Marie Harf: My comment about ISIS needing jobs was ‘too nuanced’ for you boors

posted at 10:01 am on February 18, 2015 by Noah Rothman

This is precisely how any organization would hope their spokesperson might respond when entangled in a controversy of their own making: Doubling down and petulantly insisting that your many critics are idiots.

On Monday, Harf was the subject of criticism after she claimed that the only real way to neutralize the danger posed by a messianic death cult that threatens to erode the foundations of Westphalian sovereignty is to provide them all with good paying jobs.

Allahpundit pondered whether Harf was articulating administration policy that is aimed at absolving the White House of fault when they inevitably fail to address the ISIS threat comprehensively:

“Once you identify a root cause in an enemy with whom you’re at war, you’re expected to do something about it to erode their support. If the root cause is Middle Eastern unemployment and economic stagnation, well, that’s something the U.S. government can address, at least at the margins.” he theorized. “If the root cause is Islamic doctrine and identity, from which Salafists take their inspiration and for which they hope to establish a durable caliphate, there ain’t much the United States can do.”

That’s possible, but there is no great Marshall Plan-in-waiting for Syria and Iraq. Surely, the administration would love to berate Republicans who fail to appropriate funds for roads and bridges in Mosul and Raqqa in the same away that they have for Mobile and Raleigh, but the president has not proposed a massive post-war reconstruction project for the region. The reason for that is simple: Obama does not expect to see the post-war period as president. This fight is being slow-walked, and Obama has committed to bequeathing to his successor the ISIS threat that he helped incubate though neglect.

In any case, Harf sought to put out a few fires on Tuesday and, as any competent and capable spokesperson would, she only made her situation worse (hat tip to Real Clear Politics):

When Wolf Blitzer observed that the poverty-breeds-terrorism theory is hopelessly flawed and that high-profile attackers like Osama bin Laden and Mohamed Atta were relatively comfortable and privileged, Harf declined to acknowledge his point. Though she issued an emphatic “absolutely” so as to convey that she was, in fact, listening to Blitzer and understood the words that were coming out of his mouth, she instead plunged into a pre-canned attempt at damage control as her response:

“If we looked around the world and say long-term we cannot kill every terrorist around the world nor should we try, how do you get at the root causes of this?” she asked. “Look, it might be too nuanced of an argument for some like I’ve seen over the past 24 hours some of the commentary out but it’s really the smart way for Democrats, for Republicans, military commanders, our partners in the Arab world think we need to combat it.”

There’s really no other way to interpret that. If you don’t think that statements like “we can’t kill our way out of this war” and asserting that ISIS militants “lack opportunity for jobs” oversimplifies the crisis in the Middle East, Harf does not believe that you are her intellectual equal.

Harf’s comments reflect the left’s odd preoccupation to ascribe more value to the post-war reconstruction aid that the United States has traditionally provided both vanquished and occupied peoples than they do to the victory in the actual war. It should go without saying that there is no post-war reconstruction period without a thorough and unambiguous victory over the adversary in warfare. First comes capitulation and subjugation, and only then can there be a cultural reformation.

Many on the left seem, consciously or otherwise, married to the notion that you can win a war by airdropping bales of money over hostile targets. It’s a lovely fantasy, and there is nothing “nuanced” about it. In fact, it’s a rather unsophisticated concept. Those who think that an enemy needs to be defeated before they can be converted are not missing Harf’s infinitely complex point. That she would flatter herself into believing that she had spoken over the nation’s heads reflects the hubris that explains her insultingly naïve belief that this abhorrent ideology can only be defeated by an army of career counselors.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

I will assume she was appointed and continues in her position with the approval of John F. Kerry.

diogenes on February 18, 2015 at 12:56 PM

Oh, and you know she walks around thinking those glasses make her look intelligent.

Tard on February 18, 2015 at 12:54 PM

Heh.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 18, 2015 at 12:57 PM

This from a woman that looks like the ad for a contrceptive.

Deadeye on February 18, 2015 at 12:45 PM

I like the picture of her dressed in a Hotdog-On-A-Stick uniform.

Ward Cleaver on February 18, 2015 at 12:58 PM

Harfie “I don’t read it”.

Yesterday she replied to the critics, all day.

I hope they make her kneel, first.

Schadenfreude on February 18, 2015 at 12:58 PM

At the end of the day the only solution will be another crusade. Obama can put that in his pipe and smoke it.

phatfawzi on February 18, 2015 at 1:00 PM

“Well, I’m not sure I would take a mulligan on this one,” Harf said. “But I think [Hayden] went on to say something I would agree with. In the short term — and I said this on ‘Hardball’ the other night — we are killing them and we will continue killing ISIS terrorists that pose a threat to us. We’re very good at that.”

“We cannot kill every terrorist around the world, nor should we try.”

Can anyone explain to me the nuance that reconciles these two statements?

Star Bird on February 18, 2015 at 1:01 PM

Ms. Harf is originally from Granville Ohio home of Dennison University. Her mother is a big player in Ohio for advocating for renewable/green energy. Her father is the director of the Center For Global Education at Marysville University in St. Louis and a professor emeritus of political science at the Ohio State University. Obviously she was marinated in leftism from an early age

susandiane311 on February 18, 2015 at 12:50 PM

So she’s not a perv like Lena Dunham, but growing up with leftist parents made her just as vapid.

22044 on February 18, 2015 at 1:01 PM

She’s trying out for (and winning) the female role in the next sequel of Dumb & Dumber.

raz0r on February 18, 2015 at 1:02 PM

In her defense, she’s not really ugly.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 18, 2015 at 11:30 AM

You only judge the cover?

Schadenfreude on February 18, 2015 at 11:49 AM

Uhhh….yeah.

I’m not ashamed to admit that it would hardly be the first time that I’ve overlooked stupid.

Skiritae on February 18, 2015 at 1:02 PM

Looks like they already have some shovel-ready jobs, what with all the killings, immolations, and head-chopping. Somebody has to bury the bodies after all.

The idea of these subhumans sacking groceries and being somehow pleased with their station is beyond asinine. This woman is a fool among fools. She should just go measure herself for a burqa and get it over with.

Psycroptic on February 18, 2015 at 1:02 PM

I finally got “nuanced,” and discovered a perfect solution that can make both ISIS and Marie Barf happy. If all of us who are employed and non-Muslim will just commit suicide, they’ll be rid of millions of infidels in one fell swoop and there will be plenty of jobs immediately available. Sheer genius! YOU GO FIRST, MARIE!

MadVlad on February 18, 2015 at 1:03 PM

Ralph Peters sums it up

Schadenfreude on February 18, 2015 at 1:06 PM

Counter Holder she calls it “the war on terror”, repeatedly.

Schadenfreude on February 18, 2015 at 1:07 PM

“Well, I’m not sure I would take a mulligan on this one,” Harf said. “But I think [Hayden] went on to say something I would agree with. In the short term — and I said this on ‘Hardball’ the other night — we are killing them and we will continue killing ISIS terrorists that pose a threat to us. We’re very good at that.”

“We cannot kill every terrorist around the world, nor should we try.”

Can anyone explain to me the nuance that reconciles these two statements?

Star Bird on February 18, 2015 at 1:01 PM

It’s called “having it both ways”.

It’s used by incompetents when they’re afraid they don’t know the answer and want to be able to nuance their response when everyone calls them on their stupidity.

itsspideyman on February 18, 2015 at 1:11 PM

susandiane311 on February 18, 2015 at 12:50 PM

Thanks, that explains a lot.

It was clear that she was raised in a “wicked queen” home where she spoke into the mirror every morning and evening to ask, “who’s the smartest of them all?” and both the mirror and her parents told her she was.

Neitherleftorright on February 18, 2015 at 1:12 PM

O’Reilly forgot Yemen

So, on the President’s watch the following countries have become safe havens: Syria, Iraq, northern Pakistan, eastern Nigeria, Libya, Somalia, Iran, parts of Algeria and parts of Afghanistan. That is quite a resume. We in America have been fortunate that our intelligence agencies and the FBI as well as local police have prevented another big attack like 9/11. Instead, we and other countries continue to absorb small blows from fanatical individuals.

Schadenfreude on February 18, 2015 at 1:13 PM

A highly educated, totally self-important, blithering idiot. What we need to realize is she is only a mouth piece putting the best spin possible on what her boss John F. Kerry wants and thinks.
God help us.

nikophil on February 18, 2015 at 1:16 PM

Any questions directed to Harf, Psaki, Kerry, Susan Rice et al should be prefaced with the following: “I understand that you are committed to expounding the administration’s talking points, BUT…” Then hit the flaks with the kind of facts that put their idiocy to the test. Make them answer to the contrary facts, not their own “wisdom.”

onlineanalyst on February 18, 2015 at 1:17 PM

She doesn’t have that blonde hair for nothing.

CurtZHP on February 18, 2015 at 1:19 PM

Too nuanced? You mean so obtuse and fact less as to not being a baseline for action and not really communicating at all.

jake49 on February 18, 2015 at 1:26 PM

If by “nuanced,” she means “you didn’t get the joke,” then, yeah, her voxplaining needs work.

Mommys Little Darling on February 18, 2015 at 1:28 PM

In her defense, she’s not really ugly.
There Goes the Neighborhood on February 18, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Arrogance and stupidity are ugly
rhombus on February 18, 2015 at 11:43 AM

1. Turn off the lights.
2. Keep their mouth otherwise “occupied”.

Nutstuyu on February 18, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Midnight basketball.

nico on February 18, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Marie Harf’s intellect can’t work out how to tie my shoes. If she wasn’t marginally attractive, she’d be handing me my lunch through a car window.

CantCureStupid on February 18, 2015 at 1:38 PM

we are killing them and we will continue killing ISIS terrorists that pose a threat to us. We’re very good at that.”
 
“We cannot kill every terrorist around the world, nor should we try.”

 
Can anyone explain to me the nuance that reconciles these two statements?
 
Star Bird on February 18, 2015 at 1:01 PM

 
That’s covered under section B, subsection II.C(1) of the Shut Up Racist clause.

rogerb on February 18, 2015 at 1:40 PM

I’m just a goober from flyover country, so my opinion doesn’t matter. But “nuanced” and “idiotic” aren’t synonymous.

Demonized on February 18, 2015 at 1:41 PM

Rule of holes: When in one, stop digging.

Honey, you just don’t get it.

MN J on February 18, 2015 at 1:56 PM

That she would flatter herself into believing that she had spoken over the nation’s heads reflects the hubris that explains her insultingly naïve belief that this abhorrent ideology can only be defeated by an army of career counselors.

Well, yeah ….

The arrogant twit wants to sell the idea that this “war” can’t be “won” on the battlefield.

She’s trotting out her excuse for failure in the war prior to her boss even attempting the feat (“winning the war”).

BD57 on February 18, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Actually, I think Harf’s comments were too nuanced for Harf. She thinks we mis-understood her, when actually she doesn’t understand herself and the implications of what she says.

Socratease on February 18, 2015 at 2:02 PM

Barf just forgot that history lesson. WWII comes before the Marshall Plan.
In the 30’s France was very pacifist and fell to the Nazis in about a month. It took about a year and a million lives to take it back. The good guys are about to learn that hard lesson again.

growl on February 18, 2015 at 2:16 PM

I bet everything this woman believes about the world came from a book. What are her qualifications to speak to this subject? Any experience outside an academic setting?

Daemonocracy on February 18, 2015 at 2:16 PM

I finally got “nuanced,” and discovered a perfect solution that can make both ISIS and Marie Barf happy. If all of us who are employed and non-Muslim will just commit suicide, they’ll be rid of millions of infidels in one fell swoop and there will be plenty of jobs immediately available. Sheer genius! YOU GO FIRST, MARIE!

MadVlad on February 18, 2015 at 1:03 PM

Sounds like Obamas’ solution for Israel.

bigGwillie on February 18, 2015 at 2:51 PM

Hmm.. What was Tlaloc lecturing us about the other day, that the Islamic State had no airplanes or the ability to fly them or repair them when they broke?

LegendHasIt on February 18, 2015 at 2:53 PM

To hell with that pseudo-intellectual elitist dolt. She needs to shut up and return to the rock she crawled from under.

rplat on February 18, 2015 at 2:56 PM

Arrogance is the penultimate redoubt of liberal intellectualism. Push her a little harder and she will cover her ears, rock back and forth, and repeatedly scream “4 minutes to Wapner”

WryTrvllr on February 18, 2015 at 3:06 PM

Here`s the thing. We can provide them with all the good paying jobs in the world……. But if they still want to slaughter Christians, Jews, beat women, rape children…….. Well, what difference does it make?

ThePrez on February 18, 2015 at 3:11 PM

No wonder the jihadis want to kill us. They take one look at this bimbo and say why not.

claudius on February 18, 2015 at 3:12 PM

This isn’t originally mine: BUT HARF IS THE REASON WE HAVE TO PUT WARNING LABELS ON TOOTHPASTE.

pwb on February 18, 2015 at 3:47 PM

That she would flatter herself into believing that she had spoken over the nation’s heads reflects the hubris that explains her insultingly naïve belief that this abhorrent ideology can only be defeated by an army of career counselors.

This is what we get for being a group that didn’t finish college, we just don’t understand intellect like she has…

I can see now that offering them jobs, when we have over 90 million people unemployed by this administration is such a good idea, so brilliant that I didn’t understand.

A “Terrorist Job Fair” should definitely be in the works, maybe we could have it at the Twin Towers memorial…

right2bright on February 18, 2015 at 4:09 PM

She always looks very pleased with herself.

Akzed on February 18, 2015 at 4:18 PM

This is precisely how any organization would hope their spokesperson might respond when entangled in a controversy of their own making: Doubling down and petulantly insisting that your many critics are idiots.

Dude, this is the State Department we’re talking about.

wagnert in atlanta on February 18, 2015 at 4:38 PM

If we looked around the world and say long-term we cannot kill every terrorist around the world

Let’s go for 90%.

Remember the old anti-drug commercials? This is your brain-this is your brain on drugs? Harf’s brain is like the brain on drugs. I don’t know if she took them to get this way, or if she was born this way or it was her education. I suspect the latter.

talkingpoints on February 18, 2015 at 5:19 PM

So if we take a terrorist in this country, educate him, give him a job with promotions, and salute him, then he’ll be cured of “terrorism”…….we tried that jobs program stuff and got Major Hasan at Fort Hood.

cthemfly on February 18, 2015 at 6:10 PM

Hmm.. What was Tlaloc lecturing us about the other day, that the Islamic State had no airplanes or the ability to fly them or repair them when they broke?

LegendHasIt on February 18, 2015 at 2:53 PM

Yes, I distinctly remember Tlaloc ‘splaining that ISIS was just the same as the Crips or the Bloods.

Just thug gangs.

Just thugs with MiGs and artillery who mutilate the bodies of their enemy dead.

Just thugs who create professional videos of their 7th-century-style bloody executions of innocent church-goers from the neighborhood

The LAPD has been complaining about exactly this same sort of behavior happening in Watts recently, but I think the Crips are actually using Apache attack helicopters.

Dolce Far Niente on February 18, 2015 at 6:16 PM

This stupid whore for obama thinks thick framed glasses make her smart. Not LOOK smart, but actually smart.

That’s exactly how stupid she is.

Andy__B on February 18, 2015 at 6:48 PM

OK. No sense pretending otherwise. I despise the treasonous liars of this administration as much as I do ISIS. Seriously, the moment they start spewing nonsense and BS I just get seething angry and usually have to change the channel or I have an urge to start drinking excessively which I’m actually trying to drastically cut back on.

Yakko77 on February 18, 2015 at 7:06 PM

They say you can’t fix stupid…
…but a liberal application of duct tape can muffle the sound.

I think her train of thought was derailed just outside the station.
There were no survivors.

Yes, Virginia, the Peter Principle is real. Case in point, Marie Harf.

When you think you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re either wrong or in the wrong room.

I think her parents need to get a refund on her college tuition. She could have gotten just as indoctrinated into being a useful idiot without attending IU or UVA.

Athos on February 18, 2015 at 7:16 PM

She’s a clueless bleached blonde, you can’t expect anything intelligent coming from her. I recommend she read The Atlantic’s (isn’t that a rag for people who think they are high society) recent article, maybe she’ll understand just how idiotic her statement was.

TulsAmerican on February 18, 2015 at 7:18 PM

She’s a whore.

CW on February 18, 2015 at 7:55 PM

The thing about stupid people is that they protect their ego first.

John the Libertarian on February 18, 2015 at 8:55 PM

Come on people, give her a chance to get through puberty!

bigGwillie on February 18, 2015 at 9:45 PM

“Shut up b*tch, and go make me a sandwich.”

There, now: I believe that’s phrased at an appropriate level to match Ms Harf’s value as an intellectual.

orangemtl on February 18, 2015 at 10:12 PM

Harf: Proof that proggie leftist docs keep improving the Frontal Lobamaty technique.

Marcola on February 19, 2015 at 2:11 AM

We’re doomed with idiots like this in power.

halebyuca on February 19, 2015 at 3:08 AM

That’s covered under section B, subsection II.C(1) of the Shut Up Racist clause.

rogerb on February 18, 2015 at 1:40 PM

Oh, that’s right, I believe that report was compiled by the Senate Committee on Understanding Terrorism.

Star Bird on February 19, 2015 at 8:28 AM

There’s a healthy level of self-esteem … and then there is narcissism. You’re probably familiar with the well-known traits: always seeking praise, constantly looking in the mirror, incredibly entitled. But there’s a sign of narcissism that’s even worse than an over-inflated ego: “A narcissist will always turn tables on you and reverse accusations by shaming and attacking your credibility,” says psychotherapist Sam Lopez De Victoria, PhD.

https://www.yahoo.com/health/is-your-friend-a-narcissist-the-telltale-signs-of-110835763817.html

Just like her boss.

GrumpyOldFart on February 19, 2015 at 9:32 AM

Have you noticed that many people today surround themselves only with people who agree with them?

Have you noticed that many people cannot argue their point, but can only attack their opponents personally (ad hominem)?

Have you noticed that many people want to shut down the voices of people who disagree with them? You know, to stop their lies.

Ms Harf does not read criticism of her views, she says. But, she is confident that her way is the smart way.

Better watch out. With Ms Psaki going to the White House, Ms Harf’s star seems to be on the rise in State.

I may have to get a Harf bag to cope.

billrowe on February 19, 2015 at 1:39 PM

She is the embodiment of every ballbuster fantasy come to life.

Arnold Yabenson on February 19, 2015 at 1:48 PM

#ISISNeedsJobs

ISIS just got a McDonalds. Good, minimum wage jobs and opportunities.

Problem Solved!

CharacterOfCongress on February 19, 2015 at 7:21 PM

Marie Half-wit says these societies have a “lack of governance”. No, they have sharia and the want us to have it too. This would be clear to anyone with harf a brain.

She won the Jon Gruber award. Americans are too stupid to understand her.

virgo on February 20, 2015 at 2:23 AM

She’d make a good running mate for someone going for president. Smart, good looking, saavy. Exactly who the left should use with Biden for 2016.

Freeloader on February 20, 2015 at 10:28 AM

Unblelievably an actual representative of our government just began their statement explaining how we’re all stupid with “lookit.”

PJ Emeritus on February 20, 2015 at 4:09 PM

This seems like one of those stories that started at one end of the line sounded one way only to emerge at the end as something else.
I came across a story a while back that sort of described ISIL recruitment as being based on the “frustrated job seeker” paradigm, but of course it was much more nuanced than the ‘rubes’ at the State Dept could possibly describe in one sentence.

It seems that ISIL recruitment is based on offering quick advancement on multiple levels:
1) you get to shoot up shit. This includes multiple weapons of various sizes, including knives and fire. Targets can be cars, buildings and live people.
2) you get money .. lots of money by basically stealing it .. or extortion .. but hey, you’re on a “mission from Allah”.
3) you attain social success by getting the women .. sure some may be slaves but hey, 12th century standards apply here.
4) you get to be in the inner circles of power in the IS, which includes trucks, homes, etc.

To say that you can counter this kind of salesmanship with a “jobs program” is like saying you can clean the Capitol building with a toothbrush .. it can be done but your going to need a shit load of toothpaste.

J_Crater on February 20, 2015 at 10:14 PM

“Jane, you ignorant slut!”

EdmundBurke247 on February 20, 2015 at 10:45 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3