Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Boko Harmen: Remembering the Chibok Abductions. Will Stop the War Coalition do too?

with 21 comments

One year anniversary Nigerian schoolgirls

Relatives rally to mark anniversary of abduction by Boko Haram and demand security from new Nigerian president.

Chibok kidnapping: one year on, hope and stoicism as girls remembered.

Let us also remember the Stop the War Coalition’s response to this tragedy,

Nigeria, Boko Haram and the fantasies of benevolent western intervention Xavier Best. May 2014 (originally from Counterpunch – where else?)

Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls and US policymakers and the “free press” have exploded into a fit of pro-interventionist hysteria. It’s hard to escape media reports about the ruthless cruelty of Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau and his vow to sell his hostages into slavery.

Outrage has covered a broad spectrum of media and political personalities from Rep. Peter King who said “If the president decided to use special forces, I certainly would not oppose them,” to Michelle Obama who joined the “Bring Back Our Girls” Twitter campaign and released a video condemning the “grown men” in Boko Haram attempting to “snuff out” the aspirations of young girls.

Missing from this hysteria is a serious look at the US role on the African continent and the credibility of its “humanitarian” claims. Since the early post-war period the US has been an overwhelmingly negative force in Africa. Shortly after the Second World War US policy makers decided that the African continent “was to be ‘exploited’ for the reconstruction of Europe.”

The author adds,

It is widely conceded that the popular base of Boko Haram is a response to severe economic inequality that has disproportionately impacted Nigeria’s northern region. Unlike the south, Nigeria’s north faces severe problems meeting basic human needs of education, healthcare and clean water. Unemployment among young males in northern Nigeria “is in excess of 50 percent.”

This stark inequality is largely a symptom of what’s commonly called its “oil curse”, nations which are extraordinarily rich in natural resources but, due to corporate and often western-backed policies, are unable to meet the basic material and educational needs of its citizens. Consequences of this curse can be deciphered in the Pentagon’s latest Quadrennial Defense Review where the Department of Defense outlines a policy “to sustain a heightened alert posture in regions like the Middle East and North Africa.” The review also highlights “the security of the global economic system” as one of the primary goals of US “National Security Strategy.”

Many would dismiss these observations as a “justification” of Boko Haram’s crimes but it’s quite the opposite. The crimes of the Nigerian state, amply documented by reputable organizations like Human Rights Watch, have done far more to strengthen the arguments of Boko Haram than any analyst ever could.

The crimes of the Nigerian state apart, as far as one can tell the StWC’s main concern was the stop a Western Military intervention…….in Nigeria!

There is absolutely no analysis of the totalitarian machine and murderous ideology of Boko Haram.

That they regard the kidnapped women as war booty, in line with their version of Islamism, is just pushed aside with a few words. ‘Hysteria’ – they call it.

Nothing about the history of the North of Nigeria, their background as Muslim states, where slavery was continued well into the twentieth century, and where the Sharia is increasingly imposed – making non-Muslims into second-class citizens.  Nothing, for these self-declared ‘anti-imperialists’, on the enduring imprint  of Shehu Usman dan Fodio (1754 – 1817) who established a government in Northern Nigeria based on Islam before the advent of Colonialism. The British Colonial Government thereafter established indirect rule in Northern Nigeria based on the structure of this Islamic government.

Nothing on how Nigerian governments have failed to tackle the deep-rooted bigotry of the Northern Islamists, and in particular the cultural presuppositions that have favoured the growth of Boko Haram, that interact with social inequalities.  Or indeed the rest of the religious-social issues in the country’s complex politics.

In these conditions religious ideology, worked out in proto-state military apparatuses like Boko Haram, are, to put it mildly, material forces.

Instead we had a range of the same commentary from the StWC  people about ‘imperialism’.

This is one:  How Nigeria’s kidnapped girls have become tools of US imperial policy in Africa. Glenn Ford 21 May 2014.

Today what does the StWC say in this issue?Look and try to find anything….Is it any wonder that the Stop the War Coalition has dwindled to irrelevance?


Written by Andrew Coates

April 14, 2015 at 12:41 pm

21 Responses

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  1. Much of the South isn’t in much better condition than the North, particularly in the oil-rich Niger River Delta (Ken Saro-Wiwa; Biafra).

    Rhys Needham

    April 14, 2015 at 1:04 pm

  2. “That they regard the kidnapped women as war booty, in line with their version of Islamism, is just pushed aside with a few words. ‘Hysteria’ – they call it.”

    Well, it’s the sort of creepy disdain for certain groups of society that is now quite open on the ‘progressive’ left, as demonstrated here by the likes of Neil and Francis.

    Unless you are a bigoted Russian or a heterosexual Muslim male, preferably with Islamist tendencies, then you are just not deserving of their humanitarian ‘solidarity’. Any deviation from that group, or criticism thereof, will get denounced by the ‘progressive’, ‘peace-loving’ left as ‘racist’, ‘Zionist’, ‘Islamophobic’, ‘a traitor to her community’, ‘hysterical’ etcetera.

    And sadly the rest of the left doesn’t do nearly enough to dissociate itself from such scumbags.


    April 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm

  3. this is absolute bollox. in my opinion, Boko and Isis have the fingerprints of various secret agencies all over them. But they should be absolutely condemned. I dont see what problem you have with the STWc. You’re blaming the STWc because they dont have your own rightist pro imperialist views.


    April 14, 2015 at 3:13 pm

  4. Sometimes “hysterical” is the old word that fits, though. Both in the medical, and in the type-of-humour senses…


    April 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm

  5. It seems to me that the STWC was set up solely for the purpose of protesting the American intervention in Iraq. Now that that is done with, it has no purpose. If ‘Books are Sinful’ the ‘Islamic State’ are creations of the secret service, why aren’t more people denouncing them? It maybe true that America, France, Britain etc at some stage sold or gave weapons to these filth, but that hardly makes them tools of the secret services. Or, are Muslims too stupid to set up and run their own bands of thugs? As socialists shouldn’t we be arguing for what is best for the majority of people? You can disagree with the Nigerian stae, but not support ‘Books are Sinful’.

    Sue R

    April 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm

  6. …”only”, not “old”… My mistake.


    April 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm

  7. why dont you denounce Israel, Sue?
    why did Britain/France give them weapons? Or did the Israelis? the Americans?
    I denounce them all, but denounce the imperialists who have created this more.

    I also denounce the ‘gaystapo’ that want to shut Muslims up if they have traditional views.


    April 14, 2015 at 3:48 pm

  8. It’s what Kipling called ‘The Great Game’ and all governments play it. Grow up.

    Sue R

    April 14, 2015 at 3:58 pm

  9. ‘Traditional views?”


    I suppose a defender of ‘tradition’ would say that.

    Which leaves one wondering just how far you have to go to be a reactionary ….

    Andrew Coates

    April 14, 2015 at 5:59 pm

  10. “I also denounce the ‘gaystapo’ that want to shut Muslims up if they have traditional views.”

    There is no ‘Gaystapo’ anywhere that advocates the criminalisation or murder of Muslims. There are most certainly scores of Islamist preachers in this country and round the world who do so regarding murdering homosexuals, apostates from Islam, Jews, etcetera.

    And they have apologists and whitewashers in scum like Neil and Francis who tout themselves as ‘progressive’ ‘socialists’.


    April 14, 2015 at 6:10 pm

  11. look, there are various lobbies, the zionist lobby, the gay lobby, and other lobbies also.
    they were the ones responsible for acting against free speech, which you say you believe in when it comes to charlie hebdo.

    you’re hypocrites, because you do not really believe in free speech, unless its your free speech.
    if there isn’t a gaystapo, then who has stopped Zakir Naik coming to the UK? who have campaigned to not allow IERA to come to the Uni? it is a militant lgbt lobby who may be rightly described as a ‘gaystapo’.

    I am against homophobia by the way, i am only crticizing the ‘gaystapo’ not ALL lgbt. I am sure most ordinary lgbt have no problem with Zakir Naik coming to the UK or Islamic speakers in universities.
    Hope that is clear now.

    there is a section of the gaystapo that is being used against Islam, and tries to infiltrate Islam. it is these ultras that cause a problem, not ordinary lgbt.


    April 14, 2015 at 7:33 pm

  12. “Scum”. Dear oh dear, I wondered how long it would take you to start the playground name-calling, Lamia. So very childish… Listen, what do you think ordinary people think of the sort of brave “men” who hide behind silly internet pseudonyms and hurl abuse at people? If you want to try being insulting, it would be good if you had the courage to do it under your own name.

    I shall waste no more time on you until or unless you grow up.


    April 14, 2015 at 7:47 pm

  13. “I am sure most ordinary lgbt have no problem with Zakir Naik coming to the UK or Islamic speakers in universities.”

    In analogy, I am sure that most Muslims in the UK have no problems with representatives of the EDL speaking at universities. Racism, racialism and monoculturalism are surely among the “traditional views” in English society.


    April 14, 2015 at 8:01 pm

  14. veil – Zakir Naik is not anywhere near a fascist. he is a mainstream preacher, and if you’ve ever seen his videos, they are religious, not political as such. I have no idea which party he supports in India.
    EDL are fascists. thats the difference.
    this what you dont see to get, because of the invented up term of ‘islamofascism’ to describe what are only mainstream religious preachers.

    i personally wouldn’t have aproblem with EDL speakers myself. I believe in free speech and debate, not shutting down views which may have some support.


    April 14, 2015 at 8:16 pm

  15. Religion and politics are highly overlapping and Naiks positions on homosexuality, apostasy and religious freedom are entirely political. The circumstance that political ideology is justified by religious scripture does not make it apolitical. Furthermore, neither the EDL nor Naik are fascist in the historical sense. Both are however conservative, authoritarian, illiberal, identitarian and supremacist. Given that the EDL is “just” arguing for the assimilation of Muslims and not for the extermination (as Naik does for homosexuals), the EDL is actually less extreme in its positions compared to Naik.


    April 14, 2015 at 8:31 pm

  16. ‘Both are however conservative, authoritarian, illiberal, identitarian and supremacist’

    apart from the last one, supremacism, which is a debatable, i’d like to ask, are ‘conservative, authoritarian, illiberal and identitarian views not allowed? are they necessarily wrong on all occasions?

    is being ‘illiberal’ a thought crime nowadays?


    April 14, 2015 at 8:38 pm

  17. “apart from the last one, supremacism, which is a debatable, i’d like to ask, are ‘conservative, authoritarian, illiberal and identitarian views not allowed? are they necessarily wrong on all occasions?”

    Counter-question: are racist, imperialist, islamophobic, white-supremacist views always wrong? And if yes, why?


    April 14, 2015 at 8:46 pm

  18. Coatesy, this constant obsessive hijacking is tedious. Sort it out will you?

    redkorat☭ (@red_korat)

    April 14, 2015 at 9:52 pm

  19. Jeezus.
    ok ok, goodbye, farewell, shalom, salaam, and peace to all


    April 14, 2015 at 11:08 pm

  20. This is the real kind of issue we face now:

    “COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Danish Kurds who have fought alongside Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq say they will return to join the war against Islamic State (ISIS), despite the risk of prison terms at home.

    “As Kurds we are fighting on the same side as the West. Why should we be punished for that?” asked Alan Gredar, a 47-year-old who has done three stints fighting alongside the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces and recently returned to Denmark.

    He noted that Denmark is part of the international effort to arm Iraqi Kurdish forces in the fight against Islamic extremists. It has sent a 55-person military team as well as emergency aid and weapons to help the Peshmerga. Denmark is also helping with the US-led airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq.

    But Denmark’s dominant Liberal Party (Venstre) wants to punish citizens traveling to “terror zones” such as Syria and Iraq with prison terms of up to six years, regardless of which side the volunteers fight on.

    The Danish government has declared itself open to that proposal. It is concerned about citizens going to Syria to join the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an organization outlawed by the European Union and United States.

    “It should be punishable to fight for an organization related to the PKK,” MP Martin Henriksen from the Danish People’s Party told Rudaw. “If they receive bomb training down there and return, we may risk problems here!”

    Trine Bramsen, spokesperson for the ruling Social Democratic party, told Rudaw it is already illegal to join organizations on the EU terror list. “Our recommendation is that people refrains from going to war on their own,” she said.

    Joanna Palani, a 21-year-old Kurd from Iran, dropped out of college last fall to join YPJ, the YPG’s women’s wing. She fought in Kobane, the Syrian Kurdish city that was liberated from ISIS in January.

    “As a Kurd, woman and human being it is hard to sit on the couch at home in safe Denmark while my people are being ethnically cleansed,” she told the Danish newspaper Information. “If that makes me a terrorist, what does it note make them, the politicians who want to prevent me from coming here?”

    Sofi Cengi, who joined the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga before returning to Copenhagen, said he did not care about what the politicians say. “I would go it again, because I can’t just sit here and watch while ISIS attacks my people,” said Cengi.

    And it is not only Danish Kurds who are volunteering to fight ISIS. Some native Danes also have done volunteer service.

    “I will go there again. I can’t just turn my back to a people who are being abused,” said Jorgen Nicolai, a native of Denmark who fought with the YPG.

    Nicolai, who gave up his job as a technician in Denmark to join the fight against ISIS in Syria, is known as “Heval Jorgen” among the Kurds. The 41-year-old has a background in the Danish defense forces, where he was trained as a marksman.

    Several months ago he left his wife and child behind in Denmark to join fight with the YPG.

    “I understand that the Danish politicians want to prevent its nationals from going there and get killed. Or that they want to prevent people from joining ISIS,” he told Rudaw.

    “But the Kurds have right to defend their country, so the proposal (to punish volunteers) is totally wrong. You have to find a way so it does not hit all those who go to Syria and Iraq.”

    No European Kurd has so far been punished for wanting to fight ISIS, though in Britain there is a case under way.

    Shilan Ozcelik, a British girl of Kurdish descent, was arrested earlier this year at Stansted airport. Her supporters say she travelled to Brussels in an attempt to try to join the YPG or YPJ. She was arrested on January 16 as she returned from Brussels. ”


    Andrew Coates

    April 15, 2015 at 12:27 pm

  21. Gaystapo here. I can confirm in our last secret meeting we finalised the plans for ‘FEMA style’ camps and the tweaking of the chemtrails. Don’t say you weren’t warned sheeple!

    I can also confirm that we are behind (ow er missus) the real ‘Neil’ and he is in fact an art project run by our radical faeries collective who famously ran Herman Cain’s 2012 GOP presidential bid and have a hand in Richard Seymour and Galloway’s backing singers. Enjoy the art sheeples!

    Paul Canning

    April 17, 2015 at 9:23 pm

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