Nigeria Is Playing in the World Cup Today. Its Girls Have Been Missing for Two Months.

Schoolgirls who have escaped from Boko Haram kidnappers in the village of Chibok, sit at the Government house to speak with State Governor Kashim Shettima in Maiduguri on June 2, 2014.
National Journal
Emma Roller
June 16, 2014, 10:29 a.m.

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 »
AFFECTS NOVEMBER ELECTIONS
North Carolina Voter ID Law Struck Down
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday overturned North Carolina's 2013 voter ID law, saying it was passed with “discriminatory intent." The decision sends the case back to the district judge who initially dismissed challenges to the law. "The ruling prohibits North Carolina from requiring photo identification from voters in future elections, including the November 2016 general election, restores a week of early voting and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and ensures that same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting will remain in effect."

Source:
NORTH DAKOTA TO ILLINOIS
Massive Oil Pipeline Approved for the Midwest
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

An oil pipeline almost as long as the much-debated Keystone XL has won final approval to transport crude from North Dakota to Illinois, traveling through South Dakota and Iowa along the way. "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the final blessing to the Dakota Access pipeline on Tuesday. Developers now have the last set of permits they need to build through the small portion of federal land the line crosses, which includes major waterways like the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers. The so-called Bakken pipeline goes through mostly state and private land."

Source:
DISAPPOINTING RESULTS
GDP Grew at 1.2% in Q2
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The U.S. economy grew at an anemic 1.2% in the second quarter, "well below the 2.6% growth economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast." Consumer spending was "robust," but it was offset by "cautious" business investment. "Since the recession ended seven years ago, the expansion has failed to achieve the breakout growth seen in past recoveries. "The average annual growth rate during the current business cycle, 2.1%, remains the weakest of any expansion since at least 1949."

Source:
‘DEMOCRATIC GENERATION’
Schumer: We’ll Take the Senate
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the majority leader in waiting, not only thinks his party will take the Senate this fall, but that it's on the cusp of an era of "electoral dominance." He told Politico: “We’re going to have a Democratic generation. [President Barack Obama] helped create it. But it’s just where America’s moving demographically, ideologically and in every way. We’ll have a mandate to get something done.”

Source:
TAPING IN NEW YORK TODAY
Biden to Guest on ‘Law and Order: SVU’
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"Vice President Joe Biden will appear in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit that will mention the backlog of untested rape kits in many cities, as well as efforts to end violence against women—an issue close to Biden, who authored the Violence Against Women Act in 1994." He'll be in New York to tape the episode today.

Source:
×