Gee, who’d a thunk it? The president of the United States, in a moment of unparalleled magnanimity, rescued hapless ditz Marie Harf by saying something actually dumber than what she said. Harf found herself twisting in the wind yesterday, the butt of jokes and object of ridicule for first claiming that disillusioned youngsters in the Middle East gravitate toward a murderous Islamic sect like ISIS because of a lack of “job opportunities,” then stepping in her own pile of steaming manure by insisting the strategy she had laid out was “too nuanced for some” to fully grasp.
But her boss came to her rescue today, albeit inadvertently, when he published this gem in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times:
Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.
To summarize: (1) ISIS goes around lopping off heads and burning people alive because its members are being denied human rights by “the government” (whatever government that might be since ISIS is a transnational entity). (2) ISIS has “legitimate grievances,” which need to be addressed through the “democratic process” if the group is to expected to behave more civilly. (3) Here Obama comes close to parroting Harf, allowing as how members of ISIS must be given “economic, educational and entrepreneurial” opportunities that will enable them to enjoy a “life of dignity.”
Like Harf, Obama seems to be oblivious to the fact that the Islamic State is in control of vast amounts of wealth, all of it ill-gotten. Last October, CNN reported that the group netted between $1 and $2 million a day just from the the sale of oil from wells and refineries it had seized in northern Iraq.