Sunday, September 29, 2013

Global conference needed to combat Islamic jihad with an international strategy, plus committed resources both human and fiscal

Al Shabab, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra...militant radical Islamists everywhere can no longer  be dealt the kind of blow they require by individual states, nor by a group like the army of the African Union, nor by U.S. drones in Yemen....
In the BBC story (below) Boko Haram shot and killed college students sleeping in their dorm in Nigeria, with reports that the death toll could reach as high as 50. Earlier this week, some 67 were reported killed in the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. In Syria, Al Qaeda affiliates desperate to establish an Islamic state in that country, are reported to be the most effective of all the groups engaged in that deadly civil war.
When the world community can gather twenty leaders to talk about the economy, and come up with little more than a communique and a press briefing, why can't the world leaders gather the courage, fortitude and vision to get together to prepare a global plan to work collaboratively, and even militarily to remove this cancer from the planet.
Innocent men, women and children are being killed, maimed, and/or left as refugees and there is no stated collaborative campaign uniting all the major powers of the world to confront this scourge.
When will the global community waken to the corrosive damage these groups, individually and collectively, have done and are doing and will continue to do, to the  budgets of major economies.
The United Sates, for one, has grown a mountainous budget for the Homeland Security Department, probably more then enough to eliminate most of their debt, in a Hollywood epic approach to their "national security"....while other countries have also taken steps of various kinds to produce counter-terrorism approaches.
Individually, those internal programs may have been successful in breaching and thwarting terrorist plans for various kinds of attacks.
However, it is long past time for the world leaders to stop talking on the phone, privately, and to gather together, with their chiefs of intelligence, their chiefs of national security and their chief military advisors to take on this metastasizing cancerous disease.
It is not merely for the purpose of protecting innocent lives that I make this proposal. It is for the sake of the world economy, and the world's need to demonstrate international cooperation, collaboration and decision making, as it would do in the case of a international threat to world health.
After all, Islamic terrorists are just as significant a threat as any SARS epidemic, or as global warming (another global issue that needs immediate and comprehensive agreement to reduce green house gases significantly) or as the economic crash of 2008.
Wherever there is a weak national government, the terrorists will take advantage of that situation.
Wherever there is a civil conflict, as in Syria, the terrorists will take advantage of that situation.
Wherever militant cells of no more than two brothers, as in Boston, find a public event which through home-made explosives, they will take advantage.
Home-made bombs, instructions on how to make them are, allegedly, readily available to anyone on the internet. Why? Is there no way that such information can not be removed from the internet in all countries?
Home-made meth-amphetamine labs are springing up all across the North American continent, probably also using instructions gathered from the internet with ingredients available in all drug stores, and while I have not read a piece of research linking the two, there is little reason to doubt that fear linked to the growing divide in income, and in employment opportunities and the hopelessness of the poverty in which millions now live could spawn both more labs and more terror attacks. Recruiting in pockets of desperation around the planet seems to be a rather effective method of recruiting new "martyrs" to the radical Islamist cause of jihad.
Infidels, (and anyone who is not Muslim, is considered an infidel), are targets for the hate and the bombs and the bullets of the terrorists. And the world is literally composed of billions of the work of the terrorists has many future chapters yet to be written...and they are taking a very long view of history, so according to reports that are emerging in the west, they will be with us for a very long time, possibly centuries.
We are no longer in a stage of this conflict in which leaders of Christian churches walk down major streets of our cities robed, alongside their Muslim brothers, also robed. That kind of compassionate and collegial symbolism may still be needed after we rid the planet of this radical scourge.
The first recruits in the battle against the Islamic terrorists have to come from the Islamic communities themselves. If terrorism is not tolerated in the Koran, then why are the terrorists growing in both numbers and in their devastation of human life and public institutions? Why is the Islamic community not working openly, and aggressively to neutralize their radical peers?
If the United Nations was established to provide a forum or perhaps two fora for the purpose of discussing world issues and attempting to resolve them collaboratively, using the resources of all members, then this would be a time for all nations to submit reports on the impact the Islamic terrorists have had, are having and are projected to have on their individual countries. The United Nations could then at least provide that information to the world community, and propose an international  collaborative response, including the commission of both personnel and resources best defined by an international plan to address the issue globally.
Piecemeal initiatives remind us of sticking a single finger in a hole in a dyke, when we know that there are multiple holes already in the wall and more to come.
Already, Nigeria needs help, so does Somalia, so does Pakistan, and so does Yemen, not to mention Sryia, and other countries on the horn of Africa....and the problem is already larger than one that can be contained in any single country or region, using the forces available to that region. Of course Muslim leaders must be invited to attend such a gathering of world leaders in order to seek and to listen to their insight, especially the insights of those who consider themselves committed moderates who absolutely reject the violence of their jihadist compatriots. And a conference of religious leaders will not be adequate. We do not need more pontificating and more wringing of hands; we need international commitments made and carried out, of strategies, tactics and the long-term resources required to address this menace.

Boko Haram attack college in Nigeria

from BBC website, September 29, 2013
Many students are feared dead after suspected Islamist gunmen struck a college in north-eastern Nigeria.The students were shot dead as they slept in their dormitory at the College of Agriculture in Yobe state.North-eastern Nigeria is under a state of emergency amid an Islamic insurgency by the Boko Haram group.Boko Haram is fighting to overthrow Nigeria's government to create an Islamist state, and has launched a number of attacks on schools.
Classrooms burned
The number of casualties in the latest attack is unclear but there are fears the death toll could be high.One hospital source in Yobe's state capital, Damaturu, told Reuters news agency that 26 bodies had been brought there.College provost Molima Idi Mato told Associated Press the death toll could be as high as 50, adding that security forces were still recovering the bodies and that about 1,000 students had fled the campus.A military spokesman in Yobe state, Lazarus Eli, told Agence France-Presse the gunmen had also set fire to classrooms.
The college is in the rural Gujba district.
In May, President Goodluck Jonathan ordered an operation against Boko Haram, and a state of emergency was declared for the north-east on 14 May.
Many of the Islamist militants left their bases in the north-east and violence initially fell, but revenge attacks quickly followed.
In June, Boko Haram carried out two attacks on schools in the region.
At least nine children were killed in a school on the outskirts of Maiduguri, while 13 students and teachers were killed in a school in Damaturu.

Boko Haram at-a-glance

  • Founded in 2002
  • Official Arabic name, Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, means "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad"
  • Initially focused on opposing Western education
  • Nicknamed Boko Haram, a phrase in the local Hausa language meaning, "Western education is forbidden"
  • Launches military operations in 2009 to create an Islamic state across Nigeria
  • Founding leader Mohammed Yusuf killed in same year in police custody
  • Succeeded by Abubakar Shekau, who the military wrongly claimed in 2009 had been killed
  • Suspected to have split into rival factions in 2012
  • Military claims in August 2013 that Mr Shekau and his second-in-command Momodu Bama have been killed in separate attacks; no independent confirmation

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