Child Soldiers of the West

By Mark Antony Rossi

“The future belongs to the youth” is an old adage proven beneficial to fascist regimesong to the aiming to convert the most impressionable members of a population to their sinister agenda. Centuries ago evil Japanese Ninja clans raised their young in training schools to become professional assassins. Ninja training, the art of stealth and murder, is a lengthy, rigorous system requiring fifteen years of daily instruction before a trainee is granted the right of being called Ninja. Ninja training produced scores of hardened and deadly warriors able to defeat the finest of samurai.

In the 20th century, two monstrous political systems took hold of the adage with terrifying results. Lenin and Stalin of the Soviet Communist system restructured an entire continent with a program of ethnic and political cleansing and formed an educational apparatus designed to instill in the best and the brightest the ideals of the State. Russian children became the communist system’s best agents—instructed to turn in dissenting parents to firing squads. This ugly practice easily leads to wholesale infiltration of enemy countries. As the Soviet killing machine crushed Eastern Europe it kidnapped the children of its enemies and sent them back to Mother Russia for re-education. In a gruesome irony, often the conquered country’s worst enemies were their children and countrymen, indoctrinated in the ways and means of communist domination.

Arguably, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime, reduced child re-education to its vilest common denominator. German children were recruited into Hitler Youth camps which constituted the backbone of the Nazi regime ten years later. The fanaticism instilled in these students culminated with the oath “blood and honour.” These students were perfect fits for the Nazi SS and Gestapo units, organizations responsible for espionage, torture and later the construction and supervision of concentration camps where millions died unspeakable deaths.

Basic social science has access to volumes of studies, critical data and evidence pointing to a significant portion of adult abnormal and/or criminal behavior acquired during youth. Tomorrow’s dictators will make a good study of this science and history in order to orchestrate their own youth behavioral modifications. These facts fine-tuned by master manipulators are destined to re-educate the foot-soldiers of future fascism.

The introductions of video game technology in the early 1980’s have caused considered parental and sociological debate with much speculation that graphic games have serious negative impact on younger people’s social skills. Is the presence of video arcades, strangely populated on the parameters of school districts, contributing to delinquency? Do video games encourage violence and destruction as a means of conflict resolution? Is there any correlation between youth crime rates and prolonged video game exposure?

Recent studies are inconclusive which means there may be a marginal link between violent tendencies and video game exposure. Or is this just another example of parental blame-game by people showering their offspring with everything except love and attention? It has become quite obvious that those parents blaming heavy metal music for suicide and Satanism conveniently avoid responsibility for their dysfunctional family behavior and its real impact on their children’s self-esteem and social interaction. Yet something else is emerging, bound to alter our perceptions for decades to come: the introduction of behavior-modifying digital images.

A theory suggesting video games are actually industrial toys built to prepare our children for future sophisticated wars was mocked more than a decade ago. Its Nixionian-coverup overtones deemed extreme and in very poor taste. Since then, the Persian Gulf War splashed across our television screens and pilots reported smart missiles and their targeting displays reacted similarly to their childhood video games. The theory has been given new life and further examination is warranted.

Whether these developments are unconscious extensions of parallel technology or pre-planned military-industrial indoctrination of a most subtle and sinister scheme is an open question. What can be said relates to a perverted perception missile-nose cameras relay back to pilot and whomever else is watching. The video view is a vicious form of voyeurism that fosters a moral dissociation with the “targets” it destroys.

When human feeling with its sense of pain and death is divorced from the act of war: unlimited violence is given birth. Wars waged with advanced technological gadgets are sanitized of its horrid toll: the bloody reality that every soldier must face, reminding him and humanity to seek peaceful solutions whenever possible. The child-like glee of a pilot exterminating hundreds and thousands of people with the touch of a joystick is dashed forever when he is shot down and held by hostile forces intent on educating him with old-fashioned methods. Gone are grid locations, kill-zones, precise coordinates, strategic installations—what remains is the awful truth—-death, destruction and a severely burned, beaten kid from Jersey who once thought war games were played on a board.

Devoid of the human context, super machines transform men into unthinking killing drones disconnected from the horror of direct confrontation. To coin the old phrase, “War is Hell.” There is no “fun” involved. Limbs are blown apart by searing metal. Gallons of blood paint the earth. Flesh is weak, lasting but a day before the elements digest its substance. Humanity must guard its collective memory pertaining to the terrible price of War. Memory is vulnerable to romantic visions propagated by new dogma or devices designed to diminish our ethical and moral investigation.

Mechanical contraptions can be switched off when battles are concluded and victory is declared. Who switches off the impressionable impact software “murder simulators” that have embedded their techniques in the hearts and minds of children seeking comfort, control and entertainment? Are latch-key children, dysfunctional families and video game indoctrination, necessary ingredients to construct future soldiers? Soldiers, pulled on a string, and remotely sent into tomorrow’s wars against another land’s legions of low self-esteem cannon fodder.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York.


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