Too Young To Fight?

Hate against some other nation or love to take revenge may bring people a long way from human sense.

After two great wars, where so many countries were involved and so much blood was shed, still lots of people do not realise how ridiculous it is to have so much lives being offered for showing the ‘right for power’. Still today we can see that in many countries war is still romanticized and lots of people do find it an honour to have their sons going to war. Today in this world we can still find lots of child soldiers, and when it is not for the right country people find it horrible, but when it is for the ‘right country’ or ‘the right cause’ people find them heroes.
For sure it has to do with some form of making value judgements about the rightness of the cause , by our twisted minds.

Today children are also often sold into a kind of modern-day slavery. In Raqqa, where poverty is rampant, Isis persuades parents to send their children to the camps in exchange for money, according to Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi, the pseudonym of a 22-year-old man who lived in Syria until recently. He is the founder of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a Twitter account and Facebook page.

In Iraq’s Mosul, which was taken over by IS gunmen in June, IS has replaced physical-education classes in local schools with martial-arts classes. A teacher in the city told Bloomberg that IS militants explained that “they need Mosul’s students to be the future soldiers of the caliphate.” Another Mosul resident, named as Abu Rawan, said that his 13-year-old nephew had been recruited by IS militants, who had given him a gun.

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To remember:

Commonwealth Military Cemetery at Essex Farm, near Ypres, Belgium: grave of V.J. Strudwick, killed in action January 14, 1916 at age 15.

Joe Strudwick: 6’1”, in all probability adult sized and willing to enlist; he said he was 19 and they either believed him or looked the other way. => not the lone child soldier of the Great War
his age was discovered before he reached the battlefield and he was de-mobilized.

Older men more likely to question validity of a war, more likely to have family responsibilities and less likely to unquestioningly volunteer for combat.

Young men romanticize war, older men know better.

Perhaps as many as 250,000 child soldiers, those not old enough to officially enlist, saw combat during the First World War. Probably more than that are serving today in conflicts around the world.

The United Nations has strict rules on military service for those under 18 that all member states are expected to follow.

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  • Video: South Sudan’s child soldier problem (bbc.co.uk)
    Children in the world’s youngest country of South Sudan are being forced to fight on both sides of a bloody civil war.

    The United Nations estimates that there are 11,000 child soldiers in South Sudan, where there has been a lull in the fighting, as peace talks continue between government, and rebel forces.

  • Boko Haram Using Child-Soldiers , Women As Human Shields (newsdiaryonline.com)
    Nigerian troops are concerned about the use of women as human shields as well as children as child-soldiers by Boko Haram militants in their quest to weaken military operations. A top security source in the North-East disclosed that the terrorists recruit, rape and kill some of the young captives who are reluctant to join them in their dastardly acts. In most cases, children and teenagers are forced to be in the forefront in the battle against the Nigerian troops through ambushing and suicide bombing.
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    On several occasions the Nigerian military has captured  children who were forced to take up arms against the state with some of them behaving abnormally  due to indoctrination and inducement through the use of hard drugs.

    The security source said “we are being cautious in abiding by the rules of engagement even when we are aware that the militants recruit children for spying on us and pushing them to engage in hostilities against innocent citizens and the troops. “Most of the children, especially teenagers were recruited through abduction, kidnapping and enticement with money after which they undergo brainwashing and combat training. Those that are unwilling to cooperate are punished or summarily executed.”

  • You: Afghan Parliament approves draft law to ban recruitment of child soldiers (nation.com.pk)
    The endorsement of the draft law by Afghan lawmakers comes as numerous national and international organizations criticized the Afghan government over recruitment of child soldiers. The draft law was sent to the Afghan parliament by the ministry of justice of Afghanistan around two weeks ago. Consisting of seven articles, the law was endorsed by the majority during the general session after review by parliamentary commissions.

    The law strictly prohibits the recruitment of children in security agencies, with one to seven years of imprisonment on violation. The Afghan Government reconfirmed its commitment with the endorsement of a ‘Road Map Towards Compliance,’ in August this year which laid down 15 measures to fully implement an Action Plan signed with the United Nations in 2011.

  • Boko Haram using child-soldiers, women as human shields (dailypost.ng)
    “We have lost our men in the battle-field while we tried to avoid shooting children and teenagers who are forced to confront us. How do you expect us to arrest a child with a gun? Do we accord such an armed under-age combatant with the status of a child deserving of protection under the rule of engagement?

    “It may become inevitable that some collateral damages may be recorded if we get the order especially because Boko Haram elements were using civilians as human shields to continue to gain undue advantages in the current battle in the North East.

    “However, much as troops are determined to avoid collateral damage, it has become inevitable to be decisive with armed underage combatants and female suicide bombers with the situation degenerating by the day.

  • Britain’s child soldiers: should the enlistment age be raised? (theweek.co.uk)
    Campaigners are taking legal action over the terms of enlistment for minors in the British army, accusing the Ministry of Defence of “exploiting” young recruits.

    Child Soldiers International (CSI) is calling for a judicial review over what it calls “unethical and unlawful age discrimination”. Their lawyers argue that soldiers who enlist at 16 are forced to serve for longer under army rules.

    Teenagers cannot see active service until they are 18, but all soldiers must be available for deployment for four years. So a 16-year-old who joins the army cannot leave until that are 22.

    “These young soldiers will be forced to put their lives on the line against their will during those two extra years, all because of a decision they made at 16 and later regretted,” said CSI director Richard Clarke.

    The latest move by the campaign group has reignited the debate about the enlistment age in the UK and comes as an independent survey found that 78 per cent of people believe it should be raised. “There is overwhelming public support in this country for a minimum enlistment age of 18,” said Clarke.

    The UK is the only country in Europe and the only country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council to recruit 16-year-olds into its armed forces. It is also just one of 17 countries in the world to do so, alongside North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.

  • Isis Child Soldiers Used as Suicide Bombers and Human Shields (ibtimes.co.uk)
    Speaking to reporters at the U.N., he said the fighters “appeal” to some of the youngsters and that they have approved adept at “manipulating young men and children.” He explained that “they project an image of being victorious”.

    They impress upon the children the importance of fighting and dying for their faith. and offer the pledge that those who die in the fray will “go straight to heaven.”

    Not everyone is in favour of children going into battle. “What is striking for me is to meet mothers who [tell us], ‘We don’t know what to do,'” said Simonovic. “Our sons are volunteering and we can’t prevent it.”

    At the camps, the children who are barely bigger than AK47s, are taught how to fire and load weapons. According to Syria Deeply website, they are shown the best ways to behead someone, using dolls as practice.

    The effectiveness of child soldiers as fighters is obviously not as great as adults, so they are used in other ways. Chillingly, they have value as human shields and also to provide blood transfusions for Isis militants, according to Shelly Whitman, the executive director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

  • Five Year Old Fighters and Girls Sold as Slaves – Videos Show Disturbing Evidence of Life in the Islamic State (breitbart.com)
    Charlie Winter, a spokesman for anti-extremist think tank The Quilliam Foundation said: “This video is yet more evidence of Islamic State seeking to indoctrinate children from a very young age in an attempt to entrench its hold over the region. Such footage is worrying, in particular because it renders apparent the fact that IS’ legacy will be long-term, even if it was to collapse tomorrow.”

    Another video documents men bartering over Yazidi slaves. Sitting on sofas in a living room, a man wearing a white cap turns to the camera and says “Today is slave market day. Today is the day where this verse – “… except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess, for (then) they are not to be…” today is distribution day, God willing. Each one takes his share.”

  • ‘IS: The Next Generation’? Militants Recruit Children (rferl.org)
    Abu Usama is not playing at being an Islamic State militant. He is one of the extremist group’s child fighters. IS social media lauded him as the youngest fighter to guard the front lines in the Syrian town of Kobani, which IS has besieged.

    Over the past weeks, more and more reports have emerged with evidence that IS militants are providing military training to schoolchildren in Syria and Iraq.

    Other reports claim that the extremist group is also using children as young as 13 as fighters.

  • Cubs of the Caliphate: ISIS Trains Boys to Go to Battle (nbcnews.com)

    Some graduates of the camps are used as human shields and suicide bombers. Other wee warriors man checkpoints, hoist heavy weapons and act as enforcers.

    Beyond the additional fighting power, analysts and experts say brainwashing young recruits is a strategic move aimed at ensuring the militant group’s longevity by providing a ready-and-willing next generation of jihadis.

random thoughts from lorne

The grave of V.J. Strudwick at Essex Farm. The grave of V.J. Strudwick at Essex Farm.

When we visited the Commonwealth Military Cemetery at Essex Farm, near Ypres, Belgium, our guide pointed out the grave of V.J. Strudwick, who was killed in action January 14, 1916 at age 15. The official age to enlist was 18, for overseas service 19.

Recruiters though generally didn`t ask probing questions, and identification documents were not all that common in those days before drivers licences, when people may not have ever even seen a car. Joe Strudwick was in all probability adult sized and willing to enlist; he said he was 19 and they either believed him or looked the other way.

It was a young man’s war, as they generally all are. With age comes maturity; older men are more likely to question the validity of a war, more likely to have family responsibilities and less likely to unquestioningly volunteer for…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, History, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs, World affairs

7 responses to “Too Young To Fight?

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