The Washington Post October 27, 2010 headline read, "Obama waiver allows U.S. aid to 4 countries using child soldiers." The ABC news October 5, 2011 headline read, "Obama waives child soldier ban in Yemen and Congo." The Cable, from Foreign Policy.com October 1, 2012 headline read, "Obama waives sanctions on countries that use child soldiers"
In a powerful slashing article by Josh Rogin from The Cable we read:
"When a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill or be killed -- that's slavery," Obama said in a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative. "It is barbaric, and it is evil, and it has no place in a civilized world. Now, as a nation, we've long rejected such cruelty."
Bush signed the child-soldiers law in 2008. It prohibits U.S. military education and training, foreign military financing, and other defense-related assistance to countries that actively recruit troops under the age of 18. Countries are designated as violators if the State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons report identifies them as recruiting child soldiers. The original bill was sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).
Obama first waived the sanctions in 2010, the first year they were to go into effect. At that time, the White House failed to inform Congress or the NGO community of its decision in advance, setting off a fierce backlash. A justification memo obtained by The Cable at the time made several security-related arguments for the waivers. Sudan was going through a fragile transition, for example. Yemen was crucial to counterterrorism cooperation, the administration argued.
But NSC Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs Samantha Power told NGO leaders at the time that the waivers would not become a recurring event.
What are to make to this three-year disregard of the law's intent, that some children are actually expendable? What would be the media's reaction if Obama were to grant a wavier for certain countries that support human trafficking? Are there any executive orders or memorandum, signed by our President, outrageous enough to warrant a negative reaction from the MSM?
Obama has now added a line to Paul Begala's famous 1998 quote, "Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool. Children die."
Our national election is in 35 days.