … and then there’s Whitewall in North Carolina took me blogs across three fucking continents thinking “I can fool that fool Hillbilly JK”

    and all me having to do was Geography, more or less ‘plain and simple’ and you Whitewall bragging King’s Mountain?

    and so much having the discrepancy of “a habit og.” You Duff all is listen Uriah Heep’s Sweet Lorraine – find it fucker!

    The rest you three’all

    Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink
  29. JK says

    My pettiest on you Duff – ten fucking year “anniversaries” an whatnot

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37dw2r45Xzg

    Y’all know I think, how it is when the sun comes up – an’ it’s really cold

    alone?

    Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink
  30. Whitewall says

    JK
    Forsooth! Take comfort in knowing that even in this cold, Alcohol won’t easily freeze! Sweet Lorraine? I’m waiting for “Sweet Jane” even if Lou Reed is dead. Sounds like you have been doing some catch up reading among the upper crust blogs?

    Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink
  31. JK says

    Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink
  32. JK says

    When you Whitewall, walk into a man’s house however much we may’ve, or never, walked the streets you realize Sir, walking into a man’s house, in the Western World at some expectation there’s a minimum one doesn’t go … step beyond?

    Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink
  33. Malcolm says

    Crikey, JK.

    Go sleep it off, please.

    Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink
  34. JK says

    Eh Whitewall, what can I say … I did as di could *hillbilly reckoning * wind (as in, wind a clock) leaving me the ign’rnt an you the sophisticate.

    Apologies Sir. That was a rank set-up.

    Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink
  35. JK says

    I will.

    Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink
  36. “Wake up, Peter. You might try reading that article I linked to; it really is very good.”

    Malcolm,

    Since this thread appears to be alive still (but not entirely, it seems, coherent), I submit that waking up the OEM is not the problem. His ego is. Do you really think he’d be willing to admit that he and his idol are “on the wrong side of history”, as Obama is fond of saying?
    __________________________________

    Whitewall,

    A transcript in plain English of JK’s latest “communications” would be greatly appreciated.

    Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink
  37. Whitewall says

    Henry,, I have staff working on it now. Part of the problem is another blog was referenced a few times.

    Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:24 pm | Permalink
  38. Trying to find a cause and effect between economic stability/mobility and motivation to join an Islamic jihad (in the traditional sense) seems to me another sad case of Western sensibilities being projected onto a culture that values submission to Islam more than worldly goods. I have some childhood recollection of hapless cartoon characters, Sherman and Mr. Peabody, meeting headhunters in Africa, which reminds me of Westerners trying to understand this totalitarian political construct masquerading as a religion.

    Within many young men lies a streak for adventure and a cause, irrespective of social class. It’s not just the downtrodden who join and the Center for Combating Terrorism at West Point, which JK referenced in the very first comment offers many reports and lessons learned from studying captured terrorist documents, reviewing all sorts of other data and compiling an impressive database. What may seem like common knowledge, like “if they had economic prosperity, they wouldn’t join IS” ends up being more myth than fact. The CTC has numerous publications and reports available as free PDF files to download and read.

    To make the counterpoint to who joins IS, let’s look at the American’s beheaded by IS thus far and you’ll find folks who traveled to Syria to do “humanitarian work”. Now, the American female, recently killed by IS, worked in the West Bank apparently too, before moving on to Syria. Her political ideology motivated her to take up the Palestinian cause. The aid worker, whom the press prefaced as a former Army Ranger, likewise went to help the Palestinians first, before moving on to Syria. These young people were motivated by a political cause and while I may feel they were useful idiots, the facts indicate belonging to this cause mattered more to them than a good job.

    Cultural problems can’t be solved by tossing money at them. Irredentism beckons something deep within many Muslim hearts and some simplistic jobs program solution won’t sway zealots intent on recapturing the lost grandeur of Islam’s “golden” era. Heck, they invent more myths to bolster their historical past than the Obama administration writes narratives to cast its failures as successes. Sadly, lots of folks, here and there, buy into ideology more so than facts and unfortunately American academia melds the two – far left American political ideology and pan Arabism/Islamism into conjoined twins. So, we have kooky feminist college students supporting Islamist causes and other bizarre political bedfellows that belie rational thought. And we have some who got stuck in the partisan talking points rut and can’t see beyond arguing from that very narrow political cesspit, hoping that by continually slinging enough crap, something will stick – the Carville approach.

    Posted February 20, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
  39. Malcolm says

    Libertybelle,

    Thanks for an excellent comment.

    Trying to find a cause and effect between economic stability/mobility and motivation to join an Islamic jihad (in the traditional sense) seems to me another sad case of Western sensibilities being projected onto a culture that values submission to Islam more than worldly goods.

    Exactly right. I’d add that these are not the same Western sensibilities that used to prevail; the formerly Christian West understood the threat of Islam very well. This is a new, post-Enlightenment West, in which even religion itself has been deeply corroded by the universal acid of radical doubt, and which therefore views the supreme cultural confidence of our enemy as itself a moral evil. (The cognitive dissonance required to believe that a culture of radical self-doubt is itself, by virtue of that very self-abnegation, a superior culture that has the right to impose itself on the rest of the world, goes unnoticed, as cognitive dissonance usually does.)

    ISIS, therefore, cannot be a ‘true’ religious movement. (It probably even puts sugar on its porridge.)

    Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:32 am | Permalink
  40. Whitewall says

    Libertybelle,
    Nice to see this thread still has life. Check out this link by a writer who is almost on par with our host.
    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2015/02/european-colonialism-is-only-thing-that.html

    Posted February 21, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink
  41. Thanks so much for your kind words Malcolm.

    Thanks Whitewall, that is an excellent article and I need to bookmark that blog this time. I’ve read some of his other articles in the past.

    Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink
  42. Malcolm says

    Yes, thank you Whitewall, both for your kind words and for that outstanding article. I’m going to repost it for the benefit of any readers who may no longer be following this thread.

    Posted February 21, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  43. Malcolm says

    Islam has been trying to invade Europe for 1,300 years. On two previous occasions it failed, but it keeps returning obstinately to the assault and is never discouraged… The struggle against terrorism that the United States and other Western countries say they are conducting is suffering from impotence since they do not dare to clearly name their enemies (radical Islam) and because, out of naïveté, they are allowing millions of foreign immigrants from the Third World and Islamic countries to set themselves up on their own soil, especially in Europe. The 52 million Muslims present in Europe, from Gibraltar to Russia, are breeding grounds for Islamist terrorists much more dangerous than the terrorist networks of the Near East!

    – Guillaume Faye, Convergence of Catastrophes, 2004

    Posted February 21, 2015 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.