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Tags: Nigeria

President Drone-Strike Wishes He Could ‘Reach Out’ in Nigeria



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In between Democratic Party fundraisers in California last week, President Obama told an audience, ”Every day when I wake up and I think about young girls in Nigeria or children caught up in the conflict in Syria, when there are times in which I want to reach out and save those kids.”

You might think the president who joked about his authority to kill the Jonas Brothers with a drone strike if they got too close to his daughters might have an actual ability to “reach out” and, if not save the abducted girls, rain a little hellfire upon their captors. After all, during Obama’s presidency, he’s authorized roughly 400 drone strikes that have killed an estimated 2,700 to 4,100 people.

Tags: Barack Obama , Nigeria , Drones

Nigerian Terrorists Dig In As #BringBackOurGirls Campaign Intensifies



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The Islamist kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls has prompted a rapid and on-target response from the west: an argument over hashtag activism by preening Americans on Twitter.

First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama struck the first blow for international justice Wednesday when she posed for a twitpic holding a handwritten sign labeled “Bring Back Our Girls.”

Although the estimated 200 girls who remain in captivity to the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram are neither related to Obama nor American citizens nor in any other recognizable way “our” girls, President Obama’s wife was actually picking up on the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, which has become a popular way of expressing solidarity with the victims of the Muslim fanatics, whose leader Abubakar Shekau has promised to “sell them in the market, by Allah.”

The scope of the tragedy is vast enough that it has led to the creation of not just one hashtag but two. He-man Hollywood celebrities have joined in the campaign by warning potential buyers of the kidnapped girls — who are apparently being punished for the crime of attending school — that #RealMenDontBuyGirls.

Shekau has yet to show signs of weakening in the face of the Twitter trend, and some Gloomy Gusses in the developed world are casting doubt on the strategy. The Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher and Iowa Hawk David Burge compared #BringBackOurGirls to efforts to free large numbers of people in the pre-Twitter era.

Keep reading this post . . .

Tags: Nigeria , Boko Haram , Terrorism , Islam , Twitter

Obama Administration Advocated ‘Social Justice’ Response to Boko Haram



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As noted in today’s Jolt, the worldwide concern and outrage over the abduction of nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls is putting the spotlight on an awkward decision on the part of the U.S. government in the not-so-distant past:

The State Department under Hillary Clinton fought hard against placing the al Qaeda-linked militant group Boko Haram on its official list of foreign terrorist organizations for two years.

For what it is worth, Hillary Clinton called the perpetrators’ actions “terrorism” in a tweet a few days ago:

And then there’s Michelle Obama’s contribution to the effort to recover the kidnapped girls:

Recall that Hillary’s persona, from 2008 to today, supposedly featured toughness and military hawkishness. But if you wanted to argue that the State Department under Hillary was . . . reticent and all too lax about gathering threats, you can point to Benghazi and now this:

The Obama administration has been critical of the military approach of the Jonathan government, which is dominated by Christians from the country’s south, in dealing with the insurrection in the predominantly Muslim north.

Washington has advocated a wider economic and social-justice agenda to counter the dogmatic Islamists and increase national loyalty among disaffected northern Nigerians. Jonathan has mostly ignored the advice, [Johnnie Carson, who was assistant secretary of state for Africa until last year] and others said.

Would “a wider economic and social-justice agenda” really have proven effective against a ruthless Islamist leader who issues taunting videos declaring, “I abducted your girls. There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell”?

Carson tells the Post:

There has always been a security response to these problems, and that security response generally has been very, very heavy-handed — brutal in many instances.

A reminder of what Boko Haram is doing besides kidnappings:

Boko Haram members had gunned down or bombed worshipers in at least 16 church services in 2012. The group also burned schools, bombed newspaper offices, and assassinated Muslim clerics, politicians, and traditional leaders. In the first 10 months of 2012 alone, more than 900 people died in suspected attacks by the group — more than in 2010 and 2011 combined.

With foes like this, can you blame the Nigerians for being “heavy-handed”?

Tags: Boko Haram , Hillary Clinton , Nigeria

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