Last week a State Department spokesperson, in an interview about U.S. policy concerning ISIL, asserted that we cannot kill our way to victory over this depraved, ruthless terrorist organization. Instead, we should look over the near-and-medium term at the root causes for the disaffection of those who are beheading, burning alive, shooting, or tossing from tall buildings thousands of men, women, and children, many of whom are innocent non-combatants. The spokesperson went on to suggest that it was a lack of opportunity for jobs that contributed to the swelling ranks of the terrorists.
Soon thereafter, when pressed over the comments, the spokesperson admitted the painfully obvious—that a nuanced message of such depth was beyond the understanding of some, i.e., we coarse, countless, witless American rubes. You know, the very ones who cling to their guns and religion as if their lives and souls depended on it. The same ones the elites in Washington (or elsewhere) scoff at and hold in contempt for their simpleminded patriotism or their service in the armed forces or their belief in individual responsibility.
Despite my lack of erudition, now that I’ve given the matter a bit of nuanced thought, I see exactly what the spokesperson meant. With your indulgence, I’ll explain to my fellow unwashed the fundamental understanding of the issue by our United States Department of State. It is as follows:
- Winning a war by shooting and killing the enemy is outdated. Besides, now that bin Laden is dead (I know, I know, he was shot and killed), “enemy” is a harsh and relative term, as is “war.” Besides, war means armies and killing, and we can’t win by killing. Besides, what is “winning” anyway? Besides, where there’s a winner there’s also a loser, and losing is demeaning. Besides, it’s really not our problem anyway. Follow the logic?
- A root-cause analysis will show that a lack of economic opportunity is responsible for young men of Middle Eastern origin in the age range of 18-26 being enticed into joining terrorist organizations and beheading or burning people alive. This is the key element we must address. American business can play an important role here and at the same time make a fair profit (but what is “fair” anyway, and for whom?).
- Religious ideology plays no part in any of this unpleasantness. It’s not driven by ideologues but by criminals, and that, my friends, is settled science. It is therefore a matter of law enforcement. Jobs training and rehabilitation are the critical needs here, and perhaps also James Taylor. The availability of good-paying jobs with medical, vision, and dental care, and free contraceptive care (failing that, good maternity-leave policies) will bring peace and goodwill to the region. The enormous union dues won’t hurt.
So, there you have it. Got it? Glad I could help.