The Corner

Oops: The Poorest Countries In the World Don’t Have Exceptional Levels of Terrorism

The whole world is laughing at the Obama administration’s latest weapon in the War on Terror: jobs for jihadists. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf unveiled this new policy on Sunday.

“We cannot kill our way out of this war,” Harf explained on MSNBC. “We need, in the longer term, medium to longer term, to go after the root causes that leads [sic] people to join these groups.” She continued: “We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.”

Amid ensuing global giggles, Harf doubled down on this initiative.

“We’ll take direct military action against these terrorists,” she told CNN yesterday. “We have done that. We are doing that in Iraq and Syria. But longer term, we have to look at how we combat the conditions that can lead people to turn to extremism.”

I added this morning to the guffaws over this fascinating new way of treating the people who just beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians and burned alive 46 people in the last few weeks. I decided, nonetheless, to test the Harf Hypothesis. Does poverty equal militant Islamic terrorism . . . er, I mean, extremism? (Let’s not make anyone uncomfortable!)

The Global Terrorism Index is the work of Statista, a statistical portal that aggregates more than 18,000 data sources. As Statista explains, it “systematically ranks countries of the world according to their terrorist activity. Iraq ranked first on the global terrorism index with a score of 10 points, making it the country most affected by terrorism on Earth.”

For 2014, here are the top 10 nations affected by terrorism, as well as their Global Terrorism Index scores:

1. Iraq (10)

2. Afghanistan (9.39)

3. Pakistan (9.37)

4. Nigeria (8.58)

5. Syria (8.12)

6. India (7.86)

7. Somalia (7.41)

8. Yemen (7.31)

9. Philippines (7.29)

10. Thailand (7.19)

Meanwhile, the Central Intelligence Agency publishes and regularly updates The World Factbook. Among other things, it ranks 228 nations around the world, from top to bottom, according to per-capita GDP, estimated on a purchasing-power-parity basis. (I tried to search the CIA’s website for something like Statista’s Global Terrorism Index. Oddly enough, the website’s search function is totally broken.) Here are the ten poorest nations on that list, along with their respective statistics.

219. Tokelau ($1,000)

220. Madagascar ($1,000)

221. Malawi ($900)

222. Niger ($800)

223. Liberia ($700)

224. Central African Republic ($700)

225. Burundi ($600)

226. Somalia ($600)

227. Zimbabwe ($600)

228. Democratic Republic of the Congo ($400)

The Harf Hypothesis would suggest that Earth’s ten most terrorized nations would be the ten poorest on the planet — or at least, these two lists largely should overlap.

In fact, only Somalia appears on both rankings.

So, let’s give Team Obama this: Their theory is 10 percent correct. This means that the Harf Hypothesis is only 90 percent ridiculous.

Continue the laughter!

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
White House

The Horowitz Report and the Power of Inertia

The best thing I've read about the report is by Julian Sanchez. An excerpt: The heart of the Horowitz report deals with the Carter Page FISA application, and documents a progression that ought to sound familiar to anyone who’s studied the history of the intelligence community: An investigation begins with a ... Read More
White House

The Horowitz Report and the Power of Inertia

The best thing I've read about the report is by Julian Sanchez. An excerpt: The heart of the Horowitz report deals with the Carter Page FISA application, and documents a progression that ought to sound familiar to anyone who’s studied the history of the intelligence community: An investigation begins with a ... Read More