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article imageOp-Ed: America should intervene to save Boko Haram's female bombers

By Walter McDaniel     Aug 7, 2014 in World
African citizens face a new wave of terrorist bombings perpetrated by women. No simple solution will fix this problem but there is one alternative which not everyone will like.
Some readers are likely upset by the title, but please hear me out until the end of what I have to say. I promise you that I will address at least some of your concerns.
From all reports the terrorist group Boko Haram is responsible for these incidents. After kidnapping women and girls they then indoctrinate them to believe that their local African culture was evil. Afterwards they go on missions for their new God, many recent ones involve suicide bombings.
Unlike the current conflict in Gaza most Africans are firmly united against one side, against Boko Haram. Instead of fighting over what people consider their ancestral homeland the Boko Haram fighters want to force their religion on all indigenous people.
Locals and governments celebrated after many terrorists evacuated their shelters due to attacks from the natural environment. Locals have even staged protests against the kidnappings as well, which the government shut down.
So why does the group continue to survive and perhaps even thrive despite so much united opposition? It seems incompetent police and useless "top officials" cause this.
In Nigerian culture men hold the power in a relationship, in their own words. You can see this demonstrated by the man who has 86 wives and around 170 children. Men are the breadwinners and women are held as subservient. While some blame Shari'a law cultural attitudes also cause this trend.
So this is the problem, what is the solution? One solution would be to empower women to defend themselves. Since this is not popular even among anti-Haram groups it simply will not work. It would take years to change cultural attitudes held for hundreds of years. We should certainly strive for it but it cannot be our quick fix.
Another solution would be to wipe out the leaders and command structure of the Boko Haram fighters. Police have captured the "Chief Butcher" Zakari Mohammed and his second-in-command is dead. From what we have seen so far this is the best choice.
Our route here is clear, we need to continue out aid to Africa and possibly even step it up after we solve the Ebola crisis. At the same time we do not need to trample African locals who hate the Boko Haram terrorists as much as our people do. We go in, we end the threat to both of our cultures and we leave.
I understand that this view will likely be unpopular with some but it is the best solution. For those who point out that the United States has a history of trampling foreign cultures I cannot argue with you because you are right. At the same time African officials are at the mercy of these people, with some of them having their family kidnapped. If something is not done they will continue to terrorize multiple countries in Africa.
Some of you may also mention that we could equip Africans to defeat the group themselves. I had thought about this too but it is simply not possible. A corrupt defense sector and research on the impact of foreign aid prove this.
Internal reform is vital for all countries in the area but that will, by nearly all estimates, take years. Land reforms clearly show that. Meanwhile women and children are dying. If anyone has a better solution please let me know.
If another country wants to handle this that is fine but as it stands now we are the only ones who can help. No other country is going to bother to go in. United Nations officers are only going to make the situation worse. It's not fun or pretty but it is true and necessary.
So here is another question that I know will come up, why is it any of our business? For the same reason as it's our business in any country of Europe, parts of the Middle East and even Asiatic countries. Americans share a bloodline with you people and when I say "you people" I mean black people, white people, Asian people, Middle Eastern people and every shade in between. You're all American to me and despite what some people will tell you that is a wonderful thing.
People have called the melting pot a myth which is just wrong. Facts stand that as things stand now we have people from all over the world who are now "Americans". It matters little when these people came to the country, just that they are here now. Many of us have relatives throughout the world and we need to stop taking such a nationalistic view. Why are we so obsessed with ignoring others in need just because they do not have our skin tone (if you can even claim there is an American skin tone, which you can't) or speak our language?
I do understand that the United States is not actually terribly concerned with the area. After all, we get our blood diamonds whether people are suffering or not. However by stopping these terrorists then leaving we would protect our international interests and I could stop hearing about how I'm evil because my politicians are idiots. It would be a refreshing change.
Do I trust them to do this? No. Many of you are probably going to point out that we'd likely do more harm than good if we go in and stay. I agree if government officials force soldiers to dig in it would be a mistake. However just once I'd like to hear about the good America is doing in the world even if it is not realistic.
Feel free to disagree with me as much as you like. As long as you're thinking about the situation, and how to solve it, that's all I ask. From what I've seen this is the quickest way to save lives. If the Boko Haram command structure is not fully destroyed soon their group will continue kidnapping women and forcing them to die as suicide bombers.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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