Boko Haram and Barack Obama’s war with words

Boko Haram is the new kid on the block, killing Christians at rapid rate in Nigeria. Even so, Barack Obama will not call them terrorists. Photo: Boko Haram Fighters (AP)

CHARLOTTEJuly 10, 2013 — In the Obama administration there is no war on terrorism, but there is a war on words. “Terrorist” is taboo. So are “coup,” “Islamist” and any number of other descriptive terms that tell it like it is.

Let’s talk about Boko Haram in Nigeria and then consider the word, “disgusting,” because that is the only way to describe Barack Obama’s approach to the slaughter of thousands of innocent Christians in that country.

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Put Obama’s picture beside the word, “disgusting,” in the dictionary or plaster it across the side of a bus in California and it would not make any difference because the mainstream media is too infatuated with Paula Deen and George Zimmerman to care. Meanwhile, Obama continues his typical ambivalence toward anything that does not involve a hoop, a white ball and club, time off or the glitter of hob-nobbing with celebrities.

We have not heard much about Boko Haram because the press is basically ignoring it. After all, it is only Africa and that continent does not count even though the George Zimmerman trial is all about racism.

Boko Haram is new to global terror. It has only existed since 2002 when it was created in northeastern Nigeria by an Islamist cleric named Muhammad Yusuf. Yusuf’s mosque and school attracted “poor,” another operative word, Muslim families throughout the country. Before long, following the tenets of Islam, Yusuf was rapidly creating a political formula to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria.

During a raid on his headquarters, Yusuf was killed, allowing an even more radical leader to control in the person of Abubakar Shekau. Since coming to power, Shekau’s Boko Haram, which roughly translates to mean that Western education is sacrilegious, has openly declared war on the government of Nigeria.

There have been countless attacks throughout the country under the Shekau regime including weekly bombings in which Christian churches are the target of choice. Nigeria is now said to be the most dangerous country in the world for Christians.

In January 2012, Shekau said, “I enjoy killing anyone that Allah commands me to kill – the way I enjoy killing chickens and rams.” That statement followed Boko Haram’s deadliest attack which killed more than 180 people.

Other than the sheer magnitude of the bloodshed flowing throughout Nigeria, why is this so “disgusting?” The Obama administration refuses to call Boko Haram a terrorist organization. His reason is simple,  they are not a “direct threat to the U.S.

We can play word games all day long, but just because Barack Obama does not call Boko Haram a terrorist group does not alter the facts. What does make a difference is the president’s denial of the term while Christians are dying in huge numbers in Nigeria.

It would be maddening enough if this was the first time that Obama has taken such a stance, but the truth is that this is standard operating procedure for all things Islamic and that is deeply troubling.

In his usual rationalizing approach to global policies, President Obama will not classify Boko Haram as terrorists because it is perceived as nothing more than a regional threat. Is that why Behghazi has been covered up because it was carried out by a regional group in Libya? Were the Boston Marathon bombers simply part of a regional organization?

We call it global terrorism because Islamic jihad is an international menace. Al-Qaeda was once a regional organization too. Perhaps Mr. Obama forgot that the Twin Towers used to be located in one of our “57 United States.”

Boko Haram has links to Al-Qaeda. Abubakar Shekau has traveled to Saudi Arabia to obtain financial and technical support from them. Does that sound like a regional franchise?

If the core organization continues to operate in Nigeria, but sends radicalized converts to other parts of the world to commit terrorist acts, are they still regional?

As the ideology and horror spreads in Nigeria, it is no longer limited to a single country, but Mr. Obama just cannot bring himself to deny his Muslim roots and call “terrorists” exactly what they are.

Barack Obama became president because he was said to be good with words. Since taking office, Obama’s words have frequently been empty, even when his deeds have not. Less than five years into the Obama presidency words remain a primary feature of his administration which are used to spread lies, untruths, misdirection, obfuscation and confusion.

Words mean things, Mr. President. Boko Haram is a terrorist organization and needs to be recognized as such. Anything less by the United States is morally reprehensible. And THAT is “disgusting.”

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About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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