Joe Biden tells Americans that he's helping them by building "from the bottom up and the middle out." …
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Image of the Day: Americans' Shrinking Earnings Under Joe Biden

Joe Biden tells Americans that he's helping them by building "from the bottom up and the middle out."  But the numbers don't lie, and the ugly reality is that he's only dragging us all toward the bottom.  Throughout his presidency, wage gains (green) have been consistently exceeded by inflation (blue), meaning loss in real earnings (red):

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="455"] Bidenomics Means Lost Earnings[/caption]…[more]

May 19, 2024 • 11:05 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
The Liberal Response to ISIS: A New Deal for Jihadis Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, February 19 2015
'We cannot kill our way out of this war' is one of those phrases that drips all too easily from the liberal tongue.

Are there two more representative hires in the Obama Administration than Jen Psaki* and Marie Harf, the pair of thirty-something State Department spokeswomen who seem like they’ve been cast in a sitcom about sorority girls in over their heads?

Last March, it was Psaki* who beclowned herself when — keeping with the Obama Administration’s foreign policy mantra of speaking softly and carrying a selfie stick — she responded to Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Crimea by tweeting out a picture of herself holding up a piece of paper with the handwritten slogan #UnitedForUkraine. Remarkably, the Russian tanks kept rolling.

Now it’s Harf — a woman who gives the constant impression of just having come out from under anesthesia — who’s testing the limits of just how much foot can fit in one mouth.

During an appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, Harf, questioned about America’s war with ISIS said, “We’re killing a lot of them, and we’re going to keep killing more of them…But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium-to-longer term to go after the root causes that leads [sic] people to join these groups, whether it’s a lack of opportunity for jobs...”

At that point, an appropriately apoplectic Matthews cut her off. Apparently he didn’t buy her strategic formulation: They come at you with terrorism, you respond with social workers.

“We cannot kill our way out of this war” is one of those phrases that drips all too easily from the liberal tongue. It’s that special blend that the left can’t get enough of: pious intent and counter-intuitive reasoning. It’s the kind of phrase that would make the average college professor nod with reverence and the average construction worker slap you upside the head.

It’s also, in a very narrow sense, close to the truth. Increasing enemy body counts isn’t the primary goal of prosecuting a successful war. Crushing the enemy’s will so that they surrender is. When you’re talking about terrorist fanatics like ISIS, however, there’s no way to get the latter without a healthy dose of the former.

What’s more breathtaking is Harf’s pronouncement that a lack of job opportunities is fueling the terrorist fire, as if jihadism is the natural consequence of slackened demand for baristas. As many of her critics have pointed out, there has been no shortage of wealthy, well-educated individuals who have nonetheless chosen a life of terrorism rather than a middle-management position at IKEA.

Sure, the lack of economic opportunity in the Middle East contributes to the overall sense of ennui that fuels many a young infidel-slayer, but, as Matthews pointed out in the course of the interview, there’s nothing the West can do about that anytime soon. And anyway, isn’t Barack Obama the president who abjures nation-building abroad? And yet the silver bullet here is some sort of Islamist New Deal?

What eludes Harf, Obama and every member of the liberal intelligentsia who thinks we can stamp out terrorism if only the Middle East steps up its provision of social services is the idea that there are people in the world who honestly believe in causes bigger than their own self-interest.  The Left, shorn of transcendent beliefs, has to resolve every question through an appeal to materialism. Surely the radicals just need better healthcare, improved schools and a Whole Foods on every corner.

That, however, is not the way that Islamists see the world. They genuinely believe that they are working the will of God. Concerns as pedestrian as the state of the job market are not going to dislodge that conviction. In fact, nothing will. How do you triumph over people like that? Well, you beat some of them on the battlefield and convince the rest that continuing the fight is useless. In other words…you kill your way out of the war.


* Shortly after this piece was posted, it was announced that Jen Psaki had been named White House Communications Director, proving once again that sustained demonstrations of incompetence are the surest route to promotion within the Obama Administration. 

Notable Quote   
"The progressive journalist Thomas Frank wrote a much-discussed book in 2004 titled, 'What's the Matter with Kansas?'Right now some other like-minded journalist might be thinking of writing a book called, 'What's the Matter with People of Color?'For Democrats, the polling among Latinos and African-Americans in the presidential race ranges from concerning to extremely disturbing, as President Biden…[more]
— Rich Lowry, Editor of National Review
Liberty Poll   

Do you believe televised debates between President Biden and former President Trump will actually happen or will fall apart for many potential reasons?