What happens when your child walks out the door?  Does the Beast of Terror steal him or her?  Abduct them?   In Sri Lanka, children are taken each day and trained to be Terrorists.   Parents have no say in the matter.   The children become Tigers, fighting for a cause they do not have any choice to refute.  Most of them die.    But, in America, each day our children are abducted too by the Beast of Terror.    How?  Why?  Find out.


Monday--January 6, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 481
How The Beast of Terror Steals Our Children Before Our Eyes

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Jan. 6-- It's hard to imagine your child is walking down the street and a truck pulls up and snags the child, throws him or her in the back with other children, and drives off.   It's hard to imagine you watch the event and say nothing, fearful if you do you or your family will be killed or tortured.
        It's hard to imagine your child was abducted to fight the "enemy,"  that he or she has been forcibly abducted into a cadre of Terrorists, many of whom are on the cusp of puberty.

Sri Lank recruit

         But in Sri Lanka, on a daily basis, children under the ages of 18 are taken from their families and trained as guerrilla warriors.  Many  never see their mothers or fathers again.  The rule of thumb in the country of nearly 19 million of which 32 percent of the population is under the age of 18,  is that each family with more than three children "owes" one to the guerrillas.   The group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, is considered one of the world's most ruthless and effective secessionist movements. 
        For the past two decades the Tigers have fought for a separate state.  The Tigers represent the minority of Tamils of Sri Lanka who are Hindu.  They want to secede from the the majority of Sir Lankans who are Buddhists--estimated to be three-quarters of Sri Lanka's population.
         The Tigers' Hindu political leader, S. Thamilchelvam, denies children are currently conscripted by force or threat to fight with the guerrillas.   Despite pressure from international human rights groups, the abductions and recruiting continues despite a cease fire.   Over the years, the Tigers have lost 17,600 cadres (a cadre is the term used to represent one "Tiger warrior") in battle and more than 64,000 total lives have been lost throughout the country.

Tamil Tiger Leader Pirapaharen calls for autonomy and self-government in Sri Lanka

         "They have thousands, and they're still taking them," said Rev. Harry Miller, an American Jesuit priest who has lived in the town of Batticaloa for more than a half century.   According to a report in the New York Times by Amy Waldman, this July the Tigers took eight children from outside a Hindu temple feast on the edge of Batticaloa.   

   Tiger cadre helps a child climb a rope at an orphanage in northern Sri Lanka.. Villagers in Kinnaiyadi claim young people were taken from there recently to join the Tigers.

        The children are taken to Tiger training camps where they are given new names.  They are told to erase the past.  The Tiger cause is glorified and the children are taught how to use weapons and to follow orders.   Many are used as suicide bombers.   A cemetery outside Kilinochchi is a final resting place for 1,983 war heroes.  The headstones have the cadres' real names, their "movement names" their parents' names, their villages of origin and the dates of their deaths.   On each, however, one thing is missing--the date of birth.
        Last February a cease fire was agreed upon between the government and the Tigers.  Part of the cease fire included a ban on taking children into the movement, either by abduction or even if they volunteered.    The Times reported that the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, a team of Scandinavians invited by both sides to monitor the cease-fire, has certified 281 cases of child recruitment from February through October, with more than 400 cases being investigated.
         On the surface, the idea of children being recruited under their parents' noses is disturbing.   It makes one wonder about how could a parent sit back in the 21st Century and let the Beast of Terror take his or her child and train the child to forget his or her past and become a disciple of Terrorism?
          But that happens every day here in America, and around the world in the most civilized of nations.
          The Beast of Terror abducts kids almost every moment right under their parents' noses, and there isn't a squeal of alarm sounded by the parents.
           Let me give you a couple of examples.
           The other day I went to VA Hospital in Manhattan to sign up for medical benefits.  It was pouring down rain and an icy wind shot off the East River so I elected to take the midtown bus across 23rd Street.   The midtown bus is a double-sized bus connected in the middle by an accordion-type waist that makes it look like a giant caterpillar.
            The bus was crowded so I worked my way toward the back and took an empty seat near the exit so I could get off at Union Square.   The rear of the bus was full of children who had just got out of middle school.  They were about the same age of the prime recruits for the Tigers, ranging between 12 to 14 years I guessed.   As I sat down one of the boys who was leaning against a pole glared at me.    Sitting, I was about eye-level with him.  His eyes burned into mine.

          "Who you think you are sitting here!"
           He thrust out his chest defiantly, laser-like eyes locked on me.   I stared back at him, knowing his goal was to Intimidate me, to get me to cast my eyes down or to remove myself from "his territory."

 Similar to my "Cool hat"

      I said nothing.   The other kids cheered on the young boy.  He looked at my hat, one of those Raiders of The Lost Ark types I wear in the rain.
      "Cool hat," he sneered, "except it should be pink.  You look better in a pink hat.  Like that girl's jacket.  Real girly pink."  He pointed to a young girl sitting a few seats down wearing a bright pink rain jacket.
           "I'm too ugly for pink," I said in a calm, even Voice.  "Big, ugly guys like me don't look good in pink.  If I did, I'd wear pink."
            The boy sneered.  He didn't like the fact I was talking to him, not succumbing to his command over the rear of the bus.
           He glanced at my watch.   "Nice watch," he said.
           I held up my wrist in front of his face.  "It's a Rolex.  An oyster perpetual.  I got it in Vietnam after the war.  It's been keeping perfect time for thirty-five years."
           The boy leaned back.   His attempt to Intimidate failed again.  The kids behind him were laughing, using foul language, opening the bus window by slamming it with their fists so the emergency releases popped it open.  People jammed the bus but avoided coming to the extreme rear where the young hell raisers had control.
           My stop was coming up.  I stood, all six-foot-four inches and 270 pounds of me.
           As I started off the bus the bellicose boy shouted at me, "Don't you be comin' back on this bus without a pink hat, you hear, man.  You hear!"
           I stood in the rain and looked into the window of the bus at the kids.

          They were a gang not a group.   They were little Terrorists In Training, not little children.   The look in the boy's eyes was one of pure hatred.  Even though I stood my ground, the boy had won the battle in his mind.   He was impervious to anything or anyone.
           I thought of him growing up, sharpening the fangs he already had.  I saw him with a gun in his hand shoving it in people's faces.  I saw him swaggering down the street, serving as a role model for other kids--the tough guy.
           Then I thought of his parents, his guardians.
           I knew the kid was only a product of his training, his environment.   I knew the kid was playing out the role models set before him, aping the guidelines of his teachers--his family and the values they expressed toward others.
           He was a little Tiger, conscripted into the service of hatred and animosity by the training camps he lived within, where everyone was an enemy who didn't agree with you, or look like you, or followed your value systems.   
            There had been a couple of moments when the young boy and I were staring at each other when he became a child and I an adult.   I wasn't looking at him with hatred or fear, I was just looking at him.   He melted a couple of times and a little smile cracked at the corners of his lips, respect I assume for my lack of kowtowing to his dominance.   All children like to challenge authority, but some seek it as a form of violent reprisal based on their attitude that everyone is out to "get them" and therefore they must "get them first."
            I thought about the conversations the kids in the back of the bus were having. They were violent, foul conversations that had nothing to do with being young.  They were cursing and berating one another, calling each other ethnic slurs, demeaning themselves and their self-images as though nailing themselves into a coffin of class and race death from which they could never escape.
           Terrorism, I knew, didn't have to occur in third-world countries to children.   Young Terrorists were being developed daily here in the United States, fostered by Parents of Neglect who provided no training for the children to evolve above the level of "fight or die" survivalism.
           I thought of parents who let their children put locks on their bedroom doors, who refused to allow their parents entrance to their rooms on the grounds "they were individuals and could do whatever they wanted."   I thought of the kids in Columbine High School who plotted the murder of other kids, and how their parents were so busy doing their things that they let their children flow to the lowest level of human development--into the arms of the Beast of Terror.
          I thought of the movie the Breakfast Club, where all the kids in detention were violently disenfranchised from their parents, emotional orphans who stood by the road of life waiting to be recruited by the Beast of Terror into the folds of the Tigers.

          As I walked down the street in the cold, icy rain, I knew that in the absence of Vigilance Terrorism ruled.   I realized that any parent who did not subscribe to the Pledge of Vigilance was leaving their children unprotected, vulnerable to a truck pulling up and snagging their child, taking him or her to a camp where the child would learn how to use Fear, Intimidation and Complacency rather than Courage, Conviction and Right Actions.
          I knew how easy it would have been to have looked at the young boy on the bus as a Terrorist, a little punk who deserved a good spanking and lots of punishment.
          But I knew that wasn't the case.
          I knew if anyone needed discipline it was his parents.   His guardians.  His loved ones.   I knew they had abandoned the child to the Beast of Terror.   They were criminals of the child's innocence.  They left the child's Spirit of Vigilance unprotected.   They let the Beast of Terror take the child.
          As I walked down the street, I vowed to remember that a child has a right to Vigilance.   And, more importantly, that the parent of a child has a duty to protect the child from being conscripted into the jaws of Terrorism.

The Beast of Terror is kidnapping our children

           I also knew then, as I do now, that there is little difference between what is happening in Sri Lanka and what is happening daily in the United States.
          Our children are being kidnapped by the Beast of Terror.
         And we stand by and let it happen.
         Sometimes, we even push the child into the Tiger's arms through our Complacency and our lack of Vigilance over the child's outlook on life.
         I burned the boy's face in my mind.
         He would be my reminder that I must not give up my quest to promote the Sword and Shield of Vigilance.   And,  I would hope that one day he would awaken from the claws and jaws of the Beast of Terror and pick up the Sword and Shield of Vigilance and lay down the gun I knew he had hidden somewhere.


Jan 5--Eating Those We Kill--The Final Art Of War

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