Coming across the accusation that during the latest Lebanon war young Israeli girls had painted “greetings” on artillery shells, I naturally assumed it was a typical anti-semitic fabrication of the Arab press (random sample). What sane soldier of any persuasion would allow a bunch of kids within a mile of heavy ordnance during combat? Apparently I was wrong. (Question to experts: are the green fuses live or dummies?)
Is this morally equivalent to this (from here), or this? If we’re talking about propaganda and indoctrination, roughly yes; independently of the justice of the causes. The use of children in actual fighting or terrorism is naturally worse.
The exploitation of children for war, from propaganda to killing, may be one domain in which the enlightened twenty-first century exceeds the infamous age of the dictators in depravity. Did Franco, Hitler or Stalin do similar things? In 1945 Hitler Jugend boys were thrown into battle, following the Polish boys of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, but only as a measure of desperation. For the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, enslaved child soldiers are the recruits of choice.