Thursday, February 14, 2013

Obama Waives Child Soldier Ban in Yemen and Congo

Mike L.

Tens of millions of dollars of U.S. military financing will continue to flow to Yemen and three other countries that recruit and use child soldiers, despite a 2008 U.S. law designed to restrict U.S. taxpayer funding of foreign militaries that enlist children to fight in war.

The White House issued a memorandum Tuesday evening to allow military funding to Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Chad, three of the six countries on the State Department's list of foreign governments that recruit and use child soldiers in state-backed armed forces and militias.

Human rights advocates say the presidential waivers, issued for a second year in a row, undermine the intentions of Congress...
Tuesday's presidential memorandum cited "national security interests" as the basis for granting the waivers for Yemen and Congo. "This is an issue the President takes very seriously, and these waivers are not made lightly," said Vietor, now a spokesman for the National Security Council, in a statement to ABC News Wednesday. "In this specific instance, the waiver for Yemen reflects the United States' vital interest in supporting the Government of Yemen's ability to conduct counterterrorism operations against AQAP."
This is one of those stories which simply leaves me scratching my head.  Why in this world would Barack Obama pull the teeth from U.S. legislation that seeks to penalize foreign nations that utilize children soldiers?

In order to fight radical Islam?

That doesn't make any sense because the Obama administration supports the Muslim Brotherhood which is the very font from which the modern movement of political Islam emerged.  The Brotherhood is the parent organization of both Qaeda and Hamas and is thereby allied with the very movement that we are to believe that the Obama administration opposes.

In any case, this story is one of those stories that highlights the central contradiction at the heart of the administration's foreign policy.

It also says nothing good about the administration's scruples.  Not in the least.

{Children soldiers, indeed.}


  1. These waivers have been granted for 3 years now, and some call them routine, when they were supposed to be extraordinary.

    Obama said child soldiers were slaves the same day he granted the last waivers.

    He gets too much a pass when he goes against his word.

    Some even say that not allowing aid was more effective in moving violators toward compliance with this fundamental right of the child to be free from this scourge, not to mention free from indoctrination to hate from infancy.

    1. Child soldiers are slaves.

      I had no idea that the administration had been giving this a pass for the last three years.

      This is absolutely horrific.

    2. Those who worship Obama will look the other way, or find some way to rationalize. They may also criticize those that object to Obama's actions here.

      Did you hear that in 2007, Hagel said the U.S. Department of State was an adjunct of the Israeli foreign minister’s office, according to a contemporaneous report of the event by a supporter who wanted him to become President?

      Of course, there will be more looking away from many of the same people who seem incapable of taking a stand against Obama. The same is true for Brennan.

    3. Those who worship Obama.

      I think I just do not have that gene... that politician worshiping gene. I love certain musicians and certain thinkers and certain ball players... my favorite athlete of all-time is Billy Martin, how's that for sick?... but politicians? No way.

      Sycophancy disgusts me.

      The last president that I liked was Bill Clinton, but he wasn't Mein Fuhrer. I thought that some of what he did was good and some not so much, but I never felt that I needed to be a loyal follower.

      If I recall my reading of Adorno correctly, and I think that I do, the authoritarian personality is not limited to the alpha males, but is well-represented among the sycophants who follow the leader.

      The one cannot exist without the other.

    4. Started dealing with these types back in 2007, and have watched as the the means of indoctrination have become refined, so that now it is more about appearance than actuality.

    5. I not only never worshipped Obama, I despised him at first sight. He lost me at hello.

      One thing we should all understand by now, if only because he goes out of his way to display it at every opportunity, is his contempt for the Jews. See for yourselves.

  2. Billy Martin isn't too bad a choice, Mike. Mine was Gary Carter, growing up as a Mets fan in the 80s...

    1. The thing about Billy Martin, for me personally, is that he connects my childhood with mid twentieth century New York.

      Isn't that crazy? But it's true.

      I grew up watching the Yanks on WPIX, channel 11, and it was Billy Martin as manager with the Scooter in the broadcast booth with people like Bill White and, later, Tom Seaver.

      It's just an indelible part of who I am to the extent that I can, to this day, rattle off the starting line-up of the '77 Yanks... Mick the Quick in center field was one of my faves.

      But Martin was also there back in the day with Mantle and with DiMaggio under Stengel, the "Old Professor," and evokes, to my imagination, the city back then when my father was rooting for the Dodgers even as an acquaintance of his, Cal Abrams, played for that team.

      I guess that I am just sentimental, because as I write this I have a photo of Martin and Rizzuto and Mantle, on one knee in their uniforms and gloves, framed on my desk.

      Besides, Billy Martin was a scrapper and I admire that.

    2. I can certainly understand that.

      I was born down South Jersey, but we moved up North when I was very young. I grew up following the NY and North Jersey teams, and with the NYC media (you gotta remember the Crazy Eddie's commercials, right? His prices were insaaaaaaane!), but I guess my internal genetic tracking system was always programmed to guide me back home to Philly, and though it took over 30 years, I finally made it back here (for good!).

      I wonder if the reason I've always been (and still am) inexplicably sorta fond of the A's (I have three ballcaps right now - Phillies, Sixers and the A's. The A's hat has been with me since I briefly lived in Oakland in the summer of 2007, and it's gonna stay with me forever!) is because of their Philadelphia roots?


      Billy Martin certainly wore his heart on his sleeve, and always let you know where you stood with him. And was, of course, extremely entertaining! Respect due, no doubt.

    3. My mother was a Yankee fan (she lived back and forth between The Bronx and Passaic, NJ as a kid), and I'm pretty sure I remember she cried the day Billy Martin died.

    4. *Is!

      She's still alive, and still a Yankee fan...

    5. You're an As fan, huh?

      I like to tell people that the difference between Oakland and San Francisco is the difference between the Coliseum and AT&T Park.

      The fans at AT&T Park are enthusiastic, but they tend to be very polite and very middle class. The park, itself, is very beautiful. Entering the Coliseum, however, is like entering Thunderdome. The place is hideous. It's a bunker. And the fans are raucous, ill-tempered, and loud.

      I sometimes like to go to games in the Coliseum just to hang out with the palookas because the palookas are a lot of fun!

  3. I truly do not get those who ignore and / or rationalize everything like this that the president does. And this comes from someone who has voted for him three times*.

    Not so much for him, though, as I was voting against his opponents each time. Then again, that's generally the reason I always vote for Democrats. Unfortunately, there is no other realistic choice for me, since on domestic issues their opponents offer almost nothing I can agree with (can we have a Green Party without the insanity, or a Labor Party or some such similar thing, just for at least one brief period during my life?).

    I dunno. I think that tendency once again just comes down to partisan internet warfare. Most people I know like that are too smart to really believe our president can do no wrong, but perhaps it's just that they can't admit it for fear that those dastardly Right Wing Extremists(TM, and lol) will score points at their expense, or something like that.


    (*'08 Primary, '08 General and '12 General - I missed the '12 Primary because I moved from Oregon before their primary occurred, and arrived in Pennsylvania too late to register for our Primary, but otherwise it would have been four times)

    1. I tell ya, man, I understand why many Jewish people prefer to remain Democrats, despite the fact that this is emphatically not my choice, and I respect their willingness to do so as long as they don't try to piss on my head and tell me its raining.

      You know what I mean. So many Jewish Democrats and Jewish "progressives" turn a blind eye to what is inconvenient in their politicians. You don't do this, of course, otherwise you would never hang out here.

      It's like with Obama's support for the Brotherhood. They simply ignore it. How the f**k can Jewish people who think of themselves as supporters of the Jewish state, and supporters of the Jewish people, more generally, turn a blind eye to the fact that the president of the United States supported the coming into power of the most genocidally anti-Semitic organization on the planet?


      How is it possible?