Sunday 1st August 2021

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Marie Harf?

March 13, 2015 Frontpage No Comments


Unlike “Maria,” the Julie Andrews’ character in The Sound of Music, you can’t describe State Department spokesperson Marie Harf as “a flibbertijibbet, a will-o’-the wisp, and a clown.” She is a Washington careerist with considerable experience as a policy analyst in the State Department. Nonetheless, she has become a laughingstock because of her comments about how the United States should deal with the ISIS terrorists. Her critics on the right are guffawing, while those on the left are lifting an eyebrow and looking for ways to change the subject.
I say don’t laugh at Harf. She is telling us a great deal about the thinking of the elites in government (when liberal Democrats are in control), the media, and the academic world. There are a lot of Marie Harfs in those circles. The only reason they are not rushing to her defense is because the public reaction to her choice of words about Islamic terrorists has been so unfavorable. Kirsten Powers’ comments on Fox News Sunday on February 22 are a case in point. The best she could come up with was that Harf expressed herself “inartfully” at an “inopportune time.”
Harf’s analysis took place on Chris Matthews’ program on MSNBC on February 16. She told Matthews that “We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it’s a lack of opportunity or jobs. We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.” Some wags have described her recommendation as a call for “jobs for jihadis.”
It may strike some as cruel to poke fun at Harf, who is still in her mid-thirties and comes across on camera as an overly earnest member of a high school debate team. But sometimes laughter is the best way to poke holes in a con job being perpetrated upon us by our government. What Harf is asking us to accept is not just her view of the politics of the Middle East. She was repeating Obama administration talking points on the Matthews’ program. She underscored them the next day on Wolf Blitzer’s show on CNN, insisting that there is “no easy solution” to the terrorism being carried out by ISIS and that those who were mocking her lacked the ability to comprehend the “nuances” of her position.
What mainstream America needs to confront is that Harf’s view of America’s role in the world is not some quirk of hers and the Obama administration. It is what has been taught in the history and social science classes in American universities since the late 1960s, what former UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick called the “blame America first” view of the world. It is a combination of secularist, relativist, behaviorist, and new left revisionist theories about the pernicious influence of the United States in the world arena.
It begins with Rousseau’s teachings about the “natural goodness” of man. It is what leads to the behaviorist theory that muggers and street thugs in our country are products of deprived childhoods — and to Harf’s proposition that the ISIS murderers are spawned by the “lack of job opportunities” in the Arab street. It is a version of the “there is no such thing as a bad child” frame of mind brought into the world arena. It is why she wants to attack the “root causes” of the terrorists’ hatred for those who stand in the way of their dream of creating a new Caliphate.
It is the same confidence that leads advocates of the welfare state in the United States to think they can devise poverty programs and community action associations to rebuild crime-ridden neighborhoods and families in turmoil. The difference is that this time the liberal elites are targeting Muslim terrorists, rather than inner-city criminals, proposing, as Harf phrases it, to work with like-minded “reformers in countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies.”
Harf’s explanation for the turmoil in the Middle East is no different from what President Obama offered in the wake of the three-day summit on Countering Violent Extremism he organized in Washington in mid-February. Obama urged countries to “break the cycles of conflict, especially sectarian conflict” and called on governments to “address the grievances that terrorists exploit,” both political and economic.
“The link is undeniable. When people are oppressed and human rights are denied — particularly along sectarian lines or ethnic lines — when dissent is silenced, it feeds violent extremism. It creates an environment that is ripe for terrorists to exploit.”
What Obama and Harf are giving us is a bumper-sticker version of the teachings of the new left historians that Obama grew up reading as a young radical. It is a world where great injustices have been perpetrated upon oppressed peoples by colonial governments seeking to use Third World countries as sources of raw materials and outlets for their manufactured goods.
Obama wrote openly of his admiration as a young man for the writings of Frantz Fanon, the black French radical who defended the right of colonized people to use what we would now call terrorist tactics to gain independence. There was a reason why one of the first things Obama did as president was to remove the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office.
For the new left revisionist historians, America has been a flawed country from its very beginnings, a country established by slaveholders, racists, and sexists, one whose wealth was achieved through the exploitation of the non-white peoples of the world, starting with the land taken from Native Americans. It continues in our time at the expense of the Muslim populations of the oil rich nations of the Middle East.
Liberal behaviorists frequently employ rhetoric about the “criminal as a victim of society” when they analyze the “root causes” of crime in the United States. It is not a stretch to hold that Harf and Obama are depicting ISIS and the other Muslim terrorist groups as “victims” of the root causes of the social injustice brought to the Middle East by global capitalism. When they talk about “root causes” and the “the grievances that terrorists exploit” they are talking about problems that they are convinced white capitalists are responsible for creating.
That is why Obama, when first elected, went on his world “apology tour.” He was apologizing for the history of a country the new left radicals of his youth called “Amerika.”
By the way, throwing the spotlight on the left-wing currents that shaped Obama’s thinking about the United States is what Rudolph Giuliani should have done, rather question Obama’s “love for his country.” It does no good to raise that issue. Unabashed radicals — William Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Al Sharpton, for example — would protest that they love America deeply, so much so that they want to transform it into a socialist utopia dedicated to the best interests of the American people.
What Obama does not love is the “system” that forged what he sees as the racist, militarist, sexist, American colonial superpower of the last half of the 20th century, the country he vowed to “fundamentally transform” when he was elected in 2008.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Pro-Life Group Calls for Removing Fauci After He's Caught Funding Aborted Baby Parts - - The Pro-Life News Source


Kamala Harris Skips Border Crisis But Picks Up A Rosary -

Load More...

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Vatican observes ‘Earth Hour’

On Saturday, along with the Vatican, symbolic monuments of cities all across the globe turn off their lights, to demonstrate the serious global climate crisis. By Vatican News staff writer Vatican City State took part in the traditional international initiative Earth…Continue Reading

House passes bill setting up path to citizenship for millions of Dreamers

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Thursday passed an immigration bill that would create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

The Misleading AP Attack on the Catholic Church for Accepting COVID Relief

In early 2020, a pandemic came to America. We started staying home, then we were ordered to stay home. The market tanked. The economy tanked. Unemployment soared. You remember all this, because you lived it. We all did. Congress created a…Continue Reading

Catholic bishop released five days after kidnapping in Nigeria

CNA Staff, Jan 1, 2021 / 10:42 pm MT (CNA).- A Catholic bishop in Nigeria, who was kidnapped on Sunday, has been released unharmed, according to the Archdiocese of Owerri. The diocese, which is in southeastern Nigeria, announced in a social…Continue Reading

More GOP senators vow to challenge Biden’s win

WASHINGTON – A last-ditch effort by President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the election thrust Washington into chaos Saturday as a growing coalition of Republican senators announced plans to rebel against Senate leaders by seeking to block formal…Continue Reading

Underground Catholic bishop dies in China

CNA Staff, Dec 31, 2020 / 03:25 pm MT (CNA).- According to the Catholic outlet AsiaNews, headquartered in Rome, Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died Dec. 30. Han Jingtao was the…Continue Reading

‘All-star,’ ‘brilliant jurist’: Pro-life leaders thrilled Trump nominated Barrett to Supreme Court

September 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is “an absolute all-star” and “a judicial role model for the next generation,” pro-life leaders said today.  If confirmed, Barrett will replace pro-abortion Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died just…Continue Reading

Farewell, Uncle Di: Father Paul Mankowski, RIP

My editorial career has brought me into close contact with quite a few impressive thinkers. I have worked with famous authors, with noted theologians and philosophers, with canny political strategists, with at least a half-dozen Nobel Prize winners. Among them…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1


Adopt A Center

Today . . .

Bishop Paprocki: “The problem has not been solved, but tensions have been heightened.”

“It is a mistaken notion that those who attend [the Traditional Latin Mass] are merely nostalgic; that has not been my experience at all…” says the Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois. “Anyone who thinks that when the older generation dies off that the Latin Mass will fade away is not being realistic.”

Cardinal Raymond Burke . . . Statement on the Motu Proprio «Traditionis Custodes»

Many faithful – laity, ordained and consecrated – have expressed to me the profound distress which the Motu Proprio «Traditionis Custodes» has brought them. Those who are attached to the Usus Antiquior (More Ancient Usage) [UA], what Pope Benedict XVI called the Extraordinary Form, of the Roman Rite are deeply disheartened by the severity of the discipline which the Motu Proprio imposes and offended by the language it employs to describe them, their attitudes and their conduct.…Continue Reading

Catholic Bishop Denies Democrat Politician Communion Because He Supports Killing Babies in Abortions

A pro-abortion New Mexico lawmaker reportedly was denied communion over the weekend by Catholic Bishop Peter Baldacchino of Las Cruces. The Daily Caller reports New Mexico state Sen. Joe Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, said Saturday that the bishop refused to allow him to participate in the sacrament because of his “political office.” “I was denied communion last night by the Catholic bishop here in Las Cruces and based on my political office,” Cervantes wrote on Twitter. “My new parish priest has indicated he will do the…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone: Traditional Latin Mass will continue in San Francisco

San Francisco, Calif., Jul 16, 2021 / 13:03 pm As diocesan bishops consider how to implement Pope Francis’ motu proprio on the use of the Traditional Latin Mass, the Archbishop of San Franciso has said it will continue to be available in his local Church. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco told CNA July 16 that “The Mass is a miracle in any form: Christ comes to us in the flesh under the appearance of…Continue Reading

From Fr. Z’s Blog . . . Motu Proprio Day . . . Much more to Follow

Rome, 16 July 2021 Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, Just as my Predecessor Benedict XVI did with Summorum Pontificum, I wish to accompany the Motu proprio Traditionis custodes with a letter explaining the motives that prompted my decision. I turn to you with trust and parresia, in the name of that shared “solicitude for the whole Church, that contributes supremely to the good of the Universal Church” as Vatican Council II reminds us.[1]

The Importance Of Humor In A Time Like This

By DONALD DeMARCO “Do not abandon yourselves to despair,” said Pope St. John Paul II. “We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” Such a joyful declaration should give all of us renewed hope. And our hallelujah song should be a happy heart that is filled with merriment.In his Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas…Continue Reading

Why The Left Can’t Let Go Of January 6

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN To understand what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee investigation of the Capitol Hill events of January 6 is all about, a good place to begin is with the sentencing hearing the past week of Paul Hodgkins.A crane operator from Tampa, Florida, Hodgkins, 38, pleaded guilty to a single count of…Continue Reading

Root Causes Underlie Cuban Crisis

By JOHN J. METZLER NEW YORK — Cuba’s ongoing political and social upheaval has shocked many observers as a sudden and intense summer storm. Across the island in small towns and provincial centers protests erupted like a squall line until reaching the capital, Havana. Tropical storm “Liberdad” was lashing the island of Cuba while its…Continue Reading

For Strident Times . . . How The Liturgy Is Healing Medicine

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this commentary on July 13 and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + One of the most concise and cogent descriptions of these often strident times came from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in 1986. It is contained in, of all places, his treatise on the…Continue Reading

Alliance Defending Freedom… Calls For End To Religious Persecution In Nigeria

WASHINGTON, D.C. — ADF International on July 14 hosted a dinner event on the grave challenges facing Nigeria regarding the protection of religious freedom. Governmental and civil society advocates for the persecuted in Nigeria shared firsthand expertise and proposed actions to address the violence and discrimination perpetrated by groups such as Boko Haram and the…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Due to the pandemic, we were unable to hold weekly classes for 22 tenth-grade Confirmation students, so we prepared a series of 14 lessons on the material, along with some questions to answer. If these lessons are of value to you, put them to whatever use you can. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column…Continue Reading

Traditionis Custodes: Opportunity For Mercy

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK As one of the two parishes in the Archdiocese of Washington that offer the Traditional Latin Mass daily, my majority-traditional church family is now in a quite vulnerable condition after the publication of the motu proprio Traditionis custodes (TC).Following the 2007 publication of Summorum Pontificum I was sent in 2010 as pastor to St. Francis…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen Decries Pope’s Motu Proprio

Joseph Cardinal Zen, in a statement translated by Diane Montagna, denounced Traditionis Custodes, Pope Francis’ motu proprio on the liturgy.His statement was entitled, “Why Do They See a Problem Where There Is None and Close Their Eyes to the Problem for Which They, Too, Are Responsible?”Cardinal Zen recalled how he warned about a document against the Traditional Mass in his…Continue Reading

Live As Christians, Not Pagans

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15Eph. 4:17, 20-24John 6:24-35 In the second reading today St. Paul tells the Ephesians that they are no longer to live as the Gentiles do. Considering that the people to whom he was writing were Gentile converts, it makes sense that he would need to instruct…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Due to the pandemic, we were unable to hold weekly classes for 22 tenth-grade Confirmation students, so we prepared a series of 14 lessons on the material, along with some questions to answer. If these lessons are of value to you, put them to whatever use you can. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Callistus

By DEB PIROCH Memory can be fleeting — ashes to ashes and dust to dust. But to God, no one is forgotten, every soul remains forever mirrored in His mind’s eye. And the redeemed all belong to the Communion of Saints. Even more amazing is when someone is known long after one’s death, despite the fickleness of history.Such is the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Teresa Of Calcutta

By DEB PIROCH Long before Princess Diana hugged AIDS victims, a diminutive nun no one had heard of from Macedonia rescued her first dying man from the gutter. Carrying him back with her, she washed his wounds and removed maggots, covered him in clean sheets and gave him water. And he said, “I have lived like an animal, but I…Continue Reading