This isn’t the first time this has happened, either. As this Reuters story states:
I can’t find a link (anyone?), but I did see the infamous picture of the protest rally in Germany where a Palestinian father held his child on his shoulders, and the child was dressed with simulated dynamite wrapped around her waist.
Reminds me of a political cartoon from a few months back - different children, voicing their ambitions - French baby says “I want to be a doctor and cure cancer”, Italian baby says “I want to be an astronaut and go to Mars”, Palestinian baby says “I want to blow myself into bits and kill a bunch of Jews, KABOOM!!!”
The kid in question looks a little young for such a mission, whether the photo is a joke or not, which I doubt that it is. But would anybody really be surprised if, say, an 8 year old suicide bomber made his debut? Not me. Par for the course, with those people.
There are plenty of documented cases of Palestinian children playing games like “Suicide Bomber” with the supervision of adults. I remember seeing photos from a Palestinian equivalent of summer camp, which showed a whole line of kids dressed up with fake bomber belts.
I posted this report since I thought it would evoke strong emotions that might lead to a usefull discussion about the middle east conflict and what should be done about it. Also, to draw posters to provide links to websites which will give me more information about it and the world’s reaction to it.
And thanks Mojo, for the link to lgf. Its a cool site.
As far as the cnn report;
I never thought that the idea of the publicising the photograph was that it showed that babies were to be used as suicide bombers. But rather that terrorist families think that this is a cute outfit for a baby, just like a sailor or fireman outfit commonly used for baby photographs in western countries.
My opinion is that its not at all cute and its downright offensive that anyone would think it is cute.
I find Allesan’s comment interesting. They seem to be trying to dehumanizing themselves. But I think this sense of self-dehumanization is a pale shadow of their dehumanization of their perceived enemies.
Aside that we have a dussin threads to the twenty trying to weed out what to do about the Middle East and/or expressing some kind of opinion on the matter.
It’s helpful to get a tip on what you expect us to debate. The topic is somewhat unwieldy if not narrowed down to a distinct subtopic.
I hope that it is obvious that the picture in question creates strong emotions and I hope that a near absolute majority of the world’ s population feels revolted, independent of if it is the real McCoy or an agitprop tool.
Hence the only sensible debate I see without the guidance of the OP would be if this is real or not and if it is, if it is representative of wide spread attitudes amongst the Palestinian community of today.
I for one have no clue as to the first question and as for the second I can only refer to the vast number of posts by various moderate members of the board in other threads trying to explain the sentiments at hand.
If you want my reaction I find the picture revolting and it makes me want to weep that people can be so cynical, so unforgiving and intolerant of each other as to let things go to this length. As ususal I extend that feeling to both sides in the conflict. I’m also fumbling for explanations of the emotions that led up to making this picture if it is real - mindboggling. If it isn’t real it is still as disgusting, but then at least I imagine that I can understand the cynical depravity at hand.
Look, it is a joke, a rather sick and twisted one if you ask me, although I never would have thought of it. Just take a look at the work of the Something Awful Forum Goons for roughly analogous examples of humor.
The important thing here is that the phenomenon of suicide bombing has worked its way so deeply into Palestinian culture that it can be made an object of humor. Anyone who has followed the actions of Palestine and its allies over the past century shouldn’t be surprised at all.
But it would be the utmost hypocrisy to point at this picture as an example of some sort of “culture sickness” or as an example of how evil the Palestinians are. If we want to view it in that harsh light, we may want to remind ourselves that we too are quite well-illuminated.
(By the way, I’m no Palestinian apologist. I’ve put it in black and white right here that I consider the Palestinians to be a disorganized, misguided nation unworthy of anything but complete contempt. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to view this particular incident out of its correct, insignificant proportion. It is propaganda, and we shouldn’t need more of that to condemn Palestine for its vile national behavior.)
I’m not sure I understand what you are saying here. Are you extending your sadness to both sides as one who tries to console his neigbor by sharing his greif? Or do you extend your sadness about both sides being that they are both cynical unforgiving and intolerant.
If the former is this case, well, brother, I thank you. If its the latter, then I am deeply offended by the suggestion that my people is involved in such sorry depravity.
Also, if you meant the the latter, you can now say that you meant the former if you did in fact change your mind or clarify your own views in the mean time. That wouldn’t be dishonest or cynical on your part.
Just read the body of my posts on the topic and I think you’ll find that position one is correct and that position two IMHO is far more complex than to be broken down to the simple rendition in your question.
Think a little here akhol. Could it possibly be that I mean that the making of this photo is cynical, unforgiving and intolerant and that it is so independent of who made it? Could it possibly be so that the poster you just accused of judging a whole nation of people based on that is harbors the very opposite opinion normally and is hence pretty unlikely to do that?
Press <search> at the bottom of the post and browse a little before you lash out next time.
I was just asking. Yes, I could have seached your posts and use them as a context for interpreting your words here. But I just figured it was easier to take your post at face value and ask you what you meant. I didn’t mean to accuse, just clarify. Sorry for insulting you.
My only doubt about the meaning was that I am quite used to reading comments to the effect of, “oh isn’t terrorism terrible, it just reminds us how important it is for BOTH sides to stop mistreating the other stop being barbaric, and start respecting each other.” This approach views the depravity of one side casting a shadow of depravity on BOTH parties to the conflict. I was hoping that you weren’t saying anything like this. And I’m gald that you weren’t. But it wasn’t 100 percent clear to me. So I asked.
I figure if something is complicated then its something you would WANT to think about. And then if you do think about it, you might come up with some valid angle that nobody else thought of and who knows, you might even succeed in convicing a few dozen sdmb readers. Its not exactly like being a prime misnister. But who knows? Maybe your opinion will make some difference in the world.
I think you are missing the point Sofa King. Anything can be made the object of humour, even terrorism. I remember when a watermelon was booby trapped with explosives and was fortunately discovered before detonation. There was a hilariaous skit on Israeli tv that week about Ahmed the corner grocer singing about all the different explosive fruits and vegetables he was offering for sale with wires hanging off them. It was really funny. I guess you had to be there.
Afterwards I reflected on my laughter and came to the conclusion that my ability to laugh was a sign that someday we might achieve peace and freindship. And on that day Achmed and Moshe will sit down at the table of brotherhood and share a few laughs, "Ah! remember that time you tried to blow me up with a watermellon?!..
So I think its ok to laugh at things. But this baby picture is diifferent Its different because here somebody dressed up his own baby. They didn’t do it as a joke to make other people laugh. But rather as something “cute” that would draws smiles of joy and laughter from admiring parents and grandparents.
Thats why I think it is a symptom of some kind of cultural sickness.