Joel Gehrke of the Washington Examiner writes the following:
When congressional leaders asked the State Department to tailor American assistance to Nigeria in a way that would protect Christians from religious persecution at the hands of Boko Haram, an extremist group that kidnapped hundreds of Christian girls last month, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s team dismissed the idea on the theory that the organization was not motivated by religion.
“This religious tension, while real, should not be mistaken as the primary source of violence in Nigeria,” David Adams, assistant secretary of legislative affairs, wrote to Congress in an Oct. 4, 2012 letter. “Similar to the United States, Nigeria’s religious diversity is a source of strength, with communities working across religious lines to protect one another.”
In other words, as late as 2012 the Obama administration considered Boko Haram to be just another religious group that comprised the rich tapestry of spiritual life in Nigeria and that, as part of the splendid diversity of the country, it represented a source of strength.
Of course, not everyone agrees with this sunny assessment.
Writing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, retired Colonel Dr. Jacques Neriah tells us the following:
Over the past three years Boko Haram has killed more than 1,500 Nigerians, mostly Christian citizens in the predominantly Muslim northern part of the country.1 Boko Haram has sowed havoc and destruction by attacking government facilities, jails, police stations, universities, and schools. It has even carried out attacks in the capital, Abuja. Boko Haram struck the UN headquarters in the city on August 26, 2011, and it has dispatched car bombers to busy bus stations in the vicinity of the capital. The only places spared so far are the country’s airports and the commercial capital, Lagos.
The international community, however, ignored all this, and only reacted when the girls were abducted.
Given the nature of this horrendous organization one would assume that the Obama administration would approve Nigerian government efforts to eliminate the group, but even as early as a year ago this was not the case.
A Nigerian newspaper, The Nigerian Voice, in an article dated May 2013, tells us this:
SAN FRANCISCO, May 02, (THEWILL) – The United States Government has withdrawn military assistance to Nigeria citing various human rights violations by Nigerian security forces, particularly the military which is currently engulfed in a controversy over the killing of dozens and destruction of hundreds of residences in Baga, a town in Borno State during a clash with members of the Boko Haram.
Yet again the Obama administration finds itself in a foreign policy dilemma in which there are no good options and I have no doubt that the Nigerian government is at least as capable as Boko Haram of carrying out bloody massacres, which is why they are being defunded to begin with. Like with Egypt and Syria and Libya there are no “good guys” for the US to back. It always seems to be a question of largely secular vicious authoritarians fighting largely theocratic vicious authoritarians – and both blaming the Jews for everything wrong under the sun.
That is the question that I still do not have a reasonable explanation for. I do not believe that Barack Obama is a crypto-Muslim seeking to deceive the American people.
I do not think that Barack Obama in the quiet of the night, as he lies in bed next to Michelle thumbing through an old copy of MAD Magazine, thinks to himself, “If only I could introduce al-Sharia into the United States. If only Americans understood that groups like al-Qaeda and the Brotherhood and Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Boko Haram are actually humanitarian organizations that want nothing but the best for everyone involved, particularly Christians and Jews… and women and Gays.”
Of course, he does not. But, then, what explains the fact that he always seems to come down on the side of political Islam?
In Egypt he backed the Brotherhood and got beat, but back the Brotherhood he did. He bolstered their prestige at the expense of long-time president Hosni Mubarak during his famous Cairo speech. He sent Clinton at the head of a U.S. delegation to ensure a smooth transition to an Islamist government that probably was not fairly elected. (Certainly reports that Copts were sometimes prevented from voting at rifle point would mitigate the notion that the Brotherhood came to power in free and fair elections.) He then provided the new Islamist government with both financial aid and heavy military equipment. And he did all of this after a Muslim Brotherhood election year rally for Morsi, with Morsi in attendance, in which the crowd screeched to the heavens for the conquest of Jerusalem.
Nonetheless his apologists will still tell me with a straight face that he does not support political Islam and did not support the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ideological filters and confirmation bias are funny things. We all have them, including me, that much is certain, but for some of us the veil becomes so thick that nary a glimmer shines through.