In the grand scheme of global weaponry, while nuclear and chemical weapons are thought of as the greatest evil, none is more despicable than the use of children as tools for leverage, combat, negotiations, or punishment. Despite the unethical and atrocious nature of weaponizing children, it is a daily occurrence internationally and domestically. As every child of divorced parents knows, there is no more powerful influence than using a child as a pawn of hostility.
Last week the United States joined the despicable ranks of third world nations, dictatorships, and Nazi Germany history as the Trump regime elevated child weapons to a new level in our nation. Children of divorce are no longer the only domestic victims of our country’s plague on morality; innocent immigrant children and their families are suffering through another Trump-initiated action that not only destroys lives, but also violates every global precept against using children as tools to wage any kind of war.
In his escalating race and class war, Trump is breaking boundaries long established and supported by decent Americans and leaders the world over. His morally bankrupt and unconscionable policy of ripping immigrant children from their families as a “deterrent” joins the ranks of some of the most heinous and criminal acts of the worst of the worst.
In 2004, Human Rights Watch released a report that focused on the use of children as weapons of war where armed child combatants engaged in conflicts throughout sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere in the world. From FARC recruits in Columbia to Tamil Tiger children soldiers, the report detailed global efforts to condemn and reduce the use of children under fifteen as active weapons.
During their efforts to reduce the use of children as warriors, Human Rights Watch also turned its focus to international treaties — adopted and ratified by an overwhelming majority of nations — that classified the use of children in conflict as war crimes. Throughout the early 2000s, from genocidal murders in Rwanda to sex trafficking in the Baltic, the world has witnessed a growing concern for the protections of children in any hostile environment, conflict, or government mission.
When global leaders removed children from the theaters of war, unscrupulous strongmen — not unlike Donald Trump — found new and increasingly vile ways to enlist children in their arsenals. As the focus diverged from simple images of child soldiers with assault rifles, the world learned of new and horrifying ways that children could be leveraged in conflict and war.
Late in 2017, UNICEF revealed how children are being used in global conflicts in unarmed capacities. Its report raised a warning flag for a new global scourge where children are cheaper than bullets and their safety can be more intimidating than a dirty bomb. In the past decade, child soldiers have become shields; children of marginalized populations have become hostages; and child fear has become the new psychological terrorism through dislocation, homelessness, forced marriage, slavery, and rape.
And now, Donald Trump’s regime and Gestapo Chief Jeff SeSSions have “lost” more than 1,500 children as part of policy of forcibly separating children from families in their war on race and immigration. Moreover, pursuant to the same policies, they have decided to destroy records of abuse, sexual assault, and other details of immigrant concern. In the context of global morality, their actions are no less war crimes than the assault on the Rohingya people of Myanmar and their millions of children who remain without homes, food, or basic necessities.
From ICE detention centers, to Customs and Border Patrol housing facilities, there is no other way to describe the Trump regime’s capture of children as anything more than government-sanctioned kidnapping to concentration camps.
When Hitler’s Nazi machine occupied Poland, the SS and Gestapo kidnapped thousands of children between the ages two and six. The Poles were not alone in their suffering. Across Europe, Nazis tore more than 200,000 children from their families between 1939 and 1944. Victims and parents described how it happened:
A parent would receive an order from the SS to bring their child to a government building in town and to arrive first thing in the morning under the pretext of a health checkup or other goodwill cause. From there, many parents never saw their child again after she was ‘sent on holiday’ for recuperation or education.
For parents who did not comply, children were taken away forcibly at gunpoint — just like they are being taken in 2018 America by Trump’s army of immigration thugs. When the Nazi regime finally fell, Poles began the painful and arduous task of finding the lost children. Dr. Roman Hrabar embarked on the most difficult job of rebuilding post-war Poland, but only discovered a small percentage of the missing sons and daughters. Writing of the Nazi policy, he called the use of children as national punishment “the blackest page in the annals of humanity.”
There is no excuse for using children as weapons to wage terror, punishment, and war — anywhere or anyhow. Donald Trump has debased America and its moral center by joining the likes of United Nation’s war criminals from around the globe who use the most innocent members of society to achieve personal agendas.
For the families who have lost children, and for those who continue to suffer and search for their offspring, there is no consolation. The damage being done to our nation today, in the future ill will, anger, and hurt cannot be undone. Trump is breeding a new era of disdain that will evolve, over time, into a deep-seeded resentment of America.
As rational and democratic-minded Americans continue to strive to right the faltering ship that is the United States, the time has come for the international community to play its part. Kidnapping children to achieve a government interest and punish illegal immigrants is a criminal act that cannot go unnoticed by the agencies and governments who are responsible for enforcing and party to, the conventions and treaties on international kidnapping.
When Norway’s government was accused of kidnapping children in 2017, the international community responded quickly and loudly. It should be no different when Donald Trump’s regime illegally kidnaps — and subsequently loses — thousands of children. It is time for the global community to put the United States on notice that neither the nation, nor its dictator are above the law.
Featured Image: John Moore/Getty