Bring Back Our Girls- A Commentary On Selective International Concern


As the online campaign “Bring Back Our Girls” broadens in support, a few are beginning to ask questions about exactly what that means. As many of you have no doubt heard by now, a band of Islamic extremists kidnappedĀ  300 Nigerian school girls. This is a terrible situation, and the Nigerian government appears reluctant to do much about it.

As a result of this, the international community is widely condemning this act, and an increasing number of people are calling for Western intervention. It looks as if it is likely to take place, given the way the situation is unfolding.

Those that are clamoring for U.S. involvement should consider what they might be supporting. Especially considering the fact that U.S. foreign policy is pragmatic, not altruistic.

Again, there is no need to reiterate how horrific this situation is. However, why all of a sudden does this campaign emerge when similar atrocities- and worse happen around the world?

Adding to the already complicated issue is some of the backlash the First Lady got over the sign above. On the right hand side, is a countersign in.protest to the catchy slogan. Some could say that this is an unfair criticism, but is the issue of deaths of children in Pakistan/Afghanistan less legitimate than anywhere else in the world?

This is the tricky matter about international concerns. Unless you fall in line with exactly what the American/Western media say, then there should be a level of consistency in the concern of the fate of the world’s children. What we see here is an example of how malleable public opinion is. Similar to Libya, there are more African-Americans that see the necessity of U.S. involvement. There is little mention of the reality of AFRICOM or American political interests in the region, but just a call for action. Of course, coincidentally, it always seems to line up with U.S. concerns. Its something when you are being told who to “care” about, who not to,when and for how long.

As the situation continues, those calling for an intervention may get what they wish for. Whether it will come off as seamless as some want, is another matter altogether.


  1. Interesting piece. The question really depends on the extent of US involvement and action. All nations combine altruism, pragmatism and flat-out opportunism when they’re weighing foreign policy and human rights questions, so while that concerns me, I’m most concerned with the actual plan itself. We’ve had interventions that were not all out invasions – Lebanon, Grenada, Somalia – so I doubt anyone would propose that we try and occupy Nigeria. But anyway I’d like to see the plan.

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