Ed Driscoll

Reactive, Windblown and Unprincipled, Part Deux

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Yet another example of what can happen when the left leaves the media cocoon.

As Kerry Pickett of the Washington Times writes, White House counter-terrorism security advisor, John Brennan “had a contentious disagreement with Washington Times deputy editorial page editor David Mastio over Mr. Brennan’s belief that social, political, and economic factors have more to do with creating terrorists than anything else:”

TWT: We have a copy of your speech here from whitehouse.gov, which I assume is the correct speech and the way I read this, and I  think the plain English reading is : ‘This includes addressing the political, economic and social forces that can make some people fall victim to the cancer of violent extremism.’

BRENNAN: Right…victim to the cancer of violent extremism. Victim to that cancer as opposed to

TWT: But, you’re not talking about dead bodies here. You’re talking about the people who fall under the sway of the terrorist ideology and…


TWT: …and commit acts of terror.

BRENNAN: Absolutely…as you say fall under the sway of, and what you say in your editorial is that ‘the terrorists are victims of political, economic, and social forces.’ That is not what I said.

TWT: That’s exactly what you said.

BRENNAN:That is not exactly what I said.

TWT: Immediately afterwards, you start talking about how you’re going to address this, and you say that ‘we need to show that legitimate grievances can be resolved, that we need to have good governance, that we need to reduce corruption, we need to renew partnerships and improve education, health, and basic services.

BRENNAN: Right, but don’t you think those are worth while endeavors? And don’t you think that some factors contribute to the spawning of terrorists and extremist forces?

TWT: You’re saying that the people who are terrorists are victims of these things.

BRENNAN: I didn’t say that. Read what I said literally

TWT: We did read what you said.

BRENNAN: And you still don’t get it…do you?

TWT: No. Particularly since, if my knowledge of history is anything, that the terrorists who strike us over and over again are not people who are victims of these things. They are people who have the opportunity to become westerners. They are people who have the opportunity to…

BRENNAN: Opportunity to become westerners?!?! Boy if that is not an arrogant attitude. Opportunities to become westerners…people who strike us wherever they’re from?

TWT: People who are so oppressed, that they have college educations at western schools. People who are so oppressed that people who have middle class lifestyles even in that places that they come from that are poor.

BRENNAN: Right. They are ideologically driven by a perverse and distorted version of Islam. Absolutely.

TWT: That has nothing to do with their social situation. Their social situation is just fine.

BRENNAN: So you don’t think that people who become ideologically driven are influenced at all by the political, social, and economic forces of their environment? You’re saying that they do this irrespective of their environment…of those social, political, and economic forces that are out there?

TWT: You’re not accurately describing their environment.

Huh. You’d think the Obama White House in particular would understand better that “social, political, and economic factors” and other issues facing the immediate environment of someone often have nothing to with creating a terrorist worldview.