The perverse act of recruiting kids for war

Kids will be kids. Play, josh, run, swim, maybe a bit of mischief. We marvel at their innocence and sense of freedom; we delight in their unbridled joy. Their smiles and laughter rejuvenate us.

Our society recognizes the need to give children the personal support and security they need to grow into happy and healthy young adults who will eventually be productive and participatory members of society. Which is why it is so difficult to comprehend how any community or its leaders could systematically exploit children, whether via sexual predation, labor exploitation or neglect.

Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, an anti-Islamic State organization, distributed this photo a child wearing a hat with the Islamic State logo posing with a weapon in Raqqa, Syria. Across the vast region in Syria and Iraq that is part of the Islamic State group’s self-declared caliphate, children are being inculcated with the extremist group’s radical and violent interpretation of Shariah law. | Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently

Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, an anti-Islamic State organization, distributed this photo a child wearing a hat with the Islamic State logo posing with a weapon in Raqqa, Syria. Across the vast region in Syria and Iraq that is part of the Islamic State group’s self-declared caliphate, children are being inculcated with the extremist group’s radical and violent interpretation of Shariah law. | Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently

Most disturbing of all is the current practice of turning boys and girls into front-line fighters and suicide bombers by the Islamic State, al-Qaida, Boko Haram and many other violent extremists. While American kids pack their bags to get ready to hike and fish at woodsy sleep-away camps, a whole passel of tykes in troubled parts of the world are being whisked away for summer terrorist training camps.  (Read more)