Last Saturday marked two months since 276 girls were abducted from their beds at gunpoint, loaded onto a truck, and taken into the woods by terrorists for daring to go to school. Since then, the terrorist group, Boko Haram, has continued to wreak havoc across northeastern Nigeria, practically unchecked. The girls are still gone.
But you wouldn’t know that from the lull of “hashtag activism” since the story became international news in late April. Scroll through the Twitter mentions of #BringBackOurGirls today, and you won’t see Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton sending supportive messages. Gone are the viral photos of celebrities like Bradley Cooper, Anne Hathaway, Justin Timberlake, Sean Penn, and the cast of The Expendables 3 holding up #BringBackOurGirls signs on the red carpet. (Sharon Osbourne, however, has not forgotten about them).
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s government has been criticized for not having recovered the girls yet. “Pray for Oby Ezekwesili. You have no idea what the Jonathan government is making her go through at the moment. #BringBackOurGirls,” Japheth J. Omojuwa, a prominent Nigerian blogger, tweeted about one of the kidnapped girls on Friday. But even Nigerian activists are growing fatigued from the barrage of bad news. Ten minutes later, Omojuwa tweeted, “I am tired of everything here. I will now focus very much on the World Cup.”
Nigerian military leaders have said they know where Boko Haram is holding the girls captive, but will not attempt a rescue for fear that a use of force would be too risky. “Just leave us alone,” Alex Badeh, chief of Nigeria’s defense staff, told reporters on May 29. “We are working. We will get the girls back.” That was almost four weeks ago.
The Nigerian military has deployed ground troops and surveillance planes. The U.S., China, France, and England have all pledged to help Nigeria locate the girls and bring them back. Meanwhile, members of Boko Haram have killed nearly 500 people — shot, blown up, and hacked to death — since the girls were abducted. President Jonathan has promised to wage a “total war” against Boko Haram, but the terrorist group has gotten more than a head start.
Aside from Boko Haram, world governments seem to be playing a game of terrorist Whac-A-Mole. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is trying to take over Baghdad in a bloody attack. And the Obama administration just sent five Taliban members to Qatar in exchange for the last American POW in Afghanistan.
The message that government leaders in Iraq and Nigeria are sending is that they don’t know how to deal with these terrorist groups, and are afraid to try. And it may take more than a few tweets from American celebrities to shame them into action.
What We're Following See More »
"A State Department audit has faulted Hillary Clinton and previous secretaries of state for poorly managing email and other computer information and slowly responding to new cybersecurity risks. ... It cites 'longstanding, systemic weaknesses' related to communications. These started before Clinton's appointment as secretary of state, but her failures were singled out as more serious."
Donald Trump "was on course to win more than three-quarters of the vote in Washington's primary" last night. Ted Cruz's defunct candidacy still pulled about 10 percent. "Cruz dropped out of the race on May 3, but won 40 of the state's 41 delegates up for grabs at last weekend's state GOP convention."
"What started as a calm protest outside Donald Trump’s rally Tuesday erupted into fiery violence as protesters jumped on police cars, smashed windows and fought with Trump supporters and police. Police faced such an angry crowd that they called in reinforcements from around the state, seeking to double their numbers to counter the protesters, whose numbers swelled beyond 600." Protesters threw rocks and bottles at police, who broke up several fights.
Concerned that she's become too divisive, "Democrats on Capitol Hill are discussing whether Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz should step down as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman before the party’s national convention in July. ... Wasserman Schultz has had an increasingly acrimonious relationship with the party’s other presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, and his supporters, who argue she has tilted the scales in Clinton’s favor." The money quote, from a Democratic senator who backs Clinton: “There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on." Meanwhile, Newsweek takes a look at why no one seems to like Wasserman Schultz.
"The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote Wednesday on a Republican bill that would block the District of Columbia from spending locally raised tax revenue without congressional approval, prompting President Obama to pledge to veto it. In issuing the veto threat on Tuesday, the Obama White House made one of the strongest statements to date in support of the District’s attempt to win financial independence from Congress."