From: Carpe Diem – By Michael Sullivan
Like most kids my age, growing up in the era following World War II, I played soldiers and cowboys. The inspiration for the gun and rock battles we waged in a vacant lot down the street came from the entertainment media and the general consciousness of the time: The U.S. had won World War II, cowboys had vanquished villains in the Old West, and Communism lurked out there as another thing to be conquered.
At school we were taught to duck under our flimsy wooden desks in the case of a Communist atomic bomb attack. After all, we were already fighting Commies in Korea. The thread of nuclear war seemed very real.
The idea of stopping a bullet in defense of my country seemed noble and heroic, something any red-blooded American boy was expected to do. I imagined the pride and sadness my parents would feel at the sight of my flag-draped coffin. Much of my world view at the time centered upon ideas of duty. My parents, my teachers and my country expected certain things of me. I had no choice.
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From: Israel's Messiah
Islamic Blood Ritual
Shiite Muslim Mohammed Jomahaa demonstrates how he had earlier cut the head of his son with a sword during the annual ritual to mark Ashoura Day. Islamic children are taught very early on that the letting of their blood in honor and defense of Islam is normal.
From very early childhood pro-terrorism Muslims prepare their children to bleed for the hate filled cause of Islam.
Look at the sick smile on this Muslim woman's face. How demonically possessed would a mother have to be to slice the flesh of her innocent child with a knife. Is Islam a religion sent from God or from hell?
"I would like you to give a message. Please do your best to tell the world what is happening to us, the children. So that other children don't have to pass through this violence."
The 15-year-old girl who ended an interview to Amnesty International with this plea was forcibly abducted at night from her home by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), an armed opposition movement fighting the Ugandan Government. She was made to kill a boy who tried to escape. She saw another boy being hacked to death for not raising the alarm when a friend ran away. She was beaten when she dropped a water container and ran for cover under gunfire. She received 35 days of military training and was sent to fight the government army.
The use of children as soldiers has been universally condemned as abhorrent and unacceptable. Yet over the last ten years hundreds of thousands of children have fought and died in conflicts around the world.
Children involved in armed conflict are frequently killed or injured during combat or while carrying out other tasks. They are forced to engage in hazardous activities such as laying mines or explosives, as well as using weapons. Child soldiers are usually forced to live under harsh conditions with insufficient food and little or no access to healthcare. They are almost always treated brutally, subjected to beatings and humiliating treatment. Punishments for mistakes or desertion are often very severe. Girl soldiers are particularly at risk of rape, sexual harassment and abuse as well as being involved in combat and other tasks.
The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers works to prevent the recruitment and use of children as soldiers, to secure their demobilisation and to ensure their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
From: Human Rights Watch World Report 2004 – By Jo Becker
Over the last five years, the global campaign to stop the use of child soldiers has garnered an impressive series of successes, including new international legal standards, action by the UN Security Council and regional bodies, and pledges from various armed groups and governments to end the use of child soldiers. Despite gains in awareness and better understanding of practical policies that can help reduce the use of children in war, the practice persists in at least twenty countries, and globally, the number of child soldiers about 300,000 is believed to have remained fairly constant.
As the end of wars in Sierra Leone, Angola, and elsewhere freed thousands of former child soldiers from active armed conflict, new conflicts in Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire drew in thousands of new child recruits, including former child soldiers from neighboring countries. In some continuing armed conflicts, child recruitment increased alarmingly. In Northern Uganda, abduction rates reached record levels in late 2002 and 2003 as over 8,000 boys and girls were forced by the Lord’s Resistance Army to become soldiers, laborers, and sexual slaves. In the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where all parties to the armed conflict recruit and use children, some as young as seven, the forced recruitment of children increased so dramatically in late 2002 and early 2003 that observers described the fighting forces as “armies of children.”
From: Christian Science Monitor By Owais Tohid, Correspondent / June 22, 2011
A 9-year-old schoolgirl narrowly escaped a plot laid by her Taliban kidnappers this week in Pakistan’s northwest to use her as a suicide bomber at a military checkpoint, raising concerns about militants' intent to use children in their battles.
The girl, Sohana, was kidnapped over the weekend by two men and two burqa-clad women in Peshawar, who huddled her into the car and drove to Timargarah. That’s the largest town in Lower Dir, bordering Afghanistan, where Pakistan’s security forces launched a successful crackdown against the Taliban insurgency in 2009.
“I was buying toffees from a roadside vendor on my way to school,” the third-grader, wearing a white-head scarf and blue school uniform, told police officials and reporters after her narrow escape on Monday.
“When I opened my eyes, I found myself in a room. They fed me biscuits and I fell unconscious,” she said. The next morning, Taliban militants took her close to the Darra Islam checkpoint and forced her to wear a suicide vest. “They put on one suicide jacket on me, but it did not fit,” she said. “Then they put on another one.”
“You keep on reciting Koranic verses till you push the button,” the girl says the Taliban militant told her. But police say Sohana escaped from the car while they were trying the second vest on her, not, tossing it aside as she ran away. “I released my hand from the woman and ran by shouting and screaming; as I came close to the checkpoint, they [police] took me into custody.”
On Tuesday, police officials say, the girl was reunited with her family.