By Don Feder – BarbWire guest contributor
Instead of talking about the mythical root causes of terrorism (said to include poverty, “exclusion” and alienation), we should examine the left’s obsession with root causes and what it says about a bankrupt ism.
Marie Harf is the very model of an Obamacrat.
A deputy spokesman for the State Department, Harf has a B.A. in political science, an M.A. in Foreign Affairs and a PhD. in sounding like a twit. She went directly from college to the federal service, avoiding any encounter with reality in the process. She wrote a college thesis on “How Conservative Evangelical Support for Israel Complicates U.S. Foreign Policy.” The left sees support for Israel as a major impediment to advancing its Middle East agenda – including the piecemeal dismemberment of Israel.
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In the 2012 campaign, Harf helped to craft what’s ironically called Obama’s national security strategy and served as a campaign spokesman. After her recent performance on the “Chris Matthews Show,” I believe she has the makings of a future Secretary of State.
“We can’t kill our way out of this war” with ISIS, Harf informed Matthews. But isn’t that the way wars are won, by killing the enemy? Did we win World War II by trying to understand the root causes of National Socialism or telling all and sundry that Shintoism is the religion of peace?
Harf: “We need… to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs…” We have to help people from terrorist-spawning countries to “improve their governance” (i.e., democratic reforms which worked so well in the Arab Spring) and “help them to build their economies so they can have job opportunities for their people.” Obama could help here. He’s done wonders for long-term unemployment in the U.S.
Don’t pick up that gun, Khalid, go to a town meeting – better yet, become a community organizer. Instead of chopping off the heads of Coptic Christians or burning Jordanian pilots alive, enroll in a community college or get job training.
After the White House Summit on Violent Extremism, the president who can’t say the word “terrorism” said we need to invest in vulnerable immigrant “communities,” so they won’t plant bombs at the finish-line of Marathons or plan attacks on Christmas-tree lightings.
Honest Joe Biden said we need to “respect” the marginalized and inculcate a “sense of community.” Don’t kill me! I respect you and admire your sense of community.
It doesn’t matter how much evidence is adduced to prove that poverty doesn’t cause terrorism, the Harfs, Bidens and Obamas refuse to believe it, as they refuse to acknowledge any connection between terrorism and Islam.
On terrorism, liberal naivete is unfathomable. In a 2010 interview, actor Matthew Modine, sounding like a mentally-challenged Valley Girl, mused: “Imagine if somebody were to really sit down with Osama bin Laden and say, ‘Listen man, what is it that you’re so angry at me about (sic) ?’ … That would be a miracle if we can get (sic) , sit down and talk to our enemies and find a way for them to hear us.”
Chamberlain sat down and talked to Hitler in 1938. It was called Munich.
Had the actor dialogued with the mass-murderer, the conversation might have gone something like this: Modine, “What’s the problem, dude?” Osama: “The problem, Matt, is that you’re a pig of an unbeliever, who makes movies with corrupt Western values. You cling to your heresies instead of embracing Allah’s truth, as recorded by the Prophet. Die, infidel dog!”
Root-causism gained prominence in the 1980s, when those with post-graduate degrees told us the reason a savage raped and murdered your grandmother is because he was raised in poverty and became a social outcast.
But what about all of the other young men who grew up in slums and didn’t land a job on Wall Street, who didn’t rape and murder grandmothers? If poverty causes crime, why did crime rates go down during the Great Depression? It wasn’t sociological jargon that won the war on crime in the ’90s but better policing and get-tough policies.
The quintessence of the left’s approach to crime was Midnight Basketball. If guys in the hood can shoot some hoops late at night, it’ll get their minds off drugs, drive-by shootings and making cash withdrawals from convenience stores, liberals unreasoned. The quintessence of the right’s approach was Rudy Giuliani.
An MI-5 report on British terrorism suspects found that two-thirds were from middle-class families. Often, they were well educated. Moreover, 90% were sociable and had many friends, thus exploding the moody loner-with-a-dynamite-belt theory.
Nidal Hasan (who murdered 13 people at Ft. Hood in 2009) was an army psychiatrist. Mohammed Atta and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (the 9/11 masterminds) were Western-educated. The Iranian mullahs who want to wipe Israel off the map, are they impoverished? Do they feel excluded?
The Boston Marathon bombers were refugee Chechen brothers who enjoyed the full range of Massachusetts welfare benefits. One was a student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth at the time of the bombing. The other had attended the prestigious Cambridge Rindge and Latin prep school.
In an address to the Australian Parliament last November, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the root cause of terrorism isn’t poverty or “exclusion from the mainstream” or NATO foreign policy. “No, the root cause of the challenge we face is the extremist narrative.”
Extremist narrative is another way of saying ideology – or, in this case, theology. The hatred, sadism and murderous rage of ISIS and company come from a book which mullahs, imams and sheiks highly esteem. The day before the February 14 murder at Copenhagen’s Great Synagogue, a local imam reminded the faithful that Mohammed didn’t negotiate with Jews. “He waged war against the Jews,” citing a surah as his source.
A la Matthew Modine, if you asked a standard-issue ISIS fighter, “What troubles you, bro?” He probably would say: “America is the Great Satan and must be destroyed. Jews are evil and must be annihilated. Christianity is heretical. Women who aren’t in burkas are an abomination. And Shariah law must be imposed under a worldwide Caliphate.”
That’s why they cut off the heads of Copts, burn captives alive, shoot up a kosher delicatessen and kill Christian children in Iraq, after offering them the choice of conversion or death. That’s why they’re willing to sacrifice their own lives to kill as many of us as possible. How do you deal with such monsters? The same way we dealt with the Nazis and communists, not by trying to understand their grievances – but by killing them.
The roots of root-causism lie in post-modern liberalism. Like Marx, today’s liberals are economic determinists who believe in social-planning magic. They think good and evil are archaic notions.
Christians believe in original sin. Jews believe that man has a great capacity for good and evil, but “The intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” The left believes in original goodness. For them, evil isn’t caused by the human heart. The heart of the problem is lack of opportunity.
It goes back to Rousseau and the other Enlightenment boobies, who taught that in a state of nature, men are angelic creatures, who are corrupted by society. (Obviously, Rousseau never encountered man in a state of nature.) That anyone could believe this after the horrors of the 20th century – killing fields, gulags, 9/11, the Holocaust – is a testament to the triumph of dogma over reason and experience.
Root-causism explains liberal attitudes on crime, welfare and illegal immigration. Jeb Bush said illegal aliens come here to feed their children, and so, it’s “an act of love.”
The explosion of STDs among teenagers isn’t due to immorality, but lack of access to condoms. Gun control rests on the premise that virtuous men are corrupted by evil handguns. The free will that they deny in individuals they attribute to inanimate objects.
On the other hand, perhaps liberals lack job opportunities and feel marginalized – especially after the 2014 election. Here’s hoping even more of them will be jobless after 2016. Then, they’ll be standing on street corners holding handmade signs reading: “Will babble about root causes for food.”
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.
First published at GrassTopsUSA.com.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.