By Jeff Koopersmith, Editor Emeritus
So, someone finally said it.
“Follow (The lack of) Money in the Middle East for average Arab, Muslim, Islamic, or other warrior.”
And to make it special, Marie Harf of the U.S. State Department seems to have said it on the air first!
So, Kudos to Marie Harf! For a group like the GOP to attack everything our warriors do in the Middle East because the President will not say Islamic Terrorism (Nether will I) – is the greatest display of Republican right wing ignorance shown to the voters since men and women like them tossed The Crusades into the historical mulch.
What Marie Hart said to Chris Matthews on MSBNC is this: “We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s a lack of opportunity for jobs.”
Then to CNN figurine Wolf Blitzer she added: “I’m not the first person to say something like this,” Harf said. “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.”
Naturally the morons at Fox News jumped all her because they make themselves look even dumber or more evil than they are. They pretend these words of Ms. Harf’s are akin to “get ISIS a job” – and you can dream up whatever else simply by thinking about Hitler and what he might have said at this juncture to keep his people “in line”.
I was more than exultant that Ms. Harf had the bravery to spill the truth – the majority truth. Sure some of the ISIS/ISIL caliphate fantasies are in the minds of very smart and some very wealthy Islamics, but they are the minority and a very small one at that. The rest of those terrorists are simple and easily led by the nose – that’s apparent.
And yes, there are even hundreds of Americans among them – they are either thrillists or insane. Yet I can also guarantee you that many are tired of living in what appears to be the New America – which seems to only worship money and, only sometimes, mainstream “western” religions (Which appears to leave out Islam this days).
Thus, you can all put away the magnetism of Michael Flynn, the well-spoken, but very much in error former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency who told Mike Wallace’s little boy, Chris Wallace:
“”We are facing a form of a cancerous component of the Islamic religion which has a fanaticism to it … which is against our way of life, and they, in fact, have declared war on us…”
Flynn is very hot on religious war chanting it appears. Yet he seems, at best, to pass over quite a more reasonable explanation for ISIS’ appeal to young men and women in the region and in other like regions where generation upon generation has completely lost hope as they review their circumstances and realize that they and their children never had a chance in nations run by dictators and too often greed.
This is what I believe Ms. Harf was aiming at. However, she must be cautious because some of those dictators including some royalty are our allies and we are not in the position or the mood to turn our backs on them. Thus, she could say – Hey, look, these people live in mud and rock houses with dirt floors, no education – religious or otherwise and may survive on incomes of less than $1,000 per year per capita (according to the World Bank). So why are you surprised that they are pissed off?
Every American alive knows about or experienced the riots in this country not that long ago when minorities realized very much the same about their own futures. One hundred years after Lincoln “freed” the slaves – the fifth and sixth generation of them in the 1960s had little more than they did in slaver times the way I remember it.
Sure, some minorities in America made it and continue to do so more and more – but the percentage is yet quite small, but Fox News will tell you Hey, they do not live in stone houses with mud floors but they might yet recall how their grandparents lived and where they lived before the Second World War.
It was abominable – I know because I spent many young years in the Bronx among The Projects and saw firsthand how we warehoused our poor. What’s worse is that we continue. Do you think that young people in Chicago who shoot each other to death almost every night do so because they have wonderful teachers and lovely homes?
If you see that they perceive no peaceful future – then you might be able to transfer your domestic know-how to your Middle East projections and perhaps understand how the malicious but more privileged leaders of ISIS and its clones became immoral and moreover how easy it is to tell the worst off in the region a host of fairytales much like Hitler told the Germans almost one hundred years ago.
So, do you think it’s possible that young people of unfathomable poverty could be lured by the promise of their own Caliphate, where God would protect them, feed them, and house them while their children became highly educated and grew healthy and strong?
Is it too much to grasp that technology itself has allowed even the poorest human beings to know exactly how we and all the “industrialized citizens of earth” live in bright comparison to them, to their mom and dad and their brothers and sisters?
And can you imagine that they might get very angry when they realize or better yet are lectured by those who seek power form a different and abhorrent perspective – from the have-not perspective – so they learn that we in Europe and America are allied with the very enemies they loathe in their own region?
Don’t we recall that Al Qaeda was vocally and demonstrably antithetical to Arab Royalty – even though Bin Laden was from a billionaire Arabic family – many of whom lived graciously in the Untied States?
Yes, that is the truth and we should face it.
I do not think that Mr. Harf nor President Obama nor the State Department believes we can “build democracies” as the ill-informed and downright whacky people that surrounded George W. Bush in the White House. In fact they didn’t believe it either – but it was a great story about the pretentious “Arab Spring” introduced by Fox News and others like them. An introduction to horror and failure. No one of the “springing” nations has been yet able to form a working Democracy let alone provide much to their people. It takes generations. It took the United States generations and we still haven’t got it right.
Yet we try. And we must keep in mind – even as we dutifully slaughter the monsters that threaten to decapitate or burn our children and that lead and are in turn led by lies and half-truths – that these people are confusing the words of God – whoever’s – for their own purposes and because they believe that living like they have been is no better than being droned on the battlefield or burned alive by a smart bomb.
The world is theater my friends. Nothing is as it seems – and nothing ever was. Yes, it is true that these people have become monsters – but worse – they have become monsters who now know who we are, and how we live.
That combination is horrific.
Thus, we must not only stop the bloodbath on both sides, but also convince our allies, and our enemies that the only way the world can be at peace is by upping the ante and making it more difficult to decide to go to war because, then, all people will have too much to lose.
Americans, including me and my friends and all my fellows have far too much to lose. Isis and all the related groups in the Middle East and in Africa – have little or nothing to lose.
Therein lies their power. A power we can take away not only with weapons but with understanding.
Until the opulent leaders in the Middle East and the wealthy leaders in the West realize that we can no longer protect only ourselves without protecting everyone on earth to at least some acceptable standard – one that is reasonable by several measures – all we be will naught.
There are more than 200 nations on the earth today and the 6 billion of us will turn into 9 before we know it. The best off of those nations are fewer than 50, but we must use our brilliance and our equity and our hearts to come to some understanding of how to elevate the rest of the world so that the next group of people who have lost all hope by the age of five, will cease to exist.
Why? Because even if we wipe Isis and its ilk from the landscape – another band of extremists will quickly form somewhere and aspire to the same or worse.
That is what America stands for and realized all too well at the end of WWII. We and our allies rebuilt most of Europe and Asia after we helped destroy it.
Why not think or some way we and others can build without the need to first destroy so many of our own and our enemies?
You got that Fox News?