A young man or woman who wants to become a homicide bomber has to endure years of rigorous education and training before they are competent enough to create collateral damage out of innocent civilians. The young men and woman who decide to become suicide bombers also undergo years of suffering and hardship before they are experienced enough to kill blameless victims. The education of homicide bombers begins in the scary confines of schoolyards where bullies hone their craft; the suicide bomber is home-schooled.
Professional homicide bombers strap themselves inside weapons of destruction; their amateur counterparts, suicide bombers, have to attach explosives on the outside of their bodies. After engaging the enemy, homicide bombers survive their murderous assaults; suicide bombers are pink mist and grisly body parts. Homicide bombers earn money and, if on target, medals; suicide bombers earn only martyrdom.
Homicide bombers are celebrated; suicide bombers are eviscerated.
The suicide bombers will only have to justify their actions when standing in front of their God; the homicide bombers, though, are still able to provide answers to questions posed by mere mortals. And, only the children of the homicide bombers will be able to ask the question: What did you do during the war, Daddy? In more progressive societies, a few children can ask Mom, the distant relative or an uncle with ulterior motives.
Dad, when you dropped the bombs, did you know that innocent children would be killed? If you knew that civilians would die when you dropped the bombs, what justification were you given by your superiors? Did you object, and offer an alternative that would have saved the lives of the innocent? Or, did you just follow orders? Dad, would you fly your jet into a target if ordered to do so by your leaders? If you did obey the command, would you be considered a Kamikaze, a suicide bomber or an obedient homicide bomber? Is it easy to learn to kill?
Mom, what made you decide to target the television station? Is it difficult to distinguish between an enemy and an embassy while sitting in front of a computer screen? Did you use a Google search when looking for current location of schools and hospitals that harbored terrorists? Did you get seasick while performing your duties? Was it very strenuous to push the button? Did you get to see the missile as it left the warship? Mom, is the maternal instinct similar to the homing instinct that guides a 2000-pound bomb to its target? Is it easy to learn to kill?
Auntie Maim, when you saw the pictures of dead babies, was it easy to dismiss them as alleged terrorists? Were you certain that their diapers were loaded with something other than baby-shit? You told those mean journalists to quit asking about unimportant details, but could you tell me again about your glee at seeing the bloodstained corpses of dead enemy soldiers? I know we share good relations, Auntie, but would you kill me if I misbehaved? I am also a child and I cannot fight back. I fear your contempt. Is it easy to learn to kill?
Uncle Sam, how do you decide which enemy needs to be bombed? Is it exciting to have the power to direct the actions of homicide bombers? Was it fair to drop thousands of tons of bombs on evildoers, yet not expend an ounce of explosives on Moscow while preventing the Evil Empire from expanding? Are there different rules of engagement, depending on the capability of an enemy to retaliate with their own homicide bombers? Uncle, do you have any idea about what life will be like after you deter your enemies with nuclear weapons? Do you care? It is easy to learn to kill.
The fledgling homicide bomber is an important cog in the machine of war. It takes a lot of effort to learn to kill, and schoolyard bullies are excellent candidates for the schools of death. They don’t care much for other children and, when bullies become bombers, they are fully prepared to answer the call of duty as well as the questions asked by children.
Homicide bombers, like suicide bombers, are not born to wreak havoc on unsuspecting innocent civilians. They are guided and molded by their elders; from the cradle to an early grave for suicide bombers, and from the cradle to the gratitude of fellow citizens for the homicide bombers.
James T. Phillips is a freelance reporter. He has covered wars in Iraq, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org