Almost a month ago now, hundreds of schoolgirls were abducted by the radical extremist group Boko Haram. Their name literally means “western education is sinful”. They have said they are going to sell the abducted girls into marriage, along with other girls they’ve abducted. And what they to do boys getting an education is even worse.
The response to this horror has been slow both from the media and from the Nigerian government. But it would appear the wheels are finally moving. The US is sending advisors to help. The Nigerians have even accepted help from Israel.
I have no idea if this will result in these girls being found and returned. I do know, however, that we are dealing with a potential danger. Nigeria is about half-Islamic and half-Christian. Their economy is slowly emerging and if they ever get their act together, they have the resources and population to be a power in Africa. If we can prevent such a country from toppling into control of radical fundamentalists, it’s probably a good idea to do so. Targeting organizations like Boko Haram and building goodwill among the people is a good start. I would oppose any military intervention. But providing advisors and information is perfectly fine.
Of course, this situation might have been a little easier if we had designated Boko Haram as a terrorist organization back in 2011. Think Regress tries very hard to make the case that it was the right decision but I think they’re stretching a bit. Just because there was some reasoning behind the decision doesn’t mean it was a good one. Or a defensible one. Not that I expect this to impact Hillary Clinton’s chance in 2016, when Boko Haram will probably have been forgotten or blamed on Bush.
There are a lot of evil organizations in the world and in Africa in particular. We can’t go chasing after all of them — remember the whole Kony business? But if we can provide some basic assistance to a potentially important nation, that seems a reasonable step.