NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After recent displays of almost unspeakable violence by Islamic State militants, a suggestion from the U.S. State Department about how to stop terrorists is raising eyebrows.
As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Tuesday, the statement was jaw-dropping to some. The State Department said the long-term solution to stopping ISIS in its tracks is to create jobs for members of the bloodthirsty terror group.
The State Department said jobs can help stop jihad. But at least one congressman called the idea absurd.
“This is absolute insanity. We are at war with ISIS. You don’t win a war by a jobs program or by giving out more welfare,” said Rep. Peter King (R-Long Island) “This shows to me the basic misunderstanding, and really, ignorance, of the Obama administration.”
King was reacting to an assertion by State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf — speaking with Chris Matthews on MSNBC.
“We cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war,” Harf said. “We need, in the longer term — medium and longer term — to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups — whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs.”
As Kramer reported, Harf made the remarks in spite of the videos of gruesome beheadings on a regular basis, and daily reports of other atrocities.
“We can work with other countries around the world to help improve their governance,” Harf said. “We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.”
King characterized Harf’s attitude as naïve.
“The only way we’re going to defeat ISIS to kill them — kill them over before they get here to kill us — and stop this nonsense about somehow this is because they’re deprived or they had a sad childhood,” King said. “You don’t cut people’s heads off on the shores of Tripoli because you didn’t have a job. These people are animals, they’re savages, and they’re murderers — and the sooner the Obama administration realizes it, the better.”
Terror experts said ISIS does not need money. It is self-sufficient and is able to recruit at a rate of dozens of people a day — from all over the world — including the United States, experts said.
“I don’t understand how offering a job to somebody who doesn’t want money, but wants blood, is going to help that situation. All these people want is to kill and eventually die a beautiful death,” said terrorism expert Manny Gomez. “You can’t kill an ideology by offering them a job or monetary help.”
King and Gomez both said the United States needs to join with allies such as Egypt and Jordan in a military solution to wipe ISIS off the face of the map.
Meanwhile, Harf took Twitter to defend herself, quoting President George W. Bush, whom she claimed said, “We fight against poverty because hope is an answer to terror.”