In articulating a strategy for confronting Islamic terrorism that she is unlikely ever to live down, State Department Spokesmodel Marie Harf last week intimated that jobs may be the answer. “We can not win this war by killing them; we cannot kill our way out of this war,” Harf told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. “We need in the medium and longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups.” One root cause, she went on to explain, was a lack of gainful employment.
Harf’s theory has since been put to the test. The Washington Times’s Cheryl Chumley notes that six jihadists who been detained at Guantanamo Bay for a dozen years were sent to Uruguay, where the government offered them them jobs. The men said no.
President Jose Mujica agreed to help resettle the ex-inmates as a goodwill gesture, The Associated Press reported. But a labor union in the country said the men have turned down several job offers. And now Mr. Mujica is characterizing them as somewhat lazy.
He made a personal visit to the homes of five of the men to encourage them to accept one of the jobs they’d be offered … but left disillusioned with their work ethic, telling a local radio station that they were about as different from hard-working Uruguayan nationals as they could get.
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“If these people were humble people of the desert, poor people, they’d surely be stronger and more primitive, but they’re not,” he said, AP reported. “Through their hands, features and family histories, it seems to me that they’re middle class.”
Before anyone jumps to conclusions, maybe there are just jobs that jihadists won’t do.