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Young children fight American soldiers in Iraq.

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posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 04:49 PM
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news.yahoo.com...


BAGHDAD, Iraq - Shiite militias are encouraging children — some as young as 6 or 7 — to hurl stones and gasoline bombs at U.S. convoys, hoping to lure American troops into ambushes or provoke them into shooting back, U.S. soldiers say.

Gangs of up to 100 children assemble in Sadr City, stronghold of radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia, and in nearby neighborhoods, U.S. officers said in interviews this week.

American soldiers have seen young men, their faces covered by bandanas, talking with the children before the rock-throwing attacks begin — and sometimes handing out slingshots so the volleys will be more accurate, the troops said.

"It's like a militia operation. They'll mass rocks on the last or second-to-last vehicle" in a U.S. patrol, said Capt. Chris L'Heureux, 30, of Woonsocket, R.I. "There's no doubt in my mind that they're utilizing these kids in a deliberate, thought-out way."

Al-Sadr's followers insist they are not organizing attacks by children.

"Such behavior by Iraqi children is spontaneous and the natural reaction from innocent children who are witnessing horrible deeds committed by the occupation forces in Iraq," Ali al-Yassiri, an aide to al-Sadr, told The Associated Press.


Thats nothing new, we all have heard of child soldiers.


The soldiers are also leery of firing even warning shots in return — worried that could enflame sectarian passions and turn Shiite civilians against the Americans. Part of the offensive's aim is to bolster public confidence in coalition and Iraqi forces.

"If we point a gun at a kid and they take a photo of it, they'll make a zillion flyers out of it," Gardner said. "That's why we have to be so delicate with the rock throwers."

He said just one bullet fired near a group of children would be "like the shot heard 'round the world."

Most children, even in traditionally hostile areas, typically approach U.S. troops to ask for water or candy, not to ambush them. Even as unruly gangs roamed the areas near Sadr City on one recent day, soldiers kept playing with curious children on tamer blocks nearby.


Well this is a situation where the U.S. Army and Marines must face for present and future conflicts. How to deal with children that fight, as well as being used for fighting. Like using children to scout or gather information. What should we do with children that does that? Kill them? Detain them? Or allow them to continue to the point of taking American lives. How would you deal with such situation where children are involved?

Forgot to link the source sorry.


[edit on 19-9-2006 by deltaboy]




posted on Sep, 19 2006 @ 05:10 PM
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I think the American forces should make a strategic withdrawal and come home and be able to take care of their own children and other family members. Im much more concerned with the welfare of American children than Iraqi children.

[edit on 19-9-2006 by whaaa]



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 11:16 AM
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No, there is nothing new about child soldiers and to be honest, it was only a matter of time before the Iraqi Resistence started to use children. It happened in Malaya, Viet Nam, WWI/II, Oman, Algeria to name but few.

I don't care how hard battle hardened soldiers are, even they will hesitate before shooting a child. It's psychological thing and no amount of training can ever prepare you to take another life, let alone a childs.

I also agree with whaaa, get out, get back home and look after your own kids.



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 01:22 PM
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The thing that bothers me here is that, in one of the article on this, it was noted that the recruitment and rallies are happening in Sadr City, where al-Sadr, and his "Mahdi Army" militia, reside, and operate freely.

Simply bomb the rally. I mean, wtf gives? At least take al-Sadr.



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 01:50 PM
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When the kids come out to fight you, it's a pretty good hint that you're not wanted there and should leave. Not that we should have gone in in the first place...

As far as this being a uniqe example of those dastardly Arabs and their awful culture... read up on the participation of children in the European resistance movements in WW2 - or for that matter go rent Red Dawn.

[edit on 9/20/06 by xmotex]



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by xmotex
When the kids come out to fight you, it's a pretty good hint that you're not wanted there and should leave.


To me it seems more like a testament to the lack of regard some people have for there own children, they WANT the soldiers to fire on the kids, it's f-ing sickening. Cowards. If you have kids, would you hand them rocks and instruct them to go throw them at occupying tanks? I sure as hell wouldn't, I'd make sure my kids were as safe as humanly possible and fight my own battles....



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 03:15 PM
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You guys are right, it is nothing new. It still makes me sick when adults use children to do their dirty work. It is sickening and the lowest example of humanity.

It makes me wonder though. We hear stories about soldiers handing out candies to children and then a suicide bomber blows them up. I wonder, could the kids be in on it?



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by 27jd
To me it seems more like a testament to the lack of regard some people have for there own children, they WANT the soldiers to fire on the kids, it's f-ing sickening.

That is one thing that I always find strange, how do people know what other people are thinking?

How do we know if they are their children?

How do we know if they WANT the soldiers to fire on them, they may be convinced that the US soldiers are not the animals some people say they are and so they may be convinced that the troops will not shoot the children.

Thats the same thing when there is a bomb in a car, how do we know that it was a suicide attack?

Couldn't it be someone who didn't know that he/she had the car turned into a moving bomb?



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by xmotex
When the kids come out to fight you, it's a pretty good hint that you're not wanted there and should leave.

I think its understood that there are lots of people in iraq that don't want the US there. The US didn't go to iraq soley for the benefit of iraqis.


As far as this being a uniqe example of those dastardly Arabs and their awful culture

Indeed, other cultures have done the same and similar things. Anyone trying ot make this to some sort of 'arabs/muslims are evil' thing is being foolish.


27jd
To me it seems more like a testament to the lack of regard some people have for there own children

Why can't it be both at the same time?



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by 27jd

Originally posted by xmotex
When the kids come out to fight you, it's a pretty good hint that you're not wanted there and should leave.


To me it seems more like a testament to the lack of regard some people have for there own children, they WANT the soldiers to fire on the kids, it's f-ing sickening. Cowards. If you have kids, would you hand them rocks and instruct them to go throw them at occupying tanks? I sure as hell wouldn't, I'd make sure my kids were as safe as humanly possible and fight my own battles....


Did you maybe try to think these kids might not have parents anymore? The majority of them are orphans. I wonder what could have made them orphans? It wouldn't be American bombs dropping on their parents heads would it?


If America was ever invaded, not only would you see children fighting but you'd be seeing old people in wheelchairs chucking grenades. Thats what happens when people lose something they love. Please don't tell me you guys would shower a a home invader that killed your mom, dad , sisters and brothers with Chocolates and Palm fronds.

Admit it people...There were no WMD's, There were no ALqueda ties, so why are we there? If we werent there, those kids would be instead in school only to be going home to mom when the school bell rings at the end of the day. The sooner we leave, the better. We will be thought of as the Turks are to the Armenians for decades to come, and all for the sake of a bad decision and a handful of lies.

Pie



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 04:06 PM
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Originally posted by ThePieMaN
Did you maybe try to think these kids might not have parents anymore? The majority of them are orphans. I wonder what could have made them orphans? It wouldn't be American bombs dropping on their parents heads would it?


That would be an assumption, and I find it impossible to believe the American bombs took everybody who should care for those children. I'm sure there may be a few orphans amongst them, and a few could very well be due to American bombs, but one can also assume, since that's what we're doing, that Saddam killed some of their parents....




If America was ever invaded, not only would you see children fighting but you'd be seeing old people in wheelchairs chucking grenades. Thats what happens when people lose something they love. Please don't tell me you guys would shower a a home invader that killed your mom, dad , sisters and brothers with Chocolates and Palm fronds.


Regardless, my child would NOT be fighting. I certainly would, but my child would have NO business throwing rocks at a tank. I would NEVER endanger his life in that way, and it would be pointless even if I was inhuman enough to do so, throwing a rock at a tank. That's just stupid.



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 04:25 PM
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At one checkpoint, soldiers said hundreds of rocks rained down on their vehicles as they sealed off a neighborhood during a house-to-house search for weapons and militants.



"If we point a gun at a kid and they take a photo of it, they'll make a zillion flyers out of it," Gardner said. "That's why we have to be so delicate with the rock throwers."


ROCKS for Christ sake. Who here hasn't taken a rock or two(or more) growing up and now it's a problem for trained armed soldiers? This stinks of propaganda.

One question, is Kevlar rock proof?


As to what I bolded I can see a problem here, maybe Hummer in it's dedication to make vehicles that can take heat from arms, it neglected the harm from the dastardly rock.

Am I wrong?



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 04:32 PM
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It could be many factors that is making these Children become aggressor to our military, perhaps they has been pushed by adults with agendas.

Perhaps they have seen what is happening to their families since the US invaded that country.

Perhaps they are just children with nothing else to do because is nothing else to keep them busy.

Perhaps is a combination of been pushed by adults with agendas and by the desperation of what their nation has become.

They are not going to blame their own they are going to blame the invading forces.

This could be a temporary thing, but also it can escalate into a conflict of wills, when our soldiers find themselves in the need to defense their life because a children attacks.

Any action will be scrutinized and gutted for agendas.

Then is always the possibility that these children will be a view into the future of the nation that US invaded and to the future of a new generation of opposition.

Iraq is a lost cause and we need our government to stop catering to interest groups and start taking our soldiers out there.



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 04:45 PM
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Not that I agree with everything the troops do or why they are there, but look at it from this angle:

These adults obviously don't like the US being there and are probably convinced that the US is guilty of all the atrocities that US troops have been blamed for (Haditha, killing innocents, etc..). I mean, this has got to be something that we ALL agree on.

So why in the hell would they recruit their children and even other people's kids to throw rocks at armed troops, who they believe would fire upon them if provoked enough. Why?




[edit on 20/9/2006 by SportyMB]



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 04:51 PM
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Mr Pieman, I patrolled Sadr City from the fall of 05 to the beginning of 06. Sadr City is the most poverty stricken section of Baghdad. NONE of the schools in Sadr City have ever been bombed. I have been to them all. There are also not many orphans in Sadr City. I can tell you that there was one orphanage and they were always in class during the day. Not all children in Sadr City attend school. I would have to say that the majority of children in that sector do not. The Mahdi Malitia (Army) encourages the youth in that area to gather intel, harass, and kill coalition forces. I lost track of how many combat patrols i went on in Sadr City and on every day patrol we had to deal with hundreds of teenagers and younger boys mostly, throwing glass, burning oil, shards of metal, and other incindiary devices. Not once did my gunners or myself engage any of the persons throwing the cocktails or other lethal projectiles. The parents stood by and watched their kids act like fools. Only after stopping the patrol and going over to the parents and having our terp (interpreter) tell them to please stop would they say anything to their kids. An hour later you would drive by the same area and get pelted again. If the adults saw you were going to stop, they would get up and run the kids off. It's no secret we aren't wanted in Iraq by many Americans and Iraqi's alike. But let me tell you what we did for Sadr City. When Saddam was ruling Sadr City had power maybe a total of 48 hours in a week. Since he was ousted, coalition contractors and the military have enabled Sadr City to have power and water EVERY day with only minor power outages due to people stealing from the mainlines. When Saddam was in power the schools only had teachers that were approved of by his regime. Most of whom were just his puppets that were less than qualified. Now teachers are recruited from other areas of Iraq and they can actually teach things other than how great Saddam is and how bad western culture is. I know these things because the people of Sadr City have told me this. During the day people would come out to greet you and shake your hand, and at night they would ambush you. We treated the people of Sadr City with the utmost respect. And they could care less. Now i am ranting. You really have no idea what you are talking about Pieman. Make a difference. Be part of the solution and not the problem. We are in this for the long haul. Been there, done that.



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 04:59 PM
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You too are ill informed. I personally know several soldiers who have been seriously injured from the "rocks". I myself had a broken nose and 2 broken bones in my hand. these arent just little stones. they are 3 to five pound rocks that are thrown at you while you are travelling sometimes 35mph plus. Kevlars dont cover your face. And after a while, we were issued faceshields. They broke too. One soldier in my company has since been discharged because he lost vision after a brick broke his zygomatic arch in 3 places and his eyeball litterally fell out. he was wearing a faceshield.



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 05:10 PM
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I hope my comments were enlightening.



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 05:16 PM
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I need no enlightenment to know that it hurts like hell when you're hit by a rock, and that one can pretty easily do permanent damage.



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by shwnster
I hope my comments were enlightening.


They sure were, please note:


Originally posted by shwnster
You too are ill informed.


Really? Rocks, I don't know them. I've had broken ribs from thrown rocks, nose as well, so please don't tell me what I'm ill informed about.


these arent just little stones. they are 3 to five pound rocks that are thrown at you while you are travelling sometimes 35mph plus.


We better get the names of these children, sometimes as young as 6-7, MLB is in need of pitchers that accurate. BTW can a child that young even throw a 3-5 lb projectile that could inflict ANY damage? Just saying.



Kevlars dont cover your face. And after a while, we were issued faceshields. They broke too. One soldier in my company has since been discharged because he lost vision after a brick broke his zygomatic arch in 3 places and his eyeball litterally fell out. he was wearing a faceshield.


If this happened, I feel for the soldier, I find it hard to believe that stones the size that could do that type of damage could be hurled by children, hitting a target moving up to 35 miles an hour.

Edit: Fixed BB code.

[edit on 20-9-2006 by intrepid]



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 05:34 PM
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Im sorry, let me paint a more clear picture for you. Most of Sadr City is 3 to 5 story housing projects. The kids, and yes ive seen them as young as 4 and 5, throw from the rooftops as well as from the alleyways. And yes, adults do it as well. But its predominately children. When 20 or 30 and sometimes over a hundred people are doing this at the same time, some of the projectiles do get through. You havent even been there so I guess i can sympathize as to how you cant possibly believe. I couldnt believe it myself at times.



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