Region/ Concepts: Chicago
Sub-concepts: Destruction, transformation
Description: Whether kidnapped, recruited after witnessing the murdering of their own family or choosing to join as one last hope for survival, warlords are continuously creating young killing machines in war-torn nations across the world. Article 2007.
Interpretation: For a rebel leader, children are perfect recruits. They are young, vulnerable and most likely in a very damaged state making it easy to transform their innocence to evil. In Africa, children that have joined the rebels as a last resort or that have been forced into the group are given drugs, brainwashed, trained and then sent to battle. These children are without a choice and will most likely become weapons used to benefit the rebel’s cause. Some quickly catch on to such evil doings and become accustomed and embracing to the violence. Children as young as eight years old may become victim of these crimes, children who’s AK-47s are taller than they are. For the rebel soldiers of this war, there is nothing wrong with this in fact it makes perfect sense to them. Morals are completely out of the question so utilizing children easy to manipulate and mold into weapons is only something that can help them fight for their beliefs. For these men, they are treating children the same way that they had once been treated, creating them the same way they had once been created. It’s a terribly unfortunate way of life in that part of the world almost impossible to avoid and the fact is that so many of these children will continue to be forced and tricked into becoming exactly what they fear most.
One story in particular within this article is near impossible to believe, an unimaginable act of evil forced upon someone, that someone being a young girl. Once indoctrinated, these boys and girls are usually forced to execute friends and family members, assuming of course they have not already been killed by the rebel troops that come storming through their villages. Angela, a twelve-year-old victim, eventually rescued from the war, told the Human Rights Watch that she was forced to kill a friend of hers, and in an attempt to teach children not to cry she was forced to do this more than once. “I closed my eyes and fired the gun, but I didn’t hit her. So I shot her again,” she said. “I had to bury her and put dirt on top of her.” Another recruit described a scene in which he watched a group of older rebels gun down mothers and kill their babies, swinging them by their legs and smashing them against rocks.