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Tweeting like a bunch of twits

TOM BURGUM
Staff Columnist
burgum@lbknews.com

The United States seemingly has a new foreign policy strategy. When danger threatens in the world, simply tweet it away. Russia invades the Ukraine: have a State Department official appear on Twitter with a sign of support for the Ukraine. Kidnapping in Nigeria: show the first lady on Twitter holding a sign that reads, “Bring back our girls.” She, of course, was referring to the 276 predominantly Christian school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram who plans to sell them into slavery.

The tweeting caught on and hundreds of thousands of people have joined the first lady in demanding the return of the girls. Even Boko Haram decided to tweet a bit: “To Hate is Human, To Bomb Is Divine. We hate western inventions including twitter: however, we feel the necessity to use it to reach out to our fans.” [Sic]

Whether it is the tweeting, or maybe reality has finally sunk in, but the scales seem to have finally fallen from the administration’s eyes about Boko Haram and their reign of terror in Nigeria. Michelle Obama, in her weekly radio address on May 10, said, “My husband and I are outraged and heart broken. In these girls we see our own daughters.”

Hillary Clinton, our former Secretary of Sate who isn’t yet running for president, got in first with – what else – a tweet: “Access to education is a basic right and an unconscionable reason to target innocent girls.” Secretary of State, John Kerry added his voice to the chorus:  “The kidnapping of hundreds of children by Boko Haram is an unconscionable crime, and we will do everything in our power to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes and to hold the perpetrators to justice.”

Frankly, our leaders’ outrage is a bit late. In May 2013, Nigerian forces killed 30 Boko Haram members. According to Raymond Ibrahim in Front Page Magazine, Kerry didn’t congratulate the Nigerian government, instead, quoting Reuters, “U.S. Secretary of State Kerry issued a strongly worded statement [to the Nigerian president] saying: ‘We are . . . ‘deeply concerned by credible allegations that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human right violations, which, in turn, only escalate the violence and fuel extremism from Boko Haram.”

At this point, the Nigerians were likely confused. Genocide Watch, according to Greenfield, “describes Boko Haram as a Jihadist organization seeking to impose Islamic Sharia law on Nigeria and has placed it at Stage 6 of the 8 stages of genocide. Their people were being killed, churches and schools were being burned and according to Jack Kelly in the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, “In February, Boko Haram killed 59 boys aged 11 – 18 in a boarding school in Bani Yadi, slitting their throats or burning them alive.“ It was then the Nigerians were summarily informed that shooting back was a violation of Boko Haram’s human rights. What were Kerry and the State Department thinking? Too late to tweet about the boys who had their throats slit or who had been burned alive. Those kids aren’t coming back.

Hillary Clinton, who is now outraged by the abduction of the girls, repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization despite the group killing thousands of Nigerians and destroying hundreds of schools and churches. The State Department justified the refusal by claiming that it was poverty and anger at “poor government delivery,” not Islamic extremism that was behind the murder and violence.

Ms. Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of State, David Adams went so far in a letter to congress as to allege that, “Similar to the United States, Nigeria’s diversity is a sovereign strength.” Similar to the United States? Have the Baptists and Catholics been burning Mosques recently?

Mr. Obama once again did not see, or admit he saw, the hand of Islamic terrorism in all this.  As David Greenfield wrote in Front Page Magazine, “Obama blamed the upsurge of terrorist groups on the fact that ‘countries are not delivering for their people and where there are sources of conflict and underlining frustrations that have not been adequately dealt with.”

Let me see if I’ve got this straight. According to Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton, if the welfare check doesn’t come, maybe a pothole hasn’t been fixed, or the mail is late, it’s OK to slit some throats, burn a few folks alive, and kidnap several hundred girls. Well, I can see how that might relieve frustration for some people.

All this raises a central question. How long is this administration going to deny the reality that is there for all to see? How long will events such as the Fort Hood massacre be called “work place violence?” Following that logic, the Christmas shoe bomber wasn’t a terrorist, just a crazy Muslim with a foot problem. The Manhattan bomber wasn’t part of any terrorist group, just a Muslim guy upset about parking regulations. When two Muslim brothers decided to blow up a bunch of people at the Boston Marathon, it wasn’t terrorism, just two immigrants we hadn’t been made to feel real welcome.

So, until the government calls Islamic terrorism by its real name, the rest of us can tweet on like a bunch of twits.

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