Saturday, March 04, 2006

Thought They Were Palestinians 

I'm so used to images of Palestinian kids -- even babies -- dressed up as terrorists, packing toy guns or fake suicide belts, that I almost skimmed right past this image. It's not just Palestinians anymore:

Young supporters of Islamic coalition Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal, or United Action Forum raise toy guns during a rally to condemn the publication of cartoons depicting Islamic Prophet Muhammad printed by some Western newspapers, Friday, March 3, 2006 in Peshawar, Pakistan. Thousands rallied across Pakistan against cartoons of Prophet Muhammad and a planned U.S presidential visit after radical Islamic groups called a strike that shut shops and businesses in several major cities. (AP Photo/Muhammad Zubair)
I knew there was trouble in Pakistan. I already knew the grownups were torching buildings and murdering fast food spokesclowns. But to an Israeli, who has long been watching his would-be neighbors proudly parade the education and indoctrination of their children into the eternal cult of crazed conflict, this looks bad.

When the adults murder and rampage, they're just blowing off a little steam. If you apologize a few times, funnel them more aid money and valuable face time with the man they accuse of being the Blasphemer-in-Chief, it will eventually blow over. It's just one of those things. Give them a few months, a year tops.

But when they start sending their kids out to aggessively brandish the (toy) guns on camera, it's time to start monitoring the content of Pakistani Sesame Street and their schools' textbooks for Palestinian-style indoctrination-to-violence. They are broadcasting a desire for conflict to go generational, and no longer against just the Zionists. Children being taught today to reflexively take up arms against the blasphemers will be standing in the way of any sort of peaceful accomodation between civilizations for decades.

I don't read Arabic, but trust me, these kids' headbands don't say "Kumbaya", "Strength through Diversity" or "Save the Rainforest". And these educational headbands are one-size-fits-all -- they'll be able to reuse them for years, at rally after rally, until they're old enough to graduate to the real rifles.

This has to be stopped, and now. It's probably too late for today's Palestinian children. Let's hope it's not too late in Pakistan.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: