I didn't jump on the Marie Harf ridicule-fest over her jobs for jihadis comments. There is a basis of truth in that statement, although it is wrong as a stand-alone assessment of root causes.
Mind you, I think Harf is awful in her role. She displays more unjustified arrogance and hostility to the American press corps she works with than any diplomat would dare express to our pre-friends the Iranians.
And for the record, Psaki never ticked me off even if I sometimes shook my head--consider who she works for.
Regarding the recent Harf Kerfuffle, I had more ridicule for the activist left that let her apparent glee about bombing brown people slide in their effort to defend her from "jobs or hijabs" criticism.
So really, the recognition by even Marie Harf that we are in a long war is gratifying.
But the last thing I want to hear from her is using George W. Bush to defend her statement that jihadis need jobs to keep them from killing.
It isn't just a matter of jobs (although I think this aspect is probably still more important in the West as opposed to the Middle East itself). If that is true, why are only poor Moslems beheading people? There are lots of poor people who aren't murderous lunatics.
Yes, a modernized Islamic world will have more jobs as young men learn skills rather than the Koran, but that is a side effect of moving out of the 7th century. Give 7th century barbarians a bunch of jobs and they'll still kill, even if just at night and on weekends.
Or they'll write checks to help others kill for God.
But jihadi terrorists aren't defined by poverty. Like revolutionaries everywhere across history, jihadis tend to be led by the well off. The poor are generally too busy surviving to organize a revolution and lack the education to even know where to begin (or pen a good manifesto). They make good cannon fodder and suicide bombers, but that's it.
As for a purported shortage of jobs in the Arab Moslem world to distract them from jihad, the jobs are there. But too many Moslems don't want that work and so they import lots of immigrants to do those jobs.
Look, I remember Bush 43. He fought jihadis hammer and tong. That man could get away with the polite fictions (that had a relation to the bigger truth of the long nature of the struggle) that served to soothe those on the fence in the Islamic civil war that we weren't at war with all of Islam even as we killed jihadis.
So Harf shouldn't defend her fictions that encompass the new emphasis of our current anti-jihadi policy that relies on Twittering them into submission by relying on George W. Bush.
I said it before and I'll say it again, when you Twitter a king, kill him.
Yet there are those fragments of truth. I'm not as dismissive of the Arab Spring as many conservatives are these days. Societal change is not made in a weekend of Twitter-enabled demonstrations.
The French Revolution was motivated by good intentions to defeat autocracy and replace it with liberty, equality, and fraternity.
Sure, it didn't work out so well and ended up being the start of a bloody nightmare in France, across Europe, and even reaching other parts of the globe.
But eventually France got democracy and rule of law (and kept their Harf-like arrogance!). As did much of Europe.
The Arab Spring has not led (let's wait on Tunisia) to democracy and rule of law. But it did show that a sizable number of Arab Moslems hoped for government different from their traditional alternatives of theocracy or autocracy.
This is a hopeful sign despite the resilience of their anchor-like society that drags them down and the power of the forces of theocracy and autocracy to resist losing power.
Nobody ever said that defeating jihadis only involved killing jihadis.
But until the Moslem civil war is resolved against the jihadis, killing jihadis to contain that hateful faction is absolutely necessary both to protect us until the Long War is over and to allow other Moslems to safely turn against the jihadi impulse.
I knew George W. Bush. Barack Obama is no George W. Bush.