Dear Americans, Your Hashtags Won’t #BringBackOurGirls. You Might Actually Be Making Things Worse.

lost girl2

Simple question. Are you Nigerian? Do you have constitutional rights accorded to Nigerians to participate in their democratic process? If not, I have news you. You can’t do anything about the girls missing in Nigeria. You can’t. Your insistence on urging American power, specifically American military power, to address this issue will ultimately hurt the people of Nigeria.

It heartens me that you’ve taken up the mantle of spreading “awareness” about the 200+ girls who were abducted from their school in Chibok; it heartens me that you’ve heard the cries of mothers and fathers who go yet another day without their child. It’s nice that you care.

Here’s the thing though, when you pressure Western powers, particularly the American government to get involved in African affairs  and when you champion military intervention, you become part of a much larger problem. You become a complicit participant in a military expansionist agenda on the continent of Africa. This is not good.

You might not know this, but the United States military loves your hashtags because it gives them legitimacy to encroach and grow their military presence in Africa. AFRICOM (United States Africa Command), the military body that is responsible for overseeing US military operations across Africa, gained much from #KONY2012 and will now gain even more from #BringBackOurGirls.

Last year, before President Obama visited several countries in Africa, I wrote about how the U.S. military is expanding its role in Africa. In 2013 alone, AFRICOM carried out a total of 546 “military activities,” which is an average of one and half military missions a day. While we don’t know much about the purpose of these activities, keep in mind that AFRICOM’s mission is to “advance U.S. national security interests.”

And advancing they are. According to one report, in 2013, American troops entered and advanced American interests in Niger, Uganda, Ghana, Malawi, Burundi, Mauritania, South Africa, Chad, Togo, Cameroon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and South Sudan.

The U.S. military conducted 128 separate “military activities” in 28 African countries between June and December of 2013. These are in conjunction to U.S. led drone operations which are occurring in Northern Nigeria  and  Somalia. There are also counter-terrorism outposts in Djibouti and Niger and covert bases in Ethiopia and the Seychelles which are serving as launching pads for the U.S. military to carry out surveillance and armed drone strikes.

Although most of these activities are covert, we do know that the U.S. military has had a destabilizing effect in a few countries. For example, a New York Times article confirmed that the man who overthrew the elected Malian government in 2012 was trained and mentored by the United States between 2004 and 2010. Further, a U.S. trained battalion in the Democratic Republic of Congo was denounced by the United Nations for committing mass rapes.

Now the United States is gaining more ground in Africa by sending military advisors and more drones, sorry, I mean security personnel and assets to Nigeria to assist the Nigerian military, who by the way, have a history of committing mass atrocities against the Nigerian people.

Knowing this, you can understand my apprehension for President Obama’s decision. As the Nigerian-American writer Teju Cole said yesterday, the involvement of the U.S. government and military will only lead to more militarism, less oversight, and less democracy.

Also, the last time military advisors were sent to Africa, they didn’t do much good. Remember #KONY2012?  When President Obama sent 100 combat-equipped troops  to capture or kill Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony in Central Africa?  Well, they haven’t found him and although they momentarily stopped looking, President Obama sent more troops in March 2014 who now roam Uganda, Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Consequently, your calls for the United States to get involved in this crisis undermines the democratic process in Nigeria and co-opts the growing movement against the inept and kleptocratic Jonathan administration. It was Nigerians who took their good for nothing President to task and challenged him to address the plight of the missing girls. It is in their hands to seek justice for these girls and to ensure that the Nigerian government is held accountable. Your emphasis on U.S. action does more harm to the people you are supposedly trying to help and it only expands and sustain U.S. military might.

If you must do something, learn more about the amazing activists and journalists like this one, this one, and this one just to name a few, who have risked arrests and their lives as they challenge the Nigerian government to do better for its people within the democratic process.  If you must tweet, tweet to support and embolden them, don’t direct your calls to action to the United States government who seeks to only embolden American militarism. Don’t join the American government and military in co-opting this movement started and sustained by Nigerians. 

Jumoke Balogun is a Nigerian-American. She is the co-founder and co-editor of compareafrique.com. Seeing Nigerians of all tribes and religious affiliation together in her hometown of Oshogbo, in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and elsewhere protesting and controlling the destiny of their nation fuels her to do more and be better.  She dreams about handing down a festival of slaps to President Goodluck Jonathan and Patience Jonathan. 

Comments

443 Responses to “Dear Americans, Your Hashtags Won’t #BringBackOurGirls. You Might Actually Be Making Things Worse.”
  1. Mrs. Ibi says:

    Good argument. But, what can the rest of the world (read Americans) do other than ask for help from America? The Nigerian government has done absolutely nothing to find the missing girls/improve the security situation in Northern Nigeria. It’s unfortunate that Africans have to go crying to the West, which in turn foments and encourages the paternalistic attitude (to put it midly) that the West has towards Africa. But, I ask. WHAT CAN WE DO? Especially since the Nigerian government has done NOTHING. I applaud the many activists who are working in various capacities, but at this rate, (and also taking into account that many democratic institutions in Nigeria are broken at best) I believe US military intervention is the best course of action.

    To all Nigerians who have constitutional rights accorded to Nigerians to participate in the democratic process – DO BETTER, DEMAND MORE from your elected officials and when you do, you’ll have the capacity to address atrocities in your nation and will not need the help of the west.

    • Imani says:

      Nigerians have “done better” and “demanded more” just to be clear. A Nigerian woman started the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, however the article says nothing about that which I find to be slightly problematic. Corruption is not something we should be blaming citizens for. Nigerians can elect the people they believe to be best, but there are no real ways to fight corruption in a system that was built corruptly.

      • Anonymous says:

        I read the argument and I think the West had something to do with the missing girls anyway. Hegelian dialectic at work. However, if this is a real situation should people of African descent sit back and watch other African people be enslaved at any level. So, therefore I ask the Nigerian community what do you want Africans in the west to do?

        • Greg says:

          Now THIS is a good suggestion. Let us ASK the people in Nigeria what they want us to do, rather than assume that we automatically know what’s best for them.

        • Liz says:

          Wow. If by “the West had something to do with the missing girls anyway” you mean America I would question why a country that is struggling to keep illegal immigrants OUT would go and STEAL a couple hundred… makes perfect sense. I am so sick, as an American, of people hating us for NOT doing enough, for DOING too much. I saw a bunch of backlash because American media was not carrying enough coverage about the plight of these children. Now if we cover it, it’s hurtful. You know what, Americans are no more their Government than Nigerians. In this world we are all equally ill represented by what our Governments do. As a mother I can barely breath when I think about this. As a mother I wouldn’t care one bit what color or what nationality a person was if they could bring home my kid. As a human I am appalled that such a travesty has happened and I pray that there is SOME sort of positive outcome from this… but as an American I am not bearing the responsibility of these children’s abduction. That falls squarely on the shoulders of the Evil men that did this. Whatever is decided to be done, may it be done quickly with much success for these children.

          • Sidney says:

            I believe he was referring to the “West” of Africa.

          • Anonymous says:

            No. He was referring to the West being the U.S. (America.)

          • Mr. O says:

            lol. No. West, as in European based countries like the U.S…

          • Gina says:

            And I would add that, as the daughter of a retired U.S. Army officer (who happens to be a wonderful human being), I’m a little tired of “U.S. military” used as a term equivalent to “forces of evil.” I understand that the writer has a very different perspective from mine. But I would ask her to be as sensitive to others’ perspective as she is asking us to be to hers.

          • Anonymous says:

            stop calling ur self “american” ur not the whole continent knows as America…use a ^(%(& map…

          • Anonymous says:

            Welll said, Liz.

          • Anonymous says:

            Gina – the U.S. military is quite evil and has trafficked girls into sexual slavery in many countries it has operated in a major role, recently trafficking girls in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. It’s nice that you have warm feelings about your father, but you also need to admit to yourself that your military – like most in the world – is full of school dropouts, opportunists and psychopaths who are turned into ruthless plunderers and killers.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you, Liz — eloquently written.

          • Harmony says:

            Thank you, Liz, for your humanity, insight, and clarity. I pray with you that there is some way that we can come to a positive outcome. The Mother Spirit in all of us just wants to bring the girls home with the least possible harm done.

          • Shawn says:

            Conspiracy theories about this being orchestrated by western powers? Good grief. Let us exercise logic folks. Indirectly, one could argue that it’s the west’s fault in a way because Boko Haram is motivated by hatred for the west but to suggest they were behind the whole thing is outrageous and maddening.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thank you Liz, you are the most sensible and positive person at this forum so far. Where are the FATHERS and BLACK MEN of the world!!
            • Have you seen the fathers and uncles or the so called celebrities of Nigeria or any BLACK man in Afrika or anywhere else coming out to campaign for the girls?
            • Even in the USA when a black man kills a black woman or a child do you see any black man campaigning or supporting women in such matters. But if a white man kills a black man/boy or white man SAY SOMETHING NEGATIVE ABOUT the black man see how ALLL the so called celebrities of sports comes out from their shells to condemn the white man!!
            • Afrikan man hates the white GAY man but the white gay man is always ready to protect any other human being irrespective of race or culture! Now they are in Nigeria to rescue the girls – where are the fathers of these girls? President spent billions of dollars on her daughters wedding- he should have used that money to for the development of Nigeria or buy some rescues or search equipment. Hypocrites Black men!!

          • Odopa.com says:

            Thank you Liz, you are the most sensible and positive person at this forum so far. Where are the FATHERS and BLACK MEN of the world!!
            • Have you seen the fathers and uncles or the so called celebrities of Nigeria or any BLACK man in Afrika or anywhere else coming out to campaign for the girls?
            • Even in the USA when a black man kills a black woman or a child do you see any black man campaigning or supporting women in such matters. But if a white man kills a black man/boy or white man SAY SOMETHING NEGATIVE ABOUT the black man see how ALLL the so called celebrities of sports comes out from their shells to condemn the white man!!
            • Afrikan man hates the white GAY man but the white gay man is always ready to protect any other human being irrespective of race or culture! Now they are in Nigeria to rescue the girls – where are the fathers of these girls? President spent billions of dollars on her daughters wedding- he should have used that money to for the development of Nigeria or buy some rescues or search equipment. Hypocrites Black men!!

          • Lisa L. says:

            Well said. If only more people could talk about an emotional situation in a respectful and pragmatic manner like yourself. I would have a lot more conversations : )

          • Lilly says:

            I agree with you, but let us call them Girls, or young women, once we start calling them children we lose the meaning of why this happened. The excuse that is being used is that they kidnapped these girls because they were being educated. Education is the biggest fear that many men have, particularly in most parts of Africa and most non-Western countries, is their GIRLS being educated.

          • El says:

            I totally agree with you Liz. As a father, African but non-Nigerian, if my daughter was abducted I wouldnt care if an aliens from Mars took the requisite action to bring her home safely. I dont understand why America is receiving the backlash of an evil that has been resident on Nigerian soil for a long time. I dont get the conspiracy theories when these militant groups are slaughtering people day and night. Personally I would much rather have the “evil that comes with American help” than see people sprayed like ants whilst we sit and watch. The only people to blame here are the group that abducted the girls.

          • Twilight says:

            The American Government itself has been hijacked. If you are a true American, you would admit this. From ObamaCare to FEMA camps to Second Amendement Right, the handwriting on the wall is clear. The puppet masters want to dominate the world. they hijack the most powerful government on earth to enslave its own people first, and then extend the slavery to other countries through military force. The US will readily go to any african country in the name of peace keeping and then occupy the country thereafter. they’ve been waiting for this opportunity for for long and no thanks to our “Leaders” who cannot even rule their own home.

          • Evan says:

            Yep, it seems America is damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

          • tom says:

            I’m guessing that the evil terrorists and the evil Yankees are in cahoots on this and many other situations.

          • Anonymous says:

            That is not what the US military is “filled” with. On every corner of the world there is a person that holds one of the characteristics that anonymous has described. Correct your ignorance when you speak on my military! I am and always will be proud to call myself a member of the greatest NAVY on earth-AMERICA’S. I am intelligent, modest, and am morally inclined. That is what it is mostly filled with! At any rate, We all have to come to the realization that there are just evil people among us. While we’re not sure if the hash tags made things better or worse, we can all use affection, comfort, and empathy until those children come home. The “western” way may not suit all, but I’m sure it gave someone somewhere-if only for a brief moment-hope. And if you don’t have a concrete solution as to what to do in this time of crisis, don’t criticize the efforts of other people. Your facts and statistics is going to change just as much, if not less, than the efforts already put forth.

        • Carlos Louhisdon says:

          That is the problem with most people always trying to find someone else to blame for your woes. Why don’t you and all who cares about their people and country go back to Africa take up arms against those who geared your sisters into bondage using them as sex slaves before selling off what is left of their human dignity to the highest bitter. I know you are not in Africa you are sitting somewhere in the USA comfortably posting anonymously crap you know nothing off instead of empowering all your natives who are also living abroad comfortably while your sisters are being molested. Rise up as the true warrior you should be, be a man go back home and protect your woman and children and stop posting against the only county that is willing to step up and help do what you and so many others are so scared of doing on your own.

        • Anonymous1 says:

          It is comments like this that make me content to watch africa burn, you have no one else to blame but yourselves for your current predicament its time Africans grew up and realised this, take some responsibility and change your culture time for you to join the rest of the world hmmm? no more bullshit where you cry about the west interfering when you are doing fuck all helping the situation. the evil is not outside Africa it is inside it. and you want africa to be taken seriously when you criticize those trying to help you and then have a begging tin in your hand expecting hand outs. Where are your chinese overlords now? you think you will be able to live off the land have you tried eating dirt? look at zimbabwe as an example of a nation who cannot grow up and has hate issues. Zimbabwe is dead it is nothing but dust, the sand pit of a mad man one of the richest african nation destroyed in 30 years of African leadership explain whose fault that is? your minerals will run out and you wont be able to afford change you will be stuck in the endless cycle of violence and ignorance which perpetuates throughout the african continent. You talk about the evils of colonialism what about the good, do you like your car? do you like your plumbing? do you like your electricity? do you like your internet? dont you think for a second that africa would have been better off without west interference because you would be in a hut watching your cattle for the entirety of your life, with violence still happening because africa is a backwards continent. Do you even consider other people when you think about slavery did you think europeans started it? then you are in for a shock because not only have africans been using slaves for much longer than europeans but they have continued to practice it until this very day. Slavery is dead in the west and yet you claim them to be evil when you have slavery at your back door. Africans like you disgust me you are willing to hate and watch your people suffer for it, you are not able to grow you are not able to move on and that is the attitude of most africans perpetually in a state of hate or suffering. the west isnt evil, africa is the epitomy of evil if satan has a seat on earth it is on the continent of africa. This comment did not come from someone from the west, this comment came from an african

          • pete says:

            wow, some one with a grip on reality, nice comment, I have to say, having seen the begging bowls out on my tv for as long as I can remember for Africa, has done nothing for me.
            I will not give to charities for Africa, be cause ime sick of the give us more attitude, yet does no one think, hang on, we are feeding them, last year there was ten people begging, now there are twenty, because we are feeding them and making them into lazy people who will neither work nor want, and in there spare time they are breeding.
            most of Africa could be productive and support its people, but they are to idle to do any thing about it, look at Zimbabwe, it used to be known as the bread basket of African till they drove out the whites, who managed the land, gave work n some were to live, food on the table, and now look at it.
            ime not for a white Africa, but its funny you take out the guiding influence, and they all sit around waiting for free hand outs. I am sorry about my attitude to all this is, if they got off there arses and had a go I would be more supportive, but as it goes, I really couldn’t give a flying f***.. oh and to the point of the missing girls,, you can hide a couple of hundred screaming teenagers, no one knows were they are, really..

          • Anonymous says:

            So obviously you’re a westerner lol. please shove your ignorant, shitty opinion to someone who cares. you might be better off talking to a group of racists

          • Twilight says:

            IF this comment is from an African, then he needs more education to know that the agenda of the west (not its everyday people, only a handful of powerful, corrupt few) is to dominate and enslave the whole world once again. call it a resurrected roman empire if you will. Wake up to reality sir/ma. all the constitutional amendments going on in US is not in the interest of the common american. if you are a christian read the story of Joseph in Egypt during the 7 year famine. they were in debt so much so that they pledged themselves and their children as slaves to the house of Pharaoh. thesame situation is ready to play out in US. those who control the “Private” Federal reserve have hijacked the economy and will drive the US economy and individual citizens into debts they will never recover from. then the stage will be set to crush all other country using the military as a tool. may be you need to change your thinking and do some real research. the last true american president was kennedy jnr. America will easily distabilize any government that is not ready to dance to her tune. they asked us to legalize gay, we refused and now they start this boko haram covert operation to gain access to the country. The counsel of The Lord will Stand in Nigeria in Jesus Name. Stop this african/american mentality. lets address the real issue. A few people in the west have an agenda to enslave the world once again. Time to see the big picture. They advise all aftrican countries to lend money from them and then dictate to them how to rule/economic policy etc. Aim is to make every country indebted to the US Prvate “Federal reserve” and then implement human control through the Obamacare. well, time shall tell. Lets see how it all plays out

          • Robert says:

            And just who is to blame that Africa is still a backward continent? We love to get their natural (read oil) reserves but we do zip at giving anything back for those reserves. We just take their oil, gold, diamonds and other things, but give nothing in return (except bribes to their governments). Any help given to Africa are mostly personal initiatives, governments in both America and Europe do nothing but line the pockets of government officials. Ask the people what they need, help hands on with irrigation projects and such (if you have the balls for it, because living there is living in constant danger). Then come back and you may judge.

        • Anon says:

          Given the number of later comments seeing this “West had something to do with the missing girls” as suggesting some sort of conspiracy, may I point out that the reference to Hegelian dialectic is much more suggestive, not of a conspiracy, but of the fact that its America’s imperialistic (at the VERY least semi-imperialistic) militaristic/economic/cultural hegemony that spawns groups like Boko Haram, leading to the kidnapping of these girls. Not saying America is responsible, but we’re not exactly a force for good in the world anymore, if we ever were.

          • Anonymous says:

            Exactly. Now how do we ask Nigeria how North Americans can help. I don’t believe in a “military” solution. Look at Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Syria for examples of what happens to women’s rights in countries that the U.S. goes into and tries to help or “rescue.” We need to urge the U.S. to support the civic organizations in Nigeria who are fighting to find the girls themselves. I don’t want U.S. imperialist motives or agenda to be furthered by this crisis.

      • Mrs. Ibi says:

        I think it’s great that a Nigerian woman started the campaign. But, judging from the fact that this tragedy happened, in Nigeria, i think it’s to be expected. Corruption is never the fault of the average citizen. However, corruption in Nigeria has become embedded into the very fabric of cultural and political life in Nigeria. Unless citizens demand a change, unfortunate situations such as this, where the gov’t is unable to deal with domestic issues because it lacks the capacity to do so will continue. Yes, Nigerians can elect ppl they believe to be best but when such people have no real answers when obscene amounts of money go “missing from national budgets”, average citizens should not just look the other way, they should protest, very much like we are doing now to #bringbackourgirls. There are VERY real ways to fight corruption and it has been done successfully in Africa (see Rwanda and Botswana).

        • Anonymous says:

          Dear Mrs Ibi, which uncorrupted country, might I ask, you live in?

          Here in America, the very military you asked to intervene, we have billions missing and trillions given away, and as if our codified corruption built in to our founding political institution – system of lobbying was not enough, our Supreme Court is working tirelessly to strengthen the Power of Money. Just for a moment imagine an African country, ANY African country, behaving as US, would you still have faith that they may be entrusted to carry out whatever ‘noble causes’ in your country through overwhelming military violence?

          So please cut the self indulgent bull patties, no doubt Africans have had enough of it, I myself am about ready to puke.

          • Mrs. Ibi says:

            Dear Anonymous,
            Did you read what I wrote? No need to imagine African countries acting like the US. It seems you have missed a fundamental point here. Even if the US was the most corrupt nation in the world, are we still not asking for their help? Perhaps Nigeria should adopt US’s brand of corruption because somehow despite the corruption you highlighted in your comments, the US is thriving enough that we are asking them to come help rescue our girls. I will re-state my point again. Should the US military intervene? YES. For people who think US military help is a form of neocolonialism or paternalism it’s important that we WORK ON BUILDING THE VERY CRIPPLED INSTITUTIONS that have led to this tragedy, institutions that have crumpled because of corruption.

        • Anonymous says:

          “Even if the US was the most corrupt nation in the world, are we still not asking for their help?”
          No we are *definitely not*, you are; the whole point of the article is to bring to light the danger of inviting such ‘help’. US along with its European allies have long thrived on the profits of their colonial adventures, it is certainly not through any virtue of their particular type of political corruption.

          On the one hand you demand that Nigeria stamp out corruption and build stronger institutions, on the other, you advocate the very thing that consistently subverts any form of self determination – foreign intervention. Does that not seem schizophrenic to you?

          • Mrs. Ibi says:

            Dear anonymous,
            spend some time on social media or read ANY news article from this past week. NIGERIANS are the ones asking for help from the US and western powers (Nigerians including govt officials and other notable Nigerians) So as much as I would love to take credit for starting an international appeal to the US on behalf of Nigeria, I’m afraid Nigerians have done that all by themselves !! As an aside, self determination and working to stamp out corruption, ARE NOT THE SAME THING. In Nigeria, corruption is endemic. I don’t just mean oil companies paying bribes etc.. i mean NIGERIANS taking from nigerians (hence the reason i referred to “missing budget allocations”. In that sense, while foreign entities do def play a role in fostering corruption (not through military intervention but more through economic transactions) corruption in Nigeria does not solely stem from foreign entities but mainly from Nigerians. Again, i invite you to read my comments in its entirety! Thank you

        • Nami says:

          I have an issue with someone saying “corruption is never the fault of the average citizen” It is exactly that which fuel high level corruption, the everyday trying to survive and get ahead by any means. The border guard that looks the other way to contraband for money, the police that will let you go for money, the soldier that rapes you, the things that anyone at any time with just one smidgeon of power over you will do to take advantage of you. All that is perpetrated by the average citizen. This is the root of all corruption. How do I know? I was born and grew up in South America.

          Corruption should absolve no one.

          • Mrs. Ibi says:

            Excellent pont, Nami. and well taken!

          • Bex says:

            Excellent point indeed!- Like I always say…. not just Charity but EVERYTHING BEGINS AT HOME. Until certain aspects of the culture is fixed in the earliest part of nurturing at home and the MENTALITY OF THE PEOPLE is fundamentally changed from the the ROOT, Nigeria and other corrupt nations are screwed. I grew up in Nigeria where corruption, oppression and injustice was a pill to be swallowed daily just because of stupid reasons- I experienced and witnessed harsh punishments and mistreatment from those in power- whether due to money, status or age (sometimes as little as few days difference). There just was never a lesson on why mutual respect for one another was important just for the sake of being human. With such a system that grows up respecting only age, status and power, corruption is what concludes the development process, where blind eyes are then turned due to fear of power and bribes sought through oppressive use of Status. Who can change the nation?- Parents! Changes must be made from the crib onwards to create a new generation with a new mentality that is sound, consistent and in unison across all tribes and people. No more should taught religious values and taught cultural values conflict eachother in the minds of the learning child. So many times was I confused by the “humility” of Jesus with the contrasting “pride” of the culture. Good luck to our people.

        • Anonymous says:

          I believe citizens are demanding a change. It looks like the governments are trying to stop peaceful citizens from protesting the inaction in rescuing the girls with water cannons. Activists are being told they cannot meet or protest in certain public places. It is not that the government CANNOT find the abducted young women, it is that they WONT. It furthers the interests of the arms market to let Boko Haram keep the women as war spoils. THIS MUST END NOW. Bring them home alive and well. All of them.

      • LL says:

        There was an American guest on the Ronan Farrow show on MSNBC yesterday who claims to have started the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. It would be interesting to find out who really did start it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree totally. To be attempt to be a part of a sham, in itself, is questionable enough for me. I HATE to say it BUT (this is just a suggestion now) some folks in Mexico got sick of being victims to the cartels and masked up and anted up and have since ummm well “discouraged” would be antagonists. Just a thought. Private armies or SERIOUS negotiators could be a way to go also. I believe though that, overall, one thing must never be an issue when it comes to helping those in need though and THAT is being too proud to accept help. #BringBackOurGirls

      • treyday says:

        I agree totally. To be attempt to be a part of a sham, in itself, is questionable enough for me. I HATE to say it BUT (this is just a suggestion now) some folks in Mexico got sick of being victims to the cartels and masked up and anted up and have since ummm well “discouraged” would be antagonists. Just a thought. Private armies or SERIOUS negotiators could be a way to go also. I believe though that, overall, one thing must never be an issue when it comes to helping those in need though and THAT is being too proud to accept help. #BringBackOurGirls

      • Sharon says:

        From what I can gather it was a Nigerian MAN who started the # campaign – not a Nigerian woman. http://www.itv.com/news/2014-05-07/bringbackourgirls-creator-nigerias-government-thought-this-campaign-would-die-out/

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree. This author is so naive it is almost disgusting. Are you suggesting these 200 women should be left to rot without any help, because that will be better for the political system there? We are to assume the Nigerian political system will magically sort itself out, through good-hearted old fashioned reporting? Ever consider that the hashtags put international attention and pressure on the Nigerian leadership, who was apparently indifferent to the attacks before? Isn’t the incentive to solve the problem and avoid American intervention a good thing? Welcome to reality. Nigeria better get it’s act together or there will be a global power that steps in and does it for them.

        • Ken says:

          Yeah, only in this article can someone equate the basic human desire among Americans and other freedom-loving people aropund the world to have these girls reunited with their families and continue to receive an education, with colonialism as praticed long, long ago. One commenter even suggests that the U.S. military will, or already is, taking over the African continent. Sheesh, all we want here in America is to have these girls home, for everybody who is honest with themselves, like this author, will acknowledge that African governments are too corrupt to solve this problem by themselves. One other commenter even went as far as to say that we in the West started the terrorist group Boko Harem. Blame Hillary for that one; she didn’t put BH on the U.S. terrorist list, and they don’t want girls to be educated (it is in their name); now there is a real war on women!

      • richard kiki says:

        true imani,corruption paralyze every move

      • Nabajit says:

        If you think Nigeria do not have the will, expertise and the technology to rescue the girls. At best, Nigerian people can request India to get the job done. India will not say no to this.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are no girls to bring back. Open your eyes, this is a monopolizing strategy by globalists.

    • Logan says:

      >To all Nigerians who have constitutional rights accorded to Nigerians to participate in the democratic process – DO BETTER, DEMAND MORE from your elected officials and when you do, you’ll have the capacity to address atrocities in your nation and will not need the help of the west.

      Tell that to ExxonMobil, Chevron, blood thirsty Imams, callous Catholic Church patriarchs, and fucked up local governments all need to get the hell out of Nigeria. No one wants war, but those girls are very real victims, and are facing rape and torture everyday. Just get them back by any means necessary, figure the rest out after.

      • Mrs. Ibi says:

        Logan 1. please read the entire post. 2. I don’t know what sort of constructive discussion we can have here when you are advocating for everyone you deem unacceptable to “get the hell out of Nigeria”. 3. No one is trivializing what the victims may be going through now which is why Nigerians should use this unfortunate event as a catalyst to demand more from their gov’t and then, perhaps, no other nigerian will have to go through what the victims are currently going through. 4. Please read my entire post.

      • Anonymous says:

        At least the Catholics mean well why drag them through mud? I know Catholic Nigerians and they are comforted by Catholic presence there.

    • Anonymous says:

      you missed the point…US intervention in Africa destabilizes democratic governments who are not responsible to their citizens but obey the will of US, China, Israel, countries that are exploiting Africa for resources. Elected officials get paid to obey.

      • Mark says:

        Israel? How did Israel get in there? You’re comparing the US and China to Israel? I mean, there’s anti-semitism, and then there’s bat-shit crazy. US and China and Israel. Right. Not Russia. Not the UK, or Germany, or France, or Egypt or Saudi Arabia, or Iran, or India, or Pakistan, or Canada, or Turkey, or Syria. Israel. Right. What about space aliens?

        • Anonymous says:

          Seriously Mark? Speaking of batshit crazy, you flew into a tirade and called someone anti semitic because Israel is listed as among the countries exploiting resources in Africa; do you even know what anti-semitism means?

          • Joana says:

            Don’t you know? You can’t say anything negative about Israel, even if it’s true, or else you’re a dirty rotten anti-semite.

          • JAG says:

            Israel is being singled out as one of the three mentioned for criticism, ignoring the fact EVERY industrialized country gets some sort of material resources from Africa. The commenter was focusing the criticism on Israel despite the fact that all the post-colonial powers in Europe still exploit Africa’s resources to a way higher degree than Israel. Yes, Jews get suspicious when Israel is magically held more responsible for the global foreign trade regime that other countries. If you understand the history and experience of the Jewish community, you will see that we are always held responsible for the world’s problems, whether it be the Plague or the Great Depression. According to conspiracy theorists, “Zionists” are behind everything and they will derail any conversation (including this one about Nigerian girls who were kidnapped by Islamists), to try and prove that point. Red flags start to go up for us when see arguments that Israel is uniquely guilty among nations. It’s a lie of omission.

        • Joedean211 says:

          Diamond, that are mined in Africa pick a country and sent to Israel to be cut. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond These diamond include blood ( conflict )and non-blood diamonds.

          • JAG says:

            Diamonds are also cut in India, Belgium, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Russia, and Thailand.

            People online like to use any opportunity, including kidnapped Nigerian girls, to bash Israel for all the worlds problems. If they could they would blame Israel for Nickleback and the common-cold.

        • Anon says:

          Maybe because Israel is famous for forcibly sterilizing African woman, and being generally anti-black?

          • David says:

            That is a distortion of the truth. Individual Israeli doctors were accused of giving newly arrived immigrants from Ethiopia depo provera injections, which is a hormone based contraceptive that lasts about three months, without making sure that the women were fully informed. When the story broke Israelis were outraged, the Health Ministry conducted an investigation and issued strict guidelines that women being given contraceptives needed to be fully informed before doctors could do so. This was after Israel spent a great effort bringing Ethiopians to them in the first place.

        • ashoka says:

          Hi, coming from someone who lives in West Africa and works on issues related to resource exploitation I can tell you — Israelis are very much huge players in the corrupt resource deal game. See: Benny Steinmetz, Mark. Learn something.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah…of course…that makes so much sense. So we should not tamper with the already-corrupt nation because of the off chance it will sway some sort of organic democratic process that is clearly not taking place. Ah. Makes…so much sense?

        • Chris says:

          But the process is taking place. Folks in Nigeria are meeting and protesting. Maybe North Americans can help by urging the Nigerian government to let the people’s democratic meetings on how to recover their daughters happen rather than send in a water cannon for the police to use to break up the protesters.

    • One of the rest says:

      Rest of the world – read Americans?????? Are you aware that America is NOT the rest of the world because there is a bigger world out there other than the US???? Eish, that’s your problem, always forgetting there are others.

      • That was a dumb comment says:

        “read Americans” means, SPECIFICALLY Americans, he’s addressing the rest of the world but more specifically Americans. Get off your high horse.

      • Anon says:

        I think that’s America’s problem. You know — the “leaders of the free world.”

        • Anonymous says:

          This is hilarious, nigerians criticizing foreign aid its fricken hilarious, typical africans always bite the hands that feed you, how much has the so called evil and imperialistic west donated towards african nations in the hope things will get better, you don’t complain when the west gives you free money do you? and yet you have the nerve to persecute homosexuals because they dont deserve rights. And then when your government fails and people willingly send help you lash out at them saying they have some sort of subvert agenda. 200 girls have been kidnapped and all the africans can do is bitch and complain about how foreign nations have sent help despite for your government asking for it, not that nigeria could do anything to save the girls in the first place. You want to know whats probably happened to those girls raped and killed and sold, tis the african way and you say the west is so evil meanwhile you put empower those that have the darkest of souls or the meekest courage. its not the west that is evil it is africa that is useless

          • Anonny says:

            Oh go away! What aid? You mean the blood money the west pays for raping and pillaging africa. The money it pays to make simple minded people believe that they are fair. Silly, silly you. Africa and Africans will get off it’s knees one day, till then, maybe you keep you “aid” as for ever penny given we know that a hell of a lot more is stolen.

          • Anonymous says:

            ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Blood money are you serious! what massacres happened under colonial rule? did you not know that criminal acts by soldiers are not allowed that they are court marshalled and probably shot for them? what wealth did foreign nations steal? what are you saying that those mines that you have in africa were there before colonists came? that Africa was some sort of hyper intellectual society based off sticks and a primitive form of feudalism? You want to talk about blood lets talk about the multiple genocides committed by africans against people of different religions on multiple occasions, lets talk about the mad men of africa who destroy their nations and let their people starve. The West owes you nothing, in all of human history africa is 1 page in the history books you think only africans have suffered in the world not europeans, or asians just africans. and finally WHAT AID? well im sure i dont have to tell you that the west unlike china and the easteren nations have been propping up african nations in the hope they wont dissolve into nothing see places like nigeria, somalia and zimbabwe for places which failed. Africa was given everything! infrastructure, technology, resources and all they did was waste it on making a few wealthy whilst the others starved and became uneducated. Perhaps that is the great evil of the west we trusted africans to be able to look after themselves after they called to have their own nations, we should have known that africans are not capable of the responsibility of their actions. Also note that not a single african nation fought for its independence it was all given to them by the nations who ran the colonies

          • janieblack says:

            Nigeria gets very little foreign aid and I don’t think it gets any that it doesn’t pay pay… with interest.

            Now, that said, I do agree that Nigeria needs help in this situation and that there is little to recommend to Africa more broadly in taking an isolationist, anti-West stance. But the whole ‘you are so ungrateful and lazy and would be living in huts without western largess’ crap is a little much to have to read.

          • Chris says:

            Le’t focus on the best way to get the young women back home. Then focus on how to make “home” safe. Then focus on how to make the U.S. military safe for women. Then focus on how to make the U.S. safe for everybody. Then focus on how to make the world safe. We have the power. We need courage and conviction. We know that police kill black people. We know that women go missing all the time. It is all connected. The cry to #BringBackOurGirls touches so many because we are outraged, I am, at least at violent injustices that happen so often and go unsolved, unreported, and continue. No more silence!

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you say these things to China? Make things worse? Your Nigerian Nationals, in this case, criminals from Boko Haram have already done this! While you are so busy telling us what or what not to do, those girls are suffering, being ravaged and are dying, and what the hell have YOU done? Not a damn thing! I personally thought West Africa could take care of this with an African contingent, with no foreign intervention. What have they done? NOTHING!!! I don’t want anyone, from any country, to occupy or exploit Nigeria. Your own inaction has caused this international concern. Don’t want foreign intervention? At least ACT like you care about your female citizens and GO AFTER THE COWARD CRIMINAL BOKO HARAM RAPIST SLAVERS!!! BRING OUR DAUGHTERS HOME TO THEIR FAMILIES!!!
      I don’t have to be Nigerian to care about these young women. Your exclusionistic rhetoric is harmful to the effort.

      • Anonymous says:

        Er, if you could calm down long enough to read an article http://www.nairaland.com/1731155/boko-haram-cia-covert-operation Boko Harem was funded by CIA. There’s in any case no need to say anything to China. Lol

        • BossOfBosses says:

          Anyone who believes Boko Haram is funded by the CIA is an idiot.
          None of the documents referenced in the BLOG post (not article) even exist on wikileaks currently.

          Nigeria, gives the US, Britain, China, India, SA and Lebanon whatever the hell it wants… There is no reason for the CIA or MI6 to waste money or time funding Boko Haram. The US in particular gains nothing from it.

      • That was a dumb comment says:

        The United States picks and chooses what conflicts that it wishes to intervene in, mass atrocities like this happen around the world; let’s face it, there’s an interest for the U.S. to gain military ground in Africa, so of course they’re going to jump all over this, just like KONY… All they need is the approval of the public.

        Meanwhile atrocities that are happening else where, are largely ignored because of the lack of interest by the public and the military.

        We aid countries based on what they can do for us…. Period… They care little about those girls.

    • Marilyn says:

      Why does the writer think that the ONLY way other countries might try to influence this situation is through military action? Peer pressure for good governance, including safety and protection of all citizens, is also a powerful tool.

    • sharon says:

      the process of this issue is still where it belongs – between governments. citizens express concern and do not enact policy. citizens should never be silent for the sake of complications in policy making – that would negate their only and vital presence in process. globally…we have the right and responsibility to care for one another and should speak accordingly.

    • John says:

      It is not an American hashtag. I believe it was started originally by a Nigerian “Man”.

    • BambiB says:

      What can Americans do?

      How about, “It’s NOT OUR PROBLEM”??

      The American government has the world’s longest nose and keeps sticking it in other people’s business. To see how offensive, jingoistic and utterly stupid this is, imagine that 200 girls went missing in America… and the Chinese sent a few regiments (about 9,000-15,000 men) to America to hunt for the girls and chase down the bad guys. Would you be thanking the Chinese for their actions?

      I wouldn’t.

      So why is it that Americans are so utterly stupid as to want to run around the world, spraying bullets everywhere? When we invaded Iraq, we “liberated” the Iraqis by KILLING A MINIMUM OF 100,000 IRAQI CIVILIANS! (Some estimates are as high as 1 million, but most are in the 200,000 to 300,000 range.) What would you think if the Russians came to America to save us from Obama (who is arguably as bad as Saddam Hussein), and in the process managed to kill 100,000 innocent Americans?

      Our foreign policy is a mess. The people running our foreign policy are paid stooges who keep sending repeat business to the military-industrial complex. Americans who want to send the US military all over the world are MORONS.

    • Krobar says:

      Well Fuck you then solve your own god damn problem and stop asking us “Americans” to fix everything for you. Fuck you and fuck your missing girls

    • Parent says:

      I do not need to be Nigerian or to go to Nigeria to know that the families of these girls want them back. I just need to be human. If anybody thinks those families care about outside help’s ulterior motives then you are not being realistic. if somebody kidnapped my daughter I would sell my soul to get her back. That’s instinct. It’s being a mother.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the American people are tired of paying for other countries problems. We have a government that is completely out of control with its power and money mongering and honestly the last thing that a majority of Americans want is more military intervention into other countries–because at the end of the day the people of the U.S. get the bill for it. So you see a few stupid idiots holding their hash tag signs as well as Michelle Obama holding her sign looking like a sad little puppy that didn’t get a bone and you think that we actually care? These people just want the photos of themselves doing some humanitarian activism so that they can sleep at night feeling good. In reality, we don’t care! We are too busy getting robbed of everything we own to fuel this exponentially expanding insanity of government exploits to concern ourselves with 200 girls from Nigeria. It is a sad situation, but sad situations happen every day here in the U.S. that no one is throwing up stupid hash tag signs for. Anytime the U.S. wants to help you should expect to be pillaged and plundered, and they are not only cannibalizing you they are cannibalizing their own people. This article is absolutely correct in advocating no U.S. intervention, and as an American I advocate the same.

  2. NELSON says:

    America is the only nation that can #Bringbackourgirls. U.S. military should run down Boko Haram and kill every one of them.

    • Elle says:

      and a 1000 more will pop up. What happens when the next set of girls are taken? Are you we supposed to rescue them every time when we have young girls being forced to into sex trafficking here in the US, we have young children with parents who don’t take of them and those young girls aren’t afforded a decent education? Boko Haram are ruthless and not checking for social media. They probably don’t have any idea of how big this is, and they certainly aren’t afraid either.

      • Anonymous says:

        yep

      • Joedean211 says:

        Always the argument of the uncaring, do it here in America first. Here in America we have the FBI, police in every town, and city that can fight sex trafficking. When it is reported, if it does not get reported then that it is the problem. If you know where sex trafficking is happening report it to the police and keep reporting it until something is done.

        The girls in Nigeria were kidnapped from there school at gun point. In Nigeria, the police, and military are not doing anything or can’t don’t anything, and a request for help was made by the Nigeria government, and what was done, help was sent.

      • Chris says:

        I think we are supposed to support locals to rescue children every time children are “being forced into sex trafficking.” I think that is why were are alive on the planet: to help, love, support, and protect each other. Don’t you?

        • BambiB says:

          In a word: No.

          But if you want to, go right ahead. Spend all your money on the “BringBackTheGirls” project. Buy a plane ticket, fly to Nigeria and do your own investigating. Raise an army of volunteers to go fight the bad guys.

          But that’s not what you’re thinking, is it? You’re thinking you should just reach into everyone else’s pockets, steal their money, give it to the government so they can send Americans to Nigeria to bleed and die so you can feel better.

          Right?

    • manaen says:

      RE: “America is the only nation that can #Bringbackourgirls.”

      I doubt that: France suppressed the insurgents in Mali last year, who were a much more numerous than Boko Harum.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup, all they have to do is ask.

      Since they’re paying these dudes to terrorize people in Nigeria, they could just as easily ask them to stop. Oh but that defeats the purpose of destabilizing leading to a good cause for military intervention wouldn’t it?

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/responsibilty-to-protect-is-nigerias-boko-haram-insurgency-another-cia-covert-operation-wikileaks/5381225

    • That was a dumb comment says:

      “America is the ONLY nation that can #Bringbackourgirls” – That’s simply not true… The rest of the world is capable of functioning without us.

      Secondly,

      If the U.S didn’t spend the last century intervening and pushing it’s interests on other nations (along with many other European countries), most of these nations wouldn’t be in the positions they are in today. Don’t be ignorant child, get an education.

    • Anon says:

      Nope. But America IS the only nation that will go in pretending to have Nigeria’s best interests at heart and murder half the population in the name of “the war against terror” and then leave once Nigeria has been destroyed beyond all repair.

      • Chris says:

        I agree. Do not destroy Nigeria! Nigeria, I hope you are emboldened and fight back! Fight back! Fight back!

    • Charlie says:

      Funny, that is the same thing we – Europeans – used to say when we imperialized and colonialized the entire world. “We’re the only people who can improve their life style/situation/poverty/…”, “We’re the only people who can save them”, “They can’t help themselves so we gotta help them”.
      I assume you are American. Well here in Europe, we still have the shame on our shoulders from years and years of colonializing, factual slavery and other horrors. What our ancestors did didn’t help. Instead, they cut Africa into ridiculous pieces that cause internal (ethnic) conflicts nowadays. They stole the sources Africa had. They sent Africans to your American fields. They cut hands off. They exposed Africans in our World Expositions, like animals. They destroyed nations and people from the first time they put a foot on the African continent. And now the USA Army is doing it again; everywhere they go, they leave a trail of destruction.
      So to the USA, please do the world a favour and stop playing the savior of the world, because you aren’t.

      • Chris says:

        @Charlie:
        Thank you for your perspective. I have never heard a European speak this way. History remembers itself forever. The misdeeds of our ancestors are coming back hard with haunting consequences today. USA do the right thing. Let Nigeria solve this!!! Support their efforts. Do not take over.

        • APRIL says:

          CAPS FOR BAD EYES. BOKO HARAM MEANS “WESTERN EDUCATION IS EVIL”. THE BBC BEGGED THE WHITE HOUSE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE GIRLS. THEN THE BRITS AGREED & THE FRENCH ARE THERE. NONE HAVE YET TO USE MILITARY FORCE. HERE’S A FACT YOU WON’T LIKE. MUSLIMS HAVE KILLED FAR MORE MUSLIMS THAN THE ENTIRE WEST HAS. IRAQ WAS PUT TOGETHER BY A BRITISH WOMAN AT THE REQUEST OF CHURCHILL. SUNNIS, SHIIA, AND KURDS – WHOM SADAAM DID GAS, IF YOU CONSIDER THAT A WMD. SUNNIS ARE KILLING SHIIA IN SYRIA, IN AFRICA SALAFISTS ARE KILLING SUFIS AND BURNING THEIR KURANS. THE FRENCH WENT INTO MALI TO FIGHT TO PUSH BACK A TERRORIST INCURSION. PEOPLE WERE HAPPY. FRANCE AND AMERICA ARE BUILDING A DRONE BASE IN BURKINA FASSO. ARABS TAKE BLACK SLAVES IN MALI. THE STUPID ARGUMENT ABOUT AMERICA = USA. IS…. STUPID. YOU NAMED YOURSELVES CANADA, MEXICO ETC. BUT CANADIANS ARE ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A WAY TO HATE AMERICANS. PUT THIS IN YOUR SEARCH BOX: NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS: “THE WORST OF THE MADNESS”. WHICH IS A REVIEW BY ANNE APPLEBAUM OF THE WAPO OF “BADLANDS” – CENTRAL EUROPE WHERE MOST PEOPLE DIED DURING WW2″ AND “STALIN’S GENOCIDES”. IT’S LUDICROUS FOR RUSSIANS TO NOW BE CALLING UKRAINIANS FASCISTS, STALIN TRIED TO MAKE A DEAL WITH HITLER. BUT HITLER MADE A HUGE MISTAKE IN TRYING TO TAKE RUSSIA. THE SETTLERS IN ISRAEL ARE RUSSIANS WHO THE WEST SAVED FROM RUSSIAN ANTI SEMITISM. THEY CAME HERE TO NYC AND WERE THE WORST CAB DRIVERS EVER. SO TO ISRAEL TO TAKE OVER SO MUCH LAND A PALESTINIAN STATE WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE. A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS IN ENGLAND, IN THE GUARDIAN WAS AN ARTICLE THAT THE UK WOULD FROM NOW ON RELY ON DRONES AND SPECIAL OPS. BRITS HATE US BECAUSE THEY WOULD HAVE LOST TWO WORLD WARS WITHOUT US, THE FIRST BEING THE STUPIDEST WAR IN HISTORY, A FAMLY SPAT BETWEEN ROYALS. ON MY WAY BACK THROUGH FRANKFURT AS I WAITED TO BOARD I ASKED THE GUY WAITING TO TAKE MY TICKET: “DO YOU HATE AMERICA?” OF COURSE, “YES.” “WHY?” “I GREW UP UNDER STALIN IN EAST GERMANY.” A YOUNG GUY. I AGREE, WE SHOULD HAVE ALLOWED GENERAL PATTON TO PUSH THE RUSSIANS BACK TO THEIR BORDER. SAW PICKETTY ON PBS LAST NIGHT, WHERE HE WAS ASKED SINCE THE TITLE OF HIS BOOK IS ‘CAPITAL’WAS A MARXIST?” HIS REPLY “OF COURSE NOT. I WENT INTO EASTERN EUROPE AFTER THE WALL CAME DOWN AND SAW ALL THOSE DICTATORSHIPS.” NAOMI KLEIN, GREAT CANADIAN AMERICAN LEFTIST, HAS NOTED THAT COMMUNISM GOES ALONG WITH TOTALITARIANISM. FREE THE GIRLS!

  3. KP says:

    This blog adds a great perspective to the conversations we should be having about American imperialism. We’re too eager to “solve” problems aboard and not fast enough at home. I love my country but that’s always been a flaw I hate.

    • Anon says:

      Agreed. We also have trucks full of sex slaves driving around, the US. The superbowl one was to be the catalyst for change but wasnt. US Slavers just dont go on TV to proclaim it and dont steal them all from one school.

      However, whatever we do, please please USA dont give more foreign locals guns to “defend themselves”. It always ends up the weapons are used to oppress their neighbors.

      • Joedean211 says:

        If you want to stop the sex trafficking in America then you better stop the demand for it. The sex trafficking at the Super bowl was not cheap. The woman at the Super bowl were not asking for $100 an hour. The women were getting $1000+ an hour. You want to stop that then you have to stop the men with the $1000 plus an hour money.

        Until you stop the demand you will never stop the supply. It is just like the drug war as long as there is demand you going to have someone will to supply it.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think anyone who buys these kidnapped woman is a criminal. The people who purchase other humans in any part of the world should be treated like the criminals they are. A kidnapper or rapist is the worse. It is evil to steal and use another human this way !

        • Chris says:

          @Joedean:
          How would you stop demand for a 1000.00 sex slave? I think your attitude is defeatist. As long as men have $1000.00 to spend they will want what they want. One way to affect demand is to end pornography and strip clubs. If the U.S. took sex trafficking seriously they would put the people paying the 1000.00 behind bars. But it is the corporates who want this kind of nonsense. I don’t think you should blame the problem on the demand. We have got to come up with something better.

          • BambiB says:

            Why would you want to stop it? Are you jealous that some women make $1000/hour having sex?

      • BambiB says:

        Actually, you’re mostly right, except that Africa has always been a crap-hole. When people talk about the 18th Century slave trade, they generally forget that such was the general rule for a thousand years before the first European showed up. It wasn’t Americans going off into the bush to hunt up slaves. It was the Africans bringing their captives to the docks to trade.

        The massacre of Tutsis by the Hutus reached nearly 1 million dead by most estimates. That’s just tribal warfare (and gun control) where one side gets machetes, machine-guns and mortars and the other gets… killed.

        Oh! Oh! 200 girls kidnaped in Nigeria! (And a MILLION Tutsis murdered – did the bleeding hearts even know about that??)

  4. sassy says:

    As true as the points you make are, the facts are the nigerian government is incapable of curtailing the activities if boko haram or investigating the kidnapping of the girls. It’s a catch-22, you need USA to find the girls, but allowing them in gives them more political/military influence in the continent

  5. Bring Them Back says:

    It’s an interesting perspective, and the author may be right in a larger context. But not in this specific instance. I mean, the writer doesn’t even mention Boko Haram by name here. if he or she did, they might have been forced to recall all the *other* events perpetrated by this group over the past several years that–if checked–might have prevented this kidnapping. Think about how much run you must feel you have when you can kidnap that many girls at once…the logistics of that seem mindboggling to me. But I guess dudes are not going to worry about that when their list of previous activities (just since 2010) that have gone unchecked include:

    Bauchi prison break
    December 2010 Abuja attack
    Assassinated Muslim Cleric Imam Ibrahim Ahmed Abdullahi for criticizing the violent groups in northeast Nigeria
    Boko Haram frees 14 prisoners during a jailbreak in Yola, Adamawa State
    May 2011 northern Nigeria bombings
    The group claims responsibility for the 2011 Abuja police headquarters bombing
    Bombing attack on a beer garden in Maiduguri, leaving 25 dead and 12 injured
    Bombing at the All Christian Fellowship Church in Suleja, Niger State
    The University of Maiduguri temporarily closes down its campus citing security concerns
    Prominent Muslim Cleric Liman Bana is shot dead by Boko Haram
    2011 Abuja bombing
    2011 Damaturu attacks
    December 2011 Nigeria bombings
    January 2012 Nigeria attacks
    January 2012 Kano bombings
    Boko Haram claims responsibility for a suicide bombing at the army headquarters in Kaduna.
    Another prison break staged in central Nigeria; 119 prisoners are released, one warden killed
    During a British hostage rescue attempt to free Italian engineer Franco Lamolinara and Briton Christopher McManus, abducted in 2011 by a splinter group Boko Haram, both hostages were killed.
    During a Joint Task Force raid on a Boko Haram den, it was reported that 5 sect members and a German hostage were killed.
    15 church-goers were killed and several injured in a church bombing in Bauchi state. Boku Haram claimed responsibility through spokesperson Abu Qaqa.
    Suicide bombers strike three churches in Kaduna State. At least 50 people were killed.
    130 bodies were found in Plateau State. It is presumed they were killed by Boko Haram members.
    Family of four murdered
    Murder of six at an outdoor party
    Nigerian Military arrest Boko Haram members, reported death of Abu Qaqa
    Around 25–46 people were massacred in the town of Mubi in Nigeria during a night-time raid.
    2013 Kano Bus bombing: At least 22 killed and 65 injured, when a suicide car bomb exploded in Kano bus station.
    At least 55 killed and 105 inmates freed in coordinated attacks on army barracks, a prison and police post in Bama town.
    Yobe State school shooting: 42 people, mostly students, were killed in a school attack in northeast Nigeria.
    College of Agriculture in Gujba: 40 students killed.
    At least 31 people killed, over 50 people injured by suicide bombing in Maiduguri, Borno State.
    Izghe massacre: 106 villagers are killed.
    Federal Government College attack: Fury at military over Yobe deaths. At least 29 teenage boys dead at Federal Government College Buni Yadi.
    2014 Chibok kidnapping: Government properties, including the only girls’ secondary school, attacked. At least 16 killed or missing, and 234 female students kidnapped.

    I put it all in a list like that because it seems like if the government would and could do something about it, they would’ve. This is like 1000 people killed, kidnapped, or injured in four years, and a lot of them are kids. I’m not feeling imperialism at all…but I’m also not feeling girls getting kidnapped, sold, and if if one report is to believed, raped up to 15 times a day. If there was a time to take a stand, it was about 500 murder and eight bombings ago. At first, people were like, “why isn’t our media covering this?” (actually, the better news sources, like NPR, were). Once the media started covering it, people responded with public outcry–hashtags and the like. Then people were like, “Talking about it and hashtags aren’t doing any real good! Nobody’s doing anything!” But then the public pressure is leading to some military action. “Wait, but this military action extends the imperial agenda!” Every objection has elements of truth. I don’t discount any of it. Better systems at multiple stages could prevent things from being quite this bad…but the world is as it is, and given the facts of the situation, I seriously doubt any of those children are like “No, it’s fine…let me get abused, kidnapped, raped, and sold into slavery while I wait on a government that has failed me thus far to hopefully rescue me three weeks after the fact, whatever it takes, so long as nobody outside of Nigeria is a part of it.” In my line of work, one of the things I constantly remind myself of is that in one sense, my theory building and lab experimentation are valuable only as far as they have the potential and ability to be helpful in real world situations. With that as the measure, I have to say that to the extent people speaking up puts pressure on that results in effective action, #bringbackourgirls might have actually done more real world good than this article.

    As always, there are competing and valid priorities: well being of human life, national sovereignty, and more. And I appreciate that Africans in general and Nigerians in particular are resistant to western imperialism. But of all issues, the kidnapping of the girls is when you want Americans to stay out of it? You’d be willing to sacrifice them? I doubt their parents feel the same. The most critical issue is one that the world should be united on, far beyond geopolitical concerns. However it’s done, I want only one thing: for someone to #bringbackourgirls

    • mc-fine says:

      Well said.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you. Well said.

    • yesica says:

      indeed. well-researched.

    • Shannon says:

      Very well said. Thanks for providing more history about this group…you made a good point that if the Nigerian government could have stopped these people, they probably would have by now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amazing!!! I agree with you completely.

    • Carolan says:

      Thanks for taking the time to post this, VERY well said! Kudos!

    • Thank you for sharing your reason and facts. This is keeping me awake at night, feeling helpless. If using the hashtag #bringbackourgirls is raising awareness and forcing international leaders to respond to a human rights issue that effects all of us, then in my opinion, it’s doing more good than harm. If at the very least, social media has brought global attention to the fact that girls with books are a threat in parts of the world. Could we please just get the girls back, and then address the political climate?

    • Simon says:

      Thank you very much for posting this. I think it’s also worth pointing out that a lot of foreigners are using #bringbackourgirls to shame the government of Nigeria for not taking responsibility for the security of its own citizens, not to appeal to the US to intervene. Since Goodluck seems to still be asleep at the wheel, I don’t see any reason why that campaign should stop.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, that was so well written and supported. All I can keep saying is “wow.” I wish it was possible for your comment to be the first one that people say. Keep on rocking on :D

    • Alfia Johnson says:

      Thank you for these words of truth. I have been following what has been going on in Nigerianfor a while now, and I was wondering what heinous and deplorable act would follow what has been done by Boko Haram before the president, his government and military would have all eyes on them from both Nigerians and the international community. I am waiting for the real change to come to Nigeria by bold and progressive Nigerians.

    • +1000000 says:

      Yes

    • BossOfBosses says:

      Very well put.

      Except one part. We Nigerians are wannabe imperialists ourselves. Nigeria is not resistant in anyway to imperialism lol. Our energy and logistics sectors are fantastic examples of that fact.

    • Joy says:

      Well said. Thank you. I will use your words when I am at a loss for how to explain to others why this is important at this very juncture.

    • Chris says:

      Maybe not “North Americans stay out of it” but just “North Americans don’t take over afterwards.” And don’t hurt the young women in the rescuing process. I think you have to keep in mind that our North American military has had 500, 000 rapes. The rape epidemic in the military is out of control. So this is who is going into save these young women. I shudder to think.

    • BambiB says:

      1000 people in four years? That’s NOTHING compared to what governments did to their own people over the past century.

      Over 170 MILLION people were slaughtered – BY THEIR OWN GOVERNMENTS – in the 20th century. The pattern was pretty much the same. First register/license gun owners. Then use the registration information to confiscate guns. Then slaughter the people.

      250 people a year isn’t even ROUND OFF error in the global massacre of people BY THEIR OWN GOVERNMENTS!!

  6. jplove says:

    When will Africans realize that until they stand up for themselves, they will always be in bondage. Your land needs healing, and that can’t happen without God, through Jesus Christ. Am not talking about religion here, for those of you who may want to view my comment as such. Its about realizing how your land/people are in need of deliverance.

    • mezzopiana says:

      You’re talking about *exclusively* religious concepts such as ‘God’, ‘Jesus Christ’, but you’re not talking about religion?! Righto then.

    • Utopian says:

      Oh please. You and your deluded sort are part of the reason this continent is in such shambles. Are you implying the country was not holy enough? Not Christian enough? That each one of those girls didn’t say enough prayers, and aren’t asking God nicely enough to save them? Evil gets committed in the name of this so called god daily. All this happened whilst your make-believe jesus sat on his lazy arse and let this all go down.

  7. Bijan says:

    I find comments made above mine to be very interesting. Speaking of their broken democracy over there and the atrocities commuted by the group. Is the American exceptionalism lost on everyone? How did you stop the atrocities US committed in Iraq?(just to give one example). Did you advocate a foreign nation to come and bomb us?
    The colonial/imperialist mindset cannot fathom a situation they have no power over. There are more than 200 girls you can save by simply stoping the US war machine. But wait, it’s not simple and it would mean risking our life or being locked up like Manning.

  8. Benjamin Adu says:

    Your piece makes great points. However, many Nigerians (along with their Nigerian American counterparts) are the ones advocating and requesting U.S. assistance as well. What then?

    • Chris says:

      Then recognize Nigeria may end up like Iraq or Pakistan. Then Nigeria has to do everything it can to repel U.S. after the rescue. We want the young women home safely and long term stability for Nigeria too.

  9. martina pickett says:

    well WE are doing something. WE are going over there, they asked for our help.

  10. Fyne says:

    Rethinking this article as one with very intimate knowledge about Nigeria, I can only say that at best this write-up is dangerously myopic. Anyone who is not a Nigerian nor accorded the constitutional rights of a Nigerian citizen cannot do anything about the missing girls? Really? “[T]he involvement of the U.S. government and military will only lead to more militarism, less oversight, and less democracy.” Nonsense! It is willful ignorance if not patently disingenuous to refuse to see Boko Haram for what it is. Not as primarily a Nigerian (or African) problem but a global one–another iteration of ever-expanding jihadist Islamism. There is legitimate criticism of the handling of Boko Haram by the Jonathan–more so the Obasanjo–administration in the handling of Boko Haram, but that at present is beside the point. There is much to be critiqued about American military expansionism in Africa, Asia, Europe or anywhere else, but that is a far cry from advocating isolationist Africanism that pretends that any person, country or continent can exist in 2014 as an island. Not only Americans but all peoples of goodwill can and should do all they can to help excise this cancer in the body politic of Nigerian-nay our global community. Dear Americans, your hashtags can help #BringBackOurGirls. You definitely will not be things any worse than they are.

  11. Eloho says:

    I am a Nigerian and I would just like to say if it were anyone of us that had been kidnapped by these terrorists, we would want any and everyone who could provide the help to do it. You can worry about the politics after the girls have been found.

  12. Koko says:

    I am a Nigerian LIVING IN NIGERIA and i say to you that if your daughter was among those kidnapped, this lovely piece of yours won’t exist. You would accept any form of help from anyone even if it meant giving everything else up that you hold dear. All we care about right now is that those girls are rescued as soon as possible, that is our number one priority. You need to be in the country to feel the renewed hope that has come to be since we learnt of the UK and US intervention, replacing our desperation, and sense of helplessness. We need help, and we are not too proud to admit it. Maybe one day when you have a child, you would understand. We don’t care about your political analysis.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The issue at hand is that, the Nigerian government is not dong what it meant to do! those girls are outside Nigeria and I am sick of the news, people saw them drive? so they should get information what ever way possible and stop this political shit!!

  14. Femi says:

    Jumoke, please propose an alternative. The Nigerian government is not capable of bringing back our girls. Who else can afford the intelligence and the defense budget for a “peace-keeping” mission in Nigeria apart from the biggest defense spender(s)? Our street protests have achieved their aims – to raise international awareness and to show the world that the Nigerian government lacks the political will and the military capabilities to salvage the situation.

    Of course, there could be unintended consequences, but as a Yoruba adage says “ti igi ba wo lu igi, ti oke ni a ma n koko gbe!” Meaning – the priority now is to first rescue those girls. We will take the government to task later. The longer those girls stay with their abductors, the worse the damage that will be done to them psychologically, physically and otherwise.

    Assume you were the mother, sister or cousin of one of those girls, would you still think the same way?

    • Chris says:

      As a North American I guess what I am asking is for the U.S. to do something different. Of course the girls need to come home. Each hour that goes by I am sure they could be being tortured more and more. That is horrific. The parents were said to have gone after their children right away but were not supported by the police/army. Now perhaps with international pressure President Goodluck Jonathan would order his troops to find the students. After the girls are returned, the U.S. should leave and honor the country’s own process to heal rather than stay and “protect our interests.”

      I do think the instability in Nigeria was engineered. And I think #BringBackOurGirls Now and Alive!

  15. V T. says:

    Thank you for the piece and the many comments. Bring them back made an awesome point about the Nigetian military’s inadequate at minimum, truthfully abominable response to terror that has e same reasons been perpetuated for years against citizens of Nigeria. Where was the outrage before? After Hurricane Catrina the US stubbornly refused assistance for many of the same reasons- stubbornism and pride. People died. Either we are a global community working to raise conditions for humanity or we are just nation states stuck in a imperialistic divide. The US and others of the global north can’t seem to win do nothing and terror and tradegy continues, step in with resources and the US is deamonized. Until the world is rid of poverty and inequality ignorance and power struggles will continue. Hopefully we can transform so that all humanity benefits.

  16. Paul - London says:

    It’s a natural parent and family reaction to want these girls back, whoever and wherever they are.

    I don’t need internet polemic to tell me not to express sympathy and support for the parents who must be going through hell.

  17. Ccs says:

    This is some feedback a friend of mine, Emefa Agawu, has about this article. She’s the author of the recent letter to the editor published in the NYT about this issue:

    “While it’s an easy to trope to claim that all the American military forces want to do is advance American strategic interests, I think that’s a pretty simplistic view, and not totally accurate. (Or even if you think that, it is possible that quelling insurgencies in other countries can be both in America’s interest and the country, which in this case I feel it is…) In my view the hashtag campaign is concerning on two levels — the lack of consideration about the way media interferes with terrorist activities (though Boko Haram is more accurately an insurgency) and also because it is totally unspecific in how exactly it wants us to bring our girls back.
    But on the second point, the article makes the same mistake by assuming all military action is created equal. There are all sorts of potential interventions, from a special forces extraction team, to sustained US or UN peace-keeping forces in the Northeastern state or more of Nigeria, and a million options in-between. To treat all these options the same is to fall into the easy assumption that America Sucks No Matter What It Does. I also have to disagree with even the title of the piece — the hashtags MIGHT actually bring the girls back! This level of outrage has made it an incredible salient issue, creating the opportunity to gain mega political points, which people are LEAPING at — even China has agreed to cooperate. Now, whether bringing the girls back will actually result in a sustained and effect counter-insurgency effort to dismantle Boko Haram… that remains to be seen. I’m guessing no. The US doesn’t like committing troops for That Stuff anymore.”

  18. SallysueLee says:

    These are two different issues; yes, some of our past US Presidents have acted as if they rightfully have the power to invade other countries under false pretenses etc. but that has nothing to do with bringing home 200+ young girls who were kidnapped and God knows we have no idea what they are being subjected to in every moment. Bring down the entire Heavenly Host if needs be to bring these girls home because now is not the time for political correctness… bring our girls home (yes we are all One) after which, if you want to give us a lesson in American imperialism.. then by all means, go ahead.

  19. James says:

    I suppose you’re right. The girls have almost certainly been raped multiple times already and I suspect at least some of them are now dead. We can’t stop the sale of these little girls to sex traffickers and they will “grow up” (if you want to call it that) as slaves and prostitutes. I guess there’s no reason for anyone in the U.S. to care. Never mind. Since you insist, I’ll stop having compassion for them now. (please note the dripping sarcasm)

  20. BK Kumbi says:

    Thank you so much for this insight. I am Congolese (DRC) and what we see in our country just make us pray that no other African country experience it. I felt so bad seeing all those #, as as soon as I saw them I thought Kony and all the deceptive narratives the West invents to further put us down. The US is not our friend, Obama, although considered as black is not our friend. The sooner we will get this the better of we will be. Nigerian people need to wake up asap and put all these people out of their country. Plus a final question, don’t you find it strange that all those people are rising for those poor girls but keep silent about the 500 000 rapes and abduction of women and little girls as old as one in the Congo? Don’t you find it strange that people organize # but fail to speak about the more than 6 millions dead in the Congo? The ones who are truly suffering now are the parents of those girls and if we have to bring them support for they really live a nightmare, however we don’t have to accept ”help” from anyone who says he wants to help.

    • SHIN says:

      True talk!!!

    • Chris says:

      How sad. I did not know. Thank you BK Kumbi for bringing this up. You are right we (the world) does need to help support folks in the Congo who must be in unspeakable grief if their are 6 million dead and 500,000 rapes. I did not know. I feel so sad and so sorry. I hope the world will begin to know and help each other heal.

  21. Karen says:

    Hi, I am a participant in the Bring Back Our Girls campaign myself and a few of my friends had planned and carried out a vigil for the missing young women and children in Toronto. We are also trying to put pressure on the Nigerian government and other African nations to use their resources to bring the girls home. Many of us in this movement are not calling for military intervention especially from the United States. We have seen what happened in Kuwait during Desert Storm and what happened after Afganistan. We are not the least bit naive to the fact that the U.S. can and will often appear as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Indeed they are known to make any crisis situation worst by just showing up. However for the author to say that us outside of Nigeria can not do anything about the missing girl is disheartening. We live in a global village/international environment it would be callous for non Nigerians to sit back and watch these events unfold without mobilizing and trying to find constructive ways to assist The mothers, the community and the Nigerian state. As well war is not the answer. There are so many possibilities and various tactics the international community and the Nigerian government can use to Bring Back Our Girls without engaging in a war. Our eyes are wide open.

    • Debbie says:

      I am from Toronto as well and agree with your statement. While we are not in Nigeria and cannot vote we can still shine light and attention to the situation as a global village

  22. Shannon says:

    I don’t think it should be assumed that anyone who uses the hashtag is telling America to “bring back our girls.” I certainly am not. My motivation is to put pressure on the Nigerian government to do so as I believe it is THEIR job. In the past, people letting governments know that their eyes on them can help those powers respond. Now, I think that if I were in these girls’ parents’ shoes, I wouldn’t care WHO brought by child back as long as I got her back.

    I damn sure don’t want the US trouncing our asses up into Nigeria. As an African-American, I am VERY aware of what happens when white military powers come through Africa…I’m a product of it.

  23. whimone says:

    what does that mean – you are nigerian-american? you were either born there, or maybe your parents were? or have you traced some ancestry or dna to what you think is nigeria and are now claiming it as an identity? i seriously doubt you were born there as your writing would indicate that american english is your first language. you are a good writer, wordsmith. but, unless you are pretty lately removed from nigeria, as in, a child of non citizen immigrants who has in the very least visited a time or two, i don’t see that you have any more right or ability to speak for nigerians than any other american. and even if you meet those criteria, are you from the same region where the children were taken? you said yourself nigeria is made up of many peoples. do you feel entitled to speak for all of them because you had some ancestors from the basic region? i think you are practicing american arrogance at it’s best, which is kind of what you are trying to speak out against.

    i’m inclined to listen for voices coming out of the region over a displaced person who is actually using their remote ties to a country, who is using a human tragedy there, to speak out in support of their own ideological response to conditions in their own home country of america.

    • Utopian says:

      Bravo!

    • Ijeoma says:

      Although I disagree with this piece, it is grossly inappropriate for you to police other people’s identity and attempt to qualify others’ ‘Nigerianness’.

      There are many Nigerian Americans living in communities saturated with other Nigerians/Nigerian Americans where the dominant culture is very much one that is Nigerian. They grow up strongly identifying with their Nigerian identity, which constitutes one of their many other identities. Yes, they are growing up in the U.S. but what difference does that make? When politicians and the elite back home send their children overseas to be “educated” in Europe, the U.S., and other countries, rarely stepping foot again until they return as young adults to follow the footsteps of their powerful parents, how come these people’s identities are never questioned…because they own property and hold substantial power in Nigeria?

      Who are you to prop this person as an outsider? What qualifies you to speak on this person’s sense of identity? You are not the gatekeeper of Nigerian identity so please stop propagating this problematic notion of identity. You are colluding in the erasure of whole groups of people’s experiences and identities when you advance such silly notions as this.

      • Ayo says:

        Well Said Ijeoma! I agree with you! When I first read Are you a Nigerian? smh. These parents just want their babies back home and that is all! I have a 17 year old sister and teenage nieces and this is disturbing. So if the world has to get involve to #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS.

      • SHIN says:

        allthough i agree with the piece, yr expressions on identity are well placed.

    • zamike says:

      ” i seriously doubt you were born there as your writing would indicate that american english is your first language. you are a good writer,”

      I am sorry to disappoint you, but there are some of us who are born in Africa, and yet are still able to speak English. Some of us even know how to use apostrophes correctly in the sentences which we write. I even heard a rumour once that they speak English in other countries apart from the US, and some of them quite well. (That lady in London with the big crown does a decent job, although her elocution seems a little forced.)

      Based on your logic, I could extend the argument and suggest that since Shannon clearly knows how to use punctuation, and British colloquialism, she is clearly not American…. but rather somebody who knows how to speak and write correctly. However, that would be rude, and show signs of prejudice.

      So I will give both of you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that you are who you claim to be.

      Can you please extend Shannon the same courtesy?

      P.S. I apologise for spelling ‘rumour’ correctly. I do not wish to confuse you, but I also did not want you thinking I was secretly a US citizen, based on my ‘american english’.

    • Anon says:

      YOU CAN SPEAK ENGLISH?? OH NO MUST NOT BE NIGERIAN! YOU KNOW ALL NIGERIANS ARE UNEDUCATED AND DON’T KNOW ENGLISH!!

  24. Karen says:

    I would like to add that it seems as if Mr. Goodluck Johnathon is not in a hurry to deal with Boko Haram. It is as if his government and the group have a symbiotic relationship where BH reigns terror on the people thus keeping them passive and in check for Goodluck Jonathon. His reaction to BH has been without much thought, sometimes adding fuel to the fire in fact. Jonathon’s reaction to the attacks on school children is deplorable. The parents of the missing girls most fear Boko Haram and their own government who is suppose to be protecting them. We should not use this opportunity to launch an anti west campaign and instead embrace the #BringBackOurGirls campaign as a way to search for resolutions that is not going to further compound the problem of terror on school children in Nigeria and resolutions that will address the problem that causes young men to join such radical organizations in the first place (poverty and disenfranchisement)

  25. Where is the African Union? Can they not co-ordinate intervention to deal with Boko Haram?

  26. Ahria says:

    Where is the outcry from mosques around the world. They are silent, as usual.

    • Greg says:

      Someone has complained that the mosques around the world have been silent on this issue. Actually, that’s not true. The American news media simply doesn’t report the reactions from the Muslim world. Read news from non-American sources, and you will learn that there HAS been condemnation of the mass kidnapping from various Muslim leaders. Even an al Qaeda spokesman issued a statement saying that Boko Haram had “gone too far.” I am not kidding.

    • Anon says:

      What do you think “mosques” are? Political entities? They’re not like churches. They are places where you pray, the end. And Muslim people have been outraged, because, guess what — Boko Haram might be publicized by the Americans as an “Islamist” group, but their main victims are Muslims. Muslim girls, boys, men, women. Imams and sheikhs. Any and all Muslims.

  27. Comparing #BringBackOurGirls (started by Nigerian families, as OUR indicates) and #Kony2012 (started by a white kid who turned out to be a charlatan) is just plain wrong…

    • BK Kumbi says:

      Just shows how little you know about Africa and some operations led by the US on that continent. I advise you make some research on the subject and then you speak up your mind. Just type Milton Allimadi (from the Black Star News) and Kony and listen to what he says. This should be a start.

  28. Robin says:

    I am sadden to say that after so much time the girls may have been moved elsewhere and/or might end up being a casualty of war. I do think that if Nigeria finds out that they are gone…. they need to take out Boko Haram by any means possible.

  29. Suzie says:

    Seems we Americans are caught in an impossible circle- on the one hand criticized for ignoring issues in Africa but on the other criticized for not paying attention in the “right way”.
    It’s important to note that the #bringbackourgirls hashtag movement was designed simply to get the press to continue to cover the event. I’ve always been critical of movements such as “Save Darfur” and of course the infamous Kony video for oversimplifying the complexities and often loose-loose situations in Africa- turning them into celebrity causes rather than action. But a hashtag campaign simply designed to keep the story alive is a different type of animal. It is the realization that there is power in the American news media to make the Nigerian government pay attention to this issue. As recently as yesterday a party official in Nigeria suggested that the girls hadn’t really been kidnapped.
    I would suggest that Nigerians such as the author of this article jump on the hashtag to educate Americans about the complexities of this situation. This is a huge opportunity to raise awareness and harness the activist potential towards what Nigerians on the ground want.
    For more info on how the hashtag came into being check out this story:

  30. mrcisneros says:

    Imperialism does suck but maybe now isn’t the time to be concerned with who saves these girls as long as their saved. I think the earlier post entitled “bring them back” makes a very good and logical points. Something needs to be, Nigeria’s unable to help its own people forvarious reasons. We shouldn’t stand by and do absolutely nothing while these girls are raped abused and sold into slavery. maybe #bringthemback isn’t such a bad idea after all?

  31. Queen Adria says:

    The fact this large number of children were taken from their school at once reminds me so much of the deal that was made during the Atlantic Slave Trade. These girls were not kidnapped! A business transaction was made and they were sold. The school had to be involved; if not the school, then whomever was responsible for the security of these children were involved. Further, how does one move this amount of human cargo without suspicion? I can imagine there are some creative ways. What this really boils down to is the evil of the men in Nigeria! No, not all Nigerian men. But, this is definitely the evil of MEN in Nigeria. The good men in Nigeria must organize themselves into a stronger force than the military there and stop being so damned afraid! Fathers, bothers, uncles, cousins friends and neighbors need to organize themselves as a unit of people who will not tolerate this! GOOD MEN OF NIGERIA, GO #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS!

  32. Toni says:

    So we should all fold our hands and watch. I don’t freaking care who helps, just #bringbackourgirls.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I’m reading comments after reading the article and I agree with the author even more now…..Yes the story went viral but let’s honest the government dosent always disclose all information we are hearing this account from someone who is witnessing how the military’s involvement is negatively affecting his country and I seriously doubt that he is the only NATIVE to his land that feels that way. I can think of a lot of other things American tax dollars can be spent on besides continuously invading and occupying countries that are very capable of figuring out there problems.A lot of these comments concern me…..who are you to say what they need.. who are you to tell someone they are wrong about whats going on in thier own back yard I can see why Americans are so disliked……We don’t run the world we live in it and should start respecting it and the PEOPLE regardless of what country they are in……Don’t forget Africa has more natural resources than any other country in the world don’t be naive as to why America is taking interest.There is so much more to Africa then what you see on tv or read in an article

  34. Cwalt says:

    All African countries should just get on board with the big picture. Everyone knows all we want are peaceful nations with a McDonalds on every corner and shopping malls in every city center. We want you to take huge loans from our privatized banking system to build the illusion of wealth so our corporations can own all of your natural resources. WE want you to be an ally in spreading freedom to the four corners of the earth.

    We will come and put a price tag on everything and everyone. The trees, water, energy, land, food, love, music, conversation….humans will all have “value” then. Your life will have “value” when you are working 2 jobs 12 hours a day at a meaningless job, day in and day out to keep up with living an over abundant lifestyle. How much will you be worth?

  35. Jinx says:

    You know what I find baffling? that not ONE islamic or muslim country has voiced out to say they would help!!

  36. bee says:

    I just believe the hashtag should not end with the girls only. It should actually be #end boko haram right now!

  37. Margarida Moniz says:

    Well, I understand that the problems of Nigeria and all its atrocities and abuse of power from one to another political group will not be resolved by US troops or US intervention.
    What we are watching here, and some of us very passionately, is the horror of these little girls and families… It is true that if they were from a more “important” country, the entire world would immediately do everything to bring them back home.
    I am very proud of US taking action in this case and as other countries are joining, I know these girls are going to be home soon.

  38. Kiah says:

    Here is a thought:

    Dear Author, please volunteer yourself to be kidnapped and then wait on Goodluck or other Nigerians to save you.

    You are probably sitting behind the safety of some computer screen typing nonsense while every hour that passes someone’s daughter is going through horror.

    You probably also live outside Nigeria and so therefore are deluded into thinking Nigeria is a sane society. It isn’t! Forget Boko Haram. A society where human beings enrich themselves with monies meant for education, health of these children is not a sane one. The Nigerian govt cannot be bothered. If you say you are Nigerian, then you must know this.

    If you have no contribution to make to help these girls, please shut up and get out of the way.

    I don’t care how those girls are found. So long as they are found-alive.

    Then we can come back and talk to about this nonsense you have written.

    I am Nigerian and I have absolutely no faith in my country’s government or military or ability to protect any of those girls.

    • Kaybe says:

      Amen is all that needs to be said Kiah

    • Utopian says:

      I read this with behind a veil of tears. I can’t come close to feeling a percentage of the frustration and agony you as a woman who is from Nigeria must feel. I agree with you, it’s so easy to take adopt the macro political view of this and spew all of what this author did neatly packaged as a seemingly thoughtful strategically sensitive outlook which would sooner use the tragedy that occurred as a catalyst for change than as a critical opportunity to return each of those girls to their families. It’s so easy to do all of these and misdirect one’s dismay, and be more emotionally detached when one isn’t directly in the fray, or directly impacted by this horror.

  39. Nikita says:

    I hesitate each time to state if America should support or get involved with things at all. I just wanted the girls to get back home. I did not want them to be raped, sold into sexual slavery etc. I wasn’t thinking about what Ithe US could take but what needed to be saved.

    Imperialism is not limited to America. Imperialism is alive and well in many countries. No offense, but what I also don’t understand is the anger aimed at America but not the other many countries on the continent. Like really, where are they? Why isn’t anger being shown towards them for not coming to help try to find the girls? Is this such a usual occurrence that no one bats an eye, or is there something else going on. I don’t mind someone clearing up my ignorance or telling me the history of why they aren’t coming, because I would honestly like to know.

    China is currently in the continent, and they are THE financial superpower at present. Nigeria could ask them to help if you don’t trust the US. They definitely have the military and financial might to help. But it may come at a price. The US, again, is not the only imperialistic country out there by a long shot. All this anger being aimed in that direction is foolish and blinding.

    I would prefer that America not be involved in the battles across the world. Let the world handle its on problems cause Lord knows we do have enough of our own we need to work on and solve. At the same time, I cannot be that callous when it comes to children. Those babies look like my own. They look. like. my. own. Send the whole military to come and save my children. Save them. It took Nigeria way too long to get active on this issue. They know what happens to girls – that crap happens to girls all around the world including the US. Pressure from US citizens is why they are there getting involved in this crisis because we are finally dealing with sexual crimes here from rape to molestation and yes, sexual slavery. It has been three weeks now before Nigeria admitted it needed help and in the meantime, where are the girls? Are they living in a personal daily hell because of this delay? Save. The. Babies. Get them home and away from harm.

    • JoeJohnson says:

      Well said, agreed 100%

    • Ben says:

      This piece is as useless as the writer’s shallow-thinking and ignorant-driven analysis. I have lived in Lagos before and know very well there is nothing like the ‘military’ or ‘police.’ Just a bunch of corrupt guys in uniform. Boko haram has been successful because I have no doubt there are groups amount the security agencies who give them clues and tips as to the next step of operation from the security. Nigeria is a failed country that needs serious purging and help. My car was stopped a million-times only for the police to ask for money for “coke.” Most of them wearing faded union and dirty boots as though they were living on the streets. Before you start your rants (probably driven by your Muslim faith) take a look at your country’s ability to resolve this issue without any external help. 90% of those in uniform are corrupt, and I’ll not be surprised if they are making money off of the innocent girls taken. The Nigerian security don’t care taking the last penny from a blind man, give him a marble, and send him home on a wrong path. I haven’t a country this corrupt (I have lived in 17 countries) like Nigeria is. If there is any issue to be of a grave concern, this is on top of the list.

  40. Mattie says:

    Oh hm. I wasn’t aware the hashtag was about using Western military forces. I thought it was a campaign to get the Nigerian government to take this much more seriously.

    I know the Nigerian First Lady made comments insinuating the villagers staged the kidnapping, were somehow part of the terrorist group that perpetrated the kidnapping or somehow at fault for the kidnapping of the young women.

    I’ve really only seen it in a context implying that we need there to be more pressure on the Nigerian government to be more proactive in getting the women back or to just generally signal boost that these girls exist, have names and are still missing. I apologize for my misunderstanding of the hashtag.

    • joan says:

      Here in USA, I’ve seen/heard nothing that indicates the # campaign was aimed at US Military involvement. Trust me we’d rather not risk more US lives, spend more on our defense costs rather than education, job creation, health care. That said we care about these girls and all girls whose lives are at risk simply because they want an education. So if Nigeria, a West African alliance, and/or the African Union refuses or is able to rescue these girls, we are ready to help rescue them IF invited to do so by Nigeria.

  41. Or perhaps... says:

    Is the author suggesting we sacrifice one for the good of the many (or in this case the kidnapped girls for the advancement of democracy in Nigeria)? I can’t speak for everyone, but most people that I know are expressing their solidarity with the plight of the families and letting them know the world mourns with them. If the author were to share this piece with the suffering families of these girls, would they nod their heads in agreement and ask people stop showing their support and raising awareness? Would it be more palatable if the nods of support came from every other country but the US? Does the author truly believe hashtags are what get our government to take action and, if so, is that the type of democracy the article suggests we are sabotaging? If only hashtags could influence our government… (Actually, that would be even scarier!). My interpretation of the hashtag is it is a show of compassion and these girls represent all children. The hashtag does not read bringbacktheirgirls, it says bringbackOURgirls. While the article raises some thought-provoking points, it is ill-timed. The first priority is to procure their release. Then address the political implications. My gut says their families would agree.

  42. #BringBackOurGirls says:

    I will keep #Hashtagging #BringBackOurGirls, until they are returned. Why? Because, before the U.S and the rest of the world ever heard about it, Nigeria AND Nigerians had 2.5 weeks to bring them back. What happened? Nothing. Apparently, no one besides their family thought they were worth the effort.

    The writer is yet another Nigerian in denial. In complete denial about how woeful and inhumane we have become as a Nation and as a people with regards to human life or dare I say, the life of a female. Now that Nigeria’s incompetence has been exposed for the world to see, the author and many alike, have become defensive. As a parent, my belief is that if hashtags and “military expansionist agenda in Africa” is what it’s going to take to bring those girls home and heal our deep seethed problems, so-be-it.

    How about we all be quiet for a moment and ask the parents of those girls if they care ‘how’ or ‘who’ brings their children home before we start pointing fingers at well meaning people who feel helpless and want to do what they can to simply bring these girls home. And about that military presence, if it is going to protect the villagers who were bombed yet AGAIN yesterday and the 2nd batch of children that were kidnapped, I say bring it on. A bully never stops until they know someone much scarier has entered their midst. “No Western Education my behind”.

  43. If it were not for the power of social media, no one would know of this and the international community would not be putting pressure on the Nigerian government to do something. The culture of corruption that is pervasive all throughout Nigerian society is being uncloaked by the exposure this issue is getting. Change is all about awareness. The attention being given to this issue by the global community, because of social media, is the only reason these girls even stand a chance.

  44. Elizabeth Babalola says:

    Dear Jumoke, thanks for voicing these concerns. While i share some of them. There are some things to note. The protests and use if hashtagd by Nigerians have been to mount local and international pressure on the Nigerian military and government for action not the American government. Likewise our calls to support the military are directed at a ramge of stakeholders including local communities with intelligence information and neighbouring countries. Yes, the US has stepped up to the plate but our calls have also pushed GEJ and his military to action. The US decision to join in is an externality that we will unfortunately have to deal with later on.

  45. ID says:

    Nice of you to look @ the bigger picture but nothings more important than finding those missing girls, and if it means seeking their help we should do it. And that hashtag(#) for your info made everybody and the world aware of the evil of that kidnap, instead of just sitting there and saying nothing like before.

  46. T.babs says:

    Dear Jumoke, thanks for voicing these concerns. While i share some of them. There are some things to note. The protests and use of hashtags by Nigerians has been to mount local and international pressure on the Nigerian military and government for action not the American government. Likewise our calls to support the military are directed at a range of stakeholders including local communities with intelligence information and neighboring countries. Yes, the US has stepped up to the plate but our calls have also pushed GEJ and our military to action. The US’ decision to join in, is an externality that we may have to deal with, hopefully it won’t be another #kony2012

  47. Utopian says:

    How is letting democracy run its course meant to critically intervene and see to it his hashtag that is trending might actually be materialised? Whilst this may actually point to a failure in government, I, probably through my myopic Western stained lenses can’t see how this is going to be at all sorted out without some exertion of force. I hardly advocate for the US to start immediately deploying military force within the region. But, it also seems whilst most are supposed to be sitting in the sidelines waiting for some critical mass effect to force corrupt criminal people to be deterred from indulge their corrupt criminal inclinations, these girls, and possibly more to come (if the perpetrators and admirers of them can be so emboldened as to to continue this practice since they have little fear of reproach), and their families and friends will be the ultimate victims of us hypothesising and waxing lyrical about what the best, most sensitive, diplomatic, empowering thing is to do. A week ago, there were rumblings no one outside of Africa was taking heed of this, now the tide is turning that there is too much emphasis on this?!

    • Chris says:

      We are not talking about a “sensitive” or “empowering” approach. We are talking about pragmatic. There are different ways to “fix” this and each has its own consequence!

  48. parzival says:

    I can assure you that if cabbages were Nigeria’s chief export, the US empire would not be invading Nigeria.

    • Ria says:

      Exactly! The USA needs to mind their business. Obama himself said, they don’t go into countries to help unless they can benefit. When will people realize that it is not about them helping. The only reason they are breaking their necks to keep creating something for everyone to get all up in arms for, is so that they can go into these countries and acquire. Same as with when they went into Haiti, after secretly discovering that Haiti had oil and gold. Don’t believe it…Look it up! I know people personally who went there and were reporting their disgust with US government holding donations to be released as people died. A few troops seeing what was going on helped missionaries to get things to the people in sufferation because they were upset with how long things were taking.

    • SHIN says:

      exactly!

  49. Ezili Dantò says:

    The article is brings leaves us at impasse. Yes, the US leads the bankster/global elite psychopaths ruling the world through genocide and glorifying profit over people. But the argument that says don’t expose the Black collaborators because his white supremacist handlers will take that opportunity to feed on the chaos to garner more turf, is true but a dead end. More clarity is required. Suffering bodies must be the priority, not these artificial lines, borders and nation-state theories which as we’ve seen, the imperialists and its post-WWII vetoing cohorts, changes at will.

    The average citizen in Nigeria has no power over the elites corruption in their countries, the average citizen in the US has no power over the elites corruption in their countries. When we remain locked into dialectical thinking, we cannot see out of the box. It’s not an either or situation. That is do nothing because the US will only use it as an excuse to further AFRICOM into Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Mali, South Sudan, et al… Hellooooo, already there! There’s a global war against women and this issue and the opinions about mostly ignore that. It’s in the US where 40percent, 65,000 mission Black women, organ harvesting, et al , get no great attention. It’s against Assata Shakur, placed on the TERRORIST list by the Obama administration. Terrorist! Could go on…

    Understand, the very fact that average citizens know the US had a hand in building up extremists like Boko Haram and are discussing AFRICOM is more than successful for those of us who puts this out consistently without media attention and thus mass awareness. That this is a platform to understand the encroachment of Northern Jihadist into West Africa as the Sahara moves further South due to climate change is a platform, an opportunity to rescue the girls and broaden our understanding that Nigerial is effectively as colonized by the west today as Haiti is. Pushing Martelly to rescue Haiti girls, if these were Haiti girls, would that bring the US – already in Haiti, further into Haiti. Do the girls care who rescues them. Do we actually care if Martelly-Lamothe or Goodluck and his cabinet LOSE their positions as the moment’s-fuedal Black lords for the Nigerian or Haitian oligarchs? Life is a serpentine path, the Hegelian-dialectic keeps us at stalemate. Is it only in TRUTHFUL action that revolutionary change has glimmer of hope,

    We at the Free Haiti Movement understand that, reverse the thinking. The US, the greatest superpower supposedly in world history, faces the boasting of Boko Haram, a rag tag fairly Western-audience unknown. What can happen here if we continue to push #BringbackourGirls, a tag even Mrs. Obama is sporting. Can it get any worst for the masses in Nigerial, Somalia, South Sudan? Haiti says yes. But whenever the US is over-extended and loses – like Vietnam and other places, what happens to the mass Tarzan, Superman- let’s go kill them all, US mentality?

  50. Celeste says:

    No, *here* is the thing. There are 200+ missing teenage girls. I don’t think anyone gives a flying rats ass about whose military did what. Someone needs to step up to the plate and get these girls. I could care less which military it is.

  51. Ezili Dantò says:

    It’s not either/or. It’s #BringBackOurGirls and #stopAFRICOM, #handsoffAfrica

  52. Esther O. says:

    Hmmm… True, U.S intervention in Nigeria is going to be the beginning (actually not beginning) of a MUCH larger problem in Nigeria, given that the U.S has a war or terrorism going on while Boko Haram is present and has powerfully grounded a strong base in Borno state, Nigeria, since 2002. Boko Haram has shown continuous technological improvement and radicalisation with every successive year since 2002, being able to carry out more and more deaths with each attack and being able to outsmart the unbelievably foolish and cowardly Nigerian Security Force. Whoever wrote this article, I would think a Nigerian abroad since birth, certainly does not understand the state of Nigerians with reference to democracy, human rights, justice system, security, etc in Nigeria. In summary: these principles exist only in writing. Boko haram has been killing since 2002 when they were formed, have people not been crying since then? They certainly have. the Nigerian government has not cared then and am shamefully sure that they won’t care now. Especially since they shamelessly released a false report stating that the girls were found about 2 weeks back to reduce international attention on its powerlessness.
    I am not a fan of the U.S’s anything in anywhere whether or not it brings about any form of good because in a larger picture, you see that it’s not so good. But is it smart to let the pressing problems of now go unpunished in hopes for a better tomorrow? Can tomorrow ever be better for the parents of those girls? If they are not to be stopped now, then when? The girls aren’t that important? I know one person that claimed to “not care so much” because those girls were kidnapped from the state in Nigeria that birthed and houses and protects the boko haram. I hope that’s not the sentiment the author of this article has because for me, no Nigerian is more Nigerian or more deserving of Nigeria’s security than the other. I honestly do see a time in the future when the U.S will be raining drones on us in Nigeria because of boko haram, but it’s simply wicked for us to close our eyes to the plight of these girls who I heard get raped each day and are basically slaves. A better way to go about it would be to ask the. U.S government to impose sanctions, everyone knows the Corrupt Nigerian politicians LOVE their oil money. I’m not sure of whether or not, the. U.S can brag about any recent successes in its terrorist interventions lately (eg Colombia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Congo etc) but Right now am open to anyone, U.S, Germany, China, Britain, (speaker if Britain I wonder where our colonial mother is though…), Australia, Russia anyone to save those girls, Come what may in the future. When we get to that bridge, we’ll somehow cross it.

  53. PSYOP says:

    Somebody mentioned they think the US had a hand in the abductions. I agree. While all hell breaks out in Ukraine (another US instigated and run coup d’etat), our news is covering this story NON STOP. That means it’s a US operation being used as a pretext for US military action. The US is already up to it’s eyeballs interfering on the African continent and they want to increase that involvement. Like the bullshit Kony campaign, a story like this gets the sheep on board. Only the brainwashed Obama supporting progressives fall for the idiotic Michelle Obama ploy on this.

    The arrogance of those who have commented, ignoring what the author has written, going on about “Yeah, but, what can WE do?” is an embarrassment to smarter Americans. The author told you – STAY THE HELL OUT.

    Everything going down in Africa is about RESOURCES. The US government doesn’t give a damn about Africans or anyone else. It’s about using the forces of US might to secure new territory for multinational corporations and many Africans will be killed in that process. The utter stupidity of those who don’t know this is downright stunning. It’s because of that stupidity that the west keeps getting way it’s aggression.

      • Chris says:

        I would have to agree. I think the U.S. can try to support local Nigerian citizen organizations in finding out how they want to find the young women. But the author did give three links to activists for us to help embolden! Look up:

        Oby

        ChiomaChuka D Fairy GodSister on Twitter

        gbengasesan on Twitter

        and Oby Ezekwesili

        I have read about them and they are truly inspiring!!!

  54. J says:

    There’s a lot Americans can do. Support anti-slavery, pro-education, and pro-micro-entrpreneurial efforts in the U.S. and abroad. Don’t support military action or “voluntourism”. Put your money – even if it’s pennies – where your mouth is and fight for civil rights at home, setting an example for your own children.

  55. Sandisile says:

    This is a simple case of the end justifying the means. To say we should stop raising awarensess through hashtags for fear of self interest by the Americans is nonsensical and ill-timed at best. I don’t have children yet but I would like to know that as a South African, if my government fails to deliver the safety of my children I can call for international help.

  56. BossOfBosses says:

    Folks are just using the visibility of the kidnappings and the out pouring of support to push conspiracy theories and anti-militarization politics. (which I am not entirely against)… but it smacks of derailment.

  57. karen w. says:

    As an activist who’s worked closely with Amnesty International for years my cries to bring back their daughters is not to rally the US government allowing them to infiltrate a foreign government, it’s to pressure the Nigerian government to take action against these terrorists. The more cries lifted up worldwide, the more notice taken by the powers in Nigerian to change. This form of activism has worked for decades against atrocities committed worldwide. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights demands that the freedom to be educated and not sold into sexual slavery or human trafficing is a universal human right!

  58. Heather Grey says:

    So if this has the potential to make it worse are you suggesting that people outside of Nigerian simply fold our hands and stand by. I recall that in when Rwanda broke the west was criticized for its inaction so what is to be done now. I would figure that we would be grateful for whatever help we can find but if the help is not wanted I suspect that the tradeoff is the lives of the girls .

  59. Anonymous says:

    I forecast rain, but it ain’t water. It is what it will be. I wonder if Nigerians are different or divided. That caused the Nigerian government to cease it presence in some parts of Nigeria. And when they try to go there, in the name of rescue, counterterrorism, or whatever, the military causes equal or worse atrocities. So, the problem continues to exit, and may spillover to the neighbors. So, is at least speculated. Therefore, America has to intervene, this time with a warranty. The situation is more of like “help me help you.” If Nigerians would’ve put their acts together in the first place, all of these wouldn’t have happened. Corruption, alienation, discrimination etc…
    To the Africans, never learn from previous colonials, mistakes, collapses, atrocities, genocides of Somalia, Rwanda, Congo, Sudan, Libya, SearaLeon, Liberia, Chad, CAR, Mali, the list sadly goes on and on till it covers the whole continent. So, what’s the solutions, instead of complaining from one at a time. There is no solution, except more problems, at least for the foreseeable far future. Sorry, I already forecasted rain, but it ain’t water.

  60. PSYOP says:

    The US, NATO, UK, France, Belgium, have murdered and are murdering people all over the world. Funny how concerned the do-gooders are over these girls. The west provided the arms for the Rwandan genocide and it was staged from WWF nature preserves. Western governments have ONE interest in Africa and that is EXPLOITATION and securing of resources for multinational corporate profit (theft). With China in Africa, the west is especially anxious to secure their “interests”.

  61. T says:

    I understand the fear of Americans coming in and taking over. However, Americans ate no longer as ignorant to what is going on. I for one have a daughter by a Nigerian born man. I think its sad that in certain regions of Nigeria these types of attacks go on. I think its sad that many Nigerians are only worried about their own wealth and well being they don’t help each other. Maybe, Nigerians need to stop acting like everything is ok and accept help for their own people, who are clearly suffering.

  62. faith says:

    This articles was written almost as if the author is unaware the hashtag was created by a Nigerian person actually living IN Nigeria..

  63. Rebecca says:

    As someone who HAS passed the hashtag along, but has NOT advocated US intervention- interesting article. I do get your concerns about US intervention and, in fact, emphatically share them. However, I think raising awareness of what happened/is happening is important because I believe that someone somewhere knows who is funding Boko Haram. And I can tell you, from having reported it, that this is similar to what happened in Algeria in tye 1990′s and that happened, in part, because the FIS and the GIA thought no one knew, and if they did know, they didn;t care- and they kidnapped girls, married them off in temporary marriages and then killed a number of them and dumped them on the steps of their schools and apartment buildings. If there is continuing and rolling international outcry, it WILL reach teh ears of those who need to hear this.

  64. Egolz says:

    I love, i simply LOVE this. I would like permission to pass it to my newspaper editor friend to read and perhaps run this. And please dont leave out Liberia/ we have been nothing more than a military and naval base for them for more than 5 decades. We are the window dressing while apparently, they are the citizens. Well said my lady.

  65. Eliza says:

    Africa has been committing atrocities for decades against its own people, so maybe it needs a little baby sitting from America. At least this time around more countries are getting involved which will put a world wide spot light on Africa. If nothing is done and these people arent bought to justice it sets a bad precedence for the future. I hope and prey the Nigerian government can bring the girls back but if help is needed then please take it.

    • Emily says:

      The last thing anyone needs is America ‘babysitting’ anyone! Surely the idea is that the Nigerian government should be accountable to it’s own people first and foremost?

      It’s a sad day when the only way people think this can be solved is through the involvement of the USA. Maybe it’s naïve, but how did we get to a stage where people immediately turn to the US in these situations? Surely the UN, or even NATO, would be a better option, if Nigeria really cannot deal with this internally. But perhaps their reputation for inaction precedes them.

      • Joedean211 says:

        What do you think the UN is, it is another word for the American Military. America is one of the founding member of NATO. If something happens and NATO troops are need the US will be sending some too.

        • ScarlettDiana says:

          I can understand your opinion, and why you may be saying that. But I’d just like to note that the UN isn’t allowed to shoot anyone; the soldiers working in it are hard working and are from numerous countries, yet they are NOT allowed to ‘touch’ or shoot at anyone (even who they are told are the enemies). So really, they can’t really be associated as an ‘American Military’. Thats all I found needed to say.

          • Chris says:

            If that is true it is good to know. How do we find out if it is true, I wonder. Rules for being a UN soldier. I am serious.

        • SHIN says:

          you know

  66. Sabrina says:

    Do you have a heart? Are you a mother? Did you see what a debacle the Nigerian government made of the incident: “oh, the girls have been rescued. Now they haven’t been. There are 200 of them. There are now 300.” I am an African, I work in international development (policy, institutional stregnthening/ capacity building) on the continent.

    I see the craziness that is African governance and policy execution all the time. Our governments don’t give two shits about their people, our people, my people. And if it takes a viral campaign to get a competent military intervention from people with the capacity to deliver to save those girls – then that is what is needed.

    When you have been abducted by a bunch of fools and you are stuck in an uncertain future, terrified for you life – you can pontificate from the comfort of your lounge, behind your laptop. When African governments get their shit together, we can all ask the West to stop with the interventions.

    Military expansion is not ideal. I don’t sanction it. But what choice do these young women have?

  67. Sabrina says:

    Do you have a heart? Are you a mother?

    Did you see what a debacle the Nigerian government made of the incident: “oh, the girls have been rescued. Now they haven’t been. There are 200 of them. There are now 300.” I am an African, I work in international development (policy, institutional stregnthening/ capacity building) on the continent.

    I see the craziness that is African governance and policy execution all the time. Our governments don’t give two shits about their people, our people, my people. And if it takes a viral campaign to get a competent military intervention from people with the capacity to deliver to save those girls – then that is what is needed.

    When you have been abducted by a bunch of fools and you are stuck in an uncertain future, terrified for you life – you can pontificate from the comfort of your lounge, behind your laptop. When African governments get their shit together, we can all ask the West to stop with the interventions.

    Military expansion is not ideal. I don’t sanction it. But what choice do these young women have?

  68. Mukwisie says:

    why must African countries who worked so hard to be independent go back to their colonialists when they are in problems? what are our countries doing to assist? I have written a blog post on this but ultimately what is the most important thing is getting the girls back to their families

  69. Anonymous says:

    I read it. The hashtag was started by Nigerian women. This author may not appreciate the power of a hashtag. It is also not correct to ignore that the power of women, media, and foreign governments globally will do more collectively for girls like these than being silent ever could. And, it is not correct to think that if America did not assist that all would be fine and well, as we are not the only guns game in the world. She is right in noting that only with the benefit of hindsight will we ever know whether we armed the right people to protect and grow a country instead of suppress and rape. Sadly, the only girls we likely have a chance of saving will be the ones sold off and probably then only for a fee. Some others will surely be tortured and killed in our faces. But, I am convinced that this hashtag movement will prevent the type of genocide that we saw happen in Rwanda without intervention. And, will allow even the most extreme Muslim leaders to rethink financing suchness.

    • Chris says:

      Why would you say the only ones we have a chance of saving are the ones that were sold. That is horrible. Don’t even go there “others will be tortured and killed in our faces.” My gosh. Lets hold better hope than that!! We want them all back now and alive! Let us be constructive while we still can.

  70. Ricardo says:

    Simple question. Nigeria, do you have oil? You do! You may be in for a treat from the Americans :-)

  71. Bame says:

    yeah Ive seen a couple of these coming up over the past few days and I completely agree with reagrds to the direction of the campaign. When it started it was my understanding that the Nigerian government had not made an exerted effort to find the girls, and what was shocking was it happend and for a good week got no media attention – n THAT is what I wanted to support – to raise awareness and rather have the international world, myself included even in the smallest possible way of a tweet or fb post, put pressure on the government to DO something.

    So when I see posts with the hashtag now still suggesting there has been no awareness – that I dont agree with because now we have managed to push that agenda forward, and now its for the Nigerian government to answer to that. I agree that the West may have their own motives as to why they should help Nigeria, but also note that they have infact been invited at the request of the Nigerian government to assist – so as much as I dont like the idea of leaning on foreign powers to intervene on sovereign n domestic matters, I dont see a problem where the government acknowledges its inability or lack of capacity and seeks help outside.

    and also, whats the alternative? sit back and leave it to Nigeria when the families are crying out for help, have those girls remain captive as the government sits back and plans ahead for the world economic forum? yeah its a difficult one -you can start a campaign that creates awareness but how far then does that go and you can almost never control the direction it will take

  72. Will Spencer says:

    The writer is willing to sacrifice the lives of 300 young girls because she doesn’t like Americans.

    The writer, of course, can safely ignore the plight of the girls in Nigeria because she herself lives safely… in America.

    Complete and total hypocrisy.

  73. Ali says:

    This is such bulshit article. We can not just shrug our shoulders and say there is nothing we can do about these girls. This comunist anti-US sounding writer must be in the 60s era still. Cold war is over sir. America is no longer looking to colonize or invade other countries under bullshit excuses to help a cause. It is like saying I am not taking the chemo to cure my cancer because it will make me lose my hair. Any world power has the obligation to assist when in dire need, Once the assistance has been given, there is nothing wrong with establishing trade or activities of mutual benefit under the fair eye of third parties. It can be done…. we can indeed all get along. What pessimistic asshole.

  74. Anonymous says:

    For crying out loud! Really?… I won’t waste my breathe commenting further on this article. Glad you’ve been able to get that of your chest.

  75. Joedean211 says:

    A simple solution to the problem of the American military in Africa, stop writing on some blog. While you sit back self writing nothing chances.

    Boko Harem, was formed, because someone wanted to take over the government, and run it their way, so they picked some guns. And, here were are, talking about the fact they kidnapped 250+ children. If you really care then shut up and do something. Remember action speak louder then words.

    You don’t want the American military in your country get your friends, relatives, neighborhood, city involved in government, and chance it. Go out, and find new leader, and vote them into office, and if they don’t do what you want vote them out. Stop letting fool with guns scare you into inaction. Stop letting fools that say they are doing the will of god run your country.

    Do something.

  76. CE says:

    The writer is being intellectual. Maybe just looking for publicity as she sits in her office in the USA.

    As others have said, the most important thing is saving the girls. Only ignorant countries refuse humanitarian help when they need it.

    The writer is worried about America violating Nigeria’s territorial integrity? Well, Boko Haram has been violating that so called integrity with impunity. Why wouldn’t she take that into consideration.

    She would like us to be outraged about journalists who are being victimized, probably because she is a journalist,
    But she shows no empathy for the 300 girls.

    I have news for Jumoke: those hashtags mean more pressure than any journalist can bring. And, those hashtags may one day save a journalist.

  77. Lucy says:

    Thanks for this insightful article, and I do think you’ve hit the nail on the head. What’s happened to those girls is awful but meanwhile in Syria over 5.5 million children have been affected, less than a third now in school, they are eating leaves and rotten rice. Nobody is rushing in here to help the people…and at the same time another debate rages about the rights abuses of using pictures of girls from Giunea Bissau for the nigerian girls hashtag campaign. https://www.facebook.com/nytimesphoto

  78. Karen says:

    I don’t know why people think that the U.S. can do anything at this point. It’s been too long. These girls were kidnapped to be sold into slavery. Don’t you think the terrorists would have already sold these girls? These girls are probably not all in the same place. They are now with whoever bought them and scattered all over the world.

    • SHIN says:

      :-( yes probably many are in the underground red light district in amsterdam, holland… got their via roumania maybe just like the eritrean football team who showed up in holland yesterday…

    • Chris says:

      uh…I think they are still traceable!!

  79. Greg says:

    Thank you for writing and publishing this, Ms. Jumoke. Your essay articulates some of the vague misgivings that I have been feeling for quite a while now.

    While my outlook on the American military is not quite as jaundiced as yours, I agree that American military intervention is not the best answer. I also note that America, as a nation, doesn’t really have other options, in this case. Realistically, what can we do? Freeze the assets of Boko Haram in American banks? I would hazard a guess that they don’t HAVE any such assets. Shall we apply “economic sanctions”? Against whom? Shall we issue strongly worded condemnations? Oh, wait – we’ve already done that.

    The men of Boko Haram must be killed. There is really no other way to deal with them; they cannot be rehabilitated. I don’t care at all what religion they profess; they are slave traders and rapists and murderers, so they must die. But the American military has killed enough people this year. I would rather see the Boko Haram gang – and they are nothing but a criminal gang – meet their deaths at the hands of African soldiers.

  80. JoeJohnson says:

    This is what upsets me about problems such as the above. We westerners know we cannot do anything directly to change the problem. Bring Back Our Girls is all about raising the awareness of the issue, because many remained silent about it. WHO CARES who created the HashTag, its just that, as a human being, you try to do whatever is within your means to get the word out about this atrocity. Its not that we think we are better than Africans or anything like that, its just that we are trying to help. Part of the initial outcry was that no one was doing anything in the first place, it was not being newsworthy in the media. Many tried and did what they could to simply get the word out, and now we get criticized. Instead of jumping to criticize people should learn to work together and benefit from each other, rather than saying THIS IS NOT YOUR PAIN TO BEAR. Yes there could be problems stemming from an interventionist approach, but this is different, PEOPLE are doing this because they genuinely want these girls to be brought back, not for some other ulterior motive.

    • Bernie says:

      Joe Johnson….. You are right on track sir… You have the most objective response I have read thus far. But I think this is a complex topic. It is a political topic. It cannot be solved in a week, month, and definitely not a year. This is an issue that was created over time, and will need alot of time to come close to fixing. The girls being kidnapped was used by a certain group (I will not place blame) to gain a political position/power over an entire population of people. And please don’t always believe the U.S. news. If you do you are a fool.

  81. jose morato says:

    The Girls need help! Stop with your selfishness… doesn’t matter who´s help, could be USA, Russia or North Korea it is just a question of humanity.

  82. Anonymous says:

    Neither will your whiny editorials.

  83. Anthony says:

    This is ridiculous. The U.S. has no ulterior motive in Africa, even the oil in Nigeria is logistically unimportant for them. Most of the economic interventions that the U.S. has been involved in has actually been counter to the type of deregulation that they have been known for. Instead the U.S. has been behind certification and transparency initiatives like the Kimberly Act and the Dodd Frank Act. There is little to gain for the U.S. in Africa except for easy humanitarian credits, which is basically what the U.S. intervention has historically been in Africa, including Kony. So call that what you want it, buts its not some clever scheme for them to militarize the continent – they could just do that more overtly if they wanted to.
    I never tweeted for the 200 little girls, Twitter is silly, but I don’t want to hear about them getting forced into marriage and raped. Further, I don’t want this news to just pass by like other stories in Africa usually do and those girls forgotten about. I’ll be happy to see the U.S. military move in and eradicate the evil brainwashed leaders of Boko Haram, which the Nigerian government has failed to do.

  84. JRS says:

    While in practice I agree with what this author is saying (the importance of self-determination for a country’s people, U.S. interventionalism/expansion through military), I’m having a hard time seeing the big picture when it comes to group who has been bombing, assassinating, and killing Nigerians since 2010, with what seems to be little or no public outcry or government action. I’m not familiar with the Nigerian government’s particular set of difficulties, but it seems as though corruption and lack of infrastructure that allows for decent communication throughout the country are a large part of the problem. When the girls were kidnapped, the Nigerian government lied about how many they had rescued, had the leaders of the # bringbackourgirlsmovement arrested because they pissed off the president’s wife somehow, and stated that they couldn’t do a good job with a rescue because the parents refused to cooperate. Nigerians have been successful with their campaign (a hashtag campaign seems to imply a desire for international awareness and attention), have highlighted both the current tragedy and the overriding ineptitude of their government officials, and have raised outrage both within their country and without that hopefully implies that, no matter the outcome, this is not the end of a Nigerian instigated movement for an adequate government. As I’m sure we all do when we think about the actual girls who were kidnapped because they risked going back to their school to take a final exam, I am overcome with sickness and rage. I can’t even imagine how their mothers, fathers, siblings, and friends feel, nor how the girls themselves feel as they are sold off as “wives.” I do have a feeling that they are not considering turning down help of any kind due to the larger geopolitical issue of Western military expansionism, and it is not up to people sitting safe at home to tell them that this (extremely important) issue take precedence over the return of these students. These girls do not deserve to be sacrificed to a big picture. If the U.S. is going to intervene (I wonder why the U.N. or better, the African Union hasn’t offered to instead), let it be for a mission that returns these girls home from this nightmare and for whatever it is worth, makes a statement about the world’s intolerance for those whom would scare children away from their schools. These 250+ girls are rare in Nigeria; they have fought for an education that may pave the path for them to become doctors, lawyers, politicians. They are the future of a self-determining Nigeria, and they deserve to be rescued.

  85. steph nicolls says:

    What a load of BS this article is – in my humble opinion. Written by someone who wants to perpetrate their evil of kidnapping, enslaving and torturing hundreds of girls and to not be pressured or held accountable by basic human rights and tenets that are upheld by may countries and many people worldwide. This is like an article by Putin or one by Hitler saying “go mind your own business”.

  86. ConcernedNigeria says:

    Jumoke Balogun is a typical Nigerian!

    For more than 30 years, I have studied my fellow countrymen, Nigerians and have noticed that 98% lack two very important

    human qualities; empathy, and cognitive ability to provide solution to problems.

    A typical Nigeria will never be bothered about the fate of his fellow countrymen as long as the victim is not directly

    related to him or her! As long as you’re not family, it becomes like a TV show.

    Then when it comes to providing solution to simple problems, they will rather give eloquent speeches, or set up 10 man

    committee and pretend like they really care. They will never raise a finger or bring a practical solution or do something

    really tangible to save the situation.

    The issue at hand is TO SAVE THESE GIRLS, these girls might be currently being sexually molested by these inhuman agents of

    destruction! And here you are diverting the world’s attention from making a great effort to save them.

    I am sure you won’t post this if one these girls were to be your sister!

    I am in full support of ANY action, be it foreign or local that will save the lives of these girls! #bringbackourgirls

  87. Angela says:

    While I agree that the US military agenda is the last thing needed in general (EVER!), my understanding was that the #BringBackOurGirls campaign was to raise awareness and pressure the Nigerian government to be more active in finding these girls. To my knowledge the Nigerian government was doing very little in the way of a search and rescue. I may be misinformed?

    I am not an American, but I am a Canadian and a women. The education of women in my country, and beyond, is VERY important to me. The abuse and kidnapping of young female scholars, in any context, is something I shall not tolerate.

    So what should I do Nigeria? The media here did not even attempt to cover this travesty – I only learned of it through the #BringBackOurGirls campaign (mind you, I am in the US at the moment – Canadian media tends to be better). I thought that I could take action, however insignificant, by raising awareness that the travesty took place, and hopefully awareness would translate into pressure on the Nigerian government to do something. But in no way do I want to contribute to a US Military operation that results in any denial of Nigerian agency.

  88. Osagiemwangbon says:

    As a Nigerian American I can say that the awareness does help because Nigeria doesn’t feel that the American relatives know much or care about Nigeria or its people. The diaspora cut the ties that no one has been able to mend. One of my uncles told me that America took(stole) the ingenuity and innovation of our people. They appreciate the fact that we care enough to now take notice. The only sign of American influence outside of pop culture in Nigeria is in securing the oil industry. The Nigerian people understand that this isn’t the work of the American people and only that of big oil.

  89. Cindy. says:

    I am not American so this the first I am hearing about President Barack Obama’s decision. I mean, how does someone posting something on facebook end up influencing the President. Some people around the world are just posting this to make others aware of what is going on and try to help people stand up for what is right. Just because people post things on facebook doesn’t make it right for military action. Isn’t there diplomacy involved?

    • Peter Ogbebor says:

      Are seriously putting the word diplomacy here? Okay, just in case you have not be following the news. These school girls were abducted by terrorists. So you cannot have diplomacy with terrorists.

  90. Richard Renshaw says:

    Precisely. I wish everyone would see this. Knee-jerk reactions can really backfire. Before demanding any intervention in another country, think twice. Maybe three times. Sometimes it’s ok, often not.

  91. Jess says:

    Way to use this as an opportunity to further your own political agenda and opinion. Not a single government official showed up after the raid took place. If you were informed, you would also see that France, and the British have been deployed to get those girls back that are I am sure being tortured, raped and likely sold into slavery. If I was their parent, I wouldnt care who brought them home, I would just want them back.

  92. Angela J says:

    With or without hashtags, let the world help. We’re a global community and trying to be intolerant of any kind of injustice especially where children are involved.

  93. Ms. S says:

    My hope has been, from the beginning, that the Nigerian Government request the help of the US and other countries to locate these girls. Not that the US should send boots on the ground.

  94. Peter Ogbebor says:

    Jumoke Balogun, as a Nigerian born and raised man I suggest you shut your mouth and let people all over the world who are appalled by this atrocious attack on innocent girls lend their support. It is because of advice as yours that’s why Boko Haram the terrorist group have been able to supplant themselves in Nigeria. If the Nigerian government had allowed AFRICOM to set base in Nigeria when the US government indicated interest in using Nigeria as a base the extra support, training and equipment would have helped to put the cap on the Boko Haram problem that has now blown up in the face of the Nigerian government.

    It is easy for you to stay in America and write rubbish without providing the support and help the poor people of Nigeria desperately need. Do not use other people’s plight to try and make yourself relevant. In your myopic state you may not see it, but the #bringbackourgirls is a clear message that the terrorists can not overcome the voice of a united people no matter where they are. When good people are silent, evil prevails.

  95. Anonymous says:

    Seriously? what is the aim of this article?. The govt in Nigeria is not doing anything and we should be too proud to ask for help. 200plus girls are missing. Imagine if one of them is your love one.

  96. Hi Jumoke, I’m very intrigued by your article. Very interesting argument although in the end I’d disagree with you because I think online activism does matter (with all the problems that come along with it, like simplification). As my answer got a bit long I decided to put it right away on my blog – http://johanneslanger.com/2014/05/10/nigeria-why-bringbackourgirls-does-matter/

  97. Ufoma says:

    Jumoke,

    Your article is very well put together but unfortunately it reads more like protest to military intervention that a rescue plea. You are not in the shoes of the parents neither have you experienced first hand the ineptitude of our Government. So frankly not only is your message misguided and inappropriate you are using an issue of human suffering to discuss something completely tangential and irrelevant. When we find those girls and they start telling their horror stories we will revisit your article and ask them if they were grateful for American help when their Government failed. In doing so, let us just ignore the hundreds that were killed last week in another village, after all that is a small price to pay to avoid US intervention. I am sure the 900,000 dead Tutsi’s in Rwandan graves will agree with your position also.

    Your article is offensive and inappropriate, if we find those girls it will be because of external help. Our Government was powerless to respond.

  98. Anonymous says:

    Fact still remains, these girls are still missing… It’s not about pushing America it’s about making the world aware so that something could be done. These girls were missing 2 weeks before the rest of the world new..innocent young girl…the minute that plane went missing I swear that’s all you would see on the news. Maybe I’m missing the point, maybe because I’m not hip to all that political mumbo, but what I do know is that clearly Nigeria has no control over Boko Haram, it is also clear thelat they need help…let’s stop making America the problem and #bringbackourgirls

  99. G.B says:

    When we get behind movements like #BringBackOurGirls, it is not to take over democratically elected governments, nor is it to embolden the US military, it is merely to remember that in this “corrupt” government that the writer talks about, the real victims are real girls in real horrific situations. I will continue to raise my voice and hastag away because my consciense cannot let me sit by and do nothing while my daughter sleeps and lives safely in our own house. Would you feel this same way dear writer if it were your own daughter? You might have the ability to wait. I need the ability to at least remind other parents of daughters in your country that they are not alone. We hold our daughters a little tighter each day and love them deeply because they cannot at this time.

  100. Nilse says:

    It sounds a bit ungrateful. You just said how the Nigerian government is know for committing atrocities against its own people so what has your democracy done for you?

  101. Where's the Author says:

    Why is the author not engaging at all in all of the discussion happening here?

  102. Deebs says:

    #1. What we currently have in Nigeria is not a democracy.
    #2. The only reason we are still talking about these girls and haven’t relegated them to relics of the past is because of the international presence.(The proof is the over 1500 other people who Boko Haram, some whom I personally knew who no one is talking about).
    #3. The only reason GEJ even addressed the Nigerian people was because of the international outcry. He never addressed the nations about the 50 boys killed earlier this year, or the bombings all over northern Nigeria.
    #4. When the US takes a problem seriously, the rest of the world tends to take it seriously as well. Now we miraculously have cooperative parents giving their children’s names, now we suddenly have Nigerian special forces that are visibly on ground. Even though the government claims that they sent out the military at the outset. (All lies and we know it)
    #5. Now we have international organizations, that cannot be intimidated by GEj and his cronies investigating this case and revealing information such as the fact that the military actually knew about an impending attack in Chibok and failed to act (are we surprised-that was a regular event in Kano growing up)
    #6. To speak of America’s involvement as if it is anything other than the favor that it is, is to have a truly falsely inflated sense of Nigeria’s role in the world. We are not one of the top 10 producers of oil – our only real strength is our massive population. America does not owe Nigeria anything. We should stop creating an alternate ending not based in reality and instead think of how Nigeria can grow to a place where it doesn’t have to beg for international help to convince its leaders to care about their constituents.

  103. Nicola says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing this! This is a very interesting article because it reveals the paradox that exists with respect to social justice crisis in the developing world & international intervention.

    While I agree that the Nigerian people have the agency to fight for themselves & lobby their government on behalf of their girls & are the best people to do so; I’m also aware that this issue has been ongoing for quite sometime & has yet to stop in spite of all the efforts of the people.

    A girl missing anywhere, is a girl missing Everywhere! We in the west, want to lend our voices in support of these women because we recognize that it could have been our girls missing.

    That said, I don’t believe #Bringbackourgirls is a bad thing as it’s bringing awareness to a troubling issue that’s been ongoing in the developing world including Eastern Europe & Asia.

    That the US is using this crisis to expand their military agenda is disappointing, though not surprising. I believe that the international outcry is aimed at pressuring the governments to make this issue a PRIORITY!

    It’s fair to say the Nigerian government may not have all the resources required to bring the girls back, they may legitimately need international help; the opportunity here is for THEM, The Nigerian Government, to define the parameters of international involvement. Perhaps we need a new hash tag, #Power to the Nigerian people/Bringbackourgirls!

  104. Yannick Hodge says:

    # BringBackOurGirls is a call to the international community especially first world countries, its help shine attention that the people of Nigeria are being bullied by Terrorist Groups that are proud to dispaly their action. Look its all good to blame or point fingers at Western Countries for not giving full assistance, but these Western Countries help their own f*^#k problems. My view of this situation is simple the people of Nigeria should not fear or run away. But the people should stand up with the government and put more pressure to root out terrorism among the country. Also I blame the government of Nigeria for annoying their own at the bottom of the food chain, that have to endure the crimes because of their own government. SHAME OF BOKO HARAM let the poor people live, THEY SHOULD TARGET THE RICH Motherf&^&*K in Nigeria and I am sure the government will react differently. WHY DO WE THE 99% have suffer for the neglect of our own governments. Reading these blog comment are just a waste of our breathe and mine.

  105. Yannick Hodge says:

    # BringBackOurGirls is a call to the international community especially first world countries, its help shine attention that the people of Nigeria are being bullied by Terrorist Groups that are proud to dispaly their action. Look its all good to blame or point fingers at Western Countries for not giving full assistance, but these Western Countries help their own f*^#k problems. My view of this situation is simple the people of Nigeria should not fear or run away. But the people should stand up with the government and put more pressure to root out terrorism among the country. Also I blame the government of Nigeria for annoying their own at the bottom of the food chain, that have to endure the crimes because of their own government. SHAME OF BOKO HARAM let the poor people live, THEY SHOULD TARGET THE RICH Motherf&^&*K in Nigeria and I am sure the government will react differently. WHY DO WE THE 99% have suffer for the neglect of our own governments. Reading these blog comment are just a waste of our breathe and mine……

  106. Luzuko says:

    This author is saying the West should be quiet and not meddle in our affairs and then goes on and not come up with concrete alternative on how Africans should approach this.

    The author proposes no military interventions should be used especially by the US, that then means we should wait for Africa which clearly is in state of paralysis to do anything.

    The writer criticises the US for speaking out and putting pressure on its government to act but fails to criticise our fellow Africans for doing the same. The writer also fails to criticise the president of Nigeria who has requested the US and UK to help with their drones(military equipment) to help look for the girls.

    The writers criticism is selective and uncalled for. The writer who is against military intervention yet proposes nothing is not taking into consideration the families of these girls.

    The longer these girls remain in Boko Harams camps they run the risk of death, rape, sexual transmitted deceases, they risk being made sex slaves. And the writer has the patience to be diplomatic about this. The writers dislike for the US is clearly clouding her judgement in this matter.

    Military intervention now and be diplomatic later when the girls are safely homes again. As for me #BringBackOurGirls

    • Chris says:

      The Author does propose something folks outside of Nigeria can do. Look in the last paragraph. There are 3 live links to amazing Nigerian activists. The author encourages us to read about them and help embolden them. Let us do this!

  107. emmtos says:

    this is rubbish. if your daughter was part of the girls would be thinking about bureaucracy. what heartlessness. Who cares. let US come
    all we need is for them to #bringbackourgirls

  108. Bola Bello says:

    I guess the presence of US military is to first and foremost demystify the armed forces of Nigeria. The US, over the years have sought for such incursion without success. Also, the American agenda of dividing Nigeria into fragment can be reinforced with her foothold on Nigeria crisis. From the onset, I know the capacity of Nigeria Military. I know the military has what it takes to overrun the insurgency. What I do not know is the lull of the military in doing the right things. It is political intrigue, all is towards power shift and power retention in both side of divide. Head or tale, this regime and Nigeria have lost out completely.

    • Chris says:

      “I know the [Nigerian] military has what it takes to overrun the insurgency.”

      That is good. We need to ask the world for trained women soldiers to go in and get the girls once their location is pinpointed. Nigerian military needs to go in to escort and protect women’s brigade. Abducted young women need to be protected and to not have to deal with men soldiers right now after the atrocities they have been through.

      After all, it was men in probably military uniforms who came to their school, told them they were there to protect them from the insurgents and then abducted them. Also given the North American military’s history of raping women soldiers, I would not want them to be the first line of attack.

  109. Yei Boayue-Ilegieuno says:

    Well said.. It is so sad that the leader that Nigerians thought would make a difference, is no better then his predecessors. May almighty Allah keep our daughters safe until they are return home.. Please continue your awareness of western intervention in Africa. May Allah grant you all you pray for..

  110. ricky says:

    Stupid bloody African fools look at us thinking useless white ma Christianity and warlike devilish Muslim shit and other foreign anti-black religious fakery and nonsense is going to save anything let alone these girls…

    What about the 100′s of boys who will never come home because they get Executed?…

    Why Cry now about africom or amerikkka or white power or white supremacy when its already way too late for all that, now we let the goddamn Chinese with their version of anti blackness while most African leaders sell out for a few crumbs while owning the whole loaf?…
    Too late to really wake up, we had our chances and blow it every time with cheap talk and no action…..
    I say try and save the Mighty Elephants and Rhinoceros as they are true and worthy symbols of a once truly powerful Continent..

    Seems to me we really are too stupid, too dumb, too backward, too religious, too tribal, too savage and too unworthy of even being redeemed so let us suffer as we deserve to because we dont deserve our continents riches or anything if we Cannot even recognize who we Truly are on this planet….

  111. Danielle says:

    I wish the world would stop focusing on Nationality and focus more on humanity as a whole. Every human is connected regardless if they live on your block or across the world. We all love, laugh, feel pain and suffer. If someone abducted 200 girls from my block I would try to do something as would 99% of humans… Unfortunately the Nigerian block is too far for me to physcially do anything but I do believe creating awareness via talking about it through social media and putting the spot light right between the eyes of Nigerian government to ensure them we are watching them and their actions so they don’t sweep this under the rug and offering them a hand did make a difference and will hopefully have a positive outcome. I find this article offensive to insinuate help from around the world is a bad thing.

  112. Carly says:

    But the mothers of the girls started the campaign themselves, and asked that the world join them. It was surprising to everyone else, because no one heard of it, until the mothers started the twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls. They said that there was more attention to a South Korean cruise ship sinking than there was for their girls being kidnapped and sold, and they were frustrated. For you to tell us that it’s none of our business, and to step down is to shame those women for starting the campaign to begin with.

    The Nigerian Government is so afraid of these people, and some of them even side with them, that nothing will be done unless foreign powers are brought in.

    We can do nothing here but help spread the awareness the way the mothers have asked us to, and to pray. We aren’t using “Our American Power”, it’s a matter of sympathizing and uniting with our sisters around the world, no matter what race we are.

  113. Roilui Sin says:

    Reconsider*

  114. pubudu says:

    I’m from sri lanka and we have had LTTE(named most ruthless terrorist organisation by FBI) which is by the way a tamil terrorist group. They were killing thousands of people and everyday we were living in fear. Isn’t it suprising that during the 30 years of it’s existance none of there so called western powers helped us to take them down? Why are they only interested in muslim terrorist groups and only in some countries? Maybe my country does not have oil or valuable resources. Or they just love the LTTE. In the end it was our gov and our own soldiers who single handedly got rid of the LTTE. So why is US interested only in some particular terrorist organisations? And about I want to see those girls saved by all means. But it would be great if US military washed their hands off nigeria as soon as they’re rescued

  115. ibrahim says:

    Sadly, its people like you that sit in the comfort of your “diaspora” homes and offices and write all this idealistic crap. When last were you in Nigeria? When last did you live here? Yes, your article has valid points but let me remind you about the #occupynigeria campaign. We came out to protest the ineptitude and corruption in government, what happened? When the movement was growing, the Federal Government of Nigeria resorted to propaganda and the use of security (police, army and secret service) to harass and eventually crack down on the protestors.

    What has the Federal Government of Nigeria done in dealing with the issue of Boko Haram, nothing tangible! A governor in Nigeria still expressed his doubts about the missing girls saying it was a political ploy to undermine the President. Now, this is a government that took almost three weeks to comment about the missing girls. Do you know why they even moved to comment – it was because of the GLOBAL OUTCRY and condemnation of the abductions that eventually moved the government to act.

    For the first time in a long time the Nigerian senior military heads have gone to visit Borno to commence their constitutional duties. These military heads except for the Chief of Army Staff have visited Borno and the crisis areas twice in 2014.

    Now you sit and comment about American imperialism while people are slaughtered everyday? Come on! You cannot be drowning and still pose when someone lays a helping hand!

    We are in Nigeria! The location where the bombs exploded in Abuja is a route I take at least twice a week. You cannot even imagine what goes through my mind in the traffic, where a bomb can go off at any time. This is what we live with everyday! My friends from the North East of Nigeria don’t go home anymore and have family members who have been killed by Boko Haram by simply traveling from one point to the other. It is quite wrong for you to castigate a people for expressing shock and calling on their governments to help Nigeria cause we truly need HELP!

    If you really want to help, you come here to Nigeria and make all the noise you want to make and see what happens. After 2 days, you will run back to the America that you benefited from its education system and peaceful environment, where human rights are respected especially the freedom of speech which so allows you to CRITICIZE and still have freedom. Come to Nigeria and criticize these twerps in government and see what will happen to you.

    Please and please don’t alienate good Americans who genuinely are outraged and as supporting Nigeria in their own little ways. After all, we want someone to #bringbackourgirls.

  116. Jay says:

    Truth is.. If your daughter or sister happens to be one of d abducted girls, you ll be the 1st person to call on americans or to the UN for assistance. We have failed as a nation with our corrupt practices and mismanagement of resources to d extent that we coudn’t provide no security for an average nigerian life.. If this is what we get for our idiocy and 50+ years of corrupt practices then so be it. Lesson learnt the hardway is not a lesson to forget. So I’ll advice you to keep-shut and let’s hope for the best in d plight of bringing back the girls to their mothers first..

  117. She is a Nigerian-American… Clears throat. I wonder where she’s based. Awarness is important. It does not only highlight the importance of freedom but the unacceptable killing spree of Boko Haram.

  118. Jeffie Freedom says:

    That’s really terrible that American involvement might undermine some anti-government movement in Nigeria, but before anyone takes this opinion piece to heart, maybe they should consider whether the parents of these girls would appreciate some advanced American resources being dedicated to finding these girl … like drones.

  119. Jan says:

    Thank u. I was thinking that same thing. Besides, if u guys really needed the U.S’s assistance…well I’ll keep my thoughts of that matter to myself(it’s very controversial). I believe that one must “sweep around their own front door” before stepping outside cleaning up someone else’s mess. We, Americans, do need to focus more on our homestead before offering our assistance, especially to those who could have nipped it in the bud before it got out of hand. Many blessings to you& to your plight

  120. Paul says:

    so, by using the Hashtag #BringBackOurGirls means asking for the “US intervention on African soil”? I don’t know if I can agree with that totally, but this post makes a lot sense, another way to see it…

  121. Debirijack says:

    Absolute nonsense. When was our Independence from the British? We have not been able to lay down a rail road track. You have incompetent, corrupt leaders that can’t do anything. While I am not advocating we go back to the old days, help to free does girls from the west is appreciated.

  122. obsobvs says:

    This article is great in that it adds dimension to what seems like a straightforward “let’s save some innocent people by doing this” problem. BUT I think it’s also important to recognize the individual people…if your daughter or sister were kidnapped and currently being sold as a slave or forced into being a wife, you would not care about these ‘bigger problems’–you’d simply want your daughter or your sister back, as quickly as possible. Think of how desperate and sad and angry you’d feel… sacrificing a few weeks or months of time ‘for the greater good’ where your daughter is possibly being raped or god knows what would not seem so great. “By any means possible” might seem more ok than usual, even if it requires feeding into a ‘bigger problem’. But yeah, that’s not to say the US gov’t is the answer. It’s just that I think the article also simplifies the problem by forgetting how tragically large the problem of an individual is to that individual.

  123. Zippy&thecandles says:

    Great article and very very true. Hashtags will unfortunately do nothing; and military intervention is a no-no. I read somewhere in the comments where someone said the US has no ulterior motives in Africa, which is bull. Why do you think the Chinese are suddenly interested in Africa? Why was Obama suddenly gung-ho to have an African trip? Africa has massive potential and the US wants its interests in Africa to be increased so it can benefit as well. regarding these girls; unfortunately the author is completely correct. Ashton Kutcher holding up a banner won’t sudeenly make Boko Haram or Goodluck J suddenly take this matter seriously, but highlighting the matter will. Truth: almost 3oo children have been taken; awareness may force Goodluck Jonathan to finally take action. American intervention shouldn’t be the focus. African action should

  124. Amy says:

    The author makes valuable points but leaves out the next step: Ok, then how can we help? Nigeria has the attention of a virtual army of people in America and around the world who care and want to help – that is a huge resource and the author is not offering up any solutions for how to utilize them, and sounds, in fact, like she wants us all to leave Nigeria alone. I respect and understand that US Gov. “help” is a double-edged sword, but do not let pride in your country turn away a legion of concerned world citizens who could be directed and mobilized to bring these beautiful girls home sooner and safer. Do these girls really care about who delivers them to safety, so long as they are delivered? That wonderful Nigerian woman started the hashtag campaign, like a beautiful Bat-signal to the world, if you will. You’ve got our attention: now please tell us what to do. I don’t live in Nigeria. I don’t know what would be the most helpful thing for you all, but you all do. TELL US! My heart is in pain and I am upset and frustrated that I can’t do something. It was just Mother’s Day here in America and it reminds me that we are a global community of women and we care about all our girls, all our children. Don’t chastise us for responding to your call – use us. Tell us how we can help. With Love and Light, Amy

  125. George L says:

    I admire your courage in writing this article. However you’re missing one key component in your analysis. You place your focus and energies on the policy of military expansionism while ignoring the fact that the Nigerian governments, present and past have committed some of the bloodiest and grotesque acts of violence against its own people and also allowed such acts to happen. If you want to start somewhere start by addressing the abject corruption and incompetency of the current government as well as its incapability of keeping its own citizens safe. It is because of this long standing policy that this tragedy happened. Pointing the finger at the international community for shedding light on this incident and attempting to help is unproductive when the true perpetrators are sitting there in Abuja. You ask for others to support the current Nigerian activists while forgetting that it’s because of this added international pressure that this incident is finally getting the attention it needs. Goodluck Jonathan and his cronies should be ashamed of themselves for the current state of security in Nigeria, among other things.

  126. Ibrahim Majidadi says:

    Nice piece. Foreing intervention not the solution, rather the cause.

  127. Rosa says:

    Totally agree…no offense to anyone who is supporting the whole sign holding up campaign for the girls taken away in Africa and/or elsewhere around the world but that’s everyone’s problem. They mope and cry and make a movement of issues outside of their territory, outside of their reach, etc. It’s not bring back our girls because they aren’t being returned to the USA if returned but to their town in their country. Then I got pissed when I seen comments on a post talking about Mitchell and President Obama about assisting with that issue….EXCUSE ME?!? Again sorry for those that may feel a way but seriously? He is the President of the United States no other country, if the president, king or whatever they call themselves in other countries, if they are not stepping forth for the children of their country then nothing will not be done…unlike the USA other countries have less freedom, so anything can go especially when it comes to females (little to no rights). So if people can try to attempt to create a movement for those in another country where their voices are unheard or ignored they need to go the same extra mile for those missing woman and/or children here in their very own country…..sorry I have really been wanting to release that.

  128. Anonymous says:

    Please Mr Obama let them do their own thing

    • micky says:

      it is not the US job to save nigerian women, how about putting our funding into looking for the 250,000 women that go missing in our own country. I am sick of the US and the dogooder attitide it is a farce, fix our [problems, when we are done then help others in need

      • Chris says:

        Lets do both! Support Nigeria to find these young women AND start focusing resources on finding 250,000 women who go missing in our own country.

  129. Shawan says:

    Anyone who believes that we as people should not do anything or believe that anything can not be done 2 bring these girls home. These children need to be reunited with there families are as sick as the Fuckers who took them.

  130. Rinnmal says:

    We strongly condemn the kidnapping of innocent girls and banning their education by #Nigerian #Islamist #Extremists. Jeay Sindh Students’ Federation (#JSMM) has always been struggling against religious extremism. Attack on #education in #Nigeria is an open violation of basic human rights. We consider this cowardly act as a slap on the face of humanity and conscience . Civilized nations should come forward to fight #religious extremists everywhere in the #world. We will stand with every force fighting this crucial disease especially in this fascist and theocratic state of #Pakistan.
    Hafeez Pirzado Chairman Jeay Sindh Students’ Federation (JSMM)
    JSMM is a democratic , secular political party struggling for political independence/freedom of Sindhudesh (Pakistani Province Sindh) from Pakistan.

  131. chijioke says:

    I’m a Nigerian who lived and grow up in Nigeria,,,,am happy the west intervene in our issue,very very happy,,please point of correction,our government didn’t fail us,is just that Northern Nigerians preferred a muslim Northern to rule the nation,their anger subjected the creation Boka haram,,the west countries should put a final solution to Nigeria(divide it)before it will be too late,before the Christian will died up with hate of being ignored by west countries,,this write up or article against western countries is written by Northern muslim Nigerian.the Biafra once stand up for their right and killings done by the northern Nigerian,which the west supported the North(muslim northern Nigeria)to super-press the Eastern Nigeria,the strong home of intellectuals christian..1966-1970,they fought to last man stand.THE WEST SHOULD CORRECT THEIR WRONG DID

  132. MUSTASH says:

    TRASH!

  133. Thank you for this. Many of us who have participated in some of these hashtag movement have found great power and influence, but many of us have also been conflicted by the militarization of humanitarian aid around the world and this smacks of this. So . . . what CAN we do? For good or bad, people want to do something, so what would actually be helpful both in the long-term and short term. I am preparing a post on this, so any links would be helpful.

  134. Deb says:

    It’s amazing how many rationales people are finding to tell others to ” be silent” about this horrible situayion.

  135. Lauren says:

    Your argument would be completely valid if it wasn’t for the sad fact that Nigeria does not possess the resource’s, intelligence, means, unity or we’ll directed intentions to solve the dire terrorist issue. How can a nation who has local people who take justice into their own hands through “jungle justice” and has a greedy and corrupt government compiled of under qualified people deal with an issue of this scale on their own? I know this is very “Western” of me but how about putting the girls first here instead of your sickening pride. In the western world the people come first and it’s why people want to help.
    I have news for you too, it’s the world’s RIGHT to be aware of what’s happening in your country for our security too. We need to know what threats are growing and what people and “traits” we are allowing into our countries with OUR children. The more your terrorist groups take over your country the more powerful, wealthy and influential they become and therefore have more capability to obtain more destructive weapons and intelligence and hence pose a threat to the Western civilisation. Until your country becomes more civilised and capable I really don’t think you should be biting the hands that offer you help. I’m not saying that Western world is perfect by any long shot. We have human trafficking and other atrocities but the efforts to combat it are huge which I can’t say for your government.

  136. Alexis Polgar says:

    What democratic process in Nigeria are you referring to? The one that is clearly ineffective against vatious rogue militia ? Or the one that perpetuates the corruption and unequal distribution of resources there. What concerns me is that those girls know that they matter. It’s always black children that are so easily sacrificed.

  137. L.Belton says:

    The article’s premise is completely wrong. The hashtags have nothing to do with urging military action. More about raising awareness to a story that had been ignored two weeks after it happened and urging the Nigerian govt to do something along with an appeal to the kidnappers.

  138. Myself says:

    And? If the Nigerian people would get off their asses and save their own children there wouldn’t be a problem. I guarantee you if someone took my kids, I’d be going after them. Doesn’t matter if I’m outnumbered, or outgunned. I’m not just going to sit back and let my children be sold into slavery. Why do you care if the US military presence increases in Africa. You’re not doing anything with your craphole of a continent anyway. You’re supposed to be the “Cradle of Civilization” where human life originated, and yet you’re a collection of the filthiest, least developed countries in the world. Good job. Show you care about your children by getting together and beating the people who took them to death with sticks and stones if that’s all you have with which to fight. You have entire villages slaughtering each other with machetes but you can’t be bothered to save your own children? Oh well…if you don’t care, why should we?

  139. obaakinyode says:

    My first question is what is a life worth to the Nigerian government? Then the next question is what is the life of a girl worth? What worth do you place on 200 lives snatched up and taken captive by “bullies”? Why has it not occured to senators and legislators at both state and federal levels to enquire about the issue and make plans to rescue these girls? Why don’t the mothers in Nigeria converge on Aso Rock and demand the return of the girls and refuse to leave until President Jonathan address the issue? Why does the Nigerian military not offer to help look for these girls instead of making excuses of inadequate guns to combat Boko Haram? Why does the First Lady need to harass, intimidate and disgrace the teachers rather than facilitate the needed assistance to secure the release of the girls? Why are religious leaders not putting pressure on the government to find the girls?
    If the above people will do what is morally right, then maybe there won’t be need for the US to be involved. Maybe if the whole of Africa wakes up to the fact that we are responsible for our future, then we won’t need assistance all the time.
    It is a national shame that the Nigerian government can not protect its own. This same thread resonates across the rest of black Africa. Until we all come to the realization that what affects one affects all, we are doomed to take hand-outs from whoever will take pity on us. Forget US interest ,etc…. Nigerians must hold their government accountable.Period!!!

  140. Sara says:

    My problem with this stance is that there are 150 missing individuals. They’re not just a political representation. These are children. Girls. Who are probably being raped and tortured during their abduction. And some of these children have died because Nigeria has not yet resolved the problem. Yes, Nigeria should police its own affairs. Yes, in an ideal world that would be best accomplished without intervention.

    But is lending assistance co-opting the Nigerian movement? Is seems to be a very public appeal through international media. As an American it is difficult to see our lack of assistance. I think of the incredible amount of resources that were spent searching for a plane of approximately the same number of dead passengers, and then I see our ability to help return living, vulnerable children and I cannot but feel that it is our moral obligation to lend support. If an intervention results in the return of 150 children, perhaps this is one of those circumstances where it is best to weigh the greater military presence versus the safety of the victims.

    I do agree with Balogun on one thing: the Hashtag activism in the U.S. is a worthless show of support.

  141. Duh says:

    So, where’s your anger towards Russia and China? Because last I checked, China has a strong grip over the diamond trade in Africa AND Russia has been making moves in on North Africa for natural gas. Yet, you’re so “up in arms” over Americans. It would help, if you want to be a writer, that you do your research. Stop filling the internet with conspiracy rhetoric.

    The way China and Russia treat there OWN people, Africans should be very wary of THAT.

    BTW: The #bringbackourgirls hashtag started by a NIGERIAN WOMAN. And at least it makes people aware of the issue.

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  143. Art says:

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  144. Josephine says:

    I consider myself to be a humanist. Forget about the political side of things. These are young girls for goodness sake. Can you imagine their fears and heartache. If you were one of those girls or let say your daughter would you not want the entire planet searching for you. So allow us to do our part whether it is through #.

  145. Sabrina says:

    Agreed!

  146. JayEtch says:

    Thank you Josephine! Humans first, politics after. Was the author’s daughter involved we won’t be reading this! Girls are not expendable! By being inactive, Nigerian government is also co-operating to bring in the encroachment. Let them deal with it when the girls are back!

  147. Iram says:

    @Josephine – Agree. I sincerely hope the girls are safe.

  148. ibrahim says:

    Thank you!

  149. Paul says:

    right on Josephine… take it to the bank and the bank will keep your change… #BringBackOurGirls is a campaign that involves lives, not anything about politics, if the US, UK, France or even Russel decides to send troops to secure these human beings, it is a sign of good faith, no intention of war, we should start talking about saving lives as always, not just for Nigeria alone, but globally, good thing we have the Internet when we can all see and act, the world is winning, lets win #together….

  150. joan says:

    so, please fix it yourself. we’d rather be home; we need to cut our defense budget. what has Nigeria been waiting for?

  151. Anonymous says:

    I will praise any one who is risking their life to help children and woman in this sick world.

  152. Dibasri says:

    Yes one might follow trends and hashtags just because it is ‘fashionable’ to do so, with no direct impact on the release of the girls.

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  1. […] article specifically talks about how the US has already been destabilising countries in Africa through military intervention. Now Michelle, make sure your hubbie imperialist doesn’t go […]

  2. […] will help, you know, bring them back, are fuzzy and based somewhat on wishful thinking. Other commentators go further and say that this social media campaigning is actually harming Nigeria in […]

  3. […] Thanks for your concern but calling for America rather than Nigeria to take action does more harm than good, says Jumoke Balogun […]

  4. […] Thanks for your concern but calling for America rather than Nigeria to take action does more harm than good, says Jumoke Balogun […]

  5. […] Thanks for your concern but calling for America rather than Nigeria to take action does more harm than good, says Jumoke Balogun […]

  6. […] Thanks for your concern but calling for America rather than Nigeria to take action does more harm than good, says Jumoke Balogun […]

  7. […] people living there because they’re not doing anything to really help. It’s all stated here in this blog by Jumoke, a Nigerian American […]

  8. […] There’s concern that intervention from the west isn’t the answer, and many are left with a bad taste when thinking about western military forces coming into a country they know little about to “fix things’”— in other words to help “those people” do things our way. […]

  9. […] Some now worry that calls for U.S. intervention will backfire, leading to militaristic overreaction. […]

  10. […] Jumoke Balogun argued in an article on Compare Afrique that #bringbackourgirls would actually be dangerous because it would call for more U.S. military […]

  11. […] Jumoke: You might not know this, but the United States military loves your hashtags because it gives them legitimacy to encroach and grow their military presence in Africa. AFRICOM (United States Africa Command), the military body that is responsible for overseeing US military operations across Africa, gained much from #KONY2012 and will now gain even more from #BringBackOurGirls. Last year, before President Obama visited several countries in Africa, I wrote about how the U.S. military is expanding its role in Africa. In 2013 alone, AFRICOM carried out a total of 546 “military activities,” which is an average of one and half military missions a day. While we don’t know much about the purpose of these activities, keep in mind that AFRICOM’s mission is to “advance U.S. national security interests.” And advancing they are. According to one report, in 2013, American troops entered and advanced American interests in Niger, Uganda, Ghana, Malawi, Burundi, Mauritania, South Africa, Chad, Togo, Cameroon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and South Sudan. Overall, the U.S. military conducted 128 separate “military activities” in 28 African countries between June and December of 2013. These are in conjunction to U.S. led drone operations which are occurring in Northern Nigeria and Somalia. There are also counter-terrorism outposts in Djibouti and Niger and covert bases in Ethiopia and the Seychelles which are serving as launching pads for the U.S. military to carry out surveillance and armed drone strikes. [...] If you must do something, learn more about the amazing activists and journalists who have risked arrests and their lives as they challenge the Nigerian government to do better for its people within the democratic process. If you must tweet, tweet to support and embolden them, don’t direct your calls to action to the United States government and embolden American militarism. Don’t join the American government and military in co-opting this movement started and sustained by Nigerians. More here. […]

  12. […] writer, Jumoke Balogun said it […]

  13. […] Dear Americans, Your Hashtags Won’t #BringBackOurGirls. You Might Actually Be Making Things Worse […]

  14. […] Of course, of more pressing concern is whether #BringBackOurGirls is actually helping. In her provocative post on Compare Afrique, Jumoke Balogun suggests that  far from helping, the Twitter campaign could be hurting the cause. […]

  15. […] J’en entends déjà certains se dire «c’est bien beau de critiquer la Katiolaise! mais toi tu fais quoi à part t’indigner derrière ton écran? Au moins ceux qui postent #BringBackOurGirls mettent la lumière sur le problème» Si je le pouvais j’aurais embauché les Expendables au complet pour aller libérer mes soeurs. Par contre, je ne peux pas prendre part à un mouvement que je trouve biaisé, c’est contre mes principes. Je préfère relayer des infos pertinentes et reconnaître le travail immense déjà abattu par des militantes des droits des femmes, par des hommes, par des citoyens nigérians et africains. Boko Haram n’en est pas à ses premières exactions. Leur soudaine apparition sur la scène du terrorisme islamiste me laisse encore perplexe. Ils ont littéralement apparu de nulle part en 2010 et depuis, ne cessent de kidnapper, tuer, violer et faire ce que bon leur semble dans un état où l’insécurité et la corruption sont endémiques. Je n’arrive pas à comprendre que dans un état souverain, possédant un des sols les plus riches du continent africain, possédant une armée et des forces de sécurité, un groupe obscur soit à même de kidnapper plus de 200 filles! C’est dingue quand on y pense! Plus de 200 filles et PERSONNE n’arrive à les retrouver. Quid de l’impunité face à ce genre d’exactions? Depuis 2010, Boko Haram enchaîne les attentats mais personne au Nigéria ni en Afrique d’ailleurs ne semble capable ou motivé à les arrêter. Ça me fait mal de l’admettre mais le président Jonathan est apparemment encore en train de se remettre du mariage pompeux et exhubérant de sa fille pour se concentrer sur le sort de mes soeurs et encore une fois, la soi-disant solidarité africaine se révèle être une fable pour endormir les enfants le soir. Ainsi, l’Occident devra nous aider à régler nos problèmes. Si cette mascarade peut effectivement aider à la libération de certaines de mes soeurs et qu’enfin Boko Haram soit considéré comme la secte dangereuse qu’elle est, pourquoi pas. Mais pour ceux qui ne l’ont pas encore compris, cette aide ne viendra pas sans conséquences pour notre continent et, quand les USA se portent volontaires pour aller «aider» un pays, on sait très bien ce que cela veut dire… A ce propos je vous propose de lire cet excellent article de Jumoke Balogun disponible ici […]

  16. […] of these schoolgirls, while others have critiqued the media response and raised questions about the effectiveness of internet hashtag campaigns in addressing the issue.  May God protect these girls and bring them to freedom and […]

  17. […] how #BringBackOurGirls can feed into the militarization of US policy in Africa and the white savior […]

  18. […] why did it take us so long to realize they were missing? #Bringbackourgirls indeed. Read this  http://www.compareafrique.com/dear-americans-hashtags-wont-bringbackourgirls-might-actually-making… 2 days […]

  19. […] Dear Americans, Your Hashtags Won’t #BringBackOurGirls. […]

  20. […] Sostanzialmente dice che le vostre buone intenzioni non corrisponderebbero alle reali intenzioni che ci sono dietro la diffusione dell’hashtag BringBackOurGirls. Chiedere all’America di intervenire, invece che supportare la Nigeria nelle loro azioni di liberazione e ribellione fa più male che bene. Così racconta Jumoke, nigeriana – americana, co-fondatrice e co-editore di compareafrique.com. […]

  21. […] In riferimento alla campagna #bringbackourgirls, una voce fuori da un coro che ha virato verso una litania monotono dal chiaro sound neocolonialista, in cui le prime voci sono tutte occidentali. Jumoke Balogun, di origine nigeriana e americana, è co-fondatrice e co-editrice di compareafrique.com […]

  22. […] has only now decided to start paying attention to Boko Haram. On the same topic, Compare Afrique criticizes the circulation of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign in the West: “Your insistence on urging American power, specifically American military power, […]

  23. […] an open letter to Americans, Compare Afrique co-founder Jumoke Balogun writes that the popular call for U.S. involvement in the kidnapping “undermines the democratic process in […]

  24. […] The article’s title ‘Dear world, your hashtags won’t #BringBackOurGirls’ and subtext Thanks for your concern but calling for America rather than Nigeria to take action does more harm than good, says Jumoke Balogun […]

  25. […] This article was first published on comapareafrique.com […]

  26. […] Compare Afrique: Dear Americans, Your Hashtags Won’t #BringBackOurGirls. You Might Actually Be Making Things Worse. […]

  27. […] Jumoke Balogun, Dear Americans, Your Hashtags Won’t #BringBackOurGirls. You Might Actually Be Mak… […]

  28. […] His reluctance is mirrored by many Nigerians. A May 7th headline in the periodical Compare Afrique read, “Dear Americans, Your Hashtags Won’t #BringBackOurGirls. You Might Actually Be Making […]

  29. […] As Jumoke Balogun wrote at the CompareAfrique website: “[W]hen you pressure Western powers, particularly the American government, to get involved in African affairs and when you champion military intervention, you become part of a much larger problem. You become a complicit participant in a military expansionist agenda on the continent of Africa.” […]

  30. […] have been some trenchant critiques of this social media campaign – hat-tip to the great Mushim Patricia Ikeda for pointing that […]

  31. […] Compare Afrique has the counter narrative to Good US Soldiers Saving Africa. […]

  32. […] una línea similar planteaba reticencias la editora Jumoke Balogun que un artículo titulado “Queridos americanos, sus hashtags no van a #BringBackOurGirls (devolvernos a nuestras niñas). En re…”, que ha sido reproducido por diversos medios internacionales. Balogun apelaba a la soberanía […]

  33. […] una línea similar planteaba reticencias la editora Jumoke Balogun que not artículo titulado “Queridos americanos, sus hashtags no van a #BringBackOurGirls (devolvernos a nuestras niñas). En re…”, que ‘ sido reproducido por diversos medios internacionales. Balogun apelaba a la […]

  34. […] una línea similar planteaba reticencias la editora Jumoke Balogun que un artículo titulado “Queridos americanos, sus hashtags no van a #BringBackOurGirls (devolvernos a nuestras niñas). En re…”, que ha sido reproducido por diversos medios internacionales. Balogun apelaba a la soberanía […]

  35. […] similar planteaba reticencias la editora Jumoke Balogun que un artículo titulado “Queridos americanos, sus hashtags no van a #BringBackOurGirls (devolvernos a nuestras niñas).…”, que ha sido reproducido por diversos medios internacionales. Balogun apelaba a la […]

  36. […] Nigerian-American writer, Jumoke Balogun, claims the campaign only furthers American military expansionist agenda. She states, “your […]

  37. […] that are not actually in line with our values, or that are actively damaging. Jumoke Balogun argues (also at Compare Afrique) that the #BringBackOurGirls campaign risks “making things worse” by […]

  38. […] the violence of the situation, those on the ground have warned against Western intervention. Jumoke Balogun writes, ‘You might not know this, but the United States military loves your […]

  39. […] writer, Jumoke Balogun said it […]

  40. […] for Compare Afrique, Jumoke Balogun has warned against the, “insistence on urging American military power” which she feels may […]

  41. […] Problems like this need substantive changes, and a mindless retweet doesn’t cut it. At Campare Afrique, Jumoke Balogun sees a bigger problem: All those tweets give the US and other Western governments […]

  42. […] and the United States even though everyone wants to see these girls returned home safely. From distrust for the United States’ agenda for the entire continent of Africa through AFRICOM to an […]

  43. […] to have “our girls” back has been an unresolvable conflict. I have followed articles such as this onethat challenge Americans not to support U.S. military intervention as the solution to this problem. […]

  44. […] As reported in a popular article on the blog “Compare Afrique” this week, the U.S. routinely sends costly military missions to various parts of Africa for unknown reasons with unknown results in the unspecified name of […]

  45. […] Jamoke Balogun raises a similar point when she says in her article Dear Americans, Your Hashtags Won’t #BringBackOurGirls. You Might Actually Be Making Things Worse. […]

  46. […] of Africa about what else all the international attention might lead to — in particular, an expanded US military footprint in the […]

  47. […] Nigerian-American blogger Jumoke Balogun lays out the argument that our social media noise isn’t benefitting who we think it is, and asks Americans backing the movement to take a second […]

  48. […] read an incredible piece the other day that called out American Imperialism and chastised people for participating in a […]

  49. […] read an incredible piece the other day that called out American Imperialism and chastised people for participating in a […]

  50. […] Perhaps Jumoke Balogun said it best her open letter, Dear Americans, Your Hashtags Won’t #BringBackOurGirls. You Might Actually Be Making Things Worse: […]

  51. […] Obama sent 100 combat-equipped troops to Central Africa to capture Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony but they didn’t find him and even stopped looking for him. There just isn’t any evidence that supports direct American involvement will help rescue the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. (Source) […]

  52. […] hashtag encouraged military intervention in Africa. Jumoke Balogun explained this eloquently on his post on CompareAfrique.com: “You can’t do anything about the girls missing in Nigeria … [U]rging […]

  53. […] is the ways in which publicized movements can help legitimize increased military intervention. One Nigerian-American journalist explains that the organization AFRICOM exists to “advance U.S. national security interests”. […]

  54. […] government reaction is good, however, this is not always the case. Many people believe that having US military action in African countries is not always is good thing and that issues need to be dealt with by the […]

  55. […] for example, Nigerian-American Jumoke Balogun, who dismisses international coalition building up on Compare Afrique web site. Balogun writes that the U.S. is gearing up toward a military buildup in Africa, and […]

  56. […] for example, Nigerian-American Jumoke Balogun, who dismisses international coalition building up on Compare Afrique web site. Balogun writes that the U.S. is gearing up toward a military buildup in Africa, and […]

  57. […] people living there because they’re not doing anything to really help. It’s all stated here in this blog by Jumoke, a Nigerian American […]

  58. […] of social media in modern activism. The explosive worldwide response through #Bringbackourgirls has raised many questions about the ethics of social media advocacy— in the age of the internet, how do we engage in the […]

  59. […] CompareAfrica goes as far as saying the hashtag is making things worse as the American military insist on further […]

  60. […] CompareAfrica goes as far as saying the hashtag is making things worse as the American military insist on further […]

  61. […] appeals of those outside of Nigeria demanding action from the US and other foreign powers. Writer Jumoke Balogun points out, “Your calls for the United States to get involved in this crisis undermines the democratic […]

  62. […] invented (and I still can’t claim early adoption). When #BringBackOurGirls began to trend, this came across one of my many feeds, and I had to step back and really think about the power–and […]

  63. […] Thanks for your concern but calling for America rather than Nigeria to take action does more harm than good, says Jumoke Balogun […]

  64. […] appeals of those outside of Nigeria demanding action from the US and other foreign powers. Writer Jumoke Balogun points out, “Your calls for the United States to get involved in this crisis undermines the democratic […]

  65. Open Asia says:

    […] appeals of those outside of Nigeria demanding action from the US and other foreign powers. Writer Jumoke Balogun points out, “Your calls for the United States to get involved in this crisis undermines the democratic […]



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