State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf is facing online ridicule after saying on MSNBC Monday that the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) will be won by providing jobs, not though military might.
"We’re killing a lot of them, and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians — they’re in this fight with us," Harf said on "Hardball with Chris Matthews."
"But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war," she continued. "We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s a lack of opportunity for jobs ..."
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Matthews cut her off, saying, "We’re not going to be able to stop that in our lifetime or 50 lifetimes. There’s always going to be poor people. There’s always going to be poor Muslims, and as long as there are poor Muslims, the trumpet’s blowing and they’ll join. We can’t stop that, can we?"
Harf admitted there is no easy solution in the long term, but suggested working with Middle East countries to help improve their governance.
"We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people," said Harf, suggesting that most ISIS recruits are 17-year-olds who can't find other opportunities.
Matthews wasn't buying it.
"This sounds like we're going to get rid of juvenile delinquency in America over time by erasing poverty, improving education," he said. "Sure, over time, but the American people are getting humiliated morally over this."
The Twitterverse wasn't convinced either. The hashtag #JobsForISIS immediately began mocking Harf's suggestion with tweets that included suggestions an ISIS member could take over for Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" or be an MSNBC anchor.
Harf took to Twitter herself to defend her words on Tuesday, saying that the George W. Bush administration made similar statements.
But those tweets found their own ridicule:
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