British newspapers are reporting today that an 8 year old girl walked up to a group of Iraqi soldiers in Youssifiyah today and blew up. Although early reports are calling it a suicide bombing, the explosives were apparently detonated via remote. Question: is"suicide" the right word? Can an eight year old girl "choose" to become a suicide bomber any more than she can "choose" supposedly-consensual sex or "choose" marriage? It's an academic point, though, as Iraqi insurgents have apparently decided to make little girls the new IEDs. [The Guardian, The Telegraph]
my friend in the national guard (who is just now finishing up a tour in iraq) told me a heartbreakingly similar story. his friend was at a checkpoint, and a little girl wearing a parka (in july, in the desert) started walking towards them, sobbing. a translator shouted to her and asked her what was wrong— she replied "they said they'd kill my kitty if i don't give you a hug." the guys knew what was up, and so my friend's friend had to shoot her. and sure enough— there was a bomb strapped to her chest.
this guy is still pretty messed up about it, and i cried when he told me the story.