ISIS and its social media followers have been celebrating the death of a ten-year old boy with the nom de guerre Abu Ubaidah.
— Islamic State Times (@ISTimes1) October 7, 2014
There are also Kurdish children fighting against ISIS.
— Thomas van Linge (@arabthomness) October 8, 2014
Some observers in the West are perturbed by the idea that a double standard is being applied on the involvement of children in war based on whether they happen to be fighting with the “good guys.”
But this looks to me like one of those situations where allegiance to a particular principle (in this case, opposition to the use of child soldiers) is coming at the expense of common sense.
The difference between the armed jihadist father and son and the armed farmer and son is that it is the former who insisted on turning the latter’s field into a battlefield.
One was content to farm, while the other demanded to fight.
The farmer and his family could have fled, but they can hardly be faulted as they make a desperate effort to defend their land.
ISIS is an invading army on a ruthless campaign of conquest. Their actions are no more excusable than those of any imperial power.
Those who turn these combatants into equals just because both are using guns and arming their children are denying the fundamental inequality in this conflict.