Josh Earnest dismisses battle with ISIS as ‘just a war of narratives’

Dare we say a war of words?

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the fight against the Islamic State is “just a war of narratives.”

President Barack Obama’s spokesman echoed the president’s habit of lifting up Muslim-Americans when terrorism strikes in the Unites States while discussing the bombing in New York on Saturday, which may have been the result of a lone wolf attack.

“We can also work to lift up the voices of prominent, patriotic Muslims in the United States, there are millions of them,” Earnest said in speaking of the administration’s efforts to shut down the outlets ISIS uses to reach followers. “They can speak to the poisonous, empty, bankrupt mythology that is being propagated by ISIL.”

He then relegated the deadly war against ISIS to little more than a battle of words.

“In some ways this is actually just a war of narratives,” Earnest said. “And so we want to make sure we’re getting out our counter-narrative against ISIL, and we’re having some progress.”

Needless to say, the push back was immediate, as seen on social media. As one user noted: “New defense strategy; sticks and stones may break our bones – your bombs and machetes won’t hurt us! That’ll show em!”

Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:


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