Warning: This post was published more than 9 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:
- My views might have changed in the 9 years since I wrote this post.
- This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
- Factual information might be outdated.
- Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.
Many thanks for your understanding.
This (now quite old) report from the Guardian suggests that children as young as six are being used as suicide bombers.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) revealed that soldiers defused an explosive vest which had been placed on a six-year-old who had been told to attack Afghan army forces in the east of the country.
“They placed explosives on a six-year-old boy and told him to walk up to the Afghan police or army and push the button,” said Captain Michael Cormier, the company commander who intercepted the child, in a statement. “Fortunately, the boy did not understand and asked patrolling officers why he had this vest on.”
The vest was defused and no one was hurt.
That’s obviously terrible. I don’t think there’s any question of that. Unsurprisingly, no-one attempts to blame the child.
But if the child is 16, and as equally brainwashed as the six-year-old, we do blame them. Surely they bear no more responsibility? Both are equally indoctrinated into a clear belief that what they are doing is right. Essentially, the sixteen-year-old’s powers of reasoning have been reduced to the same as the six-year-old’s. Yet we still attach blame.
It’s really quite odd, when you give it some thought.