More Guns, Less Boko Haram

When the rest of the world is only offering you a Twitter hashtag in support, you some times have to take firm action to protect  yourself:

BAUCHI, Nigeria — Villagers in an area of Nigeria where Boko Haram operates have killed and detained scores of the extremist Islamic militants who were suspected of planning a fresh attack, the residents and a security official said.

Locals in Nigeria’s northern states have been forming vigilante groups in various areas to resist the militant group who have held more than 270 schoolgirls captive since last month.

In Kalabalge, a village about 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, residents said they were taking matters into their own hands because the Nigerian military is not doing enough to stem Boko Haram attacks.

On Tuesday morning, after learning about an impending attack by militants, locals ambushed two trucks with a gunmen, a security official told The Associated Press. At least 10 militants were detained, and scores were killed, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to give interviews to journalists. It was not immediately clear where the detainees were being held…

I have a friend who is from Nigeria and upon a time we were discussing his home country – which even though he has become an American, he still loves very much and he has a lot of family still living there. After a while, I asked him why the people of south Nigeria put up with it?  Why not just kick the mostly-Muslim north out of the country and have done with it? Nigeria is pretty evenly divided north and south, after all – and the guys who are causing all the ruckus are mostly from the north. Get rid of them, get rid of a large part of the problem.  My friend told me that after the Brits cleared out, the people of the south went to school and learned how to make and build – the people of the north joined the army and learned how to oppress and steal, and they won’t let the south out because the south has the oil.  If the south leaves, the north will have nothing to steal and no one to oppress.  And, so, rather stuck.

It occurred to me after that conversation that the solution, if we want to help Nigeria, is to figure out a way to arm Nigerian militias for local defense in the south. Help the people there just defend themselves and maybe either the north will go away, or will at least become a bit more respectful of the people of the south and won’t steal so often, nor kidnap little girls.  This action by the “vigilantes” (as they are described in the MSM article) is the way to go – and we should offer SEALs and other expert trainers to the Nigerian communities along with sufficient arms and ammunition.  Do that, and over a rather short period of time, the problem there will be resolved, one way or the other.

#BringBackOurGirls and the Death of Heroism

As we recently passed the 69th anniversary of the end of the Second World War (you might have heard of it; a rather significant historical event – even though it took less time for us than did building the ObamaCare website) I have been re-reading Cornelius Ryan’s excellent A Bridge Too Far, which details the “Market-Garden” campaign in Holland in late 1944. Ryan, who wrote several excellent books about major World War Two battles, has a deft way of both showing the utter horror of war as well as showing the sublime courage it took for American and allied forces to win it. One scene in the book, as American paratroopers are landing deep behind enemy lines, has a fighter plane being shot down by the Germans.  The pilot crash-lands his plane close to the American paratroopers, hops out of the wreck and immediately demands a weapon, saying, “I know just where that Kraut SOB is and I’m going to get him”, and off he charges after his enemy.  It seems to me that we, as a people, lack just a bit of that spirit.

Boko Haram has been around for a while, though for our liberals it seems that the group just sprang, fully armed, out of the ground last week – and likely is the result of racist, sexist Teabaggers in the United States.  Without a doubt, if there is something to all this, it is Bush’s fault. As I’m sure everyone is aware, the outrage which finally made even liberals notice was the kidnapping of several hundred Nigerian school girls, with the Boko Haram thugs announcing their plans to tell the girls into slavery (apparently at a bit less than $14 a head, at current exchange rates). While the MSM is careful about concealing the fact that Boko Haram is a Muslim terrorist group closely aligned with al-Qaeda (and, of course, has been massacring Christians in Nigeria for many years), even the bare-bones facts of the case are outrageous. The reaction of our liberals, from Obama on down, has been vigorous – they immediately started a Twitter hashtag, #BringBackOurGirls.  The theory is that the global shaming of Boko Haram will get them to realize the error of their ways and release the girls; but even if that doesn’t work, at least liberals who participated in the hashtag will feel that they did something to help, in much the same way that feeling sorry for a drowning man will excuse one from throwing him a rope, I guess.

Mark Steyn has nailed the whole problem we have here in his recent column, #BringBackOurBalls. Do read it; we here in the West have simply lost our spirit. Here are hundreds of sweet, innocent girls taken by beasts in human skin and our immediate reaction is not to send in military forces to kill the beasts, but to morally pose with a Twitter hashtag – and actually think we are doing something.

The West has a very large problem – we seem to lack the spirit to live. If we do die as a civilization it won’t be because someone stronger than us came along, but because we committed suicide.  When faced with clear evil, we refused to fight. 69 years ago, we charged eagerly at men who were doing evil. Now we stand shivering to one side, hoping that we’ll be left in the enjoyment of our toys at least through our own lifetime.