Note: I'm now writing blogs for Sault Online, in addition to this website! My blog is called "MATTer of Opinion."
Eleven years ago, US President George W. Bush and the American congress ordered the invasion of Iraq, claiming that Saddam Hussein's regime was in posession of weapons of mass destruction. Canadian Prime Minister Chretien chose not to take part in the war, knowing that it would be pointless. A few Canadian troops did see the inside of Iraq, but they numbered in the dozens, not the thousands that were in Afghanistan, where a real war was being fought. The War in Afghanistan was absolutely necessary. September 11th, 2001. Canadians were killed in that attack too. We needed to destroy those responsible for killing innocent people. We succeeded. Afghanistan is a better place now.
When a leader sends their nation's army into another country, that is a difficult choice. Iraq was a colossal mistake, and Afghanistan was a show of force by the international community to the terrorists: If you kill innocent people, we will kill you.
In Nigeria, Boko Haram is an Islamic terrorist organization that has done so many terrible things. They are crawling through the Northern part of the country, destroying everything in their path. Almost a month ago, over 200 innocent young girls were kidnapped by the group. We are learning now that over 300 people were killed in a new attack. This organization needs to be annihilated.
Yes, annihilated. I said it. Each and every one of these cold-blooded killers needs to be either arrested or killed. They are just as evil as the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Across America and Canada and Britain and other western nations, people are starting to show their anger. Bloggers are starting to write that maybe a western-backed military coalition should be sent to Nigeria to destroy the threat.
I agree 100% with the idea of a military campaign in Nigeria. Some people believe that we should send NATO air and navy forces to the African country, much like what happened in Libya in 2011 when Muammar Gaddafi was killed. That would be better then sending troops into the country. "No boots on the ground" is a phrase many people like hearing. People want to see terrorists eliminated by drones and missiles and rockets, not by big men with guns.
Unfortunately, big men with guns will need to be deployed to 100% obliterate Boko Haram. The area isn't completely desert. There are trees, there are forests, some of them tropical rainforests. Nigeria is close to the Equator, the climate and the geography doesn't work well for airstrikes. There are also highlands and mountains. Nigeria is a difficult place to wage a war, but we need to do what we did to the other terrorists: Teach them that the world will not tolerate the abduction of innocent children. Teach them that the world will not tolerate mass murder. If we continue to destroy terrorists, perhaps less people will join the organizations, and the world will eventually become a peaceful place. Some wars are not worth fighting, but the war against Boko Haram is a war that does need to take place. We need to save the children of Nigeria.
About The Author
Matthew Frank Kot was born and raised here in Sault Ste Marie. He first starting writing articles for Soonews.ca in early 2008, becoming the city's youngest columnist and journalist. He then went on to write for Local2, and for a short time had his "MATTer of Opinion" column on SaultOnline.com. Matthew was very involved in the 2010 and 2014 Municipal Elections and wrote several opinion pieces about important issues. In 2011, Matthew started Sault Transit Reform and has continued advocating for a better transit system since then.