Something the US government calls out . . . when used by opponents.
But something the US government goes along with when it is an ally (permanent or temporary).
I think we last noted the use of children soldiers by Iraq's Shi'ite militias on July 23rd when noting the United Nations hypocritically condemned the Islamic State for using children soldiers but ignored the use of the children soldiers by the so-called 'Popularization Mobilization Forces;'
And what would Kubis like to do with regards to the use of children soldiers by the "Popularization Mobilization Foces" (Shi'ite militias)?
Because they are using children.
And you can find it all over Arabic media and social media.
And Haider al-Abadi's remarks about the Islamic State and children soldiers were slammed the minute they were made -- slammed in Arabic media and Arabic social media -- by critics who pointed out the Shi'ite militias use of children soldiers (while on the payroll of the Iraqi government).
Today, Vivian Salama and Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) report:
This summer, The Associated Press saw over a dozen armed boys on the front line in western Anbar province, including some as young as 10. Of around 200 cadets in a training class visited by the AP this month, about half were under the age of 18, with some as young as 15. Several said they intended to join their fathers and older brothers on the front lines.
Salama and Abdul-Zahra explain that the certain forms of military aid cannot be provided to countries using child soldiers per The Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 and that US "weapons and funding" given to the Iraqi government does continue onto the so-called 'Popular Mobilization Forces.' They also note:
When informed of the AP findings, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad issued a statement saying the U.S. is "very concerned by the allegations on the use of child soldiers in Iraq among some Popular Mobilization forces in the fight against ISIL," using an alternate acronym for the militant group. "We have strongly condemned this practice around the world and will continue to do so."
They're not concerned at all.
Arabic social media is not hidden away in Superman's Fortress of Solitude or on Wonder Woman's Paradise Island.
Arabic social media is available to all throughout the world and that does include the US State Dept -- in and out of Iraq.
It is there that the use of child soldiers has been repeatedly documented.
It has also been documented in the Iraqi press.
There's no way the US Embassy in Iraq was hearing of it for the first time when AP contacted them for a statement.
But because AP has a major report on the subject, the Embassy issued a weak-ass, do-nothing statement.
And unless other news outlets follow up on the topic, that statement will be it.
They will lapse back into their silent cooperation or, worse, silent encouragement.
The Islamic State is a violent group that resorts to terrorism.
Their use of children soldiers is not shocking.
But US officials -- including Samantha Power -- have condemned them for this use.
The Iraqi government is not supposed to be a terrorist organization.
Yet US officials remain silent over their use of children soldiers.
Hypocrisy remains the common thread of US foreign policy regardless of which party controls the White House and/or the Congress.
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