Child Soldier

Just finished watching a very impressive interview on CBC's The Hour, believe it or not. I wish I caught the gentleman's was Ismael...something. Anyway, this guy was most impressive. He has written a book called Child Soldier.

He became a soldier in Sierra Leone at the age of twelve, after his entire family was murdered in that country's bloody civil war (see the movie Blood Diamond, it is really not bad). He was fed drugs, had people killed in front of him to desensitize him, threatened.............shown how to use an AK, and sent to war.

A number of things deeply impressed me. First of all, how gentle, intelligent, and articulate this young man is.

Secondly, how terrible the life he escaped was..........unbelieveable.

Thirdly, how respectful he is towards the people who talked his commander into surrendering him into their care...........people from UNICEF (and people here know how much I respect the UN, NOT). These folks risked themselves to talk armed lunatics into giving up assets......the kids resented this immensely, as they were completely brainwashed, and the army was their family. Ismael spoke of stabbing a UNICEF worker, who got back from the hospital, came up to him and said "It's not your fault.....want to get something to eat?" Ismael thought he was crazy.

Fourthly, how sincerely Ismael spoke of forgiveness as the only cure, the only solution, the only resolution of that nation's war and recent history.....

Most impressive. Got to get that book.

Oh Yeah.....Ismael now lives in NYC.
Last edited by Colpy; May 1st, 2007 at 08:39 AM..
Libra Girl
May he live in peace and happiness now for the rest of his life... He deserves to.
For anyone interested the actual name of the book is A Long way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. I just bought it in hard cover at Coles for $26.95 plus taxes.
Libra Girl
Thank you Colpy.
I actually heard him on the CBC radio. It's such a sad story. What those children went through is horrible, and I have respect that he was able to get out and change the person they had turned him into.
I will be getting this book!

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