McCain: Let's send U.S. Special Forces into Nigeria to rescue the kidnapped girls

And if the Nigerian government refuses? Screw ’em, says Maverick. We’re going in anyway.

Hashtaggers to the left of me, ultra-hawks to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

“If they knew where they were, I certainly would send in U.S. troops to rescue them, in a New York minute I would, without permission of the host country,” McCain told The Daily Beast Tuesday. “I wouldn’t be waiting for some kind of permission from some guy named Goodluck Jonathan,” he added, referring to the president of Nigeria…

McCain said that if he were the American president, he would already be doing several things to respond to the kidnapping of the over 200 girls by the Nigerian terrorist group that the Obama administration has so far declined to do. Those measures include prepositioning U.S. special forces to be ready to enter Nigeria and rescue the girls if the opportunity arose. He said that the United Nations charter authorized military intervention on behalf of the girls because their abduction rose to the level of “crimes against humanity.”…

Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, “are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings.”…

“I would not be involved in the niceties of getting the Nigerian government to agree, because if we did rescue these people, there would be nothing but gratitude from the Nigerian government, such as it is,” he said.

So McCain’s now fully embracing the “Uncle Sam, world cop” vision, huh? Intervention anywhere, with or without the governing regime’s permission, with or without any compelling U.S. national-security interest at stake, with no authorization needed beyond the assertion that a crime against humanity is taking place. (Somewhere right now, Putin’s conferring with his inner circle about “crimes against humanity” being committed against ethnic Russians in Kiev.) I’m tempted to ask whether he’d at least require the president to get an AUMF from Congress, but we all know the answer — of course not. That would only impede the mission. In a sense, all he’s doing here is extending the drone philosophy a few steps further: If we can blow up Boko Haram from the sky with the permission of the Nigerian government, we shouldn’t let the regime’s cowardice or corruption stop us from blowing them up without permission. And if we can blow them up without permission, why couldn’t we blow them up from the ground by sending in U.S. troops with grenades? We did it to Bin Laden, after all. QED. There’s no limiting principle on this theory of intervention that I can see except for McCain’s own personal understanding of what constitutes a “crime against humanity.” Which, I’m gonna go ahead and guess, is broad.

Serious question: By Maverick’s logic, shouldn’t we send an American army into Syria? There are lots of crimes against humanity happening there so there’s no need to wait for a formal UN resolution to act. The only difference between attacking Assad and attacking Boko Haram is the certainty of many more U.S. casualties in the former scenario, but if McCain’s willing to see a few Americans die to free several hundred Nigerian schoolgirls, I’m not sure why he wouldn’t be willing to see a few thousand die to protect hundreds of thousands of endangered Syrian Sunnis. While we’re at it, we might as well send troops into Sudan and Congo too, where there are crimes against humanity happening every day. Invade everywhere. See now why Rand Paul has a chance in 2016?

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Jazz Shaw 8:31 AM on December 04, 2022