The other day, Marie Harf, spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, stated that folks would not be terrorists if they only had jobs. So, let us imagine that you are a prospective employer reaching out to future employees in your application process. You ask about prior job experience and these are some of the replies you receive on your questionnaire:
“State any prior media experience and any technology you used.” Answer: “I managed websites calling on all international jihadis to join our cause. I used all available social media in this cause.”
“Please list any and all equipment you used in previous employment.” Answer: “AK-47s for killing the enemies of our cause; backhoes for digging ditches in order to hide evidence of the commission of mass murders of unarmed civilians; driving tanker-trailers full of stolen oil from Kurdistan across the borders to Turkey for sale.”
“Please list any experience you have in marketing.” Answer: “After being ordered by my superiors to kidnap and rape little girls and women, I prepared them for sale in slave markets. I was responsible for seeing that the money made from such endeavors reached the hands of our sponsors in Turkey.”
“List other qualifications not enumerated above.” Answer: “Decapitating unbelievers and burning them to death once our media teams determined that fire is much more symbolic and more dramatic than simple beheadings. I was also a location expert whose job it was to find prime locations to carry out the will of Allah. Upon my own initiative, I arranged for several beheadings on a public beach. I received a commendation from my commander for this justice being meeted out.”
“Education history.” Answer: “I did not finish 7th grade. Higher education is for infidels. However, I do know the Quran cover-to-cover.”
This same spokeswoman then went on to state something which I had never heard any adult utter before; namely, that “you can’t kill your way out of a war.” If that were true, we would all show up in Raqaa and Ramadi with bouquets of flowers for our Daesh adversaries and plead with them nicely to leave us alone. When they finished laughing at our proposal, we would end up in a very uncomfortable spot on their beheading roster. Is it possible that anyone who works for the Federal government has any illusions left about what we are fighting about or with whom? Are there still people who honestly believe we are dealing with a few thousand scofflaws who will evaporate into the woodwork with the change of the seasons? Does anyone think we can put a paper hat on Abu Bakr al-Bagdhadi and send him to toss fries at McDonalds in downtown Cairo?
If you want to know how Daesh was able to proliferate and spread so quickly in Iraq and Syria and now, Libya, your answer lies in the simplistic attitude of deluded politicians worldwide who still honestly believe that having job security will make a violent jihadist lay down his arms and pursue prosperity. There is no historical precedent for this ever occurring, nor will it be happening any time soon in the Middle East.
As I have said before and I will reiterate again, there is no place in modern foreign affairs for people who have zero credentials or the ability to grasp the geopolitical ramifications of the things they say during news conferences. The State Department is no place for amateurs. I have to keep reminding myself that Marie Harf works for John Kerry and the things spokesmen and spokeswomen say at these press conferences are words formulated by their boss at his behest. If there is a single human being that believes that we are dealing with some miscreants who should be punished for vandalizing a bathroom at a local gas station instead of being known as the ruthless murderers without a shred of humanity that Daesh are; or worse, still, that a good job will make them cease their killing ways, then these are the ones who should be job-hunting.