McCain: Send U.S. troops to rescue kidnapped girls in Nigeria

 

McClatchy Washington Bureau

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wants to see more than hashtag messages voicing displeasure over the abduction of nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram. He wants to see U.S. troops go into Nigera and rescue the girls, even if it means doing so without permission from the Nigerian government.

‘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 the permission of the host country,’ McCain said Tuesday. Referring to Nigeria’s president, McCain added: ‘I wouldn’t be waiting for some kind of permission from some guy named Goodluck Jonathan.’

Thus far, the Obama administration has sent a team to Nigeria that includes FBI officials with hostage negotiation skills, five State Department officials, including a team leader, two strategic communications experts, a civiliam security expert and a regional medical support officer. There are also 10 Defense Department planners and advisers who were already in Nigeria and have been instructed to provide support to the kidnapping response, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said the United Nations’ charter gives the United States, the authority to mount a military resscue of the girls.

‘It’s a crine against humanity to kidnapped hundreds of young girls,’ McCain said. ‘That gives any nation, if they can, the license to stop a crime against humnanity, That’s the United Nations charter, not John McCain’s policy. It’s the same reason we should have, if we could have, gone in and freed the people of Auschwitz and Dachau.’

McCain said Obama shouldn’t worry about whether the Nigerian government would approve of disapprove of a U.S. military intervention into the country’s affairs. The president didn’t seek approval from Pakistan before he sent U.S. troops into that country to get Osama bin Laden.

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

And Obama shouldn’t worry about what the Senate and the House of Representatives would say if he exercised his authority as commander-in-chief and sent American troops into Nigeria.

‘If we rescued these young girls, an appetite for that?’ McCain said ‘It be at the high point of the president’s popularity.’

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