The PJ Tatler

#futilityofhashtagdiplomacy

The more than 270 girls kidnapped by the Nigerian Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram have all been converted to Islam and married off, says their leader.

AP reports that Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s thug in chief, gave a “a malevolent laugh” when he informed the world of this unspeakable act of barbarism:

“If you knew the state your daughters are in today, it might lead some of you … to die from grief,” Abubakar Shekau sneers, addressing the parents of the girls and young women kidnapped from a remote boarding school more than six months ago.

In a new video released late Friday night, the Boko Haram leader also denies there is a cease-fire with the Nigerian government and threatens to kill an unidentified German hostage.

“Don’t you know we are still holding your German hostage (who is) always crying,” he taunts. “If we want, we will hack him or slaughter him or shoot him.”

A German development worker was kidnapped at gunpoint in Gombi, a town in Nigeria’s northeast Gombi in July. Police reported he was ambushed as he drove to work.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier last week told reporters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, that he had no new information about a German abductee.

In the new video, Shekau wears a camouflage tunic and pants and the black and white flag of al-Qaida is by his side. He is flanked by masked and armed fighters standing in front of four military pickup trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns. Boko Haram has looted many weapons and vehicles including armored cars from Nigeria’s military.

The military has several times claimed to have killed Shekau, and says any new videos are made by a look-alike. But the United States has not removed a $7 million ransom on the head of the extremist leader.

On Oct. 17, Nigeria’s military chief, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, announced that Boko Haram had agreed to an immediate cease-fire to end a 5-year insurgency in which thousands have died and hundreds of thousands have been driven from homes in northeast Nigeria. And government officials said they expected the Chibok girls to be released any day.

But Shekau denies in the video that he has agreed to any truce and says he is dedicated to fighting and dying a martyr’s death to guarantee him a place in paradise.

“You people should understand that we only obey Allah, we tread the path of the Prophet. We hope to die on this path … Our goal is the garden of eternal bliss,” he says.

Yeah, well…whatever. You can imagine this guy as a young boy tearing the wings off of flies and zapping ants with a magnifying glass. Of all the sociopaths running terrorist outfits around the world, Shekau occupies the privileged position of being the craziest and most evil.

All those celebrities and politicians who bravely displayed their concern by tweeting using the hashtag #bringbackourgirls will, I’m sure, come up with something equally suitable — and banal — now that these little girls are suffering unspeakable indignities at the hands of decrepit old men. Yes, but at least they did something about the situation, right? They didn’t sit idly by and watch this tragedy unfold. They girded their loins, gathered their courage, took a deep breath…

And gurgled their emotions via Twitter in 140 characters or less.

There is a wild disconnect between the grim reality of Boko Haram and the simpering treacle that the hashtag diplomats displayed when the girls first went missing. It reminds us that pure evil exists because, like Kaiser Soza and the devil, so many don’t believe it exists.