Skip to main content

My sister just posted an interesting article on Facebook, Nigerian government opposed to Boko Haram terror listing by U.S.

I think it sheds interesting light on the current flap over Obama's response to the Benghazi attacks.

Sure: There are more-or-less reasonable multiple interpretations of Obama's Rose Garden comments, and I'm in agreement that Romney's knee-jerk response was... precipitous, to put it generously.

Less generously, it was dickish. More delicately, however, the paper my sister cites serves to remind us of how, when regular Americans ramp up the political heat over terror, we may only be serving to betray our own limited thinking about the very real politics of terror—including a stark ignorance about fallout from such designations.

Continued, below the fold.

Nigerian Ambassador Ade Adefuye gives no less than three (count 'em!) reasons why an official U.S. designation of a domestic terror organization as "terrorist" hurts his country's efforts in fighting that threat. Here's the relevant excerpt from the release:

After briefing the symposium about U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent visit to Nigeria, Adefuye said the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan believed that the U.S. administration adding Boko Haram to its FTO list would, first and foremost, embolden the organization by elevating its terrorist status worldwide, the Vanguard newspaper reported.

Adefuye said a second concern of Nigerian government officials was that designating Boko Haram as an FTO entity would subject Nigerian visitors to the United States to increased scrutiny, embarrassment and humiliation from U.S immigration authorities.

Another concern of the Nigerian administration was that by labeling Boko Haram as a terrorist organization could lead to the United States using unmanned aerial vehicles to attack Boko Haram's leadership and members.

"We know from the experience of Afghanistan and Pakistan, such unmanned drones could lead to destruction of villages and people who are not directly involved in the activities of Boko Haram," Adefuye said.

Let's recap the three points:

1) Official U.S. "terrorist" designations lend cred to the targeted organizations.

2) These designations result in not-so-subtle recriminations against innocent Nigerian travelers to the U.S.

3) These designations have historically resulted in an "open season" for drone attacks, which have justly accrued a reputation for indiscriminate targeting, hence an emergent, immanent danger to the average Nigerian.

All this is good and instructive about the real-world implications of American "post-9/11" anti-terrorist policy.

But it should have one more salient side effect: It should serve to remind us that, when Tea Partiers froth and foam about Obama being a "soft on terror" threat to the safety of Americans, they're also betraying the fact that their mindset is a closed, inbred one—one that doesn't have a real handle on the true politics of terror.

Homespun political heat about "the threat of terror", and the actual implementation of terrorism-centered U.S. foreign policy are very, very different things. Remind your right-wing relatives, coworkers, and neighbors of this reality, early and often!

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George3, Davui

    Isn't it a good feeling when you see the paper in the morning, it says 'Axe Slayer Kills 19' and you say, "They can't pin that one on me!" - Jean Shepherd

    by razajac on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 02:46:36 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site