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"I believe the children are the future" -- and it's horrifying

Golda Meir, former prime minister of Israel, once famously said that "we will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us." Judging by recent developments, that ain't happening any time soon.

The Palestinians have a long history of using their children as political props. Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs notes this at every opportunity. But recently, in the Muslim world. this rhetoric has heated to the point of becoming reality.

I can't find the exact story, but there was a news report of a foiled Palestinian suicide bomber, a mother who deeply regretted being stopped before she could hide a bomb in her stroller along with her child, hoping to blow up both herself and the baby along with Israelis.

Recently, some Palestinians sent a bunch of children, dressed in little combat fatigues and carrying toy guns, to an Israeli military point. Only by the grace of god and Israeli training and vigilance did the soldiers realize that the "terrorists" were children before shooting them. (hat tip to Laurence Simon.)

In Haditha, Iraq, where United States Marines are accused of carrying out a massacre, one of the Marines wounded in the incident reports that the terrorists are using children as scouts and sentinels, watching for US patrols and reporting on their movements. (Thanks to Michelle Malkin for this report.)

The progression is unmistakable. We are approaching the point where, sooner or later, children will not be used as decoys, or scouts, but full-fledged combatants. The Palestinians are already using teenagers as would-be suicide bombers. The next step is to take adolescents and give them weapons they can handle, and send them off to battle.

At that point, our troops will be faced with the horrific choice: kill or be killed -- and the face on the other end of their gun will be a child. An eight, nine, or ten-year-old who will be doing his or her level best to kill the soldier.

This is not a clash of civilizations, as child sacrifice is one of the hallmarks of uncivilization. This is a struggle for our survival as a race, as one side sheds every trapping of civilization, of decency, of humanity in an effort to win through sheer revulsive behavior.

We are facing an enemy who is willing -- nay, eager -- to slaughter their own children to get their way. Do we want to live in a world where such a tactic is seen as the way to victory?

Can we live in a world where such a tactic is seen as the way to victory?


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Comments (18)

No!... (Below threshold)
JAT:

No!

This is not really new.... (Below threshold)
Luncy:

This is not really new.

As I recall, in Vietnam, children were used. I'm sure some more knowledgeable on the history of war could point out similar instances in every war.

Child conscripts in Afica wars are common today.

I agree with most of what y... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

I agree with most of what you write, but not about using kids as scouts. That's long been a tactic of 'insurgents'.
In Europe under the Nazis, this was fairly standard. Kids are quite often ignored.

I'm not defending actions that intentionally involve shooting, like in Jenin when a little girl brought some soldiers into an ambush and she was there when the shooting started, but just using kids as scouts.

<a href="http://www.chabad.... (Below threshold)
elvis:

Shavuot tov!

Our Sages said that before G-d gave the Torah to the Jewish people, He demanded guarantors. The Jews made a number of suggestions, all rejected by G-d, until they declared, "Our children will be our guarantors that the Jewish people will cherish and observe the Torah"; G-d immedately accepted them and agreed to give the Torah.
Of course, Hitler also resorted to children as fighters in the last desperate days of the 3rd Reich. And in a death spiral to oblivion Islam has made war on life itself.


Hmmmm.Frankly this... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

Frankly this has been a possibility for years now because of examples in Africa. The problem of "child soldiers" in Africa is pretty serious and isn't likely to go away any time soon. Similar things are happening all over the world as terrorists and insurgents are discovering that children are generally assumed to be non-violent and are treated less vigorously than adult men with beards. Take even Vietnam. Many attacks on American soldiers in Vietnam were undertaken by children with grenades.

IMHO I don't think Jihadists would end up using muslim children in suicide attacks. But I do think that they would use kidnapped *Christian* children to conduct such attacks. There has been a very long history of muslims kidnapping Christian children for use as slaves and in warfare as soldiers. This would be nothing more, in their view, than an extension of this.

*shrug* Nothing I've read would make me believe that this isn't the most logical next step no matter how horrific it is. The sad thing is that it's becoming more and more apparent that there is no possible way for non-muslims and muslims to co-exist on this planet. Without a massive change in muslim attitudes it seems like it'll be either them or us.

And it ain't going to be us.

Hmmmm.Actually the... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

Actually the most likely result from this is that continued combat actions by children would result in the public being desensitised to this situation. At first people will be horrified. Later on it would become "normal".

As horrifying as that sounds what is worse is that there is an assumed maximum level of horror. Right now that involves the death of children by accidental gunfire and bombs. But when children are armed and actively seeking battle then the accidental deaths will be view as being much less significant as the maximum level of horror would now be assigned to the combative children. As the jihadists up the ante what had been unacceptable becomes the new normal.

A vicious cycle that doesn't have a good ending for anyone. Particularly muslims.

...one of the Marines wo... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

...one of the Marines wounded in the incident reports that the terrorists are using children as scouts and sentinels, watching for US patrols and reporting on their movements.

...which justifies the killing of children, in your view?

Astigafa, if you're caught ... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Astigafa, if you're caught in an ambush or firefight and there are kids in the middle of the enemy, possibly with weapons, what do you do?

And let us not forget the sterling example of the Iranians, sending waves of children in front of their infantry to set off the landmines.

A BBC report spoke of resid... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

A BBC report spoke of residents in Haditha selling DVD's of beheadings and that children prefer to watch them over cartoons.

This is not a clash of civilizations; it is a clash of civilization with the completely uncivilized.

Here's the link to the BBC ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Here's the link to the BBC report. It is depressing.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/ intern...1553781,00.html

Greetings, The us... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Greetings,

The use of children in warfare goes back to the beginning of time. Our concept of combatants and non-combatants is a recent development. Primarily the movement to separate military from the civilian activities started by the wanton destruction associated with the 100 years war that crippled Europe for a generation.
As weapons became more powerful and the concept of total war took hold, beginning with, but not limited to, the American Civil war the industrial might of a country was accepted as a legitimate target. Even the workers of that industry, be they men, women or children of any age. Hence the raids against Berlin, Tokyo, London, Dresden and such.
Traditionally, a country / state / group waited until there was a lethal reduction in the numbers of military age men prior to resorting to underage soldiers. The Confederacy, Germany in both wars, North Vietnam, North Korea etc . . . . The Islamic 'nation/state' appears to have jumped to the child warrior immediately as a form of full mobilization.
Concerning the law of land warfare, age is not a consideration. A soldier has the right to self defense, period. A toddler with a grenade or a rifle - or a child running supplies (water, food, munitions) is a legimate target and not subject to special protections. Of course, the MSM fall-out and hysterics will be spasmal (is that a word?). Bottom line, killing of youths is not new, just a sad fact of warfare.

Regards

Astigafa, if you're caug... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Astigafa, if you're caught in an ambush or firefight and there are kids in the middle of the enemy, possibly with weapons, what do you do?

And suppose those children are nowhere near you, and you clear the area of combatants and then go into homes in that village and just blow those children away, along with men and women and senior citizens?

...and all but one of the d... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

...and all but one of the dead are unarmed?

I am only going to say this... (Below threshold)
Yogimus:

I am only going to say this once, so listen up:

KILL THEM.

Why? Because if we don't kill them, they will continue to be used.

I suppose if women and chil... (Below threshold)
John S:

I suppose if women and children become combatants, it makes warfare easier. Simply carpet bomb the entire village. Smite all living things as the Israelites used to say.

It has already happened in ... (Below threshold)

It has already happened in Iraq, and probably happens more than we know. A Marine from my former church was forced to kill a 14 year old boy, said boy armed with an AKM and about to kill some Marines. Though he acted correctly, the Marine is still haunted by that action.

This is one difference between "us" and "them": "we" feel horrible when we have to kill a child bent on killing us, "they" are happy to kill our children with no remorse.

I suppose if women and c... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

I suppose if women and children become combatants, it makes warfare easier. Simply carpet bomb the entire village. Smite all living things as the Israelites used to say.

Spoken like a true Christian.

Yes, like a true christian.... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Yes, like a true christian. One who wants the wholesale slaughter, injuries and deprivations to end as quickly as possible.

Sometimes, as in WWII, the best way to do this is to kill as many people on the other side as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Most wars stop only when one side 'has bleed enough'. The populace just wants the pain to stop and the killing to end. That's what ends a war.

Look to the Napoleonic period. Prior to the arrival of Napoleon, wars were controlled events and never really threatened the ruling houses political power. Boney changed the rules and wouldn't stop. Finally, after adopting his methods, the allied powers 'convinced' the French populace that enough was enough.

Former Yugoslovia is another example of a 'controlled' war. Israeli / Arab conflict is another. Our kid gloves approach during the conquering of Iraq is another. When WWII ended, the German and Japanese people were ready for the war to end - at almost any cost.

What we struggle with during war is trying to define how much force is enough. To little you encourage the 'resistance', to much and it becomes geneocide.

Regards.




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