• December 22, 2014

Getting girls back will take lots of time

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Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 4:30 am

When I woke up Wednesday, I learned United States military strength was being sent into Nigeria to assist with the rescue of school girls who were kidnapped by radical terrorist group Boko Haram.

My first thought was: This is going to take years to accomplish. Even those reporting on the crisis with sympathy and moral outrage do not seem to appreciate how long it will be before this story sees any resolution.

While the whole story is depressing, the saddest fact of all is that there will be no cinematic climax where the white American takes down the terrorist cell and strides triumphantly out of the forest with the girls behind him.

The working theory of the strategists who are apparently coordinating the rescue efforts is that they will have split the children up into multiple groups and send them all over the area. Rescue efforts will be further complicated because their kidnappers will undoubtedly attempt to use them as leverage in their own defense, if not as physical human shields.

I have been outraged by the popular theme of opinion columns and Internet commentators who condemn everyone except the people actually responsible.

Jason Greene of The Good Men Project said we, who consume trivial American media, are to blame.

No. No, Jason, we are not to blame. We did not kidnap girls at gunpoint. We are not currently terrorizing and raping them. We are not threatening their families.

To flagellate oneself over any supposed shared blame is to diminish what these horrible people are doing to those children right now and what they will continue to do while we go about our daily lives.

Islamic response seems to be to disenfranchise the group altogether.

Arsalan Iftikhar’s column on CNN is titled, “Hey Boko Haram, pick up a Quran and bring back our girls.” With respect, sir, perhaps now is not the time to change the subject.

Instruct us on their twisted interpretation, not the Quran they clearly don’t understand. As perverted as Boko Haram’s beliefs are, it is what they sincerely believe and it is going to inform what those girls go through for years.

Everyone who wants to see these children returned to their families is going to have to settle in for a long wait and a lot more sadness.

It is going to take time before we see any encouraging news, and the story will get a lot more tragic before it is finished.

To the #bringbackourgirlscampaign: Those years are going to be the true acid test. If you can maintain interest in the story over that period of time, then you can say you have made a difference.

Rachel Kaser is a Herald correspondent and blogger. Check out her blog “The Play Button” at KDHnews.com/opinion/blogs/.

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