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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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Great DepressionGary, Indiana, July 12 - Terrorism experts confessed today they cannot explain why tens of millions of Americans under economic circumstances similar to those of Islamist terrorists have not embraced hijacking, suicide bombing, burning people in cages, mass execution, and other forms of violence.

Conceding that they lack important data, analysts of the phenomenon of religious violence by Islamist militants declared themselves today unable to explain why the poverty, political voicelessness, despair, social immobility, and feeling of being exploited by more powerful forces that serve to explain Islamic terrorism have not led American, or any Western, economic underclass to pursue similar violent strategies in response to those conditions.

"We just can't think of anything that might get to the root of the difference," lamented Forrest Furthtriis of the Davis-Utley-Howe (DUH) Research Institute, a think tank. "President Obama insisted for eight years that providing good jobs for people across the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia would alleviate the grievances those societies have that lead to terrorism. He didn't get that from thin air - it's a well-established line of analysis."

"But then we started to look at the numbers and conditions of the American poor, and discovered no such violent movements with mass support," he continued. "I mean, there are fringe groups, but you don't have them taking over whole regions and recruiting thousands of like-minded fighters from far away. It's bizarre."

"We're stumped," admitted Ben Rhodes, an adviser to Obama. "According to the logic we've applied for years and years to the development of Islamic terrorism, Americans significant numbers should be joining terrorist groups to fight the oppressirs, backed by an even larger number of sympathetic supporters. Maybe it's just a matter of time? In any case, I would suggest adopting the most patronizing attitude possible, both with the Islamic societies and the American poor. Obviously, neither one knows what's good for them, and they need the educated elites to make those determinations for them."

A second DUH researcher disputed Rhodes's reasoning. "All this requires is a change in nomenclature," insisted Linda Sarsour. "All those people who voted for Donald Trump should be described as committing an act of terrorism against tolerance, and against anything I can claim is congruent with my values. Once we've drawn the equivalence between murderous terrorism and a democratic act, we no longer need to worry about silly distinctions such as violence vs. non-violence. You just have to recast 'violent' to include other things and the whole problem goes away."

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