#BringBackOurGirls and the Left’s Empty Moral Outrage

BringBackOurGirlsViralImageThe outrage over the kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls by the Nigerian jihadist gang Boko Haram reeks of Western hypocrisy and moral idiocy. Boko Haram has for years been slaughtering Christians – up to 2500 this year alone – and burning churches in a classic Islamic jihad against infidels. These depredations apparently weren’t enough to get the group designated a terrorist organization by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. But this indifference to what under international law is a genocide has been indulged as well by our celebrities and the mainstream media, who rarely mention that the group is specifically targeting Christians, and before the girls were kidnapped displayed little interest in the suffering of those Christians. So why this sudden attention?

The recent burst of self-indulgent selfies tweeted by millions, including celebrities and the First Lady, and the sentimental news coverage all reflect the fashionable and selective obsessions of our political and cultural elite and those who ape their fashions. First there is the need to display what Alan Bloom called “conspicuous compassion” for distant misery and suffering. Especially fashionable are compassion and pity for people in the Third World, the display of what Pascal Bruckner called the “tears of the white man” shed for all those victims of Western crimes like colonialism, imperialism, and global capitalism. Like Veblen’s conspicuous consumption, photogenic public displays of compassion, “outrage,” and “concern” for global suffering function like a designer label, indicating one’s moral superiority and finely calibrated sensitivity to oppression and suffering. Of course, ignored in all this emotional bluster and self-indulgence is any understanding of why this atrocity is happening, or the motives and aims of the perpetrators, information that would be important if we were really serious about doing something about it other than morally preen for the cameras. 

Next is the despicable selectivity about which victims deserve our outrage. Why haven’t the thousands of Nigerian Christians already slaughtered by Boko Haram been worthy of this same uproar as the kidnapped schoolgirls? Of course suffering children are always triggers of easy sentiment and emotion – “I want to reach out and save those kids,” Obama said at Steven Spielberg’s house, at the same time he pretty much implied he wasn’t about to actually do anything. But plenty of children have already been raped and killed by Boko Haram, and many more are dying in Syria, Sudan, Egypt, and numerous other venues. Maybe the fact that the Nigerian girls are destined to be slave-wives – as Robert Spencer points out, a practice legitimate under Islamic doctrine and law – fires up leftists, who are always ready to decry a “war on women” and privilege the travails of females over every other kind of oppression and suffering. People who think that a sorority girl who gets drunk at a party and has sex with an equally drunk fraternity brother has been the victim of “sexual assault” are not going to miss this opportunity to highlight the sexist “patriarchy” and the universal rottenness of men.

But notice that not a word will be said about the misogynistic Islamic doctrines that justify this atrocity, even though a video has been released that claims all the girls have converted to Islam, and shows them dressed in full shari’a regalia. Sentimental Third Worldism and its domestic offspring, multiculturalism, are hypersensitive to the feelings of any and every religious faith except Christianity, which has been tainted by alleged Western crimes and intolerance. That’s why the media and this administration have ignored the slow-motion genocide against Christians in the Middle East. People whose dudgeon reaches the stratosphere over some graffiti on a mosque or the word “crusade” have nothing to say, no outrage to publicize, no selfies to tweet, over the church-bombing, kidnapping and rape of girls and women, forced conversions, torture, and execution of Christians that have continually been taking place long before the Nigerian girls were kidnapped.

But that suffering doesn’t serve the left-wing multiculturalist narrative. After all, every orthodox multiculturalist knows that Christianity is the religion of Crusades and Inquisitions, violence and intolerance. It is Islam that is the religion of peace and ecumenical tolerance. Don’t think about the extensive documentation of theologized violence in Islamic doctrine and practice. Keep quiet about the genital mutilation, honor killings, sex segregation, and forced marriages inflicted on girls and women in Islamic countries. Don’t let an eloquent victim of such misogyny, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, be your commencement speaker, lest she speak truths hurtful to Muslims. Instead listen to the slick Muslim apologists and Western useful idiots who explain all that as the malign fantasies and slanderous distortions invented by “orientalist” shills for neo-colonial oppression and Zionist hegemony.

Most important, outrage is determined by the political needs of an administration whose foreign policy has been an unmitigated disaster. The sentimental orgy over the schoolgirls distracts us from the disorder and violence that Obama and his foreign policy team have left in the wake of their misguided, ignorant, and ideologically corrupted actions and policies abroad. From Ukraine to the South China Sea, Iran to Latin America, our enemies are invigorated, our rivals heartened, our allies dispirited, and our security and interests compromised.

All this failure is the consequence of Obama’s bad ideas about foreign policy: unilateral military action angers our allies and creates new enemies; diplomacy and apology will restore good will; negotiation with a committed enemy can make him change his mind and ignore his own interests; abstract idealism about democracy and human rights can substitute for grim calculations of zero-sum interests and tragic trade-offs; killing bin Laden and droning an endless parade of al Qaeda “number 2’s” will neutralize the organization; establishing a Palestinian nation will eliminate the Muslim grievance against the West that fuels jihadist terror. Worst of all, these debacles reflect the overweening narcissism of a foreign policy tyro ignorant of history and political philosophy, but supremely confident in the power of his personality and public relations, when in fact he has acted on the world stage like a pampered child in the company of hard men who despise him.

Finally, the spectacle of the kidnapped schoolgirls provides a convenient distraction from all those failures, especially one of the worst – the bungling and political opportunism that resulted in the murder of four Americans, including a diplomat, in Benghazi. This disaster began with Obama’s collusion in the removal of Libya’s Ghaddafi, who was behaving himself as far as our interests were concerned. Into the subsequent vacuum rushed any number of jihadist gangs, now armed with the weapons from Ghaddafi’s looted arsenals, and unrestrained by any government control. To hide this failure, our diplomatic mission was left short of military protection lest anyone wonder why this glorious triumph for human rights and democracy had left a failed state full of violent factions from whom our diplomats needed to be protected. And don’t forget the election-year narrative that al Qaeda was “on its heels” and “bin Laden is dead,” a fairy tale challenged by the well-coordinated, sophisticated military attack on September 11, 2012. Hence the spin about an obscure video, a despicable cover-up abetted by Hillary Clinton when she tried to sell it to the grieving parents standing next to their sons’ coffins.

No, better to put on an emotional show over the kidnapped school girls, a terrible event stripped of context and reduced to sentiment, a perfect occasion for displays of self-righteousness and sensitivity – especially when the House has inconveniently established a select committee to get to the truth about Benghazi and the administration’s cover-up. Just forget that none of the tweeting and “outrage” will do anything to get those girls back and punish the perpetrators. But they will distract us for a bit from one of the worst records of foreign policy failure in American history.

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  • UCSPanther

    What is more effective at fighting evil?

    (a) Twittering about it and/or “liking” something on facebook

    or (b) Good men grabbing their swords, charging into battle and hacking and slashing at the evil doers

    The answer should be obvious…

    • nomoretraitors

      It should be, but in the inverse world of liberland, it’s the former

    • glpage

      First the leftist has to define evil. Obviously, kidnapping several hundred girls is way more evil than killing thousands of Christians. If they define killing Christians as evil.

  • Ken Zevo

    “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”
    Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, Publ. Houghton Miflin, 1943, Page 403

  • Gamal

    Obama is also trying to help the women of Pakistan but has done nothing that I’m aware of for the Christians and Hindus of Pakistan who are persecuted by the Muslims there. I think a lot of the leftist hostility toward Christians comes from the Christian stance against abortion and against homosexuality. If Christians die all over the world that’s OK for leftists but the persecution of women is another story, especially since conservatives could point out that Bush did more for women than anyone else when he liberated them from the Taliban and that by losing Afghanistan Obama returned the Taliban to power and hurt women.

    • nomoretraitors

      The left hates Christianity because it represents a challenge to their propaganda that THEY are the saviors of the world

      • Ken Zevo

        That is why Jesus wasn’t born in California: God couldn’t find three wise men, or a virgin, there.

        • realclearconservative

          A feat, I believe, that will never be possible.

        • American1969


    • Boogie’s Daddy

      I believe that should be “Pockystawn”.

  • oandroplex700

    how”s about helping americans here at home, instead of running around the world, trying to help people, that despise us??

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

    Why didn’t the media focus on years of Boko Haram atrocities? Charges of “Islamophobia” have so intimidated the intellectuals that it took a perverse attack on school girls to temporarily overcome the anti-bigotry hysteria.

    The fear of being over-critical of Islam has kept any criticism off-limits. Even this atrocity is disconnected from Islam in the mind of our intellectual leaders. As Bruce notes, in academia Islam is considered the “good religion” and everything that Christianity is not.

    • danhoch

      unless his Highness gives them the go ahead, the media aren’t going to go to the bathroom without his approval. The media is no longer the media. journalistic ethics are out the window..can’t wait for the backlash and these sob’s all lose their jobs because no one is reading their newspapers or watching their tv shows. boycott! then we’ll start getting the truth

      • justquitnow

        Yeah the media corps do Obama’s bidding….derp.

        • nomoretraitors

          So you’ve finally seen the light??

      • transgardengal

        I believe you have it backwards. Obama has to tell the media when he is going to can, so that they can get their noses out of the way.

  • danhoch

    This is just another act of the nobama administration. kill the christians, turn your back, then to make it look good, go help nigeria when the kids are kidnapped. again we stick our noses where it shouldn’t belong. help our own here in America you ignorant leader. i am so sick of you and your crap supporting the jihadist.

  • http://www.ducksoupe.com DuckSoupe

    We all want these youth to be released; but you never reward the terrorist. You give an inch they want a mile. If they don’t get what they want it will be not in their best interest to follow suit. It is sad ; but groups of terrorist will be there as long as they are supported. It is all political that the USA politicians tip toe around these Jihadist
    when it is time to unmask them.

    • Gee

      Unless they are killing Jews – then the terrorists are given money, weapons and lavished in the world’s capitals

  • edlancey

    Just imagine the outrage if it had been muslim girls kidnapped and converted to Christianity by the Nigerian wing of the Westboro Baptist church, who had been funded and armed by the Koch brothers…

    • Habbgun

      Awww…..nooooo!!!!!….you just gave the Democrats their talking points.

      Now if Brandeis renames itself Yassir Arafat University they’ll have a trifecta. Although maybe Brandeis could rename itself Yassir Arafat University and no one would notice.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Release all the palestinian mass murderers to northern Nigeria. Let nature take its course.

  • IngeC

    The systematic genocide of not only Christians throughout the middle east and Africa but also the innocent killings of Libyans and Syrians as well as in Yemen is the direct result of this administrations foreign policy -beginning with the staged arab spring and overthrow of Mubarek, the overthrow of Ghaddafi and attempted overthrow of Assad in Syria.

  • Greg Hamilton

    Great article Bruce. A real tour de force.

    • BS77

      Agreed, great article. We have come a long way downhill since the movie The Delta Force came out….recalll that in this film, the Delta Force took care of business. How to deal with murdering terrorist vermin? With massive firepower…….Boko Haram would be finished if we sent in the Terminators( with Nigeria’s approval, of course)….and that’s the way to handle these murdering vermin…eliminate them. They have been torturing and killing people by the hundreds for years now…it s time to quit the blah blah blah…and send in the Orkin man.

      • Ken Zevo

        “Boko Haram would be finished if we sent in the Terminators( with Nigeria’s approval, of course)”

        It seems to me that, historically, whenever America sends in the Special Forces WITH the approval of the local kleptocracy, then either the body count on all sides (SpecOps, Bad Guys, hostages, and innocent by-standers) goes up by a factor of 2X, minimum, or the Bad Guys disappear altogether by the time the SpecOps show up to the party. The political systems of Africa, Asia, and South America are so corruption-riddled that word gets to the Bad Guys before the Special Forces are even off the plane. The West seems (IMAO) to do better when it is a surprise party, and no one knows we are coming until we get there.

        I haven’t done the back-up research on this belief; so, if anyone has linx to evidence (pro or con), please post a reply. I would like to know conclusively whether the facts do, indeed, back me up or not.

  • nomoretraitors

    “one of the worst records of foreign policy failure in American history”
    One of the worst??
    No, Mr Thornton, the THE worst, by far

  • kasandra

    Excellent article but I think it over complicates the administration’s thinking. It seems to me that their policies are bound up with group identity. The level of their outrage is all about who is doing what to who. This is a leftist doctrine going back to Lenin’s question, “Kto kgo?” – “Who can do what to whom?“ Under this, in the left’s hierarchy, Muslims (and just about everyone else) are above Christians so they are permitted to commit outrages against Christians all over the world without complaint from the left. But in that hierarchy, women may often be higher up on the victimhood totem than Muslims so Muslims may not attack females as females without arousing the ire of the left. It’s very complicated to be a leftist because you have to gauge who is allowed to do what to whom constantly in any given situation on the basis of what groups are involved rather than the action committed. The rest of us (i.e., normal people) do not make their judgments on the basis of what group the doer is a member of and what group the victim is a member of but, instead, judge on what is being done and why. Thus, if the Boko Haram had kidnapped a mixed male/female group of Christians qua Christians, there would be no hashtag campaign because they are permitted to do so. But when they attack women who happen to be Christians it is a whole different dynamic at play.

  • Lanna

    And at the same time calling terrorism against innocent people workplace violence, instead of Jihad…The Left will never gain support for Islamic treachery!

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    Could all this sudden token interest in Muslim sexism be a belated response to the real challenge that medieval Muslims pose to the modern world–a modern world in which women are educated and emancipated? See http://clarespark.com/2014/05/03/elie-kedouries-nationalism-am-i-stumped/.. Could be an attempt to cover up “post-Zionism.” I called this blog “the Good Old Days.”

  • Davros11

    What was wrong with the “CRUSADES” ? Why is everybody crazy about that? We need another “CRUSADE” this time with the objective of wiping out “ISLAM” and all it’s cult members once and for all…..

    • BS77

      Most people do not realize that the Crusades were largely DEFENSIVE….i.e., an attempt to protect the Christian communities in the Middle East from attack and ruin. To protect Jerusalem and the land of Israel from Islam. Remember, Palestine was the name given Israel by the Romans….as the land of the Jews……The expropriation of the name by the Arabs has barely been mentioned by the libtard media….now they glibly call Arabs in the region, “Palestinians” without apology….probably without even knowing what they are saying.

      • Sussex Girl

        And the Romans took the name from the Philistines, a people who conquered and then ruled ancient Israel for two hundred or so years.

  • ajweberman


  • De Doc

    All ye brainless zombies Tweet the latest social cause célèbre of the week!

    Few of these people will remember or care in the long run.

  • ratonis

    Calling Charles Martel! Martel! Come in Charles Martel!! Hammer, where are you? Come in!

  • Gloria Stewart

    Bruce Thornton has written an excellent and informative article. Let me add a caveat should anyone believe that the #Bringbackourgirls campaign means the Obama administration has finally seen the light. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day. If one delves into the background of #Bringbackourgirls one will find that the Obama administration believes, like all good Marxists, that the foundation of Muslim grievance is economic deprivation. Obama has repeatedly urged Nigeria to give more economic opportunities to the mostly Muslim North and has urged the Nigerian military forces to practice restraint and respect the civil rights of Muslims when they engage them in combat.

    This is a recipe for defeat on the part of the government of Nigeria, led by a Christian. What the Obama administration seeks, I am sure, is a government ready to make peace with Muslims who are always ready to make war. Guess who will eventually win.

  • Lucy Fur

    I care;therefor I AM.

    • realclearconservative

      Writ in progressive liberlese: I CAIR, therefor I am.

  • Infovoyeur

    –My generalization about liberals (from reading plus giving talks to them on counter-jihadism) is that they (1) do Tu Quoque (Bible is bad too) and (2) gross sampling errors (I know this nice Muslim who…)
    –In fact, I read this site’s comments and–the sometimes-frequent ham-fisted blats like “nuke Mecca” and like, seem “ho-hum another redneck”–whereas reading recent articles on like Media Matters, FAIR, etc.–left me astonished, disgusted, and fearful. I mean due to the gross innocence, major naivete, dangerous utopianism.
    –But then I was raised in liberal milieu and see now, that such was the ONLY view there. ..

  • Vicki S

    I notice no healthy nigerian men are are searching for them

    • Boogie’s Daddy

      There are very few healthy Nigerian men left who aren’t on the side of the Islamist terrorists. Even fewer trained, armed, healthy men equipped for this type of operation.

    • YouAreAVictim2

      Villagers kill 41 B’Haram members

      A vigilante group made up of residents of Kalabalge, a town in the north of Borno State, on Wednesday mounted a fierce resistance to a siege by members of Boko Haram, inflicting severe casualties on militants from the fringe Islamist sect.

      “We killed many of them (Boko Haram members) today (Wednesday),” one of the residents of the town who took part in the battle told a correspondent ofSaharaReporters.

      However, local officials who spoke to Al Jazeera said 41 insurgents were killed by the villagers

      Read More here and stop being prejudiced against people yo do not know.
      http:// http://www.punchng.com/ news/villagers-kill-41-bharam-members/

  • Walter Sieruk

    As just stated yesterday. the Islamic terrorists of Boko Hramn who commited the kidnapping of those girls should be ,according to the Bible, should be put to death for what they did. For it is wrritten “Whoever steals someone to sell them as a slave or to keep them for their own slave must be killed.’ Exodus 21:16. [ERV]

  • antioli

    The Left should be considered as
    un indicted co conspirators of the violent Muslims as their denial of Muslim violence aids in letting the violence continue.

  • Guest

    Exhibit A

    • American1969

      ROFL! An accurate and sad commentary, isn’t it?

  • http://www.cavalierx.com CavalierX

    Remember how popular “Free Tibet” bumper stickers were among Liberals in the 90’s? Yeah, how did THAT go? Anyone actually bother to, you know, free Tibet at all? No, but everyone feels really good about it.

  • American1969

    Leftists don’t care whether a policy works or makes sense. They care that it makes them “feel good”.

  • dave

    There is no explanation as to why the left is so stupid…Obama says it all.

  • Anonymous

    Left/liberals have not grown beyond the adolescent notion that explanation or saything something is bad is an accomplishment… what’re you actually going to DO about it, punks? (Just spout-off on Twitter, eh? …thought so.)

  • kaz

    boko is doing the west a favor by giving us a sneak preview of exactly what islam has planned for us after we import enough peaceful muslims for them to take over our countries. we need to spend a little less time whining and wringing our hands about the few hundred (after so many millions before) who are kidnapped and forcibly converted to the religion of peace in Nigeria, and start vigorously eradicating every trace of islam from our own countries. boko haram has done us a huge favor. our criminal government, media, and elites will do everything they can to waste book’s gift: the pure truth about the religion of peace.

  • transgardengal

    Hey libs – #growapair.