“The test of the morality of a society,” wrote theologian and anti-Nazi activist Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “is what it does for its children.” Or more significantly, what it does to them. For example, just when you think the Taliban couldn’t set the bar of subhumanity any lower, reporter Michael Yon, embedded with American troops in Afghanistan, reports on two instances of shocking Taliban cruelty, directed at children, that have enraged local Afghans themselves.
First, the Taliban kidnapped the son of a man who refused to turn over a police vehicle to them, and tortured the 8-year-old before strangling him to death (not that this is especially atypical of the Taliban; in early June they hanged a 7-year-old Afghan boy accused of being a U.S. spy). Next, an even younger boy was forced to step on an experimental Improvised Explosive Device (IED) to test it. His leg was blown off below the knee. Locals brought the boy to a nearby American base, where he and his father were loaded onto a helicopter to Kandahar Airfield for medical care (because that’s what Americans and Israelis do: instead of torturing and murdering children, we heal them – even the children of our enemies). Yon asked the Taliban spokesman about it, and he predictably dismissed the story as “enemy propaganda.” But Yon has a military report on the incident which includes pictures of the boy’s wounds, and outraged villagers were witnesses.
Elsewhere, al Qaeda has recruited orphans, street children and mentally disabled children as suicide bombers against coalition troops in Iraq. Palestinian summer camps for children give them an “education in terror,” glorifying suicide bombers and training kids how to blow up Israeli buses and settlements. Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini famously sent waves of children to clear Iraqi minefields, and today Iranian children’s TV indoctrinates toddlers to embrace martyrdom against Jews. And then there’s Beslan, where Chechen Islamic militants took over a thousand Russians hostage, three-quarters of them schoolchildren; after brutalizing and murdering hostages for three days, ultimately the ordeal ended with nearly two hundred children dead, some of them shot in the back by the terrorists as they fled. Children, whether their own or those of infidels, are a useful tool in the service of jihad.
FrontPage contributor Daniel Greenfield at the Sultan Knish blog has compiled a heartbreaking, unbearable catalog of murders of Israeli children and pregnant women at the hands of Muslim butchers who are often honored for their despicable crimes against Jews – including the unconscionable massacre of the Fogel family by two Palestinian monsters this March, which was greeted with jubilation in Gaza. He describes the enemy’s ruthless rationale behind their targeting of the future generation:
The Muslim world knows that it is weak technologically and organizationally. Its chief weapons are demographics and terror. Arafat called the womb of the Palestinian woman his greatest weapon. Europe’s statisticians are finding that out for themselves. But demographic war is only half the picture. The other half is to destroy non-Muslim families. To murder pregnant women and massacre their children.
“This is war,” Greenfield continues,
Their kind of war. The attacks on schools and on families. The massacre of entire families is a tactic. Acts of evil by a cult too horrifyingly evil for most people to even understand. What evil does best is the exploitation of innocence in order to destroy it. And who are more innocent than the children?
This is confirmed by documents uncovered from the Defense Intelligence Agency earlier this year (coincidentally on the heels of the Fogel family butchery). These Joint Task Force Intelligence Information Reports from debriefs of Guantanamo detainees show that brutality against children is part of a strategy by Islamic terrorist groups to strike fear into their opponents: “Radical Islamists are using their religion to brainwash young people to commit terrorist acts and to justify the murder of innocent children.” In typically terse language, the reports reveal that these attacks on children are deliberate psychological operations against non-believers:
TEGs [The Extremist Groups] justify their attacks on young children (ages 5 through 17) by claiming that the children are either non-believers or the children of non-believers…
TEGs attack schools and buses to maximize psychological effect. Attacks against schools and buses are used because they are easy targets…
TEGs consider attacks on children legitimate. TEGs believe that attacks on children are a religious good deed and the attackers will go to heaven. TEGs encourage their members to launch attacks on children. A fatwa, from a respected cleric, is sought prior to targeting children, but strikes occur even without authorization.
The two Palestinian slaughterers of the Fogel family, barely older than children themselves, reportedly gave Israeli authorities one of the most “shocking, cold, remorseless and detailed” reenactments they had ever witnessed. Of the two surviving Fogel boys who were also sleeping in the house but were spared because they went unnoticed, one of the savages said that he and his cohort “would not have hesitated to kill them as well.”
It’s almost impossible to conceive of such heartlessness. Who, even in the most perverse depths of the imagination, could envision intentionally harming a child or twisting that trusting innocence into murderous hatred? Only the truly sick among us, or the truly evil. The jihadists are fond of proclaiming that they love death more than we love life, and this is the essential difference between them and us. We value life, creation, love. They, in the black grip of their death cult, value death, destruction, and hatred. We are not engaged in a Clash of Civilizations. We are engaged in a Clash of Civilization and Barbarism. And for our children’s sake – all the children’s sake – this is a conflict we cannot afford to lose.