I saw that headline “Can 20 US women senators help save 276 kidnapped Nigerian girls? (+video)”and I have to chuckle at it. Not from some sexist viewpoint that “women can’t get the job done” or that I am chuckling up my sleeve but the feminist concept behind this push, but because this is exactly the sort of sentiments that comes off as purely trite & meaningless rhetoric masking any true attempts at recovering these girls from the real thugs & terrorists. It is a bunch of wishful thinking some journalist (Howard LaFranchi, in this case) threw together because it came off as some sort of heart warming & hopeful take on the crisis…
And just what if… this makeshift alliance of all women can serve justice in remote parts of the world?! Because no one else is interested in justice being served in Nigeria, right? Because there aren’t on-going efforts in Nigeria. The title almost highlights the idea that LaFranchi & the other liberals are more interested in twisting a story about Nigerian Islamic terrorism into a cathartic feminists moment — important (non-boring) parts bolded:
The demand of all 20 female US senators that the United States press the United Nations to add Nigeria’s Boko Haram to its Al Qaeda sanctions list is unlikely to do anything in the short term for the 276 schoolgirls the terrorist organization is holding captive.
But adding the Islamist militant group to the global terrorism list could be beneficial in the longer fight against Africa’s spreading Islamist extremism, some regional experts say. In recent months, Boko Haram has focused its vicious attacks on educators and students involved in what it considers to be forbidden Western-style education.
The Democratic and Republican senators said in a letter to President Obama Tuesday that placing Boko Haram on the UN’s list of organizations affiliated with Al Qaeda could help dry up the terror group’s international support and sources of income.
“The Senate women stand united in condemning this reprehensible crime and are firm in our resolve that it will not be tolerated,” said Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D) of Maryland and Susan Collins (R) of Maine in a joint letter signed by the other 18 female senators. “We will not stand by and allow the Nigerian people to continue to be terrorized by Boko Haram and will continue to lead the effort to impose tough economic sanctions against this group.”
On Wednesday, Senator Collins called on Mr. Obama to send in a team of Special Forces to rescue the girls, who are reportedly being held at an abandoned military installation in a remote forest and game reserve. Senator Mikulski hedged on that demand, saying it is the responsibility of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to lead rescue efforts.
Please note that it is rather absurd to believe that the Nigerian government knows precisely where these people are but are refusing to engage — the Nigerian government in 2013 massacred hundreds of people in Baga, and are so vehement in their opposition to the Islamic group that they decided to assassinate its initial, peaceful leader, Muhammed Yusuf. The assassination of Yusuf in 2009 effectively triggered this whole series of events which led to the radicalization of Boko Haram and thereby has led to the kidnapping of these girls as a terrorist act.
What makes it even more absurd is that they have been offering a $7 million award for information on the location of the rebels (!!!).
Designating Boko Haram internationally as a terrorist organization would shine a spotlight on the spread of Islamist extremism – and Al Qaeda affiliations – deeper into Africa along the seam where the predominately Muslim north meets the south. That might be more important than stanching Boko Haram’s resources, some terrorism analysts say.
The spreading instability has prompted some regional experts to coin the name “Sahelistan” for the band across the middle of Africa encompassing the semiarid Sahel. The worry is that rising extremism and ethnic tensions in places like Mali and Sudan are seeping farther south into countries like Nigeria, with its Muslim north and predominately Christian south.
The Nigerian schoolgirl crisis should prompt greater US attention to the dangers facing Nigeria, a country with about a fifth of Africa’s population, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton said in a Fox News opinion piece Wednesday.
“Nigeria’s failure [to halt Boko Haram’s rise] has enormous political implications throughout northern Africa,” said Ambassador Bolton, now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “If Boko Haram’s reach and strength continue to grow, it is not impossible that Nigeria’s ethnically and religiously diverse population could face massive internal strife, and perhaps even split apart.”
Certainly a fascinating potential that we should try to avoid — but we should not avoid it to the point that a greater injustice would be put upon the Nigerian people. There is this idea in the West that democracy is enough to achieve whatever we want in any country, but this is a lie. Sometimes the people themselves do not want to be united in the least because of fundamental differences between each other.
At some point, you have to let it breath. You have to let the people go their separate ways and pursue their own national / regional interests if they are not being satisfied by the government.
I think that the US (& other powerful governments) refuse to make a recognition of such a policy because, naturally, it could lead to some results that aren’t in their best economic interests.
Greed nearly always prevails over justice.
Boko Haram is finding fertile ground in northern Nigeria not because its ideology is attractive to the area’s Muslims, but because of the high poverty (particularly compared with Nigeria’s south) and lack of economic opportunity and state services, the International Crisis Group notes in a recent report.
Christian Science Monitor
In other words: Because your government sucks and is terrible at providing for the people there is a desire to break away from it. And, especially when you assassinate local political leaders and massacre portions of a village, you will find yourself in a world of crap.
But… Don’t worry: the US Women Senators stand united with the girls and are proposing to engage American Special Forces in a Nigerian civil war! Because that is exactly what we need — to concern ourselves with more foreign conflicts and to begin showing our allegiance to a government doing a poor job of governing a mess of a country.
The US historical track record certainly shows that going into heated situations half-cocked is beneficial for everyone. Especially when there is no clear good guy, am I right?
Boko Haram soldiers — God look at those biceps on that guy in the back? Beast!
If we go back and think about that hilarious title of the video we can all chuckle again.. God knows, the various male Senators of the US were probably all very supportive of the idea of getting everyone to pursue an anti-Boko Haram agenda, but it was specifically chosen that the Ladies have to get together on this one…
… Because girls being kidnapped and all, it… makes sense, right?
We should put forward these sorts of gestures because it makes it so much more meaningful, and later we want to be able to say something like, “It was 20 US women that brought down Boko haram…”
No, it wasn’t the totality of the Nigerian people in opposition to Islamic extremism, nor was it the tireless Nigerian Soldiers or the potential foreign Special Forces that were involved… Nor was it the very human sentiment that the kidnapping and forced marriage of them was very disgusting to the most of the people…
No, let’s frame it like the Women Senators are going to do it. Because that warms my heart right up.
Like a picture of Barbara Boxer & Dianne Feinstein.
Boko Haram watch out… Unlike the whole of Nigeria, these two are coming for you!
.. For the best background on Boko Haram that I have ever heard, listen to this Podcast presented by the Australia made War Podcast right here.