Boko Haram’s atrocities in Nigeria increase


The militant Islamic group Boko Haram has increased its kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria. Incredibly, they have not only proudly claimed responsibility, they seem boastful and even gleeful about what they have done and promise to keep doing it and to use the girls as slaves and to sell them as brides.

The group’s official name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad” which pretty much tells you all you need to know about it but it is popularly known as Boko Haram which loosely translates as “Western education is forbidden”. These people hate education because they rightly fear that it undermines religious fanaticism and they also fear the education of women because advancement and equality for women leads to more democracy.

Boko Haram has committed many atrocities in the past (see here and here) but those were part of actions against Christians and the government. These earlier actions had tribal connotations and we know that tribal sympathies can prevent common action since people can easily be persuaded to line up along tribal lines instead of on general principles of justice.

But the parent-child bond is strong and universal and evokes strong feelings of empathy. It transcends tribal allegiances and this action by Boko Haram will likely create a universal visceral reaction of disgust and revulsion even among people who are not particularly political. The group and their leader seem to have lost their collective mind. Whatever short term needs may be met by this action, I think they are now doomed. This kind of atrocity is what leads to splintering of the group as some members will not be able to stomach this action.

It will also spur the Nigerian government, whose response has been sluggish so far, to take action because it cannot ignore this challenge that is now grabbing the attention of the world. They will have no choice but to mount a massive action to get the girls back and that means taking on Boko Haram directly.

Comments

  1. says

    My fear is that any rescue attempt will end up being another Beslan bombing. Fanatics are willing to kill themselves and as many as they can take with them.

  2. smrnda says

    I agree with what was said above. It’s nice that this has attracted international attention and such, but whatever intervention is planned had better be planned very, very carefully.

  3. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Boko Haram and its actions are just horrific.

    Kidnapping children and selling them into the slavery for the heinous sin of being educated while female?

    Massacring whole villages of innocent people?

    Those #@$@!#$#@!! barbarians.

    If Muslims ever wonder why their religion has a bad name ..well groups like this & the Taliban are the answer.

  4. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ Lofty : The Tea Party for all that’s wrong and nasty about them actually don’t advocate or practise slavery or shooting schoolgirls in the head for wanting an education or kidnapping and trying to sell them into slavery for the same.

    Boko Haram are actually violent terrorists – the Tea Partiers are nasty and in many cases bigoted political extremists but they restrict the activities to political activism and bluster – they don’t use terrorism

    So no.

    @4. Mano Singham :

    @StevoR, Why are you of all people so horrified at the massacre of villages of innocent people when you advocate dropping nuclear and other weapons on nations? What do you think happens when that is done? Flowers start blooming everywhere?

    False premise there . I do NOT advocate dropping nuclear bombs or weapons on other nations and certainly NOT on innocent ones that are living peacefully and not already attacking us.

    Note that the context of War is very different from the context of peace with very different rules and expectations. When one side is firing rockets at innocent civilians during wartime they cannot expect to be considered and treated as innocent. Hamas and other Jihadists are NOT equivalent to schoolchildren trying to get educated.

    Those who claim otherwise are mistaken , lying or have been fooled by a small group of extremely nasty pro-Islam cyberbullies on FTB who are making a lot of straw from a few emotional comments I wrote ages ago when drunk and tired and which weren’t intended seriously. Comments I have long since clarified and apologised for.

  5. Mano Singham says

    StevoR @#6,

    You HAVE CLEARLY advocated using nuclear weapons. You may try to weasel out of it now but your plain words convict you of supporting mass murder, and that is despicable.

    Your talking of innocent and guilty nations is ridiculous and reveals a lack of even logical thought. When you drop nuclear weapons you kill and injure vast numbers people indiscriminately.

    You have advocated mass murder on an unspeakable scale and that makes you a morally depraved person.

    When did you apologize for your sentiments? Saying you were drunk and tired is not an apology, just an excuse to try and weasel out. I have been around enough drunk people to believe in the truth of the phrase in vino veritas, that alcohol does not cause people to say things they disagree with, it merely loosens their inhibitions so that they say things they believe but would normally not say publicly. Drunks seem to think that saying they were drunk is a get-out-of-jail-free card.

    How can you also say that you did not mean it seriously? What kind of person jokes about things like that and then justifies it?

    Sorry, your excuses are just that, excuses, trying to avoid taking responsibility for having heinous views. A groveling apology (not excuses) is the first step in rehabilitating yourself from being a person who advocates mass murder.

    It is a bit rich for someone who advocates dropping nuclear weapons on people to now whine about being attacked with words for doing so.

  6. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ Mano Singham : Read your comment there. I will respond to this later – not tonight.

  7. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @7. Mano Singham :

    You HAVE CLEARLY advocated using nuclear weapons. You may try to weasel out of it now but your plain words convict you of supporting mass murder, and that is despicable.

    Well that’s your interpretation and opinion of my earlier words and me, I don’t agree that I’ve called for “mass murder” just self defense during wartime and see . “Mass murder” certainly not what I wish for or hope will happen.

    Your talking of innocent and guilty nations is ridiculous and reveals a lack of even logical thought.

    As I guess you’d expect I disagree with you there. By nations I mean the govrenmnmentand ruling /dominanyt culture and, yes, this is generalising and yes there are exceptions to therule but nations or groups like the West speaking very broadly and Jihadists groups can be described as guilty or innocent in many ways can’t they? Why not?

    Isn’t it fair to say that Jihadists are guilty of waging, well, a jihad against the West? What is illogical or inaccurate about saying that?

    isn’t it logical and factual as well as legally right to say those who went to work as usual on the 11th of September 2001 at the World Trade Centre and Pentagon were innocent and that goes for other US, Israeli, Aussie, Spanish, Indonesian, British,Kenyan, etc .. civilian victims of Jihadist terrorist attacks? If the populace targeted by one side is innocent (& I think they are) and the populace of Jihadists and those who support, shelter and enable them are guilty of just that (& I think they are) then why should we avoid saying in the generalised shorthand fashion that some nations as innocent and others guilty?

    Terrorism is mass murder as well and why various counter-terrorism measures are taken after all. Circumstances during times of war (and Jihad is a form of warfare) are different from usual peacetime circumstances requiring different things. No, not nuclear warfare but not nothing either. People like bin Laden cannot be allowed to terrorise the rest of the planet can they?

    I advocate like most Westerners and most decent people I think doing what we need to to stop evil mass murders in the form of terrorist atrocities from happening.

    When you drop nuclear weapons you kill and injure vast numbers people indiscriminately.

    That depends when and where the nuclear weapons are dropped. But, yes, war is an awful thing and that is one of the consequences which is unethical and terrible and almost inevitable. I don’t want to see nuclear weapon used and I’ve already admitted some of my past comments went too far and were wrong. ”

    When did you apologize for your sentiments? Saying you were drunk and tired is not an apology, just an excuse to try and weasel out.

    I have apologised repeatedly and clarified my remarks many times most in threads on Pharyngula but also at least once or twice on your blog.

    If it helps I’ll say so again now, I went too far in some of my past comments and was wrong to do so and I apologise for that. I won’t do so again.

    Drunks seem to think that saying they were drunk is a get-out-of-jail-free card.

    Some drunks, yes. I don;t think that and have and will admit I did stuff up with some of those past comments.

    How can you also say that you did not mean it seriously? What kind of person jokes about things like that and then justifies it?

    Humour is a subjective thing which doesn’t always translate and gallows humour and dry sardonic or deliberate OTT hyperbole style humour especially. A lot of people use the “nuke it from orbit” phrase and say stuff that I think is meant metaphorically not literally.

    It is a bit rich for someone who advocates dropping nuclear weapons on people to now whine about being attacked with words for doing so.

    So you think its okay for people to bully me because I’ve previously said a few things you hate and take opposing sides on some issues? I don’t think that’s right – I don’t think bullying others is ever okay.

    Look, we’ll have to agree to disagree on a lot of things I suspect although there are also things and issues we do agree on. Sometimes the internet hinders communication as much as helping it and some issues are just incredibly polarising and arguing online only makes people more entrenched and angry at each other when they don’t really know the person they’re talking with. We see the world very differently but that doesn’t make either of us bad people.

  8. says

    Yes, SteveOR, you do indeed advocate mass-murder:

    But I’m also rational, logical and aware enough to know that [nuking Iran*] cannot be avoided because the alternative is far worse. The alternative is, somewhere down the line, them nuking or destroying us instead.

    You justify it by calling it “self-defense,” but it’s still mass-murder you’re advocating. And since Iran hasn’t actually nuked or otherwise attempted to destroy us, your justification is fucking bogus. So you’re advocating mass-murder with no real justification.

    So you think its okay for people to bully me because I’ve previously said a few things you hate and take opposing sides on some issues? I don’t think that’s right – I don’t think bullying others is ever okay.

    So now you equate criticism with “bullying,” just like all the other hateful intolerant bigots who get called out on their BS? Fuck off to bed, chickenhawk, this is a grownup conversation.
    ______________________________
    *And yes, the kind of pre-emptive “self-defense” counterforce strike you’re demanding would have to involve nuclear weapons, because the intended targets are hardened against anything else. That much was pretty firmly established in the nuclear-policy debates of the Cold War.

  9. says

    Oops, crap, the third paragraph of #10 above should not have been italicized. Hey, if you think I’m bad with italics, wait till you see me use blockquotes…

  10. says

    …I’ve already admitted some of my past comments went too far and were wrong.

    Yeah, you admit this in a comment that’s half-full of the same kind of wrongness.

  11. Mano Singham says

    @StevoR #9,

    Please provide a link to where you say that you were wrong to argue for dropping nuclear and conventional weapons on people and nations. That is what an apology is. You seem to think that providing a long list of excuses, weasel words, justifications, and obfuscations for an act that would cause the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people is an apology. It is not. What does “went too far in some of my past comments” even mean? Why not come right out and say that you should not have advocated the use of such weapons, if that is what you meant?

    You don’t seem to realize how pathetic you sound when you complain of being bullied by words when people take you to task for calling for the mass murder of innocent people. The idea that nuclear and other massive weapons kill only guilty people is the kind of fantasy engaged in by people who are so ideologically or tribally blinkered that they have lost the power of reason.

    And yes, calling for use of nuclear weapons and causing the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people just because some guilty ones may be part of them does make you a bad person. If you want absolution, go and see a priest. If and when you make an unambiguous apology, then we can discuss this further. Until then, I have nothing further to say to you on this topic.

  12. says

    …calling for use of nuclear weapons and causing the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people…

    I guess you’re only counting the “prompt” effects of such weapons. There’s also the “delayed” effects, which would be much worse, much less predictable, and not at all controllable.

  13. colnago80 says

    Well, since everybody is beating up on StevoR, I guess I will weigh in. I freely admit that I have advocated the use of nuclear weapons, in particular bombs of 15 MTs to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. And I make no apology for doing so and, if I were sitting in the Oval Office, to quote Nikita Khrushchev, my hand would not tremble in giving the order.

    However, having given the matter some thought, I don’t think that such extreme measures are necessary. I think that bunker buster bombs dropped from 30,000 feet can do the job, if it becomes necessary. And it appears that such an attack may well be necessary, based on the apparent unraveling of the current negotiations with Iran.
    It appears that the sticking point now is that Iran insists on developing long range ballistic missiles which are of little use unless armed with nuclear warheads. They’re not accurate enough and do not have sufficient lift capacity to deliver large conventional warheads. Thus, the only reason that Iran would have for insisting on continuing the development would be that they are planning to violate any agreement acceptable to the West that might be reached.

    Now Prof. Singham argues that Iran has the right to develop nuclear weapons if Israel has them. He fails to see that Iran acquiring a nuclear capability will immediately result in other nations in the area such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt also acquiring such a capability. For 40 years, these other nations have basically turned a blind eye to Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons because of the agreement with the United States that Israel would not use them without the express permission of the US Government which was reached during the Kennedy Administration. They have no such assurance relative to Iran. Given the instability of the Governments of Egypt and Turkey in particular, such proliferation is reckless in the extreme. Imagine the Muslim Brotherhood with control of an Egyptian nuclear arsenal.

    http://goo.gl/8ooabQ

  14. Mano Singham says

    @colnago80,

    Your views on the use of nuclear weapons and mass murder of innocent people are as despicable as StevoR’s. You two are like Tweedledum and Tweedledee. The only difference lies in the different methods used to avoid taking responsibility for the horrific nature of your statements. You both advocate mass murder but you say it might not be necessary to use nuclear weapons to do so while he incoherently tries to dodge and weave.

  15. colnago80 says

    Re #17

    Well, I am afraid that Prof. Singham are just going to have to agree to disagree on the subject of how dangerous Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons is and what measures are justified in preventing it. Hopefully, not disagreeably. I have backed off my previous position of using nuclear weapons because I don’t think it will be necessary, provided that the US attacks with bunker buster bombs, which will minimize collateral damage. However, if a decision is made to allow Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear sites, then I am afraid that nuclear weapons will be used as the IDF lacks the lift capacity to use conventional bunker busters and I don’t think we are about to loan them B2 or B52 bombers. Better that the US does it and minimizes civilian casualties rather then Israel does it with thousands of such casualties. If Obama agrees to allow Israel to attack, they will probably use nuclear tipped cruise missiles fired from the Dolphin Class submarines they acquired from Germany. All in all as Mr. Kavah puts it on his blog, a negotiated settlement is greatly to be preferred and is really in everybody’s best interest.

  16. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ 15. Raging Bee & #13. Mano Singham :

    See :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2014/05/07/boko-harams-atrocities-in-nigeria-increase/#comment-2110894

    There’s one sentence in bold in that. What do you think it refers to?

    What does “went too far in some of my past comments” even mean? Why not come right out and say that you should not have advocated the use of such weapons, if that is what you meant?

    Okay. I should not have advocated the use of such nuclear and other such weapons such as daisy cutter bombs.

    That’s what I meant.

    And I never meant for nor wanted innocent people to be mass murdered.

    I guess a lot hinges on how you define “innocent”. A culture that worships homicide-suicide bombers, that thinks another culture and group of people should be wiped off the map, that regularly gathers together in huge rallies to scream collectively “Death to the USA!”* and “Death to Israel”, (Iran among others) a culture and group that has been offered peace on generous terms time after time and keeps rejecting it famously “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity for peace” (Palestinians), a group that danced in the streets for joy on 9/11 and cheered on Saddam Hussein when he occupied Kuwait and fired rockets at people who had done him no harm. yeah you think such populations are just “innocent”and not – at best – self-destructive and massively contributing to their own problems? Well, I disagree.

    I don’t want Iran nuked or Gaza bombed to the ground, I think they are awful nations run by awful people but, hell, they are people and we should find a better way to stop them from harming the rest of the world. I don’t want them dead. I want them to stop trying to kill and impose their ideology and violence on others. Iwant tehri culture to change and them to be freed from the brain-washing they suffer from that makes them do horrific things.

    That, that is what i’m getting demonised here for.

    How is that incoherent or illogical or unethical? What’s the better alternative? Give up to terrorism? Seek to appease the unappeasable by destroying another group of people and a nation that has suffered too much already?

    If you read my posts and comments (esp. recent ones) fairly & without bias – which I don’t think many are doing – I think you’ll find a lot more nuance and logic and reason than those who’ve strawmonstered me claim.

    Is this “dodging and weaving” really? Or is it saying its not what some think it is and pointing out some key points that are otherwise getting overlooked here? The latter is objectively the fact. Whether some here like that reality or not.

  17. Mano Singham says

    @StevoR.

    I accept your apology for having advocated the use of nuclear and daisy cutter mass murder weapons.

  18. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    * You live in Cleveland, Ohio according to the “About the Author’ info in the left hand side of this blog. Last I heard that was located in America.

    So when these Iranians and Palestinians and other Islamists chant “Death to America!” as they do, *they* are therefore calling for *your* death – even more than mine given that I’m an Aussie. They want you and your neighbours and everyone in your country innocent and “guilty” alike (they make no distinction unlike those they demonise) dead. They want you dead and your country destroyed or run along – with the rest of the planet – by their fanatical Ayatollahs under strict sharia law.

    OTOH, I want a peaceful solution. I want them to stop attacking us and for you and others here to see and acknowledge that through reasoned if passionate dialogue – and yet you attack me and take their side? What the ..!? Why? Really, why?

    Oh and another citation for you – again a recent one :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2014/05/05/the-impossible-goal-of-a-risk-free-society/#comment-2051216

    My comment #17 in ‘The impossible goal of a risk-free society’, posted on the 9th of May 2014 at 3:03 am :

    Finally, I don’t know how many times I have to clarify this but once more :

    NO I DO NOT SUPPORT bombing Iran, nor torture, nor the use of nuclear WMDs by anyone.

    How can I possibly make that any clearer?

    (Bolding original.) How indeed? Could I possibly be any clearer in that statement of what I don’t support?

    The same comment also very clearly and plainly in common english notes that I do NOT support “mass murder” and explains why and how that is consistent even with some past comments which do NOT actually say what you misinterpret them as saying.

    ***

    @Mano Singham :

    You both advocate mass murder ..

    That is false. You are simply wrong to say that.

    I do NOT now support using nukes and neither does colnago80 . Both of us want better peaceful solutions – me just above in comment #19 :

    I don’t want Iran nuked or Gaza bombed to the ground, I think they are awful nations run by awful people but, hell, they are people and we should find a better way to stop them from harming the rest of the world. I don’t want them dead. I want them to stop trying to kill and impose their ideology and violence on others. Iwant tehri culture to change and them to be freed from the brain-washing they suffer from that makes them do horrific things.

    Colnago80 comment # 18 :

    All in all as Mr. Kavah puts it on his blog, a negotiated settlement is greatly to be preferred and is really in everybody’s best interest.

    This is what we’re saying now, regardless of whether you take going too far in advocating measures against Jihadist terorists in the past as advocating for “mass murder” or as I and a lot of others would see it, advocating strong self defence against those who are trying to kill us and others and impose their truly brutal and nightmarish ideology on the world.

    So please, seriously, stop lying about us both and admit you got that wrong okay?

  19. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @20. Mano Singham : Thankyou for that.

    Sorry I missed that post before I posted my last comment above.

    I don’t want to be your enemy, I actually do enjoy your blog and agree with you on an awful lot where I think you make a lot of sense and write very well. We just strongly disagree on a few very polarising issues and sometimes I think that causes both of us -mea culpa on my part certainly – to go overboard and get carried away into saying more hurtful and angry things than we really want.

    Maybe?

    I don’t really know. I apologise again for when I’ve wronged or upset you in this discussion.

  20. Mano Singham says

    @StevoR #21,

    So much for your earlier apology. You are now back to justifying your earlier calls for the use of weapons that cause mass murder. You did admit you called for it, then apologized for it, and are now back to denying that you called for it.

    And please don’t try to play the fear card that I am being targeted for death. It is laughable to anyone who knows even the slightest about relative risk.

    You are not my enemy. I just happen to really despise your views and I am not going to engage with you any further on this issue because it is clearly a waste of time.

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