No More Hashtags. Start Acting.

Kidnapped schoolgirls are seen at an unknown location in this still image taken from an undated video released by Boko Haram

If only the 275 Nigerian Christian girls were abducted by plane! 29 countries would be looking for the schoolgirls instead of the handful of countries talking about the Boko Haram abduction. Remember, the 29 countries organized as a global coalition to look for Malaysian Airliner in the bottom of the Indian Ocean? If only Boko Haram flew the hostages out of Chibok, perhaps the world would provide over 57 ships and 48 aircraft, defense assets, powerful new sophisticated technology to look for the innocent girls abducted from their boarding school.  No expense was spared to look for the 227 Malaysian Air passengers, as dozens of military ships and thousands of international military and defense personnel were deployed to search for Flight 370 passengers buried some 2 miles down in the vast ocean. So why haven’t 29 countries joined forces to look for the poor Nigerian girls?

Tragically, no such worldwide cooperation or massive effort is underway to look for 275 Nigerian Christian girls whose only mistake was going to school.

Instead, the world listens to lame and whiny complaints about the difficult terrain in the forests of Borno state ruled by Boko Haram. The U.S. provides pathetic excuses that the abuses of the Nigerian army prevent the U.S. from full engagement to actively look for the girls, although the abuses of the Chinese government and the Pakistani governments didn’t prevent the U.S. from joining forces in an international flotilla to look for the Malaysian plane within the vast Indian Ocean. The Nigerian and U.S. government provide plenty of reasons why this is a difficult case, i.e. the schoolgirls have probably been separated, and disbursed or sold into slavery. Or the girls are no longer kept together in a group of 275, or have been trafficked into other countries, so it is much more complicated to find them. So what? They talk and they hashtag while the girls are trafficked, exploited, beaten, raped, genitally mutilated, and forced into marriages.  Excuses abound and the girls are not found.

The hottest topic on the world stage is human trafficking. Everyone is talking and concerned about the scourge of modern slavery. Yet, when the world sees human trafficking in action by Boko Haram who reports that it will “sell the girls in the human market” the world sits idly by with diplomatic and military excuses. Millions embraced social media and hashtagged their outrage in 5 seconds worth of key strokes. All done, now. Everyone has done their part for humanity’s latest tragedy.

Wars won’t be won, nor terrorists defeated with social media.

The Islamic terrorists of Boko Haram have already killed 12,000 people and maimed and injured over 8,000 others. Boko Haram is surely laughing over the feckless global social media campaign.  These violent terrorists are raging war in Northern Nigeria, burning down churches, burning alive over 50 schoolboys and terrorizing everyone in their wake. In the last week, they killed over 300 civilians in a village in the State of Borno. Apparently, the hashtag revolution hasn’t intimidated or stopped Boko Haram from its killing spree.

Terrorists understand only one thing: strategic intimidating and overwhelming force.

Senator John McCain and Sen. Bob Corker recommended U.S. Special Forces to rescue the girls. Why hasn’t the U.N. deployed its UN Special Combat fighting team to rescue the girls as it did in 2013 to fight rebels in the Congo? What are they waiting for?

Sorry, folks, hashtags may make you feel better but they provide no comfort to the school girls who are waiting and hoping for someone to rescue them. The world waits like the frightened and apathetic appeaser, who talks, but never acts. The cautionary words of Winston Churchill are especially apt, “an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

Remember that the next time that Boko Haram strikes. It will be worse. Don’t bother to hashtag.


Categories:Family Feature Pro-Life Social Media Youth

  • Austin Robuck

    Wiping people out isn’t the end all be all answer, but you are right: these issues do need attention and prayer!

  • Rebecca Teti

    My initial reaction was precisely as expressed in this post: yeah, I’m sure Boko Haram hangs out on Twitter waiting to see what Sean Penn thinks of them. What a pretentious, impotent waste of effort.

    Upon reflection and further reading though, I’m not so sure. The true target of the campaign is not al-qaeda-aligned terrorists but the corrupt and passive Nigerian government which is failing to act in defense of its own people –Nigerians themselves according to some reports I’ve read have begged for the West to publicize this kidnapping and other Boko Haram atrocities to bring pressure to bear on the Nigerian government to act. Furthermore, a point Nina Shea made years ago in her book on contemporary martyrs is that one of the most important things we can do to help our fellow Christians under attack (and most of these girls are Christians — hence the forced conversions) is never to let people forget their plight. Seen in that light, maybe the campaign’s not so misguided. It doesn’t do MUCH, but maybe it does something in that it forces the press, at least, to cover the story that would otherwise not appear, and hopefully inspires some number of people to take more effective action.

    (By the way, one simple thing Nina Shea recommends in her book on persecuted Christians is that we be sure to have petitions for them read at Masses. They need the prayers, and it keeps their plight in the forefront of people’s minds so it isn’t allowed to become invisible.)

  • Margaret Delmonego

    Jesus, Mary, and Joseph please save souls

  • Steve Renehan

    I can tell you why…because Barak Obama is a weak, impotent & spineless President, more interested in his vacations, golf games & perks of the office, than he is in actually BEING a president! Ronald Reagan would have wiped them out, by now!

    • Will

      I read that we have about 80 troops in Nigeria assisting with the search. We also have drones looking for the girls. Specifically, what else do you suggest? Even President Reagan realized the limitations of our military and pulled troops out of Lebanon within four months of 241 American servicemen being killed in a barracks bombing in October 1983.


      Before we all go Rambo here please read Blackhawk Down and the section on the Iran rescue attempt in Delta Force, by Col. Charles Beckwith. As for “wiping out” Boko Haram, North East Nigeria is even more remote than the Tora Bora region of Afganistan where we couldn’t “wipe out” the Al Quida leadership.

      President Reagan would not have signed off on a poorly thought out rescue attempt likely to get the girls and some of our troops killed.



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