According to US’s policy, these kids are not child

The Kids Aren’t All Right
Presidential Waivers, Child Soldiers, and an American-Made Army in Africa
By Nick Turse

MALAKAL, South Sudan — I didn’t really think he was going to shoot me.  There was no anger in his eyes.  His finger may not have been anywhere near the trigger.  He didn’t draw a bead on me.  Still, he was a boy and he was holding an AK-47 and it was pointed in my direction.

It was unnerving.

I don’t know how old he was.  I’d say 16, though maybe he was 18 or 19.  But there were a few soldiers nearby who looked even younger — no more than 15.

When I was their age, I wasn’t trusted to drive, vote, drink, get married, gamble in a casino, serve on a jury, rent a car, or buy a ticket to an R-rated movie.  It was mandatory for me to be in school.  The law decreed just how many hours I could work and prohibited my employment in jobs deemed too dangerous for kids — like operating mixing machines in bakeries or repairing elevators.  No one, I can say with some certainty, would have thought it a good idea to put an automatic weapon in my hands.  But someone thought it was acceptable for them.  A lot of someones actually.  Their government — the government of South Sudan — apparently thought so.  And so did mine, the government of the United States.

During the early 2000s, as thousands of refugee “Lost Boys” who had fled the civil war in southern Sudan began to be resettled in cities across the United States, their brothers and sisters back home continued to suffer as civilians or as child combatants.  Between 2001 and 2006, however, as international pressure mounted and the civil war waned, some 20,000 child soldiers were also reportedly demobilized by the SPLA, although thousands remained in the force for a variety of reasons, including an extreme lack of other opportunities.

By 2010, when the SPLA pledged to demobilize all of its child soldiers by the end of the year, there were an estimated 900 children still serving in the force.  The next year, under terms of the agreement that ended the civil war, the people of southern Sudan voted for their independence.  Six months later, on July 9th, South Sudan became the world’s newest nation, prompting a strong statement of support from President Barack Obama: “I am confident that the bonds of friendship between South Sudan and the United States will only deepen in the years to come.  As Southern Sudanese undertake the hard work of building their new country, the United States pledges our partnership as they seek the security, development, and responsive governance that can fulfill their aspirations and respect their human rights.”

While child soldiers, in fact, remained in the SPLA, the U.S. nonetheless engaged in a years-long effort to pour billions of dollars in humanitarian aid, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars of military and security assistance, into South Sudan.  Here’s the catch in all this: the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA), passed by Congress in 2008 and enacted in 2010, prohibits the United States from providing military assistance to governments using child soldiers.  This means that the Obama administration should have been barred from providing South Sudan with military assistance in 2011.  The government, however, relied on a technicality to gain an exemption — claiming the list of barred countries was created before the new nation formally came into existence.


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13 thoughts on “According to US’s policy, these kids are not child

  1. First they underestimate children, tell the youth that we can’t do anything, that we’re too young to make a difference or to succeed. Then there is others, who are forced to grow up too fast for the selfish gains of others, especially child soldiers.

    What do we do when these children have nothing left of their innocence? Throw them back onto the battlefield? So many of these kids have been brainwashed and scarred during the most important stages of their development and oftentimes this damage is permanent.

    The problem is, that the government will only label us as kids when it suits them, and it will ignore the fact that we are young when it doesn’t

    Liked by 2 people

    • Youth is the future of a country. And, the youth of Sudan has been missing since 1996, dear ars. Since 2006, they started to fight in the army SPLA under the US help umbrella. That’s mean at least 40 years-future of this country, was destroyed. Full article, it shows all the abominations of the truth; like follows;
      “..On September 28, 2012, for example, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson issued a strong statement against the use of children as combatants. “Protecting and assisting children affected by armed conflict and preventing abuses against them is a priority for the United States,”… That same day, President Obama issued a statement of his own, waiving the application of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act with respect to several nations (as the act indeed allows a president to do). South Sudan was included on the grounds that such a decision was in “the national interest of the United States.”

      What is the national intrest of US! F***ing Earth! Is this the answer! After than when the other nations says “go home yankee,” or “go and f*** your self America” , idiot republicans or so-called patriots of US say “oooh no, all world hate us, they all are enemy to us.”
      No, man, your government’s policies are the first and the biggest enemy of the planet!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “Protecting and assisting children affected by armed conflict and preventing abuses against them is a priority for the United States,”

    Omar Khadr, a 15 year old Canadian citizen, was a child soldier fighting in Afghanistan when he was captured by the US. He was held in Guantanamo Bay for years, where he was tortured. He was an child soldier according to international law, and yet the American government ignored this. He was returned to Canada in 2012 and was finally released this year, but our government is still trying to prosecute him.

    On the bright side, a surprising number of Canadians support Khadr. This is a positive sign that shows the anti-Islamic propaganda might not be as effective as it once was

    Liked by 2 people

    • A question came to my mind, my Earthling friend. Canadians are approaching him with empathy, because of he is a child? Or else, they approach because of they can understand anymore the facts behind Islamic terrorism? So, if this kid belongs to another organization, such as if a militant extreme left, would Canadians still him empathy due to he is child? I asked this becasue to understand which conditions are effective over the direction of human perception that can be changed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In the past, stories about him would usually provoke very negative and hateful comments about both him and Muslims in general. Our government is still trying to portray him as a terrorist and was trying to classify him as an adult combatant so he could he held in prison longer. Fortunately they were not successful.

        Although there are still people who consider him a “terrorist” and want him back in prison, there are many people who believe his persecution in purely political and recognize that he was just a child caught in a horrible situation. This is a definitely change in attitude. I’ve also seen this in relation of other news stories. More people seem to be questioning or rejecting the official story. More people are against our involvement in wars and know that our government is lying about the threat of terrorism.

        Maybe the case of Khadr is isolated, but considering how strong the anti-Muslim sentiment has been, it is still a big change to see so many people on his side. I hope this is a sign on things to come. Our governments have failed us and they are destroying our societies and our world. The number of people who have lost faith in the system really does seem to be growing

        Liked by 1 person

      • As far as I can understand due to Omar was in the media quite a while, his case and the opinions about him changed. So Omar actually create a good public opinion. And, when this public opinion was formed, of course, Canadians have preferred for the acting and thinking in parallel with those living in the world. I think that’s promising too.

        However, again as far I can understand, Omar’s example, maybe at first, was over separation or conflict “terrorists” or “child”. But with time probably rather than he is a child offender, more talked his agenda which he lived and was created. So that was not behaved to him differently because of “just because he was child”. In this case, the other children will not be behaved because of “they are children”. I am not just speaking about Canada. I speak for the whole planet. So at first, when they come in front of people on courts, they do not have the rights of children. Because they did not have these rights well in advance. Someone makes them terrorists. Others call them “you are a terrorist,” and judging. They have no rights at the beginning due to some governments policies.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly, and it is the same governments that refuse to see them as children and instead treats them as terrorists, that turned them into terrorists in the first place. America and Canada treated Omar as the criminal, accusing him of murdering a US soldier, but it was their illegal war, illegal invasion of Afghanistan, that was the real crime.

        It all comes down to imperialists victimizing their victims

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, you’re right, US has been placed as illegal in Afghanistan, at first place they should have been accused. I’ve read Omar story in wiki, and I saw this statement:
        “Officials considered him an “intelligence treasure trove,” as his father was suspected of al-Qaeda activities, and the youth had personally met Osama bin Laden. They thought he might be able to offer answers about the al-Qaeda hierarchy, although Omar Khadr was 10 years old when he met bin Laden.”
        And the other information quotes from:
        “Bush’s father, the former president and ex-CIA director, is part of the Carlyle Group, a $12 billion international equity firm. Carlyle’s portfolio is heavy in defense and telecommunications holdings. In addition, The Wall Street Journal reported on September 31 that Bush One and Osama bin Laden’s family, which is also is part of the Carlyle Group, have business dealings with each other.”
        Bush has to have more valuable information about bin Laden in this case, I belive Bush saw and heard a lot of thing from father Bush about Laden, when he was young or adult. He must be questioned. But, the laws only run for the aggrieved people. This is the US hypocricy. And this sick mentality is trying to shape to planet Earth.

        Liked by 1 person

      • haha…that is a great point about Bush! And let’s not forget, after 9/11, when all air traffic was grounded, the Saudi Royal family and members of the Bin Laden family were allowed to fly out of the US. These people would have had a lot of information about OBL. Particularly since the Saudis were financing him.

        The hypocrisy really is unbelievable

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome to the sad USA. The biggest liars and hypocrites in the world. The government of the USA has been hijacked from the people. And now it is a technological prison. Wish us luck…pray for us…those of us who want peace and justice and truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If an extraterrestrial’s prayer would accept, my prayer and wishes with yours, my dear Earthling friend. But I am not sure. Because it is slight chance to respond to mine, while the god of mankind is not giving answer to own prayers. But I want to take my chance 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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