We already knew we were dumber than State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf. On Tuesday, she, assuming the information was no longer stored within the limited amount grey matter we have available for use, reminded us:
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.
Is this not the girl who was always raising her hand in class and begging to be called on and complaining that she “probably failed” her test and then surprisingly enough got an “A” instead?
Are we, really, too intellectually challenged to catch Ms. Harf’s nuance and recognize “the smart way?” Or is it she who is missing the nuance here?
Harf may have ample brain power, but it is cluttered up to the point of dysfunction with ideology and hubris.
She believes that people around the world respond to reason, the way she thinks she does. That we are all the same underneath, and that a GI bill for Islamists will get them on the road to modest material success, the holy grail of liberal paternalism.
But comfort is not necessarily what everyone wants. Her inability to perceive this is at the root of the problem with President Obama’s failure to recognize the existence of Islamist terrorism.
There will always be many, many poor people in the Middle East. Our ability to affect this is surely extremely limited, particularly given our lack of success in eliminating poverty in our own country. We should of course do the best we can by allowing the private sector to flourish in this country and encouraging others to do the same, though I doubt that’s what Marie has in mind.
The critical problem is a movement within Islam that has attracted a serious, albeit minority, following, that promotes rigid adherence to Islamic Sharia Law and blood curdling violence to defend and expand its influence. The only counterpoint we can effectively make with those who might be attracted to this is to make it a very dangerous option – that is, by killing them. Then Muslims who promote and quietly abide this branch of their religion might start a movement from within to eradicate it.
If you notice, Harf mentions killing terrorists as if it were a “given,” almost an afterthought. And that is exactly how Obama is approaching it. He has decided to attack ISIS at a leisurely pace, despite the grave threat it poses. Harf’s talk of terrorism as if it were an employment issue is emblematic of an attitude that places an emphasis on peaceful solutions to a problem that must, tragically, be solved with massive and sustained military action.
Harf said “we cannot kill our way out of this war.” And that is exactly the attitude that loses wars. We have to defeat military opponents decisively, ending the war.
Then we can go about helping them put their nation’s on a more stable footing. The most important aspect of this is a continuing military presence that keeps the peace. I don’t like it, but as we’ve seen, it’s true.
Had Obama understood the need to fight such poisonous ideologies with military power, he would not have withdrawn entirely from Iraq, and ISIS would not have been given the room to grow like it did. And, being treated with kid gloves, it continues to grow, most lately into Libya, where Obama also led from the backseat in a limited action against a dictator who at least could have had the place locked down.
It is the Marie Harf’s of the world, with all their subtlety, who have caused this mess. In asking us to sign up for subtlety, she is really just seeking acceptance of her worldview. Liberals like Harf equate their viewpoint with intelligence and reason, failing to understand that it’s an opinion.
That her approach has plunged the world in chaos, since the advent of Obama, is irrelevant. For Harf, there are only those who get “subtlety,” and the dimwits in places like the Tea Party who don’t.
But Harf is not being subtle. She just is a person with an opinion. And wrong one at that.