There's another video at the link showing an agitated Brennan trying to defend his premise that poverty leads to extremism. While that is probably true as to crime, extremism in the name of Allah has the added component of ideology, which the editorial board points out by saying that many top shelf terrorists of the past 20 years have been from prominent families (bin Laden and Zawahiri come to mind, as does the Times Square guy) and are often graduates of western universities.
America's counter-terrorism czar tries to circle around and call those richer terrorists driven by ideology and influenced by economic, social and political factors in their environment, ie, western meddling and poverty, without acknowledging the jihad-vehicle they are riding that acts to justify the violence. Indeed, when asked to describe jihad in general, including past jihads, he picks up his papers and leaves.
This is not a new question of course--Bush made the case that bringing democracy to the terror swamp could change the paradigm by giving the masses a greater stake in their government, but results so far have been inconclusive. Brennan seems loath to even debate it--we must pander and throw more money, evidently.
Here's another contrast. We just passed the one-year anniversary of al-Megrahi's survival in Libya as a free man after having only a few weeks to live as long ago as March 2008. Brennan recently made his disgust clear about the release and called for Libya to send him back to Scotland to serve out his term. Strong. But he didn't say what might happen if Libya refuses.
Presuming they continue flipping the bird wouldn't America's general disgust be much clearer if Mr. Megrahi were placed on the Rewards for Justice list of wanted terrorists? After all, we placed Ali Hamadei on the list after Germany early-released him for his role in the TWA 847 hijacking and death of a US sailor in Beirut in the 80s, so it would seem consistent to do so with this guy. Unless this message of weakness is some kind of secret reverse psychology program to influence the Arab street. After all, Brennan's a spook.
Nobody's saying it, but the fact Brennan has joined Obama on vacation probably means they don't want a repeat of the Abdulmuttalob Christmas fiasco. Brennan is there to work not play, and he was out on the podium today speaking to reporters, heralding Obama's successful withdrawal from Iraq. Towards the end this exchange occurred:
Q Bill, one more on Iraq?Notice how spokesflack Burton jumped in, first pretending not to hear, then taking over a question directed to Brennan, the proceeding to not answer it. So allow me--yes, the president is glad his 2007 don't surge-withdraw advice (remember, Hillary had the experience, he had the superior judgment) was not heeded so he can now pretend to fulfill a phony-baloney campaign promise patterned on the SOFA negotiated by the Bush administration in 2008. And no, he's not glad the press is phrasing questions this way.
MR. BURTON: Okay.
Q Mr. Brennan, is President Obama glad that those Democrats two and three years ago that were advocating an immediate end to U.S. involvement in Iraq did not prevail in their efforts?
MR. BURTON: I’m sorry, can you say that one more time?
Q Yes, is President Obama glad that the Democrats two and three years ago that were advocating an immediate end to the U.S. role in Iraq did not prevail in their efforts?
MR. BURTON: The President laid out in very specific terms what he thought our appropriate objectives were in Iraq in a speech that he gave at Camp Lejeune in February of 2009, and what he’s pleased with is that the brave men and women of our military have achieved that objective.