Saturday, April 26, 2008

When the Going Gets Tough, Rely on Children

Think what you like about the Iraq war, but the coalition forces are having a negative impact on certain anti-freedom forces there. The bad guys are on the run and can’t effectively oppose the coalition forces in fair fights, so they resort to IEDs, suicide bombers, attacks against civilians and other equally cowardly techniques in their desperation. Now, as impossible as it sounds, the cowards have stooped to yet a lower level of behavior, as reported by the BBC.

Militias recruit child bombers

Insurgent groups and militias in Iraq are recruiting children for attacks, according to a United Nations official. The findings of the UN special representative for children and armed conflict echo concerns expressed by the US military about insurgent tactics. In some cases children are paid to carry out attacks, the UN envoy, Radhika Coomaraswamy, told the BBC.

Last month, the US released footage of what it said was al-Qaeda propaganda showing children being trained. The US says children are being taught how to use guns and carry out kidnappings in addition to other terrorist activities.

Ms Coomaraswamy labeled the practice "intolerable", adding that "their poverty is being exploited." Speaking to the BBC in the Jordanian capital, Amman, she said: "Some are paid, mainly for mortar attacks and for placing bombs."

She added that the use of children had been going on since 2004 and was a growing problem. "Many of them no longer go to school, many are recruited for violent activities or detained in custody, they lack access to the most basic services and manifest a wide range of psychological symptoms from the violence in their everyday lives." She said approximately 1,500 children were also "known to be held in detention facilities."

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