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Nigeria demonstrates US limitations

Amnesty International demands action
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

After political pressure from the White House, the Pentagon reported they sent U.S. personnel from the FBI, the intelligence community, as well as the U.S. military personnel to search for 276 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorist Boko Haram. The heavily armed militants abducted the girls on April 14 from a Nigerian government school located in the northeastern province of Borno, Nigeria.

The leaders of the terrorist group released a new 17-minute video today that showed approximately 100 of the missing girls dressed in full Muslim garb. For the first time in the four week ordeal the kidnappers hinted they may return the girls if the Nigerian government released their “brothers in arms” from prison.

Watch Kimberly’s San Diego 6 News segment here

Boko Haram is a radical Islamist group with ties to al-Qaeda that was added to the terror watch list by Secretary of State John Kerry in 2012. Last year Boko Haram destroyed 50 schools, killed 30 teachers, killed 1,500 people and last week the group slaughtered more than 300 people in a remote Nigerian village.

Last week the leader of Boko Haram released a disturbing video warning the government that they will follow “Allah’s will.” The leader, Abubakar Shekau said, “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market by Allah. There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commends me to sell. I will sell the women.”

So far the Nigeria’s government has been slow to act. A new report from Amnesty International claims the Nigerian government ignored warnings of the impending kidnapping.

Meanwhile the story has captured worldwide attention, even first lady Michelle Obama gave an address to the nation calling for the international community to respond. A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators led by California’s Barbara Boxer condemned the abduction. “We cannot stay silent in the face of these unspeakable crimes. As a mother and a grandmother, my heart is with all of the mothers and fathers in Nigeria who want their daughters to come home safely.”

Unfortunately, words don’t solve foreign policy issues and Congress is powerless to exert any will after 13 years of war.

Moreover, where’s DC’s regime distress concerning the 150,000 dead in Syria, many of whom are women and children? It’s worth pointing out that Iraq is embroiled in another sectarian civil war, killing many women and children. There should be no doubt the same action will play out in Afghanistan in 2015, once U.S. withdraws its troops. Is anyone worried about those women and children?

Speaking of hypocrisy, the U.S. allies with countries like Saudi Arabia (women can’t drive, visit a doctor, and can be stoned to death for a number “moral” crimes) or Brunei that looks to implement Sharia law. Is Congress passing worthless resolutions? The answer is a resounding “no.”

Back to the continent of Africa; the “red dirt” countries are made up of tribal nations. The warring tribes eradicate each other through barbaric genocide. The Christians kill the Muslims; the Muslims kill the Christians, female genital mutilation, opportunist dictators’ rape and pillage any wealth only to be knocked out of power by a military coup. It’s been taking place for centuries and most likely will continue for many more.

On the home front, the U.S. must recognize its limitations when it comes to playing the world’s police force-- Nigeria and Ukraine are perfect examples of this.

Nevertheless, it’s understandable that this particular tragedy presents an opportunity to make the U.S. look good in the world’s eyes by using drones to locate the missing girls, rather than the targeted killing of people.

However, critics warn that if the West negotiates with Boko Haram it will only open the door to future kidnappings.

For now it looks like the social media campaign will raise awareness, but will not affect much change when it comes to local disputes across the globe.

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© Copyright 2014 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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