Editorial: Boko Haram is another to defeat
Americans, and other Westerners, have been introduced to another of their enemies. To say the conscience of our humanity has been shocked is putting it mildly.
Meet Boko Haram. In this calendar year alone, the Islamic militant group has killed more than 1,500 trying to impose Islamic law on Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, which has 170 million people. Half are Christian, half are Muslim.
The organization traces history to about 2002. That’s also the same birth year of some of its fighters — 12-year-olds, according to Human Rights Watch.
Last November, the group was named a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.
Boko Haram originates out of northeastern Nigeria and soared into the public conscience last month. Teenaged girls, 276 of them, were kidnapped and Boko Haram is believed to be responsible.
Three weeks after the kidnapping, the White House stepped up involvement. Wednesday, the first lady took to Twitter in a picture with her face saddened and holding a sign with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls and the message prayers are with the missing Nigerian girls and their families.
One day earlier, President Obama said it would send personnel and equipment to help Nigerian security forces. The U.N. has offered support, and help from Britain and China has been accepted.
The crime could reach the International Criminal Court, whose Fatou Bensouda said the abductions “shock the conscience of humanity” and could fall under international jurisdiction.
We pause when the U.S. gets called into the role of world policeman. We fear boots on the ground, more loss of lives. On this occasion, another organization that opposes all things Western and sees them as a threat will undoubtedly continue to kill — including our troops if we send them.
Their conscience is a bit emptier than the rest of humanity. How else to explain all the children Boko Haram is credited with killing — 29 teenage boys in February, 40 students last September, more than three dozen mostly students last July.
And that’s not a complete list.
Rest assured, our shock meters are being weakened, from when we think globally to here at home where our Supreme Court rendered a decision, referenced one headline, in God’s favor by one vote.
We don’t need any more enemies.