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A Government Which Simultaneously Murders Children Abroad While Barring U.S. Citizens From International Travel

Let’s put the whole sex-offender-as-existential-threat-to-children trope in perspective, shall we?

While our government, the U.S., has made it difficult-to-impossible for “sex offender registrants” to travel to foreign countries due to its implementation of an alert system to notify foreign governments of the sex offender status of U.S. citizens (and is about to make that system even more egregious through the anticipated passage of the current International Megan’s Law bill) it has killed thousands of children in the Middle East in its ongoing, and massively failed, military adventures which we, the American taxpayers, have paid for to the tune of three to four trillion dollars.

According to Iraq Body Count, between 2003 and 2011, U.S. coalition forces killed at least 1,201 children in Iraq alone.

U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan over the past decade have killed between 172 and 207 children that are known.

At least 3,952 people have been killed, including no fewer than 66 children below the age of eight, and 44 children below the age of 18, in the US-led coalition’s campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria during the period between September 2014 and November 23, 2015. This, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

These documented cases are just a tiny fraction of all child casualties of U.S.-led attacks, emphasizes Neta Crawford, a political scientist at Boston University. Author of Accountability for Killing: Moral Responsibility for Collateral Damage in America’s Post-9/11 Wars. Crawford tracks civilian casualties of U.S. wars for the Costs of War project.

U.S. drone strikes “aren’t the main source of civilian killing in these wars,” Crawford points out. She adds: “Most children killed and injured directly by U.S. forces and their allies were killed the same way as their parents: they died when bombs fell; when they were caught in ‘cross-fire’; shot in night raids; shot at check-points and run over by U.S. convoys who speed through the streets and roads. The roadside deaths are often not recorded unless the U.S. gives some compensation to the families.”

Indeed, the U.S. government itself turns out to be a terrible source for knowing how many children it has killed since it often fails to acknowledge their deaths, or the deaths of any innocents. Instead, it falls to observer organizations such as the United Nations or Human Rights Watch or The Bureau of Investigative Journalism to furnish the boots-on-the-ground and to provide the terrible data that the U.S. fails to accurately report.

We also cannot assume that the military has murdered these kids by mistake, either. Drone operators refer to children as “fun-size terrorists”, as one such recent horrifying example. In a piece for The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald’s online journalism site that prints what is so often unreported by the major media, Murtaza Hussain reports “Drone operators refer to children as “fun-size terrorists” and liken killing them to “cutting the grass before it grows too long,” said one of the operators, Michael Haas, a former senior airman in the Air Force.

For those of us who are the subject of recent hysterias said to be in aid of preventing the “trafficking” and “exploitation” of children in foreign countries, we are doubly outraged to realize that the same government which murders children in foreign countries with impunity is also willing to impose a state of internal exile upon sex offender registrants, as a class and indiscriminately, the vast majority of whom have never “exploited or trafficked” a child in international travel.

Those of us who have often traveled to foreign countries in business or on holiday, without occasion to violating the laws of those countries, are right to be angry at our own government for further degrading our rights while simultaneously rationalizing the destruction of the lives of children in the Middle East. We fail to see how either advances legitimate U.S. interests.

A nation which pretends to be outraged by our presumed foreign victims, with zero evidence to support such a charge, while simultaneously murdering children in horrendous foreign military adventures, reveals itself to be a cynical, disingenuous villain, one which deserves neither our faith or our respect.

By David Kennerly

—–

Sources:

Where Is Outcry Over Children Killed by U.S.-Led Forces?

There can be no justification for the killing of children by U.S.-led forces in Syria, Iraq and other war zones since 9/11.

By John Horgan, Scientific American, September 10, 2015

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/where-is-outcry-over-children-killed-by-u-s-led-forces/

FORMER DRONE OPERATORS SAY THEY WERE “HORRIFIED” BY CRUELTY OF ASSASSINATION PROGRAM

by Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept, Nov. 19 2015

https://theintercept.com/2015/11/19/former-drone-operators-say-they-were-horrified-by-cruelty-of-assassination-program

US coalition strikes in Syria ‘killed 250 civilians’

by Diana Al Rifai, Al Jazeera, 25 Nov 2015

Join the discussion

  1. C

    I was about to write that the USA has become the mother all hypocrits, but I suspect it has been that way from Day 1, despite the heroic tales we’ve read about in school. The IML is just another shining example of our government’s shameless duplicity.

  2. Timmr

    America is sowing the seeds of its own discontent and possible destruction, both abroad and at home. After decades of war, it is still trying to kill its way to peace, after imprisoning around 2.5 million of its citizens and condemning many times more to an endless cycle of prison to poverty to prison, it is still looking for ways to cram more into cells and turn more into wards of the State, all in the name of the public well being.
    The only ones who will benefit from this carnage are the vultures who get elected because of it, and their backers, the corporations who make the instruments to incapacitate, torture and kill.

    • pgm111

      We need term six year term limits for all US Congressmen and twelve year term limits for US Senators. This will go a long way toward electing 1) moderates, and 2) people who will do the right thing with less political expediency (read: fear of the unwashed masses).

  3. pgm111

    Here is some more perspective to consider. I have been reviewing the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project: http://www.policemisconduct.net/

    Based on a fair estimate of police sexual abuse on a national scale, it seems obvious that people are far more likely to be sexually victimized by a cop than by a person on the sex offender registry. How is that for perspective?

    I am very serious about vetting these Police vs. Sex Offenders numbers and using them in a wide ranging social media campaign. Any statistically-minded individuals interested in helping me evaluate the numbers? I have a very sympathetic art director friend who is happy to create the proper “branding” of this effort.

    We need to get F’ing serious right now and fight fire with fire! Please reply and we can discuss offline and develop a coherent fact-based campaign to refute this HR 515 bullshit.

    • David Kennerly

      Yes, I am fond of statistics, particularly when they, overwhelmingly, make our case for us, as they do. I’m working on a piece that will be statistics-heavy looking at the claims made in support of Int’l Megan’s Law. My most recent calculation is that 73/1000ths of 1% of kids (0-18) are claimed to be being sexually trafficked worldwide. That’s my calculation based on a total number of trafficked kids estimated by the International Labour Organization at 1.8 million along with the current population totals for that age cohort. Of course, the ILO have no hard data to back up their claim (none of them do); it’s their extrapolations based on anecdotes and assumptions. Yet they are pointed to throughout the abuse industry as the authoritative source.

      But yes, anyone who wants to do some statistical research I can think of lots of things that are worthy of pursuit and which we can use for our work fighting this madness.

      We could use your help.

      • Robert

        David, My research has concluded that these numbers are manufactured like the US child sex trafficking numbers for the purpose of making money and peddling influence. The DHS ICE website states that they have 99 convictions for child sex tourism since the 2003 Protect Act. This averages to 8+ cases a year. In contrast, 60-70 million Americans made trips abroad per year during the same timeframe. These cases are statistical outliers much like child murders from abductions by strangers.
        We all concur that child exploitation is a scourge that must be eliminated. But there is far too much misinformation published by these groups seeking funding or trying to grab credit to validate their existence. I sent you source info via email. Thanks for all that you do.

        • David Kennerly

          Thank you! I had not seen the 99 figure and that is something I need for this piece. Thanks!

        • brunello

          Any information on whether any of these 99 people were on the registry?

        • Robert

          No agency has published how many were on the registry that I could find. One must assume that the numbers don’t help much or it would be made public. With the low number of cases, should not be hard to find many of the actual cases in goggle scholar or other legal searches. All will be fed cases.

        • Timmr

          Who came up with the idea of targeting the registered? Who originally wrote this bill? Maybe the real agenda behind this bill can be found there.

      • pgm111

        David,

        Please provide me your contact info and I will give you a call or email you to get the ball rolling.

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