I have mixed feelings about the story. These “Islamic Small Wars” all involve children in every facet, from indoctrination and training for Jihad to making live weapons of the same (as we saw yesterday with the 8-year-old whose brother put a suicide vest on her) and then children as the recipients of violence, including, beheading. Bombs, whether delivered by drones or on two legs, go off where they go off and do not discriminate against anything in their blast zone. Powers and people who lob bombs do so against the potential and failings of other methods. The drone programs, for example, offset “boots on the ground” and note the failure of paramilitary force or clandestine operations to get at dangerous people: no one wants a wider combat zone and the police are not sufficient for making arrests in some regions. Consequently, family and friends in the vicinity of targets catch the same death. With the Jihad suicide bomber routines, those not involved are perceived as having no value for other than killing for use of the death as a goad for obtaining state concessions.
More than 11,000 children have died in Syria’s Civil War, most from bombing by the Assad regime, but also substantial numbers from snipers on the state’s side. The beheading mentioned, involving eight-year-old, so I recall, involved an al-Qaeda affiliate. Aping Kissinger’s statement, one may hope that both sides will lose. While they’re busy doing that, discriminating between combatants and non-combatants in the conflict areas applies some on the western side (drones often don’t fire given who appears in the target area) and apparently not at all on the jihad side.
The story forming the thread topic: BBC News – Aitzaz Hasan: Tributes to Pakistan teenager killed when he stopped a bomber – 1/9/2014. A fifteen-year-old boy confronted a fellow wearing a suicide vest and saved untold lives while losing his own when the wearer detonated the vest.
I got the zone and age wrong on the beheading of children — it appears the story dates from June last year, involves a 10-year-old and 16-year-old in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.
11,420 Children Dead In Syria’s Civil War, So Far : NPR – 12/19/2013.
# # #