The Nigerian Connection: Boko Haram, Obama, and Qatar

BOKOBAMA

“Allah ghayatuna Al-rasul za’imuna. Al-Qur-‘an dusturuna. Al-jihad sabiluna. Al-mawt fi sabil Allah asma amanina. Allah akbar, Allah akbar.”

“God is our goal, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle [jihad] is our way, and death in the service of God is the loftiest of our wishes. God is great. God is great.” -Muslim Brotherhood chant

Last month Boko Haram, a franchise of al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, kidnapped 276 young girls in Nigeria.  This horrifying situation reminded this country, apparently even the White House, that Islamic fascism was still a serious threat to world peace.  As if kidnapping innocent children was not bad enough, Boko Haram then announced their intentions to sell the girls into slavery.  Prior Boko Haram’s threat that the children, who are mostly Christian, would be sold in the “marketplace,” President Obama publicly ignored the kidnapping.  But, even the Obama’s found this promise of forced (sexual) servitude so shocking that Michelle launched a Twitter campaign – #bringbackourgirls.

Emphatically, it should not have taken an announcement by Boko Haram to wake Obama up to reality of Islamist groups and human trafficking.  That al Qaeda and such groups have for a long time been modern day slavers is actually old news.  Not only has al Qaeda practiced slavery in North Africa, but they are a force[1] in the Asian sex slave trade as well.  Indeed, Qatar, the home of the al Qaeda’s parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, has one of the most oppressed (read: enslaved) labor forces in the entire world, despite also having the highest GDP per capita in the world.  There’s some real income inequality for you.  Nevertheless, it took the clear and sustained outrage of a shocked world to get the Obamas to join the protest against Boko Haram.  At least on the surface of things.

Here are some quick facts about Nigeria, and why the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency is important for the world to pay attention to.  Nigeria has both the largest population in Africa (170 million) and Africa’s largest economy. This is thanks, in part, to massive reserves of oil.  Boko Haram has been trying to violently overthrow the government of Nigeria since 2001, but in the last few years, especially since 2011, the situation has gotten considerably more tenuous for the Nigerian state.  In 2014 alone, there have been (at least) 11 deadly attacks.  If the Nigerian state were to collapse, and an Afghanistan-like environment of anarchy were to emerge (as has emerged in Libya since the end of Gaddafi’s rule), there is little doubt that the wars already raging in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, not to mention South Sudan and other places, would spill over into Nigeria.

Moreover, like in Nigeria, the conflicts in the Sudan, CAR, and DRC involve Islam and Christianity.  Should Boko Haram succeed, Africa would be in a state of near total war – total religious war.  It would be very hard to stop this chaos and animosity from spreading across the entire world.  Already Europe has seen the ascendency of a fascist-oriented political Right, an ideology which shares the resentment of Muslim immigrants across parties and across nations.  Whether it is National Front in France or Vlaams Belang in Belgium, the parties of the Nouvelle Droit on the continent make their animosity toward non-Christian immigrants a central part of their political platforms.  For this reason, Europe would be especially vulnerable to violence if Boko Haram is not suppressed.

Obama’s Stance.  Or Dance?

In the days since the kidnapping made international headlines, a curious pattern of policy positions have been unearthed concerning the Obama administration’s State Department, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and their view of Boko Haram.  The State Department, despite the increasing urgency of the situation, and additionally, reports that Boko Haram had originally received seed money from Osama bin Laden, refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.  As Andrew McCarthy put it in his May 13 article:

“Instead, ignoring what Boko Haram pronounces its goals to be, the Obama administration portrayed it as a diffuse organization with no clear agenda that was ascendant due to the policies of the Nigerian government (which is under Christian leadership). As the Boko Haram threat got progressively worse, the State Department and the White House theorized that it could be defused by better government engagement with the Muslim population in Northern Nigeria, and that designating Boko Haram as a terrorist organization—which would have triggered our law’s array of counterterrorism tools and squeezed the organization financially—would raise its prestige while encouraging more government repression against Muslims.”

It’s hard to fathom how the State Department could fail to see the hallmarks of al Qaeda in Boko Haram, whose very name means “western education is forbidden [according to Islam].”  If there is still any doubt, Boko Haram made it clear when they hoisted the al Qaeda flag over the kidnapped children.  Perhaps this stance by Hillary should not perplex us.  It was Hillary, after all, who insisted that the United States had a right to arm the Libyan rebels in overthrowing Gaddafi, despite the fact that many of them were essentially al Qaeda.  Since then, Libya has failed to stabilize, while becoming a hotbed for drug trafficking Islamic cartels.  (Drug trafficking is another signature of Islamist movements, especially al Qaeda.  This theme will be expanded on and explained below.)

And yet Hillary’s State Department’s obliviousness was not an oversight – it appears to be State Department policy.  For in May 2013, the Nigerian government conducted air strikes against Boko Haram positions in northeastern Nigeria.  Secretary of State John Kerry, at once, urged restraint, cautioning the Nigerian government of Goodluck Jonathan “to respect human rights and not harm civilians.”  Let us recall the number of civilians that Obama has effectively ordered killed each year by U.S. drone strikes in the alleged hunt for al Qaeda terrorists (who seem to be more menacing than ever): 2,400 have been killed in drone strikes from 2009 through the end of 2013, many of them civilians.  With hypocritical allies like Clinton, Kerry, and their boss, Obama… good luck, Jonathan.  You definitely need it.

The Libyan Arms Grab

What could explain the sudden prominence and threat of Boko Haram, which was, up until 2011, not viewed as an existential threat to Nigerian society?  There rise seems to coincide with the fall of Gaddafi and the dispersing of his massive weapons caches.  Note that in Iraq, when Saddam Hussein was defeated, it was the very Iraqi weapons which were formerly under state control that fueled the al Qaeda insurgency of the Islamic State of Iraq, or ISI (no pun intended on the part of the author).  Several sources, including Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, suggest the the Obama administration, specifically the CIA acting under the aegis of the Hillary’s State Department, was using the compound in Benghazi as an arms shipment point to rebels (i.e., al Qaeda et al.) in Syria.  Would it not make perfect sense that the some of the weapons went south, into Nigeria?  And into the Central African Republic, which has also seen a horrific spike in violence since 2011?

What is the Obama administration doing in Africa?  It is a question worth considering.  Additional food for thought comes from Mali.  In 2012, the United States, along with the United Kingdom and France, sanctioned the government of Mali following a military coup.  The coup in Mali was a direct result of the previous government’s impotence in effectively thwarting Islamist insurgencies in the north, such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).  Why would the United States and other NATO allies sanction a government that was fighting al Qaeda from overtaking their country?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s dictum applies: “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”  Is Obama really arming and supporting al Qaeda?

The remainder of the article will explore this proposition and offer evidence of why this looks likely.

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