CHARLOTTE, NC, May 18, 2014 – Now that Boko Haram has at long last grabbed the attention of mainstream journalism, even though it has been actively slaughtering more Christians than the rest of the world combined since 2009, it is worth noting how much of this mayhem could have been prevented had it not been for President Obama’s failures to recognize Islam for what it really is.
Since the kidnapping of nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls, even Hillary Clinton has come under fire for not declaring Boko Haram a terrorist organization when she was secretary of state. Frightening as it may be to agree with Mrs. Clinton, she did have a couple of legitimate points regarding Boko Haram.
As columnist George Will so eloquently pointed out, Boko Haram really is not a terrorist organization in the true sense of the word because “terrorism” implies an element of surprise. Terrorists attack when least expected in order to gain maximum destruction and exposure. With Boko Haram, there is no secret to their objectives. They want to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria and they will use any means possible.
That does not mean that they are not Islamists or that they are not evil, it simply means they strike fear into the hearts of their “enemies” by telling them flat-out that they intend to kill them.
As early as March 2012, Boko Haram issued a warning that they were preparing to kidnap Christian women. That was nearly two years ago. It was hardly a surprise when it happened.
Therefore, Hillary Clinton may have been correct not to officially name Boko Haram a terrorist group.
Later while testifying during a congressional hearing, Clinton also accurately made a statement that it does not matter what individual Islamist groups are called. Be they Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, al Qaeda, Taliban or the like, they all have different agendas but their ultimate goal is the same. Why get hung up on who does what to whom when, in the end, they are all Islamic jihadists. “What difference does it make?”
Despite that, the distinction as to whether Boko Haram is or is not a terrorist organization is marginal at best. What is, perhaps, more alarming are the actions of Clinton’s successor John Kerry, who is also guilty of drinking Barack Obama’s Kool Aid.
Now that Hillary has had some time to reflect upon Boko Haram’s activities she has vehemently said of the kidnappings that they are “abominable. It’s criminal. It’s an act of terrorism and it really merits the fullest response possible.” There’s that word again, “terrorism.” It wasn’t terrorism when Clinotn was secretary of state, but it is now. Sorry Hillary, you cannot have it both ways.
To hear some members of the media analyze the story, only American expertise is capable of finding and releasing the Nigerian girls. There was a time when that might have been true, but it is certainly not the case under an Obama presidency and there is clear evidence why the Nigerian government balked at accepting our help.
According to Reuters, when the Nigerian military killed 30 members of Boko Haram just one year ago, John Kerry issued a statement to the Nigerian president saying, “We are deeply concerned by credible allegations that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human rights violations, which, in turn, only escalate the violence and fuel extremism (from Boko Haram).”
U.S. policy, therefore, was for the Nigerian government to do nothing so that we would not provoke the Islamists or make them hate us more. Guess what, John, Boko Haram doesn’t require any provocation and it is impossible to increase their level of hatred.
Following the kidnappings, Kerry phoned Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan with an offer of U.S. assistance. After the call, Kerry reported that, “it will begin immediately. I mean, literally, immediately.”
Not that rescue efforts are not nearly an impossible task, but the Nigerian girls are still being held hostage. And, as a reminder, the perpetrators of the Benghazi attacks are still at large despite our relentless efforts to hunt them down.
Of course, Muslim sources who rarely have to deal with criticism of Islam, are now making laughable claims such as “these actions have no connection to the tolerant and noble teachings of Islam.” Since when have the teachings of Islam been either “noble” or “tolerant.”
Meanwhile, Barack Obama and his administration continue to openly reject any Islamist attitude by groups such as Boko Haram.
But there is a solution to Kerry’s “immediacy” and Obama’s statesmanship. Call it “Hashtag Diplomacy.” How does it work? Have the first lady hold up a sign to show our disgust.
Problem solved. Another foreign policy coup for the ever-vigilant Obama administration.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
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