May 22, 2014 – San Francisco, CA – PipeLineNews.org – Obama’s public response to the Boko Haram1 crisis in Nigeria has been confusing, though not surprising as judged by the administration's own standards.
Hashtags aside, [please refer to, Azeem Ibrahim, Boko Haram And Hashtag Diplomacy] at first Secretary of State Kerry stated that the U.S. was waiting for an invitation by Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan to provide aid.
Countering that, Jonathan in press accounts indicated that, in effect, his calls to State weren’t being returned.
Then Kerry said that help, unspecified, was on the way.
Weeks passed during which the Secretary made the outlandish assertion that Boko Haram was a bad actor because it wasn’t providing healthcare or education to the Nigerians under its brutal control. Here the Secretary was displaying the kind of disconnect only possible in the mind of a blue-blood, gigolo capitalist. The risible issue of healthcare aside, the group’s name alone should have indicated to Mr. Kerry that offering education isn’t exactly high on Boko’s dance card since the group believes that non-Islamic instruction violates Shari’a, making it sinful, therefore making clear the way for the burning of schools and the kidnapping of little waifs.
The matter continued to drag on - more promises, still no action.
On its face the decision is complicated in that by law any aid must be of a very limited and of a non-military nature. You see unfortunately Obama is hiding behind a piece of legislation authored by the estimable Pat Leahy [D, VT] barring it. Oddly that statute didn’t seem to apply to the administration’s gun running operation from Libya to the Syrian al-Qaeda “rebels,” or current drone operations and other clandestine activity which results in bad guys assuming room temperature with great prejudice.
Finally, the proverbial other shoe drops; we find that the U.S. is indeed in the process of supplying aid to Western Africa after all, but to Chad, Nigeria’s Northern neighbor.
The team in Chad is tasked with remotely flying a single unarmed Predator drone over areas which DC’s best and brightest think might harbor the kidnapped children. None of these folks are combat or infantry troops. If perchance the girls are located by national technical means, how the U.S. could possibly rescue them remains unclear, remember we have Leaky Leahy to contend with.
Another questions arises, how would these drone jocks defend themselves against a cross-border attack by a group as brazen and battle hardened as Boko Haram?
Again, no answers.
There is comforting news however to those who have been demanding more robust aid to the Nigerian government. Team Obama has finally clarified the matter stating that it intends - not has, intends - to send “ a team of fewer than 10 U.S. military personnel and civilians from intelligence and law enforcement ” to assist the country which Team O suggests is less than interested in pursuing Boko Haram.
It’s difficult not to conclude that this entire exercise is entirely geared to U.S. electoral politics. It's pretty clear that despite the mournful face hashtag campaign, this president doesn’t really care about Nigeria, the spread of al-Qaeda affiliates in Africa or the fate of his 300 “adopted” Christian girls whose best prospect at this point means being forcibly converted to Islam [many have been filmed taking the Shahada] then "married" off and used as sex slaves.
Though Boko Haram has become the common parlance for the group it is technically, Jama atu Ahlul Sunna Lidda Da’wati Wal Jihad [though there are myriad transliterations]. Roughly translated the group's name means, The Congregation of the People (Muslims of the true faith) for Proselytizing/Conversion (da'wa) and Jihad]
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