Kerry: U.S. must understand what drives people to the Islamic State

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that the U.S. must understand what drives people to the Islamic State, echoing a similar warning from Glenn Beck this week. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that the U.S. must understand what drives people to the Islamic State, echoing a similar warning from Glenn Beck this week. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that it’s crucial for the U.S. and its allies to understand what motivates people to join and fight for the Islamic State, just a day after Glenn Beck( an American television and radio host, political commentator, author, television network producer,  filmmaker and entrepreneur) offered very similar advice for countering the terrorist group.

“Why do people make what to many of us would seem to be an utterly wrongheaded choice, and become the kind of terrorist that we’re seeing?” Kerry said Thursday on the last day of the Obama administration’s summit on how to counter violent extremism.

“It’s a question that we need to approach with humility, but also with determination, because you cannot defeat what you don’t understand,” Kerry said.

On Wednesday, Beck stressed that the U.S. should not be looking to enter a sustained war against the Islamic State until “we all understand who we are battling.”

While the two sets of comments show a glimmer of some possible agreement on how to deal with new terrorist threat, Beck also warned that the Obama administration has made many other comments that seem to indicate little understanding of what the U.S. is facing.

“On the left, they never admit that these guys actually believe in something,” Beck said. “But it really does matter. It does matter. I’m glad to see someone do their own homework and finally call it like it is … especially after all the random folks and the talks of the Crusades, and ‘what difference [at this point] does it make?’ ”

The administration has clearly stumbled in its effort to explain its war posture against the Islamic State, while simultaneously explain that it is not seeking a war against all Muslims. All this week, a State Department spokeswoman was defending her comment that seemed to imply that the U.S. can stop the Islamic State by helping its followers find jobs.

On Wednesday, another spokeswoman clarified that fighting the root causes that get people to join the Islamic State is a longer-term effort, and that the U.S. policy for people fighting the U.S. now is, “they’ll be killed.”

Kerry seemed to clarify this even further Thursday morning, by saying the first mission is to stop the violent killings that have been orchestrated by the group.

“There are no grounds of history, religion, ideology, psychology, politics or economic disadvantage, or personal ambition that will ever justify the killing of children, the kidnapping or rape of teenage girls, or the slaughter of unarmed civilians,” he said. “These atrocities cannot be rationalized, they cannot be excused, they must be opposed and they must be stopped.”

But Kerry also gave a nod to the longer-term work of stopping the group from picking up more recruits.

“To anyone who is in doubt, we can say with conviction to have no doubt there is a better way to serve God, a better way to protect loved ones, a better way to defend the community, a better way to seek justice, a better way to become known, a better way to live than by embracing violent extremism,” he said. “Our task is to encourage the most credible leaders and spokespersons to penetrate the barrier of terrorist lies, and do so over and over and over again.”

The Blaze

  • arzatna1

    Take your time Kerry to understand what drives people to the Islamic State.
    But please remember time is of the essence.

  • Reasonableman

    The disgusting thing sbout this narrative is that kerry tries to portray the muslims as the oppressed IS as the oppressor and america as the saviour.
    when america and western crusaders have been terrorising muslim lands for over a decade, pushing the community into deep water and then saving them to support the justification of their invasion.
    The shifting in the dialect of how things are measured is the factor which drives people to join IS.
    From muslims being oppressed and america as terrorists, then america advocating terrorism, then as muslims being terrorists and the poor west as oppressed.
    Kerry and his comrades know this, george w. bush definitely knows this when he said ” you are either with us, or with the terrorists”.

    The fact that this topic is publicly and casually discussed is demeaning and oppressive, not only are they drawing barriers between countries. They are drawing barriers between our identities, which makes it impossible for us to relate to our brothers and sisters and our mothers in syria lebanon libya africa myanmar indoneasia asia etc.
    You dictate what muslims are allowed to practise and which charities they are allowed to support. It’s subliminal fear mongering politics, which the west has been oppressed for centuries. If you are a muslim you are automatically suspicious and the muslims feel like just being a muslim is a crime!

    It does not stop at muslims, the west marginalises and advocates a fear of any group which speaks out against them.

    • man-o-war

      “western politics marginalises and advocates a fear of any group which speaks out against them”, we don’t agree on much, but I agree on this statement. Israel does the same thing to anyone that dares speak out against them.

      The right wing conservatives tea-bags in the US have been trying to get Obama to say its a holy war, but so far he has resisted. Saying its a holy war will endanger American servicemen abroad and Christians worldwide. Labeling it a “holy war” will also increase recruitment to this terrorist organization, they want it to be labeled as such.

      • Reasonableman

        The thing with liberal politics is that it’s an ocean of think tanks and smoking mirrors.

        I would rather be dealing with those tea bags, as horrible as it sounds they come at you with a club and you know what you are going to be hit with.

        I really would like to see the current administration try these cheap politics with china.

    • doron

      Kerry knows sh*t when it comes to ME.
      We have to suffer his garbage for a while now..Israel pali conflict is the root of all ME problems…give them what they want and ME would transfer into heaven on earth…yeah right..
      He earned the name delusional Kerry

      • TheUSequalsTheIS

        well since 1948 u have been doing the opposite of what kerry suggests without the ME having transfered into heaven on earth… obviously ur tac tic has failed miserably, so maybe its time to trash ur “ideas”,

        • doron

          who failed what?
          so far we have one successful ME nation and it’s th only on that is not Jewish…we succeed more then your worst nightmares :)))
          keep barking dog..when you’re done barking, have a look- the Israeli convoy passed without even giving you a courtesy kick
          have fun telling yourself it’s only temporary and don’t forget instilling this to you’re kids as well- my kids will need someone to laugh at when they are older

          • TheUSequalsTheIS

            do u have a nation? where is that?

          • doron

            Right there…that spot on the map when you get dizzy when you look at hahaha
            Btw, how many accusations in the list will have assad’s name on them?
            Id say around 1 out of 10 barrle bombing but the mass graves from 2011 are going to be a problem..
            Dont you find it funny??? You bitch and convict us or war crimes before any one decided to even open an investigation and the pimp you cheere is about to be publicly accusdd of war crimes?
            Time to bed little murderer and dream of a jail cell

          • TheUSequalsTheIS

            i dont get dizzy when looking at germany on a map… there is no bundesland called a jewish state there

          • doron

            cause you’re looking in a Euro map dumb ass :))))

          • TheUSequalsTheIS

            where should i be looking? a map of the another planet? thats where u belong after all

      • Reasonableman

        If I didn’t know your views I would say your narrative is level headed and not lop sided.
        I acknowledge pali israel conflict is a problem but lets see beyond this for a second.
        Muslims christians and jews have fought wars and made peace treaties with eachother and each thrived in areas of religion and science and medicine.
        The problem is the secular system sticking their dirty noses into the picture under the false banner “freedom of religion” “freedom of democracy” “freedom of speech”.
        These three things in reality do not exist, for me I am fortunate enough to have some academic knowledge to counter claims. As for others they will get burned before they realise.

        • doron

          Hey we can agree on facts and disagree on interpetiation and fact is that US policy for ME fails to understand the game rules changed.
          It will not be a first time if jews muslims and christians work together,it happened in Iberia. But when it did happen it happened in a cultural enviroment that wasn’t really secular but tolerant towards other people belifes

  • Fauzia45

    To understand things makes a difference !!!!!

  • Maborlz Ez-Hari

    The west truly couldn’t give a flying rats arse about what drives moslems to terrorism, but it would be nice to know what drives the west to secretly support the various terrorist cells be they osama, Baghdadi, al queda, mossad and so on. Young, dumb and delusional moslem men with really bad heads may be drawn into joining something that they feel improves their standing and gets them more respect but the truth is they are headed down an ugly road and there’s no turning back. They the west take down existing arab governments and they purposely leave a struggle or power vacuum begins once they’ve achieved their mission. Saddam, removed look what happened, bye the way he was their puppet once, then we have the other character ghadafi, Hosni was removed and Egypt shit itself aswell, what is happening in syria is no different the west don’t care and the moslems are easy pickings.