Kidnapping Girls is Bad, But Burning Boys Alive Is Not News
May 9, 2014 7 Comments
The kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime, and we will do everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes and to hold the perpetrators to justice. I will tell you, my friends, I have seen this scourge of terror across the planet, and so have you. They [terrorists] don’t offer anything except violence. They don’t offer a health care plan, they don’t offer schools . They don’t tell you how to build a nation, they don’t talk about how they will provide jobs. They just tell people, ‘You have to behave the way we tell you to,’ and they will punish you if you don’t.
John Kerry, Source: Townhall
I mean really the problem with Boko Haram is that they lack socialized medicine, schools, they don’t do nation building or provide jobs. If those were the only problems with Boko Haram, they wouldn’t be terrorists, they’d be American heroes. OK, I was nearly as hyperbolic there as Kerry but they’d still be terrorists even if they had those things. And while we are about it, could we get over the idiotic notion that holding signs with an octothorpe followed by slogans accomplishes anything at all. Except, of course, to make us look, childish, hip, and ineffectual.
Since the Nigerian Islamic radical group Boko Haram kidnapped over 100 schoolgirls in mid-April, the media and the American government have been up in arms over this outrage. With over 200 girls in captivity, Boko Haram warned that they may sell the children into slavery.
Beginning the night of the kidnappings on April 16 and continuing ever since, the press has devoted relentless focus to the crisis in Nigeria. Nearly a block an hour on the three major cable news networks has been devoted raising awareness about the group, their medieval views, their aims, and the atrocities they have committed in the past.
The pressure exerted by the media moved the American government to action. President Barack Obama expressed revulsion over the kidnappings in interviews with local and network news personalities. House Speaker John Boehner joined Obama and said that, as a parent, he cannot imagine the horror of having your daughters kidnapped.
On February 25, between 40 and 59 children were killed by the fundamentalist militant group. Early that morning, Boko Haram terrorists attacked a boarding school and shot many of children, aged 11 to 18, while they slept. Some of the students were gunned down as they attempted to flee. Others had their throats slit. In some buildings, Boko Haram militants locked the doors and set the building alight. The occupants were burned alive.
All of the victims were boys. Reports indicated that the young girls the militants encountered were spared. According to the BBC, the militants told the girls to flee, get married, and shun the western education to which they were privy..
And that’s a problem. Aren’t little black boys a high enough class of victim for our government and media. It has to be black girls now, it seems. Look I’m as horrified as anybody else about this, which can only be fairly defined as a slave raid. But those 50 or so boys deserve our notice just as much, and in fact, they would if they were Chinese, or Swedish as well. This predisposed hierarchy of victims is disgusting, and obscene. Anybody at all murdered or kidnapped by terrorists deserves justice, and notice and whatever help can be provided. Apparently western governments and news media are both racist and sexist. Of course, we already knew that.
The £ Daily Mail had a decent article written by Sir Max Hastings on this yesterday, I suggest you read it. But the ending of the article is disheartening to those of us who remember when the British (and the Americans) would risk blood and treasure, at least sometimes, to do the right thing.
But it is beyond our powers to save them from their own rulers. Even if — as is most unlikely — the SAS is invited to help in a rescue operation, they should not do so. The risk is too great that they get dragged into a disaster by the bloody-handed Nigerian army.
The outside world’s most useful contribution is to shine the floodlights of media attention on the corruption and cruelty of the Nigerian government.
It is international publicity, not shame, that has forced President Goodluck Jonathan’s rotten regime belatedly to respond to the kidnapping by offering a £190,000 reward.
The fanatics of Boko Haram cannot be defeated by matching them murder for murder, atrocity for atrocity. Only when the bloated bosses in the capital offer some portion of social justice to the north is there a chance of peace, and displacing the Islamist fanatics.
Britain’s days of playing world’s policeman are long gone, as even the Prime Minister at his most boy-scoutish must recognise. It is right for the Government to join cries of outrage about the schoolgirls’ plight. But Africa can be saved from itself only by Africans, not by heroes from Hereford.
He may have a point but I would like to ask Sir Max, “Just how many editorials in the London newspapers did it take to eliminate slavery in the western world?”
Because if memory serves it took decades of Royal (and US) Navy patrols off Africa culminating in the deaths of 600,000 American deaths out of a population of about 17 million.
Are these people so much less worthy than the ones 150 years ago?