They do not appear to be jobless, or in disconnected from their world. The website of Bethnal Green Academy, where the girls matriculate, suggests that the last eight years have been good for the school:
Since the current senior leadership team took over in 2007, Bethnal Green Academy has been on a remarkable journey of progress. Beginning as a low-achieving school, the implementation of a range of measures to improve student achievement has paid tremendous dividends, leading to consistent increases in GCSE success. By 2014, the percentage of students gaining five or more A*-C grades including English and Maths reached an exceptional 80%, cementing our status as one of the most improved schools in the country. We received the highest rating of ‘Outstanding’ in our last Ofsted inspection in 2012.
The Telegraph’s account is spare, but the outlines of the story suggest that most of the president’s narrative yesterday and Wednesday is simply made up in the minds of community organizers steeped in ’60s era tropes about inner-city dysfunction. As David Goldman notes –“Spengler”– notes, 9,000 Frenchmen have gone to fight the jihad ahead of the girls and who knows how many more are coursing through the world’s air terminals looking for a role in the caliphate.
The violence levels in the region of Syria and Iraq have been steadily rising for five years –or since the United States pulled up stakes and left Iraq suddenly in pursuit of President Obama’s political goals at home– and the obvious conclusion is that the West needs to return, in force and soon, and assist Egypt, Jordan and what remains of the non-Iranian elements of the Iraqi regime in restoring order and destroying the Islamic State in full. The alternative is developing in front of our eyes, in the very small story of the three London girls, or the larger one of the 9,000 Frenchmen, or the largest one of the catastrophe of Syria, but it is hard to ignore that the West cannot simply ignore the region and expect the spasm of violence to burn itself out.
It is extremely unlikely that President Obama will take off his blinkers before he leaves 1600, or ever for that matter, so others in the West have to step up to help Egypt and Jordan now. A new sort of isolationism bred not out of fear of European struggles but of America’s own power has the country’s executive branch in its grip. It will loosen eventually. Until then, others have to lead or the numbers of combatants will swell and swell, and they won’t be content to stay in and around Raqaa and Mosul.