DO YOU SIT ON THE BOARD OF THE CLINTON FOUNDATION?
MAYBE YOU SHOULD.
AND MAYBE IF YOU SAT ON IT, LIKE CHELSEA, YOU'D GET A $900,000 YEARLY PAY OUT TOO?
Handing children guns -- the topic of a question raised in Wednesday's US State Dept press briefing moderated by spokesperson John Kirby.
QUESTION: Human Rights Watch says Iraqi Government-backed militias have recruited children in preparation for an offensive to drive ISIL from Mosul. They call on the Iraqi Government to take action to demobilize child soldiers. Has the U.S. raised the issue with the Iraqi Government or are you going – aware of the issue?
MR KIRBY: I’m not aware of that report. Obviously, we would strongly condemn the use of children as soldiers in any armed conflict, but I’m not aware that – of this particular report.
First, let's inform you of what Kirby couldn't -- takes a lot of time to curl those lashes, doesn't it, John?
Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch issued an alert which opened:
Iraqi government-backed militias have recruited children from at least one displaced persons camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to fight against Islamic State forces. All security forces and armed groups should abide by international law and demobilize any fighters under age 18.
Witnesses and relatives told Human Rights Watch that two tribal militias (Hashad al-Asha`ri) recruited as fighters at least seven children from the Debaga camp on August 14, 2016, and drove them to a town closer to Mosul, where Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are preparing for an offensive to drive the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, from the city. The Hashad al-Asha`ri, made up of local Sunni fighters, are expected to play a key role in Mosul military operations, while the government may order the mainly Shia militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces to stay out of the Mosul fighting.
“The recruitment of children as fighters for the Mosul operation should be a warning sign for the Iraqi government,” said Bill Van Esveld, senior children’s rights researcher. “The government and its foreign allies need to take action now, or children are going to be fighting on both sides in Mosul.”
Human Rights Watch has documented that ISIS has extensively recruited and deployed children in its forces.
Debaga camp, 40 kilometers south of Erbil, currently houses over 35,000 people displaced in the fighting between government forces and ISIS. Two people living in the camp since March told Human Rights Watch that at least two militia groups engaged in the fighting against ISIS are entirely made up of camp residents. They said that these two militias, commanded by Sheikh Nishwan al-Jabouri and by Maghdad al-Sabawy, the son of the recently deceased commander Fares al-Sabawy, have been recruiting from the camp for months. Their trucks have been arriving empty, and driving away filled with men, and in some cases, boys.
The two camp residents said that two very large trucks arrived in the evening of August 14 and took away about 250 new recruits, at least 7 of them under age 18, to join Sheikh al-Jabouri’s forces. Witnesses and other camp residents said that all the men and boys volunteered to join the militias. An aid worker who was on the road saw the two trucks heading to Hajj Ali, a town about 46 kilometers from Debaga and 7 kilometers from the front lines with ISIS. They contacted local aid workers in Hajj Ali, who confirmed that the group had arrived there, stayed for one night, and then went on to join a militia nearby.
John Kirby pinky swears he's never even heard of the report, is completely unfamiliar with it.
There are two options here.
First, he's lying because the militias are part of the Iraqi government (Hayder al-Abadi incorporated them into the armed forces some time ago) and the US government is not allowed to 'partner' in military operations with governments that use child soldiers.
So he's lying to avoid legal ramifications.
Or there's the second choice: He's really that stupid.
Let's go with the second choice.
I think it's the first but I think he's playing dumb on the national stage to avoid legal ramifications.
So the US government has wasted X trillion of US taxpayer dollars on this never-ending illegal war and US troops are on the ground there and President Barack Obama has appointed a special envoy (Brett McGurk) and the State Dept and John Kirby can't be bothered monitoring Iraq?
That's what he's saying to the United States and to the world -- but to the US taxpayers that pay his salary -- and all that eye liner can't be cheap, John -- he's saying that he can't be bothered.
They can play with tax dollars like it's paper play money and with human lives like their plastic figures, they just can't pay attention to reality.
Not a good message for the State Dept to convey.
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