Friday, July 13, 2012
State Department Still Can’t Find The Enemy
This kind of moral equivalence and philosophical musing is going to get us all killed. For now, it’s just getting a lot of people killed in foreign lands while America either fights battles with one hand tied behind its back or stays completely out of the fray. The current example is Nigeria. Our bumbling State Department stubbornly refuses to recognize the mass murder group Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization. And why? Because it would require admitting who the real enemy is—Islamism.
Boko Haram has managed to kill thousands of Nigerian citizens using typical insurgent tactics and asymmetrical warfare. It murders innocent civilians, has no governmental authority, wears uniforms only for show but rarely during an attack, and recognizes no rules of civilized warfare. That makes it a terrorist organization by any sane person’s definition. But to say it is a terrorist organization requires one to ask what their goal is. And that would reveal the real enemy’s goal—total domination of Islam over the entire world.
The human side of this horror is that Boko Haram almost exclusively targets Christians and Christian sites. The picture accompanying this article was taken last week after another devastating bombing of a Christian church during Sunday services. The organization scarcely shows its head in the Muslim parts of the country, except to parade its successes in the shrinking Christian enclaves. The practical danger of this ongoing jihad is that Nigeria was a relatively stable state with alternating Muslim and Christian chief executives. It is becoming very unstable, and worst of all, it has been a major non-Middle East provider of petroleum to the West.
Our sophisticated and nuanced State Department is doing essentially nothing about the rapidly-growing problem. It has declared certain members of Boko Haram to be terrorists, but won’t even come close to declaring the entire organization terrorist. It’s a bit like declaring Hitler, Himmler and Goering to be international criminals, but leaving the Nazis pretty much alone. And likewise, it ignores the underlying beliefs which trigger the criminal/terrorist acts. Nazism in Germany, Islamism in Nigeria.
Instead of recognizing clear facts and an evolving catastrophe in a friendly nation, the State Department engages in sophistry. When cornered by questions from committee members, State Department spokesman Johnnie Carson (no, I didn’t make that up) rambled: “Before we prescribe actions, it is important that we understand what Boko Haram is and what it is not. The truth is that our understanding is limited at best. Boko Haram is composed of at least two organizations, a larger organization which is focused primarily on discrediting the Nigerian government, and a small more dangerous group that is increasingly sophisticated and increasingly leftist.” Aw, baloney.
To return to the Nazi analogy, that’s like failing to oppose Nazism because the SS and the SA didn’t share the exact same beliefs. If it looks like a skunk, and smells like a skunk, and is seen it the company of skunks—it’s a skunk. Every platoon of Boko Haram shares a common goal, if not a common belief in how to attain that goal. That goal is the destruction of Western civilization, and in Nigeria itself anything that isn’t fundamentalist Islam. Some groups may blow up Christian churches while others assassinate political rivals, but the goal remains the same. The triumph of Islam at any cost.
Boko Haram wants to replace constitutional government and Western-style governance in Nigeria with sharia law. They do so by terrorist means, but Boko Haram and sharia have one common parent—Islamism. Our cowardly and inept State Department refuses to use either term for these murderous thugs. When they start blowing up mosques and killing imams, I might be willing to call the bloodshed a civil war. But that isn’t going to happen. This is just another attempt to take over a diverse population and control a moderate nation in the name of Allah.
In my lifetime, civilization has faced the threat of Nazism and communism. But our nation rallied behind patriotic governments, Democrat and Republican which knew who the enemy was. Now, late in my life, we face an enemy that our State Department can’t identify and won’t fight. It waffles over whom to support as Islamism takes over the entire Middle East and Africa., arguing over whether the Muslim Brotherhood or Al Shabaab is preferable.
In Nigeria, there’s no such lack of easily-discernible opponents. It is militant Islam versus civilization, and the State Department isn’t sure who should win. During the committee hearing, the State Department spokesman rigidly refused to admit that the State Department should declare Boko Haram a terrorist organization, then proceeded on three separate occasions to refer to it as a terrorist organization. With clarity of thought like that, can there be any question who will ultimately rule Nigeria?