2 July 2010

Sometimes it would be nice if life was like a Hollywood movie

Leave them kids alone, or I'll blow your God damn head off mister

"Hey teacher leave them kids alone" so sang Pink Floyd. If it only it were that simple and that limited.

The kids referred to in that classic song only picked up pens, pencils books. There are tens of thousands of children, all over the world who every single day, pick up guns, rifles explosives. On school coach trips we used to sing, "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to school we go, with a bucket and spade and a hand grenade..." For us it was fun, for the child soldiers of this world - it is reality, a way of life - a life all too often tragically and violently cut short.

Yes, there are calls for an end to the use of child soldiers, there are programs, conventions, policies, agreements and a whole truck load of fine words - often uttered by those who clandestinely support and endorse those who send children to battle, while they themselves hide behind the blood splattered banners of their self-righteous, self serving causes, agendas and greed.

Sometimes I wish life were a Hollywood movie. Imagine a whole army of John Waynes, Clint Eastwoods, Steve McQueens, Yul Brynners, all marching into Rwanda, Congo, Sudan, Uganda, and the Central African Republic, and telling the gutless wonders of the Lord's Resistance Army in their camouflage jackets and designer sunglasses, "Hey, leave those kids alone".

But all we have is reality - words that go laughed at and ignored, treaties and conventions that go unheeded...

...and 11 year old girl soldiers who says, "When it was my turn to kill someone, I always hid my face because I was afraid. I went to bed dreaming of the people I had killed...One day they made me kill an old man but I couldn’t do it. They sentenced me to death so I had to run away."

Wherever you may be - be safe
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