Support the Child Soldier Act

Dear Friends:

I wish to offer my support for the proposed Child Soldier Act of 2007, and I sincerely hope that you will join me. The Bill is severely flawed (more on that in a moment), but relative to status-quo it is far superior.

This Bill (S 1175 and HR 2620) would deprive of American military aid, any country who conscripts (“drafts”) persons under age 18, or who recruits volunteers under the age of 16. The Bill includes as “child soldiers” any persons attached, voluntarily or involuntarily, to military operations.

About the flaws:

* The Bill does not appear to mention child-labor in sweatshop environments, for the production of military goods.
* The Bill allows the President to opt-out; that is, to allow American military aid to an offending country on a case-by-case basis, with the proviso that he explicitly specify the reasons for the exception. This is a most egregious omission, especially with respect
to the current Administration, which can be counted upon to use the exception to support so-called ‘Christian’, or otherwise pro-Bush, despots on the thinnest of grounds.

These flaws notwithstanding, the Bill is an unusual example of better-than-nothing, an unusual act of moral courage from an otherwise morally weak Congress.

I hope you will consider joining me in support of the Child Soldier Act of 2007, but that you will also joining me in encouraging Congress to strengthen the language and closing the loopholes of this otherwise worthy Act.

Gratefully yours,
Alan Augustson

Alan Augustson
Green Party Candidate for President

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