Sunday, June 7, 2009

Young Iraqi Teens as Suicide Bombers: Getting More Bang for the Buck

If you're in agreement with the woman who crashed a vigil for Private Long, the soldier killed at an Arkansas recruiting center, you can ignore this post.

She's the one who said, "If you do research, about The New York Times and the Fox News they're owned by who? Jews! They're liars! They're liars!..."

Iraqi Insurgents Getting More Bang for the Buck

Suicide vests cost money. And, even if they're donated by the daftly devout, an insurgent group will have a limited supply of the things.

So, it makes economic sense to get the most value possible out of them.

Insurgents in Iraq seem to be doing that.

On the other hand, The New York Times carefully points out that, although the American and Iraqi military have reported instances where they were attacked by someone in their early teens:
"...In many attacks, it remains unclear exactly what took place, with residents giving accounts that diverge from official American or Iraqi explanations...." (NYT)
The New York Times also reported:
"...In Hilla, south of Baghdad, residents said American forces shot and seriously wounded a 6-year-old girl on Saturday after a bomb went off near their patrol.

"American military officials denied the report...." (NYT)
I'm assuming, for the moment, that "residents" in Iraq, who may have been the ones who wound the kid up and pointed him or her toward the soldiers, may not be the most reliable sources of information. I'm also assuming that officers of the American armed forces give accurate information more often than not. Abu Ghraib and Professor Churchill notwithstanding.

Looking at the situation in Iraq with a biased, Eurocentric value system, it might seem that using kids around the age of 14 - or 6 - to attack soldiers isn't very nice. One of the things I learned in college is that Americans shouldn't apply their values to people in other cultures.

So, looking at what the insurgents seem to be doing objectively, I can see that having someone who may have been 14 be the star in a suicide car bombing (AP), and having kids lob grenades in the general direction of American or Iraqi troops makes perfect sense.

There's a chance that soldiers may be hurt or killed. If the attack is carried out at a time and place where (real) residents of the area are going about their business, there's a better chance that some of them will be hurt or killed.

And, if the affair is a suicide attack, there's a near-certainty of at least one fatality.

Never Underestimate the Propaganda Value of a Tragically Dead Teen

Even if no American soldiers are killed, the people who used young Ali or Fatima as a cat's-paw get top-notch material for propaganda. Something along the lines of "American soldiers gun down innocent Iraqi teen." The rest of the story practically writes itself.

If people living in the area are hurt or killed, that's even better. They can become victims of America's war of aggression, too.

Am I being too cynical about the motives and methods of the Iraqi insurgents? Perhaps. Or, maybe I'm an unwitting dupe of the Jews and/or those shape-shifting space alien lizard people.1 I don't think so, though.

More-or-less-related posts: For yet more somewhat-related posts, key the word 'propaganda' (no quotes) in the search box near the top left corner of this blog's page.

In the news: Related posts, on censorship, propaganda, and freedom of speech.
1 Interestingly, I've yet to hear or read the assertion that the Jews are David Icke's shape-shifting space alien lizard people. I suppose that's a bit much for even the most avid conspiracy theorist to swallow.

On an unrelated note: "Swallow" reminded me of The Visitors' eating habits, in the 1983 V miniseries. Perhaps some people will swallow anything.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.