Editorial: One year later, Boko Haram’s success leaves blood on America’s hands
April 16, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- One year ago yesterday, the world was shocked by the horrific kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria by the ISIS-linked terrorist group Boko Haram. However, rather than help Nigeria fight this threat, the Obama administration has denied military aid and intelligence, and enacted economic and political sanctions against Nigeria.
According to military, political, and religious leaders in Nigeria -- corroborated by a U.S. congressman and the actions of the Obama administration itself -- America’s inaction stems from opposition to Nigeria’s 2014 “Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.”
Nigeria’s Catholic bishops have perhaps been the most vocal about this shameful episode in U.S. foreign policy. According to them, the Obama administration has required Nigeria to accept same-sex “marriage” before the United States will assist with Boko Haram.
The Catholic bishops aren't alone in their claims. Former U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman, R-TX, was part of a four-person U.S. Congressional Delegation that went to Nigeria last year to investigate the schoolgirl kidnappings. In a recent interview, Stockman confirmed that while he was in Nigeria, top U.S. brass told him they had intelligence to help the Nigerian military to “crush” the terrorist group Boko Haram. However, the Obama administration forbade the sharing of it over “gay rights.”
Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren has corroborated Stockman’s assertion. Warren told military.com in May 2014 that the US would not share intelligence to find the kidnapped girls with President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.
In September 2014, Nigerian newspaper THISDAY spoke with a Nigerian official who revealed that not only had the U.S. refused to sell the Nigerian military specialized helicopters to deal with Boko Haram, but the U.S. also blocked the sale of helicopters to Nigeria from Israel.
This was confirmed by the Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S., Prof. Adebowale Adefuye, who told the Council on Foreign Relations that “the U.S. government has up till today refused to grant Nigeria’s request to purchase lethal equipment that would have brought down the terrorists within a short time.”
The Obama administration’s ideology has also had devastating effects on Nigeria’s economy. Three months after the girls were kidnapped, and in the midst of an Ebola crisis, the U.S. cut all oil purchases from Nigeria. The action contrasts sharply with the lack of similar sanctions against nations whose leaders have atrocious human rights records, such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
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These policies and actions of the Obama administration are nothing new. In fact, pressure by the United States against Nigeria has been building since 2011 -- the year that Nigeria’s Senate passed the “Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.” In addition to prohibiting same-sex “marriage” and civil unions, the bill outlawed gay activist groups and public displays of sexual intimacy between persons of the same sex.
At the time, Western nations threatened to cut off all foreign aid to the nation, even medical assistance. Nigerian legislators, however, said that their morals were not for sale, and the Senate passed the bill.
Within a week, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum directing “all federal agencies engaged abroad to ensure that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons.”
Finally, when Jonathan signed the bill into law on January 13, 2014, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry put out a statement denouncing Nigeria as acting in a manner “inconsistent” with their “international legal obligations” and undermining “the democratic reforms and human rights protections enshrined in its 1999 Constitution.”
It’s not just policies that show Obama’s animosity to the Jonathan administration. The man who ran Obama’s two successful presidential campaigns, David Axelrod, supported former dictator General Muhammadu Buhari in his recent election victory over Jonathan.
Americans should be shocked at the Obama administration’s unwillingness to stand with Nigeria against Boko Haram over a political agenda. As Nigerian Bishop Emmanuel Badejo explained, even if U.S. policymakers disagree with Nigerian culture and morals, such differences do not make the people of that nation worthy of kidnapping, rape, and massacre by the thousands at the hands of Boko Haram.