Stop children, what’s that sound?

August 29, 2007 at 4:23 am Leave a comment

“Withdrawing US forces from Iraq would leave the Middle East to the ‘forces of radicalism’ and jeopardise US security, according to George Bush, the US president.”

Apparently George has missed those National Intelligence Estimate conclusions that “The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world.” Further proof of the devastating destruction that the occupation has caused the social, political and economic fabric of the country, there’s been a drastic increase of child fighters being detained in Iraq. These child fighters have been coerced or paid to place roadside bombs and even kidnap or kill. U.S. forces can detain them for up to one year before releasing them to the Iraqi judicial system, and in some places have implemented education centers to counteract the lack of options or beliefs that drove them to commit or attempt the crimes – despite the fact that the U.S. government uses similar coercion in the form of a poverty draft for it’s ‘all-volunteer army.’ It doesn’t seem to be as widespread as the use of child soldiers in other parts of the world in recent years, it is yet another aspect of the occupation that has lasting consequences for the country and the next generation that will only worsen as time goes on.

So the U.S. government continues it’s verbal assault on Iran and arrests more of it’s government employees while blaming the Iraqi government for not doing what we told them to quickly enough, without remembering that all of our involvement in the Middle East has brought more suffering, which creates space for fundamentalist and violent radicalism to grow.

At least Great Britain is now saying that the U.S. can’t dictate how long they’ll keep troops in Iraq, hopefully they’ll withdraw all or most of their remaining 5,500 troops by the end of the year; France’s Sarkozy also joined in with a call for full withdrawal of foreign troops by the end of the year, stating that only then could France play a role in supporting a political solution to the conflict.

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Entry filed under: Child Soldiers, Iran, Iraq.

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