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United States doing all it could, should

The kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria is deplorable.

The act of holy war declared by a warlord bent on pushing Islam over Christianity calls together people on both religious sides to live up to calls to treat others as we would want to be treated.

But the United States can only do what it is asked to do by the government of Nigeria, a sovereign nation.

There needs to be a reminder here in the Facebook, Twitter, Internet activism age that nations still actually do exist and governments actually do have a right to control what happens within their own borders, no matter how lousy a job they might be doing.

The U.S. could not do more than offer help until the government of Nigeria allowed that help to occur. And while it’s good that U.S. aviation is taking part in the search for the girls still held hostage, the reality is that Nigeria waited too long, perhaps, for that search to be effective.

This should not turn into a boots-on-the-ground initiative unless it’s part of an international searching expedition, properly called for by the Nigerian government and monitored by the U.N., lest the U.S. end up sacrificing armed forces personnel on a noble, but flawed, mission to a particularly lawless part of the world where radical Islamists are bent on goading their non-radicalized brethren, and Christians, to fight their jihad.

Absent unilateral and unrequested action, the U.S. is doing all it could, and should, do at this point.


Steubenville Herald-Star