By George Capsis
I was idly watching channel 13 when I became aware of a video of children in Middle Eastern dress, single filing into a shed-like classroom in Syria. I watched with growing revulsion as a young, bearded ISIS teacher calmly—as if he were teaching the alphabet—taught the children to hate.
What riveted me was a boy of maybe 8 or 9 being handed a Chinese pistol and asked to aim at an imaginary enemy of the “true faith” and pull the trigger.
The sandy haired, American-looking youngster held the heavy weapon with two hands wearing a look of apprehension—a look that I recognized, the same look that would be on an American kid riding his bike alone for the first time just after daddy lets go.
“What is the word?” The teacher demanded, and the answer weakly came back “Jihad.”
“What is this?” he points to a Kalashnikov, and “What do we use it for?”
“To defend the faith,” the children answer.
“And whose heads will we hit with this?”
The children again respond in unison, “infidels”.
The narrative then tells us that later the children were shown “videos of torturing and beheading.”
I went to the site “An ISIS school teaches Jihad to children at age 3” and discovered a sequence of a boy who resisted ISIS conversion and had his hand and foot cut off. It showed him hopping upstairs “ I stay downstairs as long as I can because it is so hard to walk up” and in a heart wrenching moan he offered “I cannot walk, I cannot hold.”
And there is a shouting line of not yet fully grown teenagers heavy with weapons (more and more, around the world, children are being used to kill).
Collective hate is a powerful unifying force and emerging adults are especially vulnerable. This is a lot of what ISIS is—the capturing of virgin minds to make them the unquestioning instruments of hate.
And how do we end ISIS?
Donald Trump would “bomb the shit out of them”—and he would of course be bombing those children.
On September, 24 2014 it was reported that—after a decade of being derided as dangerous to fly and as an example of wasteful military spending—an F-22 at last attacked an ISIS target in Syria. In July of 2015 “the world’s most expensive killing machine” the F-35 also went on a maiden strike in Syria.
A single F22, after cost overruns cost, is $412 million and the 2,457 F-35’s cost a total of $400 billion—all these billions to try and drop a bomb to kill a handful of suspected ISIS fighters, their families, and of course their children.
Our military budget is now over 600 billion dollars a year, but it was designed to fight the Russians and eventually Chinese in a very short and intense war—a war in which the human becomes more and more the weakest and most fallible link just before the atomic button is pushed.
The only way to fight ISIS is to fight for the minds of those children.
Will we get a president with the vision and ability to do that?
A note from the writer: I recommend you visit the NPR site from which this article was culled. Seeing Muslim speakers in their own language explaining what ISIS means to them is, I think, the best way to understand it. http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/11/19/456508362/an-isis-school-that-teaches-jihad-to-children-at-age-3