After the Boko Haram extremist group massacred several people in a Nigerian village, U.S. authorities were asked about “solidarity” for West Africa. And the response was quite the contrary to #AllLivesMatter.
In recent news, the internet has been abuzz with the deaths of many Nigerian women and children by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, even after ISIS’ attack on France. As a display of social network solidarity, even Facebook allowed its users to change their profile photos to a French-empathetic overlay of the country’s flag colors. However, the issue came when they didn’t offer up the same “solidarity” for Nigeria and Kenya when hundreds were slaughtered in April of 2015 — nor as recent as November’s killings, as reports USA Today.
Well, it seems that the truth about the situation has come to the light. Via CNN, Military Analyst Major General James “Spider” Marks answered a few questions concerning the aforementioned solidarity issue. When asked where those same calls for justice were/are for the people of Nigeria, he stated that there were “stark differences.”
— Chihiro Ogino (@WickedBeaute) November 20, 2015
While mentioning that the world leaders had “complete solidarity against the outrage that was happening in Paris,” he thereafter stated that the priorities just weren’t the same for the concerns of West Africans. Marks stated that the events in Nigeria “should not be surprising.” He did mention that the events were, indeed, “barbarous” and “horrible” as well. Yet, as his elaboration continued, what he said next about West Africa’s terrorism problem could be upsetting to many.
“The United States, unilaterally, could do almost anything it needs to do to root out Boko Haram. It would be a long-term effort, but it can be done. The United States has the capability…all the elements of power…[but] it’s not a priority. That’s the problem. We’re committed elsewhere in the world. ‘Black’, West Africa is not a priority. Very stark. Very hard to say. But that’s the case right now.”
He went on to say that Boko Haram is just a “regional issue,” and — if the U.S. were to see the extremist group appear in other countries that were of American priority, like “White Africa [Northern Africa] or the Mideast” — the United States would be alarmed. Marks point was that the U.S. wants to “contain” Boko Haram so it won’t have the ability to “metastasize” outside of the region. Yet, it’s too late for that. Reports indicate that Boko Haram’s reach is far outside of Nigeria.
Likewise, according to CNN, Boko Haram has surpassed ISIS as the world’s most deadliest terrorist group. It reports that Boko Haram killed approximately 6,644 Nigerians, alone, in 2014. Whereas, ISIS killed 6,073 individuals as a whole, worldwide, in 2014. The total number of deaths from terrorism, altogether, in 2014 was 32,658, as reports the Institute for Economics & Peace, via its 2015 Global Terrorism Index report.
In another CNN report, Boko Haram supposedly pledged allegiance to ISIS in March, 2015. So, if Haram’s loyalty is to ISIS, it’s no longer a regional containment. Could not ISIS’s leadership smuggle Boko members out of Nigeria and into other “prioritized” areas of the world? According to the report, in March, Nigerian expert Chris Zenn stated as follows.
“Boko Haram will get legitimacy, which will help its recruiting, funding and logistics as it expands. It will also get guidance from ISIS in media warfare and propaganda. Previously Boko Haram was a sort of outcast in the global Jihadi community. Now it is perhaps ISIS’s biggest affiliate. ISIS gets more international legitimacy as a global caliphate.”
So all in all, how can people ignore these words from U.S. Military Analyst Major General James “Spider” Marks? Essentially, he stated that, contrary to the anthem that “all lives matter,” all lives aren’t a priority. Nigerian, “Black Africa” lives aren’t a priority, according to Marks.
What are your thoughts? Do #BlackLivesMatter or don’t they? Do you think all lives matter? What about in the case of Syrians?
Marks has given in-your-face answers as to why West Africa has gotten minimal “Pray for Nigeria,” or African solidarity efforts from the world, mass media, or social media.
[Video and Image via YouTube]