This is a Joke, Right?
The Washington Post reports that the Pentagon plans to create new jobs as a deterrent to violence in Iraq. With unemployment hovering around 70%, Army Lt. General Peter Chiarelli says that jobs will quell the temptation of Iraqi men to join insurgent activities for pay. You know: dollars for sniping at Americans, money for joining militias. That sort of thing.
Of course, the Defense Department understands that unemployed young men tend to get into mischief. "Idle hands are the devil's workshop," as it was once said.
But as a deterrent to violence? This seems another pipe dream of faith in the free market over the benighted, backward realm of religion. "Of course these young fellas just want a job so they can afford internet, video games and reruns of Baywatch and Seinfeld like the rest of us. We give 'em that, and all will be hunky dory."
After all, we've all seen how well the (angry) unemployed young men of Muslim tendencies have assimilated into the values and culture of the West in the countries of Europe once called Christendom. The imams in London, the Hague and Copenhagen are downright placating to good ol' free market values that the Pentagon now wants to instill into the hearts of Iraqi young men.
"If it works for Muslims in Paris, Madrid, Dearborn and Falls Church, it'll work in Falujah, Mosul, Najaf and Ramadi too," seems to be the brilliant insight of our finest thinkers in the Defense Department.
Option A: The free market, jobs and spending money.
Option B: The Prophet, Koran and the sacred.
Place your bets on which the young, angry men in Iraq will choose.