Children’s story 11

Both sides of the civil war in Syria torture children to death.

This is from Front Page, by Frank Crimi:

One of the more loathsome horrors of Syria’s civil war has been the deliberate targeting of Syrian children by both pro-government and rebel forces, barbarity which includes imprisonment, rape, torture, sexual abuse, murder, and use as human shields.

That gruesome reality has been chillingly documented in recently released reports by the United Nations [see that pig flying? – JB] and two British-based humanitarian groups working with Syrian refugees, War Child and Save the Children.

While children in war zones are normally caught in the crossfire between opposing forces, the purposeful targeting of young children, according to the July 2012 War Child report, make the Syrian conflict “disturbingly unique”.

Well, the War Child report is just plain wrong there. Palestinian terrorists have been purposely targeting Israeli children for decades – and killing their own (see our post The sacrifice of children to Allah, August 19, 2011). The Lord’s Army in Africa forces children to cook and eat their parents (see our post The Lord’s Army of child slave cannibals, June 14, 2011). We could make a long list. But the point is not whether what the Syrians are doing is unique, but that they are doing it.

They are –

 … abducting children and imprisoning them in former schools which have been converted into specially designed torture centers.

There the children are –

… beaten, blindfolded, and subjected to stress positions, whipped with heavy electrical cables, and scarred by cigarette burns.

One of these victims was a 15-year-old boy named Khalid, tortured in his old school where his father had once been the principal, who said, “They hung me up from the ceiling by my wrists, with my feet off the ground. Then I was beaten. I was terrified.”

In some instances, captors would bind the children’s hands together so tightly that, according to one victim, “the veins in their wrists would start to bleed. I witnessed so many children dying from this torture”.

For some, the maltreatment inflicted was a form of “sexual torture,” sexual violence levied on both boys and girls, some as young as 12, which included “rape, penetration with objects, sexual groping, prolonged forced nudity, and electroshock and beatings to genitalia”. …

The type of sadistic punishment meted out to the children followed no formal protocol, but rather, according to a child sufferer who was subjected to electric shocks, “depended on what mood these men were in … They showed no sympathy, no mercy”.

This abject cruelty was pointedly expressed in the torture and death of a 6-year-old boy named Alaa, who was slated for torture because his father was an anti-government activist wanted by the Syrian regime. … Over the course of three days, the little boy was tortured, beaten and starved by his captors, with one 16-year-old witness to Alaa’s suffering saying, “I watched him die… He was terrified all the time. …” 

They speak of the terror, but not of the pain. How can one not think of the pain? Of six year old children in pain. Think how they must have cried.

These children are housed like animals as well, inhumanely incarcerated in small, overcrowded rooms, often shared with decomposing bodies. Then, as they await their assigned date with their torturer, they are starved for days on end, with their only drinkable water available from the cell’s toilet. …

Children outside [these]  deadly confines face equally lethal dangers, such as being used for target practice. …

One Syrian woman  … witnessed two armed militia men betting on which of them could shoot an 8-year-old boy playing alone in a street. … The men shot the boy, but their shots didn’t kill him right away. As he lay bleeding, the boy’s mother tried to reach him but was kept back by the men, leaving the boy to die hours later alone in the street outside his home. …

While the Syrian government may treat a child’s life as worthless, it has discovered they possess some practical value … serving as human shields … placing them on the front of government tanks and armored personnel carriers as they advance into an opposition held area.

Pretty pointless really, as the opposition cares no more for children than the government does. Using children as shields can only work against people with moral principles and a conscience.

One Syrian man named Nabil witnessed such a barbarous and cowardly act when he [saw]  two tanks entering his village with “children attached to them, tied up by their hands and feet, and by their torsos,” a sight which made Nabil feel so helpless that all he could do was cry.

Tanks “protected” by the bodies of living children – who will not deter the other side from shooting at the tank or blowing it up.

They must be very religious, the people who do such a thing. 

Of course, none of this … comes as a complete shock given that pro-government forces had signaled their contempt for children early on in the Syrian uprising, disregard expressed in the form of regime snipers deliberately shooting children who were part of street protests.

In fact, so distasteful was the sight of child protesters to the Syrian regime that it would take its vengeance by attacking schools. In one village, pro-regime militia went to a grade school, picked 50 children at random, many of whom were as young as 6-years-old, and proceeded to tear out their fingernails….

While most of the acts of violent child assault and murder have been committed by Syrian security forces and pro-regime militias, such as the dreaded Shabiha militias, the hands of opposition forces are far from clean. … The Free Syrian Army (FSA) forcibly [recruited] children, some as young as 8-years-old, into their ranks. …

Syrian Christian children have been targeted, along with their families, by elements of the FSA and an assortment of armed Islamist and al-Qaeda-linked terror groups as part of a systematic cleansing of Syrian Christians.

Cleansing: derived from the iniquitous phrase “ethnic cleansing”, the word has become a euphemism for mass murder.

That cleansing includes the killing of whole families, the sacking of churches, and the forcible evacuation of Christians from towns and cities, such as the forced Christian exodus of nearly 50,000 people from Homs in which armed Islamists murdered more than 200 Christians, including entire families with young children. …

As Rob Williams, CEO of War Child, has said, “The Syrian conflict must now rank as one of the worst for the depth and scale of abuses against children,” adding that it “will scar Syria for generations”.

If Rob Williams means that a nation with too few children is “scarred”, he may be right. If he means that the parents of the murdered children will be “scarred” he must surely be right. But if he means that Syria’s reputation, as a people, will be scarred, we must say that we very much doubt it. Who will hold the torturing to death of children against the torturing killers? Christians? They forgive. Western opinion generally? There is no precedent to suggest it. So who will remember those children, and refuse to forgive?

  • And what are the bleeding heart Liberals doing while this shit is going on? Sitting on their fucking asses! We should’ve intervened a long time ago!

    • rogerinflorida

      Robert,This is nothing new. The US has no tradition or history of intervening in foreign countries for humanitarian reasons. The US became a participant in WW2 because it was attacked by Japan, then Germany declared war on the US. There is no reason to believe that the US would have declared war on Germany even though the crimes of the Germans were horrific and well known, as were the equally appalling crimes of Japan. France, Britain and the British Empire/Commonwealth declared war on Germany to protect the people of Poland, and were promptly given an ass kicking. The US did nothing except enrich itself at the expense of the allied participants. The principle of collective action to prevent such things as are going on in Syria was first tried in the League of Nations, (that the US refused to join). This mission was then taken up by the UN, unfortunately the UN was fatally flawed from the start, as all the well known criminals (USSR, China, etc.) were invited to join on an equal footing with the Western democracies. The result is that the UN is now a parking place for anti-western tyrants who have no respect whatsoever for the UN Charter that they are sworn to uphold.Incidentally, be aware that stories like this are circulated in order to provoke outrage and further the interests of the gangs who are trying to destabilize Syria for their own enrichment or political advantage. If you want to act to prevent human rights abuses I suggest you look to the sex slave trade and the abuses heaped on immigrant workers in the US itself, believe me there is enough going on right here to arouse your outrage.

      • Jillian Becker

        Roger – the question of whether the US should ever interfere for humanitarian reasons is a hard one to answer.
        I agree with your view of the UN, of course.
        But a couple of things arise from what you say: – How did the US enrich itself at the expense of the allied participants?
        And on your point that “stories like this are circulated in order to provoke outrage and further the interests of the gangs who are trying to destabilize Syria for their own enrichment or political advantage”, I would remind you that the story indicts both sides of the conflict.

        • rogerinflorida

          Ms Becker,
          Great Britain had defaulted on her WW1 debts to the US, as a result British purchases of war material had to be paid for in cash or hard assetts. The US drove a very hard bargain and did not introduce Lend-Lease until it was clear that Britain had no further assetts to exchange. In fact the expansion of US industry that made possible the ultimate Allied victory was largely financed by Britain, including the liquidation of almost all of British pension funds, industrial holdings in the US and all the gold that Britain owned. I do not say that the US attitude was unreasonable, only that the popular myth of US generosity is just that; a myth. This raises a question of course; why did Britain impoverish itself when it could have made a peace with Germany as it could certainly have defended the British Isles. We know that Lord Halifax, many other politicians and the Royal Family favored an accomodation with Germany, an interesting question for another time.
          I understand that the article accuses both sides of terrible abuses, however the Assad regime was an enlightened regime by Arab standards, their replacements, like those in Egypt and Libya, are certain to be less tolerant and more anti-western.

          • Jillian Becker

            That is interesting information, Roger, about Britain paying off her WW1 debts. I had not read it – or if I had, I’d forgotten it.
            What a horrible idea – Britain reaching an accommodation with Nazi Germany! How fortunate that Winnie was there to steer the right course.
            About Assad and what might replace him – I think you may well be right. Bad or worse is the choice in the Arab world.

          • That is REALLY interesting, thanks for that bit of background. People think it is merely a conservative excuse, but all the recent events in the Arab middle east point to the idea that the tribal structures there are not conducive to democratic national governments. Look at the recent problems in Jordan, and their king is a relatively moderate. It does seem to require a certain level of brutal supression for a dictator/government to keep those people under control… it is what it is.

  • Ralph

    “Western opinion.” “No precedent to suggest it.” Perhaps Auschwitz and Nurnberg should be remembered, but that memory is fading away. Man’s inhumanity to man has never changed. Only the magnitude of horror has changed.

    • liz

      Which reminds me, the Muslims and the Nazis were allies back then.
      “Onward Chris- uh- Muslim (Nazi) soldiers…”

  • Man that is really hard to read. Well folks, I’ll state the apparent once more… was colonial rule really worse than the horrors they visit upon their own people? Where is the morality of sitting back and waiting for a winner? As long as the standoff continues, this kind of suffering continues. If two prison gangs are fighting, who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys? It is a meaningless question… call in the guards.

    • liz

      Yes, these scum make even pedophile priests look good. I guess that’s what you get when your prophet was already a pedophile, AND a murderer, etc, etc. When you start, that low, what can you expect when you get to the bottom of the barrel?

      • I am reminded of “Lawrence of Arabia” one of the most brilliant movies ever made. In one scene, the writer/publicist is talking to “Prince Faisal” and the prince says to him (paraphrase) “…with Lawrence, mercy is a passion… for me it is merely good manners. You may decide for yourself which is the more reliable.” Of course Lawrence winds up going “native” and gets caught up in an all consuming passion of hatred and slaughter. There are pragmatic “Prince Faisals” in the middle east. The Saudi Royal Family for one… they may be cunning and ruthless, but they are not unreasonable or impractical in dealing with the west. I believe history will repeat itself, and we will wind up going in, sorting things out, then once again installing a few “Faisals” to maintain order.