Monday, February 23, 2015

Countering Violent Extremism

Michael L.

extremismLast week the Obama administration issued a "fact sheet" entitled "The White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism."

The plan is to Engage, Mentor, Support, Communicate, Partner, and Educate communities about something or other.

Given that certain someones (to rename nameless) have been running completely amock in some certain part of the world and continue to inspire others to kill other people - although no one knows just who or why - it is appropriate that the government of the United States concern itself with this matter... whatever it is.

Here is the White House plan in the specifics.

The Obama administration is going to build awareness of something, counter someone's extremist narratives and will place great emphasis on community.

Most experts believe that whatever any of this means it should be sufficient to achieve our goals, once we honestly decide what those goals are.

Not content to take full measures, however, the Obama administration has even developed plans that go beyond the above.
The underlying premise of the approach to countering violent extremism in the United States is that (1) communities provide the solution to violent extremism; and (2) CVE efforts are best pursued at the local level, tailored to local dynamics, where local officials continue to build relationships within their communities through established community policing and community outreach mechanisms.  The Federal Government’s most effective role in strengthening community partnerships and preventing violent extremism is as a facilitator, convener, and source of research and findings. 
So, not only are communities involved in the effort to Counter Violent Extremism, but the Federal Government intends to partner with those communities.

I don't see how violent extremists of any sort - Russian anarchists with little round bombs or Weathermen Underground members getting stoned and blowing themselves up while playing with dynamite or, say, radical anti-abortionists who kill health care providers in the Midwest -  can possibly do anything once communities become aware of them, particularly since those communities - wherever they may be - will be partnering with other partners, including Federal Government partners.
Since the release of the Strategy, local governments and communities around the United States have developed prevention frameworks that address the unique issues facing their local communities.  Three cities—Greater Boston, Los Angeles, and the Twin Cities—with the leadership of representatives from the Federal Government, have created pilot programs to foster partnerships between local government, law enforcement, mayor’s offices, the private sector, local service providers, academia, and many others who can help prevent violent extremism. 
Here we see the full extent of the partnering.

According to the Strategy the Federal Government will partner with an entire array of people including the police and the private sector and academia.  Once the professors get involved, you just know that the terrorists have not a chance.

Of course, it is a tad unclear on just what type of professors would be useful in Countering Violent Extremism?  Is there any such thing as "violent extremism studies"?  Or perhaps professors of Ethical Philosophy will explain to people just why it is that burning people alive in cages is perhaps something other than ethical?

In any case, the Strategy does not end there... no, it continues.  Aside from the partnering going on, the Obama administration, according to the Fact Sheet, intends

1) to appoint the first-ever senior level, full-time CVE Coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security.  {And I, for one, could hardly be more grateful.}

2)  to spend 15 million dollars (!) for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to support community-led efforts to build resilience and an additional 3.5 million in National Institute of Justice research and evaluation grants to address domestic radicalization; a workshop with the creative arts community and community leaders in Los Angeles to develop innovative, scalable and implementable programs and tools to Counter Violent Extremism.

3)  to lead a workshop with the creative arts community of Los Angeles.  {Who better, after all, to Counter Violent Extremism than southern Californian poets and graffiti artists?}

4)  to sponsor a joint DHS and DOJ symposium for local partners to collaborate and share best practices.

5)  to join Canada and the United Kingdom to bring together researchers from four robust and comprehensive research programs.

We also learn that the United Nations is very much involved in the effort to Counter Violent Extremism and that "Ministers from nearly 70 countries, the UN Secretary-General, senior officials from other multilateral bodies, and representatives from civil society and the private sector will gather during the Ministerial segments of the Summit to develop a comprehensive action plan against violent extremism."

You have to give the Obama administration credit.  They actually managed to earn the cooperation not only of the United Nations, but of 70 countries!

The administration also intends to use social media to offer a positive narrative to counter someone else's less than positive narrative.  This is so that young people can go on Facebook and come to understand that while burying random children alive might be fun and exciting, it tends to diminish one's employment possibilities for the future.

Finally, in "September 2013, President Obama launched Stand with Civil Society, a global call to action to support, defend, and sustain civil society."

And there you have it!

This is the Strategy for Countering Violent Extremism.

I feel confident that neither the Ku Klux Klan, nor the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), can possibly stand up to the Strategy.

{Don't you?}


  1. There's a Fact Sheet - and a logo!
    Jon Gabriel, at Ricochet, says the logo doesn't offend him as an American - but it does as a graphic designer. He has a point.
    The DHS have now, apparently, compiled a report showing that the main threat of terrorism comes from rightwing extremists. So now you know.
    Meanwhile, the most important thing is for ordinary Americans to realise that, essentially, if people become radicalized, it's because ordinary Americans are bigots.
    People who are attracted to head chopping and crucifying etc are doing it because there is a lack of job opportunities for them. They have legitimate (?) grievances. The West has been consistently mean to them. It's all our fault. And, of course, there's Israel. I'm sure Israel's existence is the key "legitimate grievance" in Obama's eyes. It certainly seems to be his.
    Anyway, he has announced a 'strategy'. So it's sorted. And the UN are onboard. That will be helpful. They have a great track record.
    In Obama's world, the UN are the ultimate force for good. International politics is so much more preferable. It means terrible Western governments cannot continue to have too much power.
    This 'strategy' is a community organizer's approach to a problem. He is more interested in explaining to Americans what is wrong with them, than anything else. The 'problem' is caused by you. There is, of course, nothing ideological going on. More a lack of empathy.
    Community organizing, helpful academics and less innate bigotry from average Americans- that will fix it.
    The next time rightwing extremists do something appalling, I'm looking forward to the Whitehouse and the liberal media soul-searching over the 'root causes'.

    1. Exactly!

      Obama is bringing a community organizers perspective to the problem of the Islamic State.

      Can you imagine anything that makes less sense than that?

    2. The frightening thing is that to Obama and his progressive friends, it's the *only* thing that makes sense.
      As someone said- it's not just an incredibly stupid way to look at the world, it's also an incredibly lazy way to do so. They never venture beyond this formula. They can't!

  2. You can't argue someone into slavery. You can't scold someone out of it. The administration seems to loathe everything there is to BE American while at the same time concocting a PROCESS through which anyone can be talked out of hating the very same values that Obama himself seems to have little to no regard for.

    None of this makes the least sense or has any probability of success at all. This is simply urban storefront 'boy's and girl's clubs' by another name. And just wait, the content they use to sell this will be to talk to people about Obamacare and free stuff for poor people. The very same social welfare that's created a generation of people over in Europe who are free to stay home and join ISIS online.

    1. My favorite part is the workshop for the "creative arts" community of Los Angeles.

      Maybe a nice mural under a highway overpass will get the Islamic State to lay down their weaponry.

    2. Do not underestimate the symbolic power of countering their videos with poetry slams.