The “kill-a-boy” fund
In the recent I ran-Iraq War, Iran – and later Iraq – put "human waves’’ of boys as young as 6 in the front lines. The boys were throwing grenades and shotting, which ultimately forced the Iraqis to fire back and kill the young boys. However, many Iraqi soldiers reported that the moment they killed a 6- or 8-year-old boy they "could not let it go." They suffered nervous breakdowns, nightmares, cold sweats, and haunting memories for years.46 The Iranian boys were, of course, used for exactly that purpose: to wear down the Iraqi morale.
The use of young boys was so widely supported in Iran that if a city was being attacked, families reportedly encouraged their young sons to go to war, believing it was better to be martyred in battle and assured of paradise than to die in an air raid, not fighting at all. With paradise as the bribe to die. the boys "volunteered ” Before the age of consent.
War is sold to boys not only by the bribe of paradise but by the ignorance of its hell. No one warned the Soviet soldier he would be left with the memory of separating a baby from its dead mother in Afghanistan and having the tiny body come арап in his hands. . . Or, for another Soviet soldier, the memory of an Afghan rebel making an incision around his buddy’s waist, then pulling the skin up over his head like an undershin.47
As we come to care about people dying, we give them warnings, not bribes. We put warning labels on cigarette ads but not on recruitment ads. But with boys, well, if we paid taxes in the late seventies, we helped pay for arms that were sold to Iran, we made our contribution to the human wave; we contributed to the “kill-a-boy” fund