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Child Soilders
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Posted 7/9/10
To reword it, how is raising a child in a culture that glorifies the martial affairs and actively promote it (like in much of the world, including the United States) different from actually training them to kill early on?
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49 / F / Center of the Uni...
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Posted 7/9/10

orangeflute wrote:

To reword it, how is raising a child in a culture that glorifies the martial affairs and actively promote it (like in much of the world, including the United States) different from actually training them to kill early on?


There's a difference between expecting your children to grow up to be good soldiers (or officers and gentlemen). And what happens in mostly african failed states.

Even before they were watered down by anti-war movements Scouting and Cadet movements trained in a fashion that did not involve bloodshed or condone brutalization. Even if most colleges in the US were started on the premise that they were to produce military officers for the army and national guard, that is not the same as what we are talking about with child soldiers.

We are talking about Brutal, corporally punished, drug enhanced indoctrination to being a hair trigger killer, often before puberty had fully set in. We are talking about kidnapping children from their homes and as part of their training forcing them to kill their parents or their parents cohorts. We are talking about taking pre-teens and teenagers and doing your utmost to make them rabid dogs on the battlefield with no warrior code, no Bushido, no Chivalry.... If you cannot see a difference, then I question your vision.


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Posted 7/12/10
The difference lies within the morals that they instill upon the children. When one refers to the child solider phenomenon, they are implying making children do whatever possible to kill someone. The Bushido code as you pointed out, emphasizes killing to children yes, but that is only a small part of it, and it does not force people of extremely young age to fight and kill. Yes, it points out an inevitability for these children, to join the military, however, it does not put the gun in their hands, gives em a target, and tell em to shoot before they can rationally decide otherwise.The difference lies within the modicum of rationalization. The child soldiers are not given a choice, its fight or die. The Bushido code is similar, but it is not forced upon them. Note, that despite the indoctrination of the Japan school children, many of them went on to become other professions, such as scientists and things that supported the country vitally.

As for the Japanese involvement in world war 2, it has already been determined that the cause of it was that the mid-level officers sense of nationalism was so profoundly strong, that they badgered the high level officers into committing an attack. That is why the final war order of the Japanese forces was to strip all of the imperial emblems off all weapons before surrender, because the emperor had nothing to do with the war, and duty to him is one of the widest spread beliefs of Bushido, to the point that people would lay down their lives for him.
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22 / M / The Netherlands
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Posted 7/14/10
There's no real way to solve this "problem'" though, because they are recruited to fight a war so all violent solutions are dismissed and those countries won't stop using child soldiers, because they are probably out of options.
Posted 7/14/10
Children make the best soldiers, they will do anything to survive. Their pure, and easily influenced minds are perfect for brainwashing.
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54 / F / Atlanta GA
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Posted 7/15/10
They might as well do something or they’re going to starve to death. Civilians die in war's all the time wake up it a fact of life and always has been. I can't believe we use million dollar weapons to kill a couple of people. War is ugly and if it becomes too sanitary people will not think twice about going to war. Keep it simple bloody the other side so they will never get back up, something the Jewish people have for gotten.
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66 / M
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Posted 12/25/10

TimelessLove wrote:


Are not terrorists like foot soldiers in a dire war?

However, I do not support child soldiers.. In fact, I'm strongly against it, as well as drafting and war patriots.


No. Guerrilla warfare is worlse than regular warfare because guerrillas can be supported by relatively small groups of people when everyone else i their country has given up. Thus us of guerrilla warfare can enable small minorities to continue a struggle andc ause more suffereing and death when everyone else has realized the fight was wan't worth it.

Terrorism has the same evils as guerrilla warfare. And it is more evil that Guerrilla warfare because terrorists target civilians instead of the military in an effort to spread terror among he enemy civilian population to make them give up.

Thus the average terrorist is much more evil than the average foot soldier in the average war.
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Posted 12/25/10

papagolfwhiskey wrote:

Child soldiers have been an ongoing problem for a long time. At one time in western society the militarisation of our youth at least as far as training was quite common. Lord Baden-Powel founded the boy scout movement on the principal that teaching boy children the principals of these stealthy independantly operating and carefully observant soldiers would help them to grow up to be better men.

Many countries have/or had Cadet or militarised youth movements, the most infamous being the Hitler Youth. In My own country Scouting has become completely non-military and likely anti-war. And the Cadet organisations while still funded, supplied and supported by the Department of National defence, are specifically and constitutionally forbidden 'War Training' (This doesn't prevent Sea Cadets from learning Seamanship and Damage Control or Army Cadets from learning Target shooting, Orienteering, and Abseiling etc...but actual combat drills are forbidden)

The Child Soldiers the OP mentions are a different kettle of fish. Their induction is largely involuntary, their training is brutal, (It may include killing ones parents or at least members of one's parent's generation), Their indoctrination includes the heavy use of addictive mood altering drugs. And their conditioned behaviour on the battle field violates many of the articles of the Geneva Convention as well as whatever moral or ethical codes they may have begun to learn before being inducted.

There is a, (Congolese I think) neighbourhood in my city which is probably the most dangerous simply because it's populated by grown-up former child soldiers who are, impoverished, drug adicted, PTSD afflicted, have no skills but killing, and know no response to conflict/distress other than lethal violence. I wish there was more to be done for them. But I think it's beyond the resources our country currently spends on social welfare, and certainly beyond the City's.

On a more superficial note since this is an anime forum. It's curious how many child soldiers there are in anime.

Key ones off the top of my head are Sosuke Sagura from Full Metal Panic and the Lead Male (I forget his name) from Gundam 00.



There is a broad movement to criminalize the combat use of minors under eighteen and many countries have signed treaties to forbid this. Thus many anime characters would be considered war criminals for permitting boys and girls under eighteen to fight and die in their military or paramiitary units or rebel forces. Anime is full of under eighteen and even preteen warriors.
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43 / M / canada
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Posted 12/27/10
Let's say a fourteen year old boy,living in a western country who's is sent by his family to fight a war on the other side of the planet. Than he throws a grenade at U.S. troupes in a fire fight at the age of five-teen. Sounds like a child solder to me, but they say he is a terrorist. So how the hell can we expect better from bankrupt third world countries?
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49 / F / Center of the Uni...
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Posted 12/28/10

clawdfrawg wrote:

Let's say a fourteen year old boy,living in a western country who's is sent by his family to fight a war on the other side of the planet. Than he throws a grenade at U.S. troupes in a fire fight at the age of five-teen. Sounds like a child solder to me, but they say he is a terrorist. So how the hell can we expect better from bankrupt third world countries?


I agree with you that the people persecuting Omar Kadr for "Throwing a grenade at a medic" as a terrorist, cannot point fingers at Russia's current railroading of one of it's businessmen who ticked off the Kremlin without looking like a bunch of hypocrites.

But let's not Pretend Khadr and his family are angels. They expressed hate for the country and it's culture as an arm of 'the great satan' on national television. But like Canadian Passports so much that they filed for 68 replacements for 'lost' passports in one calendar year.

They can't be called terrorists because it would be libelous to say what you can't prove in court. Just like there's no one identified in our papers as Mafiosa or Biker Gang members. At least not until after conviction in court.

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48 / M / Within the Empire...
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Posted 1/1/11 , edited 1/1/11

papagolfwhiskey wrote:



On a more superficial note since this is an anime forum. It's curious how many child soldiers there are in anime.

Key ones off the top of my head are Sosuke Sagura from Full Metal Panic and the Lead Male (I forget his name) from Gundam 00.



Watching a PBS special on child soldiers beforehand is precisely what made watching "Gunslinger Girls" so hard to sit through the first time I tried to watch it. When people ask me about that show, especially people new to anime or not too familiar with it, I try to warn them it can be a bit disturbing to watch a show that basically shows kids being robbed of their childhood and being turned into killing machines. Adorable little killing machines, but killers nonetheless.

Good show, but can be uncomfortable to watch if you're familiar with the whole child soldiers issue in the world today. But I guess that's part of what makes it so hard not to watch. It's a biting indictment of society's tendency to exert order or rule of law or even challenge an existing order by any means necessary. Even at the cost of sacrificing young and otherwise innocent lives.

If you haven't watched it yet, you should go and check it out now.

FYI - at the time of this writing I have yet to see the second season or the OVA for this series, due largely to negative reviews of them. So I'm just recommending the first season as of now. Watch the rest at your own discretion.

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49 / F / Center of the Uni...
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Posted 1/2/11

KaiserSosei wrote:


papagolfwhiskey wrote:



On a more superficial note since this is an anime forum. It's curious how many child soldiers there are in anime.

Key ones off the top of my head are Sosuke Sagura from Full Metal Panic and the Lead Male (I forget his name) from Gundam 00.



Watching a PBS special on child soldiers beforehand is precisely what made watching "Gunslinger Girls" so hard to sit through the first time I tried to watch it. When people ask me about that show, especially people new to anime or not too familiar with it, I try to warn them it can be a bit disturbing to watch a show that basically shows kids being robbed of their childhood and being turned into killing machines. Adorable little killing machines, but killers nonetheless.

Good show, but can be uncomfortable to watch if you're familiar with the whole child soldiers issue in the world today. But I guess that's part of what makes it so hard not to watch. It's a biting indictment of society's tendency to exert order or rule of law or even challenge an existing order by any means necessary. Even at the cost of sacrificing young and otherwise innocent lives.

If you haven't watched it yet, you should go and check it out now.

FYI - at the time of this writing I have yet to see the second season or the OVA for this series, due largely to negative reviews of them. So I'm just recommending the first season as of now. Watch the rest at your own discretion.



Big fan of it actually. I'm a Claes partisan.

It's too bad they haven't made more of it. The manga is quite interesting.



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29 / M / Washington Metrop...
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Posted 1/3/11
Child soldier, I don't like it no matter what. It's just tto traumatic for children to be fighting in a war. Worse, adults force them to do it in continents like Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. It's not an image I like to see.
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43 / M / canada
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Posted 1/8/11
The point I was making was that he was a solder and fifteen years old. You follow the laws of war or you don't. If Canada tried and hung him for treason, the one crime we still have a death penalty for I would be O.K. with that. That is if he could be be charged with treason given his age at the time. .Omar kadr has admitted to throwing the grenade,and I think he did in spite of the torcher, but that does not make him a terrorist. that makes him an enemy combatant.
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26 / M / Scotland, Aberdeen
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Posted 1/10/11
Children dying or adults dying, what's the difference? I think even amongst adult soldiers or, well, 'people who fight professionally' so as to widen the definition, few comprehend the reality of their situation. Simply put, fighting can be so traumatic that is hard to imagine and ponder the possibilities in great detail. Yes, perhaps children have less of a clue, but for the most part adults have no idea either.

The stupid testosterone-fueled behaviour of humanity in the past 5000 or more years made sure that this stupid macho thinking permeates almost all aspects of society and look where we are! Some stupid idiot signs up to be a career soldier, goes off to another country to die and we celebrate him as a hero. 'Our heroes! Our boys!' There is, I'd say, consensus amongst the majority of people that people who engage in fighting are necessary. Surely, it is unsurprising that children and adults alike go off to die, initially, happily when doing so is perceived as a respectable and honourable act.
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