In a new interview with The Daily Beast, yesterday, Senator John McCain said American forces should #BringBackOurGirls—whether the Nigerian government gives permission or not.
The senator was quoted as saying on Tuesday:
“If they knew where they were, I certainly would send in U.S. troops to rescue them, in a New York minute I would, without permission of the host country, McCain told The Daily Beast Tuesday.
I wouldn’t be waiting for some kind of permission from some guy named Goodluck Jonathan.”
McCain said that if he were the American president, he would already be doing several things to respond to the kidnapping of the over 200 girls by the Nigerian terrorist group that the Obama administration has so far declined to do. Those measures include prepositioning U.S. special forces to be ready to enter Nigeria and rescue the girls if the opportunity arose. He said that the United Nations charter authorized military intervention on behalf of the girls because their abduction rose to the level of “crimes against humanity.” He said:
“The United Nations Charter recognized crimes against humanity, this fits into the category of crimes against humanity, and that gives any nation the license if they can to stop a crime against humanity, the same reason we should have if we could have freed the people at Dachau or Auschwitz.”
McCain’s declaration on Tuesday was an amplification of an interview he gave to CNN last week when he said:
“as soon as we knew these young girls were kidnapped… we should have utilized every asset that we have, satellite, drones, any capabilities that we had to go after them.”
I have a lot of reactions from Nigerians on Twitter saying the American senator disrespected the Nigerian president with his statement. One person tweeted:
“McCain should learn to be respectful.”
To which another replied,
“Being respected is not a fundamental human right. You earn it.”
Before I tell you where I stand on this, let’s play a little pretend game. Supposing you’re a parent. You dressed your little girl up for school; packed up her lunch box and kissed her bye-bye. You’re hoping to see her back home late in the afternoon.
Then you hear in the news that your little girl was captured in her school by terrorists; alongside over 200 of her schoolmates. You rush to the school to find out your worst nightmare has come to reality. As you search for possible ways to get your girl back, you discover that those who were responsible for securing your baby’s safety were negligent in their duties, and they are not sorry about it.
They give you false hope by saying your girl has been found. You rush to the school again only to find it was a propaganda to keep the public away from the truth. All you want is for your little girl to come back to you, safe and sound; but nobody understands.
Every night, you can’t sleep, because you can’t imagine what your little girl is going through. They say she’s in Sambisa forest. Is she eating? What are they doing to her? Is she being raped and violated? Your heart is eaten up with anxiety. You feel so guilty sleeping on a comfortable bed while your daughter is out there somewhere in the bush. You hate yourself for not doing all you could to protect her from this.
You turn on the news to see your president who should be holding serious meetings on how to rescue your girl, dancing happily at a political rally. You see him leading his own daughter down the aisle to get married in a lavish, glamorous wedding. You see the ostentatious wedding cake and the hundreds of cars gifted to his daughter as wedding gifts. You wonder if your daughter will ever come out of Sambisa alive; if she’ll ever be given that opportunity to wear HER OWN dazzling white wedding gown and walk down the aisle.
Three weeks are gone and counting since you last saw your little girl. Your heart beats each time you watch a newly released video of that lunatic Boko Haram leader Shekau, boasting away. He threatens to sell your girl into slavery, he threatens to marry her off for N2,000 ($11). He tells you he has Islam-ised your Christian daughter and he tells you he’ll harvest your Christian head if you dare come looking for him.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Would you at that time care about the reputation of President Jonathan or if he was being disrespected? If his respect and dignity were so important to him, shouldn’t he be fighting to protect them HIMSELF by doing the right thing?
For everyone reading this deevanalysis now, is it so difficult to understand where I stand on this? I’m a mother to 3 beautiful daughters. I look at them each day and I know I’d literary run mad if anything (GOD FORBID IT) were to happen to them. Since when did Nigerians lose empathy and embraced idiocy?
It’s been three weeks; not three seconds…not three minutes…not three hours…but THREE WHOLE WEEKS, since the Chibok girls went missing. Nothing tangible has been done to bring them back. I don’t care about respect or dignity or whatever you may want to call it at this moment. All I care about is:
Let America, Europe, Asia and the United Nations come to our aid. These are human lives we are dealing with here, not chickens. These are lives of little innocent girls, the light and hope of our tomorrow. They are our Malalas and our Oprahs. We need to bring them back.