We who live in the developed world tell others how much we love and respect women, yet we buy oil and sell arms to those who do not respect women. And when those arms are used to hurt women, we begin to shout as if we are innocent of the evil that people can do with weapons of mass destruction. ("Abducted Nigerian girls put terrorist group on world map," May 7)
Africans need modern technology for mass production of food, electricity, good roads, clean water, affordable healthcare, good education, better means of communication and other things we take for granted. The world knows it all.
Wealthy countries keep a blind eye to the plight of our fellow human beings but are ever willing to take their mineral resources and supply them with arms. Unless the Western world stops the proliferation of weapons to Africa, groups like Boko Haram will never cease to wreak havoc wherever they exist.
Boko Haram started its murderous, radical Islamist campaign in 2002, and since 2009 it has killed an estimated 3,600 people. In 2011 it claimed responsibility for the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in the Nigerian capital, which killed 23 people.
Still, the U.S. State Department refused to label it a terrorist organization, despite requests by the FBI, CIA and Justice Department to do so. Only under Secretary of State John F. Kerry was this finally done in 2013.
If it had been labeled accurately earlier, perhaps many lives could have been better protected.
The U.S. and international governments offered to help Nigerian authorities find the 270-plus schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram and capture the kidnappers. We have a team of military, law enforcement and intelligence specialists committed to help.
Yet House Republicans are pointing the finger at President Obama. Was it somehow the president's fault because he didn't act fast enough to label Boko Haram a serious terrorist group? Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) is convening a hearing to examine the administration's response to the crisis.
Just as with their relentless pursuit of the Benghazi "scandal," the Republicans are trying to "get the goods" on Obama. They should instead put politics aside in the face of this horrific act.